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Sauces and Condiments, Vegetarian

Caribbean jerk-style hot sauce

Caribbean jerk-style hot sauce
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Maybe it's the sense of danger that reels you in at first. The crazy name, the wild picture slapped on the bottle. Before you know it, you're on for the ride, and the best ones leave you reduced to a ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Makes about 3 cups hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup muscovado or dark brown sugar
  • 6 to 9 Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, stemmed and chopped
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 bunches scallions, chopped (green and white parts)
  • Zest and juice of 4 limes
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water

Step 1In the bowl of a food processor, combine the pepper, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, salt, sugar, peppers, garlic, ginger, scallions, lime zest and juice, vinegar, rum and oil. Pulse a few times to form a coarse paste.

Step 2Transfer the mixture to a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, to marry the flavors.

Step 3Remove from heat. Place the mixture back in a food processor or blender and blend to form a smooth sauce, thinning as desired with one-half to 1 cup water. Strain if desired. To store, refrigerate the sauce in a covered glass bottle or jar.

Note: The sauce should be prepared in a well-ventilated area. Muscovado sugar can be found at most cooking and baking supply stores. Wear gloves while chopping the Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers because the heat in the oils can sting your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the peppers.

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