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Emeril Lagasse's Homemade Pepper SauceCompiled by Vicki McClure Davidson
Popular, Emmy-nominated, and James Beard Award-winning television chef Emeril Lagasse specializes in Louisiana (primarily Creole and Cajun) cooking. Cooking from an early age, he has been either a chef at and/or owner of many acclaimed restaurants. Lagasse has written a number of best-selling cookbooks (There's a Chef in My Soup, Emeril's TV Dinners, Louisiana Real and Rustic, etc.) and has been one of the most often-watched chefs on The Food Network. He frequently uses the catch phrases "Bam!" and "Let's kick it up a notch." His TV cooking shows have included Emeril, How to Boil Water, Emeril Live, and Essence of Emeril.
Emeril Lagasse's homemade pepper sauce is cheap and easy to make. It can be stored for 6 months in the fridge and used in a variety of dishes to which you want to add a bit of kick. This is one of his many quirky recipes from his 1999 cookbook Every Day's a Party, Louisiana Recipes for Celebrating with Family and Friends.
In the cookbook, he states:
"If you've perused the condiment section of your supermarket lately, you've noticed that just about everyone and his mother has come out with a hot sauce. Some are so hot, they'll blow the top of your head off. That's not my idea of a good hot sauce. A hot sauce, in my opinion, should have good flavor and a fair amount of heat, but not so much so that your taste buds are ruined for life. I tend to use Louisiana-made hot sauces because most of them have been around for a long time and the families or companies that make them know what they're doing. Plus, most hot sauces around here are made with locally grown peppers, like Cayennes or Tabascos. (I suppose you know that Tabasco Hot Sauce originated in Louisiana, specifically, on Avery Island in South Louisiana, made by Edmund McIlhenny, who bottled his first batch in 1868.)
"But sometimes I get a hankering to make my own pepper sauce. This one's made with Anaheims and serranos. Since the oils in the flesh and seeds of hot peppers are quite volatile, you should wear rubber gloves when handling them. Be careful not to touch your face or eyes while working with the peppers."
Emeril Lagasse's Homemade Pepper Sauce
- 6 large red Anaheim peppers (about 12 ounces)
- 4 serrano peppers (about 1/2 ounce)
- 2-1/4 cu. distilled white vinegar
- 1 c. water
- 1 T. salt
Remove the stems from the peppers, cut them length-wise in half, and remove the seeds. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Put the peppers, vinegar, water, and salt in a medium-size nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 20 minutes.Remove from the heat and let steep until completely cool.
Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pour into sterilized bottles, and secure with airtight lids. Refrigerate and let age for at least 2 weeks before using. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
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Kinsman, Kat, AOL Food, "Q&A with Emeril Lagasse," (http://food.aol.com/emeril).
Lagasse, Emeril, with Marcelle Bienvenu and Felicia Willett, Every Day's a Party, Louisiana Recipes for Celebrating with Family and Friends, William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, 1999.