Cooking with Hot Sauce for the Holidays: Mild to Wild

Martin SmazenkoSauce IdeasLeave a Comment

Hot Sauce

If you’re a hot sauce lover, you probably have lots of different ways to use it in your everyday cooking, but how about cooking with hot sauce for the holidays? You might be surprised where hot sauce can appear with a little imagination! Make your own pepper sauce and then use it to glaze your turkey for a special treat; adjust the heat with the sauce you choose.

Making the Jelly

This recipe makes about 7 cups of yummy jelly. If you can bear to part with it, it makes a great gift; put it into 1/2-pint jars and tie a pretty holiday ribbon or a bit of raffia around the lid.

Start by putting the canning lids in just enough simmering water to cover them; leave them on low heat until you’re ready to seal the jars. Wash and sterilize your canning jars.

Continue by cutting 2 large, seeded red bell peppers and 1 small onion into large chunks. Add them to your food processor with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and pulse them together until they are ground finely.

Now, add the veggies to a non-aluminum saucepan and add 1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Bring everything to a boil, stirring constantly, before reducing the heat and simmering it for 5 minutes.

Hot Sauce

Stir in 6 1/2 cups granulated sugar and continue stirring, raising the heat back to high. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil and let it boil for 1 minutes, continuing to stir constantly. Remove the pan from the heat.

Thoroughly stir in a 3-ounce pouch of liquid pectin. Skim off any foam that forms and then add 3 to 4 tablespoons hot sauce at your preferred heat level. Stir everything well.

Ladle the jelly into the hot jars, leaving about 1/4-inch at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars and top them with the simmering lids. Add a canning ring and cool the jelly on a wire rack; cover the jars with a dish towel. When they have cooled completely, tighten the rings again.

Glazing the Turkey

Begin by preparing your turkey in your usual manner, until the last 30 minutes of the cooking time. Brush the turkey with one of these glazes and finish cooking your bird.

For the first glaze option, heat 12 ounces jelly, 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar and salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

For the second, mix 1/3 cup jelly, 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine and 1 tablespoon lime juice.

Adding Some Sides

Put 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 4 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use the good stuff — you’re not cooking this!), 3 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 minced clove garlic, 1 teaspoon hot sauce and 1/4 teaspoon in a jar. Tighten the lid and shake until everything is well-blended. Pour the dressing over your favorite salad greens for a salad that gets their attention.

Toss 1 pound Brussels sprouts with olive or coconut oil, salt and pepper. Roast them at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve them drizzled with an aioli made by stirring together 4 tablespoons mayonnaise and 1 to 2 tablespoons hot sauce.

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