Hot Sauce


  • 2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup(s) diced onion
  • 2 medium chile peppers, such as poblano, New Mexico or Anaheim, diced
  • 3 habanero peppers, or other small hot chile peppers, stemmed, halved and seeded (see Tip)
  • 4 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1 pound(s) tomatoes, diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup(s) distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 teaspoon(s) sugar


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chile peppers, onion, and habaneros to taste.  Add minced garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce stove to medium heat. Add tomatoes, vinegar, salt and sugar to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the tomato mixture into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot ingredients.) Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; pour the pureed mixture through the sieve, pushing on the solids with a wooden spoon to extract all the liquid; discard solids. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Tip: The membranes that hold the seeds are the spiciest part of chile peppers (that’s where the capsaicin is). The seeds pick up some spiciness by association. You can customize the heat of salsa or hot sauce by using some or all of the seeds along with the flesh of the pepper and tasting as you go. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after chopping hot peppers or wear rubber gloves.


Leah Beckett