Around February, as I was wintering-over my Bhut Jolokia chile pepper plant in my living room, I took advantage of it to make some of this Caribbean fire sauce. Nothing better in the late dull winter than to make some sunny Caribbean food to brighten up the season!
Not a lot to the recipe; here's the goods. There's also garlic which I forgot to put in the picture
Finely chop the onions-
Finely chopped the green oniony part only-
Added 1 cup lime juice (took 6 limes)-
Mixed all that well and set out on the counter to marinate at room temp for 2 hours.
There's not any extra juice sitting in the bottom of the bowl, it has all been incorporated on the onions. No worries it smelled great, and meanwhile I de-seeded a bunch of the chile peppers.
After two hours of marinating, there was a good deal of juice collected at the bottom of the bowl; very nice and smelled bright and fresh. Stirred it up once again and then added the 3 bhut jolokias I chopped up. First I split them in half, then de-seeded them under running cold water as well as taking out the ribs. Wow, they sure gave off some potent vapors of chili-heat! The red one's sure are a world different from when they are green.
Added a good dollop of pre-minced garlic, then a scant tablespoon each of table salt and fresh ground black pepper, and finally, a half cup or so of olive oil...
Scrubbed and sanitized six half-pint jars for the canning process. Filled them with the Ti-Malice then put them into the boiling water bath. The canning blue-book calls for 10 minutes water bath, so the clock began once they were in a rolling boil-
After 12 minutes of rolling water bath out came the jars. Looked nice and demure....hiding that secret potency I just knew lurked within! The pieces of hot peppers contrasted nicely with the cooking onions-
I did not know what to expect with this, and was thinking it would be unbelievably fiery~ I thought a bit of toning down with warm corn-tortilla-dough in the mouth might help.
No need for that worry at all…. The cooking / canning process did wonders for this sauce. Raw, without cooking may have been a whole different story. Once the jar was opened, you can see that the onion was partially cooked, but a bit of crispness is still left inside. This is the same for all ingredients in the sauce, and the partial cooking softened all the sharpness of the onions and hot pepper into a nice flow.
I was not sure how hot all this would be so I put about a hearty teaspoon on a warm tortilla, making sure to get red peppers in it. If I was going to die, I wanted to die properly and facing the heat head-on!
Rolled the baby up and started to munch. First bite or two got a wonderful warm flavour of olive oil, bright-but-subdued onion, some onion greenery form the spring onion stalks, and definitely a delicious undercurrent of lime. Had I not gotten pepper? Another bite; gentle chewing....ahh, there it was...that warm soft glow in the background, slowly coming up, slowly rising, just as I had felt in my first tasting of bhut jolokia. The heat was warm, soft and comforting, a lot like the false dawn when you're camping, and its been a cold night and you can feel the sun's rays but it has not broken the horizon yet....that's what the heat was like, gentle, yet there.
The pepper tasted slightly smokey, slightly deep and red as opposed to the vibrant green when the plant is unripe. As the glow of the heat came closer, I imagined the dawn's sun just breaking the horizon, just starting to fill the sky, and that's what the heat was like...just coming up, just starting to fill my head.
Nothing explosive, nor fiery, nor alarming....just a slow steady gentle heat that was mesmerizing as it was overpowering. It was delicious, like sinking into a very hot bath. This pepper is good.
I never had to breathe-in heavily to cool my tongue. Nothing of the fire-alarm common to most chile peppers. This is a sophisticated, subdued chile....it just comes on over and curls around you. The heat is good, strong, yet manageable.
In all, this was without a doubt, one of the best salsas I have ever made; the balance, the combination of flavors, was a nice change from the fiery and demonic salsas few people can eat. This one is a good one, a gentle one and a great condiment for Caribbean or Latin food.
Here’s the recipe. I doubled it when I made this Ti-Malice.
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 cup chives, finely chopped
1/2 cup lime juice
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped hot peppers
salt and pepper