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Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce

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Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce

During one member of the Bridge and Tunnel Club's short-lived but well-loved foray into the world of waiting tables, a regular customer divulged a vague recipe for -- and produced a sample of -- Trinidadian-style hot pepper sauce. Sometime thereafter we found ourselves strolling by West Indian grocery shops on Liberty Avenue in Queens and decided to try and replicate the sauce. We had only a basic understanding of the ingredients, so our recipe may or may not be authentic, but the results were great. We warn you, this stuff is hot. Really. Lips-going-numb, sweat-inducing, let-me-take-off-my-spectacles-because-they're-steaming-up kind of hot. Trust us, it's hot. More about that later.

Scotch Bonnet Peppers, A & N West Indian Grocery, 106-17 Liberty Avenue, Richmond Hill, Queens

Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Bandanya Leaves, A & N West Indian Grocery, 106-17 Liberty Avenue, Richmond Hill, Queens

You probably need to find a West Indian grocer to procure these items, as we haven't a clue about substitutions. Get about two dozen Scotch Bonnet peppers, remembering that green peppers are spicier than red peppers. We used mostly green peppers, but would lean the other way next time. You also need a bunch of bandanya leaves, two ripe mangos, three limes, and half of a large red onion.

Even if you were able to substitute another pepper, you need what our grocer called bandanya. It has an odor that belies its strong flavor and can be recognized by its bright-green, saw-toothed leaves. Related to cilantro, the herb is also known as culantro (Spanish/English), chadon beni (Trinidadian), pak chi farang (Thai), ngo gai (Vietnamese), recao (Spanish), and fitweed (Guyanese).

Cutting Mango For Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce

Basically you cut up all the raw ingredients, save the limes, which you simply juice. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU WEAR IMPERMEABLE GLOVES WHILE HANDLING THE PEPPERS. I cannot emphasize this enough. I know people say this about all kinds of peppers, and it really isn't always necessary, but IT IS NECESSARY for Scotch Bonnets. If you don't wear gloves, the chili oil on your hands will gradually sink into your skin, it will not wash off, and your hands will feel as if they are in a blazing fire for six to eight hours. There will be nothing that you can do to help the situation either so forget about busting out your moisturizer, yogurt, milk, bleach, etc. You will sit awake all night with your hands in a tub of ice water, your only consolation being that at least you didn't get any in your eyes. Consider yourself warned.

Mixing Ingredients in Cuisinart

Throw everything in your food processor and pulse.

You can decide whether you want totally liquefied sauce or a chunkier version. We chose something in the middle.

Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce

This will keep in the fridge for weeks, and given the same amount you'll use at any given meal, it will last that long. It is most lovely with roast chicken and starchy sides like Eddoes and Breadfruit.


Wikipedia Scotch Bonnet Entry

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