The Second Version

23/07/08

Third Degree Hot Sauce

I have just recovered from a good capsaicin high.

So, before the EU and UN add capsaicin to the list of forbidden substances and institute commissions for the regulation of capsicum cultivation, here's what caused it.

I took a few (3 or 4) dried Scotch Bonnet chillies from last year's crop and rehdrated them in a small amount of hot water for about one hour. I drained them keeping the liquor and very finely chopped the chillies together with 2 cloves of garlic - using a mezaluna. Then I stir-fried the mix with little olive oil in a small steel saucepan, together with a pinch of chopped fresh thyme, until it was nicely browned. I added part of the liquor I had set aside and transferred the stew in a tall and thin pot for some simmering; at this point I also added a hefty pinch of salt and ca. 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.

The sauce simmered for about 30 minutes, during which I poured in some more of the liquor and a small (really small, like a coin) piece of butter. At the end of the simmering I added barely half a teaspoon of all-purpose flour, mixed well and allowed to boil until properly thick. When cold, I poured the sauce in small paper cupcake liners and refrigerated the whole thing.

The amount required to give me a high? Oh, a quarter of a teaspoon, more or less.

Finally, a word of warning. Scotch bonnets are not only hot; they are truly irritant in contact with skin, and even the fumes from their cooking are irritant if inhaled. So act accordingly...

Update 26/07: Last night I invited some mates over to have a dinner of spicy pasta made using the remaining scotch bonnet, and we used some of the Third Degree sauce. Boy, it was blistering. And a succesfull dinner.

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