Does anyone know how to make hot sauce?
Hot sauce is basically hot peppers, salt, and vinegar. I chopped up a pint of tiny hot peppers when they were available at my farmer's market, and gave them about a TB of salt and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. It is VERY hot, I think most people wouldn't use it straight the way I did it (I've only used mine for cooking so far). So maybe twice as much vinegar? Just let it all marinate and send it through a blender if you want a smooth sauce.
I'm not sure who Frank is or what his hot sauce tastes like but I think I can give you some simple guidelines to follow and you can discover your own.
1. You need a heat delivery system. Hot peppers may be the obvious choice, but I've had hot sauces made only with black peppercorns and they're delightful.
2. You need a flavor delivery system. That will be a liquid, because it's a sauce, right? Most folks will think of vinegar, but oil, water and fruit juices can work as well. For example, many sauces are tomato-based and in the Caribbean, papaya-based hot sauces are quite common. Avocados, peaches, mangoes, figs and so many other fruits are the base for hot sauces. You can combine all four (fruit+water+oil+vinegar). You can use oranges, limes or lemons instead of vinegar. Experiment. It's hard to make a bad sauce.
3. You need seasoning. Heat from chilies or peppercorns by itself is not terribly interesting. It's the garlic, cumin, cilantro, allspice, oregano, or other flavor agent that gives the sauce its character. Sometimes its just salt and one other ingredient, and you're done.
You can blend it all together or leave each contribution to hold its own weight. It's all good. You can make it fresh or cook it. If you're not happy with the result, it's easy enough to start all over.
I have a pretty simple recipe that is tomato based. Mince a couple gloves of garlic and dice 1/2 an onion. Select the hot pepper of your choice. I like serranos which are a bit hotter than jalepenos but not as hot as thai bird chilis. You need between 1/2 pound and 2 pounds depending on how hot you like it. Toss those in the food processor with the onion and garlic and about 2 cups of tomato sauce. Puree until smooth. Pour into a skillet and cook over low heat until simmering. Simmer about 15 mins. Let cool. Stir in a couple tablespoons vinegar to taste and pour into a jar. Refrigerate.
I grow Thai Dragons, Cayennes Jalapenos (Biker Billy's are nice and hot) and a bunch of others.
When the Jalapenos ripen, I cut in half and smoke dry over pecan.
I pick several dozen TD's, Cayennes and whatever else is red and ripe, cut the stems off and puree in the food processor.
I then heat white vinegar in a saucepan and add the chiles with garlic and salt. I run the chipotles through a spice grinder and add them.
I simmer for about 45 minutes. (Mrs CHM doesn't like this part)
I strain and pour into sterilized bottles. They will keep though the winter. Tasty and hot.