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May 26, 2010 05:08 PM

Inner Beauty Hot Sauce recipe direct from Chris Schlesinger

Just saw this, via the NY Times today:

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  1. Cool, though the recipe should say, "Before handling chilies and pulsing food processor, don rubber gloves, goggles, and a painter's mask (if not a respirator)." An aerosol mist of Scotch bonnet peppers can be deadly.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      True! And a good "get" by the Times.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Totally agree - I made something similar years ago with a blender full of habaneros, and we all (including the cats) had to evacuate the apartment with tears streaming down our faces.

        1. re: nsenada

          I must also warn against handling chilies, not wearing gloves or washing hands perfectly afterward, and then taking a trip to the bathroom. That relentlessly increasing, you-think-it-will-abate-but-it-doesn't burn is unforgettable, too. Apologies for the TMI, but I reference this as a public service.

      2. The same recipe (minus the orange juice) was published in Chris' book "Big Flavors of the Hot Sun" in 1994.

        9 Replies
        1. re: skippy66

          Hmm, so the published recipe is incomplete... Schlesinger is a) vague about food, b) reluctant to publish the full recipe, c) playing the Times?

          Eh, I'll choose "b."

          1. re: skippy66

            I've made that version (found via google search from this source: - fantastic, and exactly as I remember the real Inner Beauty sauce. There's yet another version (also from Chris S.) that was posted on seriouseats a few years ago:
            That one sounds totally different -- papaya and pineapple juice instead of mashed mango? Oil??
            I suspect Chris S. changes the story every time someone asks, just to be cagey. But that first one really does taste exactly like the original (as I remember it). And it's certainly worth wearing gloves when prepping the chilies but I think a mask and goggles aren't essential - it's a pretty thick mixture and shouldn't be vaporizing out of the food processor. Though of course there's no harm in extra protection and in any case I certainly wouldn't lean over the bowl and breathe in right after opening it. As far as I can tell, it lasts forever in the fridge - I still have some from a batch I made two years ago.

            1. re: MichaelB

              Papaya is a classic ingredient in habanero/mustard based hot sauces.

              I love Chris Schlesinger, but Inner Beauty is really just his version of the Caribbean mustard/habanero sauce which is ubiquitous on some islands. There are as many variations on that theme as there are home cooks in the Carib... Heck, I like all of 'em.

              1. re: StriperGuy


                I'm a fan of Lottie's Barbados sauce (made in USA)..particularly the mustard based..good balance of heat/flavor.

              2. re: MichaelB

                Remind me to tell you about the time I tried grinding dried bhut jolokia (ghost) chilies in my coffee grinder (actually I only use it for chilies--I'm not completely stupid). I had to evacuate the house! (Although I did end up winning first prize in the company chili cook-off!)

                1. re: Tir_na_nOg

                  Very funny, did you see the video of man vs food where he takes on the four horsemen ghost chili burger? Some of the most uncomfortable moments on TV ever!
                  (skip to about 4 minutes in


                  He did visit EC Grill on a hell night but he wasn't filmed eating the infamous pasta.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      A friend brought back a bottle of "Inner Beauty" from Barbados many years ago--sounds a lot like this recipe (was habanero, yellow mustard based.) As I recall, it had more of a mustard flavor than it did real heat...

                      1. re: penthouse pup

                        You can often get these sauces mild, med, and HOT!