Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hot Sauce

The other day, Unokhan asked me in a comment what kind of hot sauce I liked. I told him I’d post some of my favorites.

Hot sauce should complement, not debilitate. Some sauces complement with flavor, others by adding a little bite. The “insanity” sauces sold in airports and other stores around the country today are nothing more than novelties in my opinion.

Here are a few favorites that come immediately to mind. With the exception of the first one, which is my personal favorite, the list is in no particular order. All but the first and the last are pepper sauces.

My Secret Green
My all-time favorite hot sauce is actually a salsa. It’s green and homemade. Because it’s a family recipe that goes way back, I’m not sharing it with any of you. I will say, however, that it is positively delicious on beef and eggs.

La Victoria – Green
I have a special fondness for this sauce. It takes me back to my childhood in Southern California. The sauce is a mix of tomatillos, green tomatoes, chiles, onions, and various other spices. It is delicious on hamburger or especially tenderized round steak.

Surprisingly I can only find the mild version of La Victoria in San Antonio.

Poblano Mexican Red Jalapeño – Red
This is an Arizona sauce I discovered some years ago. It’s made with red jalapeño peppers, vinegar, and various spices. I like it on bean and cheese tacos, chalupas (Tostadas west of Texas), and crispy tacos.

I’ve only seen it in stores in Tucson. You can buy it on line at a variety of sites, but they only sell the bottles individually. If you want more than a few singles, you have to get it by the mixed box. I actually called the owner of the company once and asked if I could buy a case of only the red jalapeño. Stunningly he would only sell the mixed case. Not exactly a smart business move, but the sauce is delicious, so I’m buying it online individually for more than I care to spend.

Santa Barbara Salsa Red Taco Style Pepper Sauce
I stumbled upon this sauce in a local grocery store and fell in love with it. It’s fantastic on crispy tacos, chalupas/tostadas, hamburger, etc. It has a flavor similar to Taco Bell’s hot taco sauce, but I like this one better!

Santa Barbara Salsa Original Blend
This is a very good sauce with a very unique blend of ingredients that gives it a very unique, and at the moment indescribable, flavor. Good on just about anything, but especially meat.

Tabasco – Green
According to the Tabasco web site, this sauce is made with a milder version of jalapeño. It’s a good sauce that I particularly like on beef.

Tabasco – Original
I like this in homemade gumbo and mixed with ketchup (for fries, etc).

Cholula - Red
A tasty red pepper sauce, good just about anything. It’s one of my favorites.

El Yucateco – Chipotle
A chipotle (pronounced chee-poht-lay) pepper is a smoked jalapeño, which has gained greatly in popularity in the U.S. in recent years. I’ve been into them since I was quite young.

This sauce is creeper hot. By that I mean you won’t notice it initially; it creeps up on you after a few bites, and does a little biting of its own. It is very flavorful, with a unique blend of ingredients that gives it a subtle sweetness that makes it one of my all-time favorite sauces.

Bufalo - Chipotle
This sauce is hot, and a little thinner in consistency than tomato paste. I use it mainly in cooking – especially grilled shrimp. I thin the sauce out with a perfect mix of chicken stock and olive oil. Once the shrimp is done grilling, I toss it in a little of the sauce for a nice kick. Be careful though…it’s hot.

Pace Picante – Red Salsa
Other than my homemade green salsa, this is the only salsa I have in the list, and it’s here because I love dipping Doritos in it!


unokhan said...

excellent stuffs! would u mind if i forward your selexions to my friend R in dallas? he's quite the hot sauce man -- like you he makes his own salsa and usually doesn't share the recipe. one of his tricks is to drop a couple of chipotles en adobo into the mix.

altho some folx say east and west don't meet, give huy fong sriracha a try and see what you think...


Anonymous said...

They all look mighty tasty. I feel like going shopping now.


Carlos said...

Unokhan: Yes, feel free to forward it on. Sriracha is good! I love hot Asian sauces, but don't have any preference as for brands. Suppose I should get out more, eh?

Gator: Dude...tell me whatcha get.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get any. But i am eating a tamale with chili verde sauce on it. mmmmm.


Woozie said...

yuck, hot sauce

Margaret said...

I'm in love with my wimpy Texas Pete.

More inclined to enjoy the bite of horseradish or wasabi without the after burn. Love the ouch but abhore the soreness.

However, gimme some chirozo w/scrambled eggs. Slap that on a tortilla with a splash of tabasco hot sauce and dollop of sour cream and monty jack cheese - we're talking breakfast that sings in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

Hope you have a very happy thanksgiving my friend. I know we all have things to be thankful for this thanksgiving, some of us it may be a certain texan being out of a job in a few months? Others our health, children, and all of us especially our wonderful friends. Happy Thanksgiving Carlos.


P.S. I will be really Thankful when Florida defeats Florida State on saturday and Alabama the following week.

Anonymous said...

Great picks for hot sauce. You have excellent taste. I can't eat eggs without Cholula anymore.
La Victoria is hands down one of my all time favorites.