Chili! Hot Chili, Here!

In my quest to turn our autumn bounty into something delicious, I created a small batch of chili sauce.

I used three jalapenos (red and green), a poblano, three of the super hot, cayenne peppers and three of the ones I cannot identify because I lost the tag. They are the ones in the foreground of this photo, along with the other three varieties.

I cut the peppers, two yellow onions, three small homegrown apples, and a whole bulb of fresh garlic into large dices and put them into the vessel of my Instant Pot pressure cooker. I added a heaping TBS of salt and then apple cider vinegar to a level to about 3/4 of the depth of the produce and gave it a bit of a stir. Finally (as if it was So much work!) I set pressure for eight minutes and sat back. After carefully performing a quick release, I let it all cool. The final step was to blend it in the Ninja food processor for a couple of minutes until I didn’t see any sizeable chunks. I chose not to strain it.

Using a ladle and a funnel, I filled eight ounce glass stout sauce jars that I purchased at Amazon. The final yield was four and one half bottles of some great chili sauce. It is really well balanced, and I think those apples did a great job of offsetting the heat and acidity of the peppers and vinegar.

There’s a lot of acid in this sauce, so it should keep well in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Or, it could be frozen for a couple of months or more, I suspect. My husband Robert is a hot sauce kinda guy, so I don’t think this batch will last more than a few weeks.

I wanted Robert to try it, but he was in the middle of some project and didn’t respond to my initial request that he meet me in the kitchen. So, I fried a few eggs, dabbled them with the new sauce, shot a quick photo and texted it to him with the words, “this could be yours!” A minute later he showed up! I’m happy to announce that he absolutely approved.

Then Robert said, “yeah, this is delicious, but you aren’t going to be able to recreate this, exactly, are you?”

That’s the funny thing about people. They all perceive the world a little differently. My brain loves variety, his finds it a little stressful. But, I assured him that, while I wouldn’t be able to make it taste exactly the same way next time, (one less jalapeno here, two more cayenne peppers there… a different variety or amount of apples, or even the exchange of a pear for an apple… and it’s going to taste different.) But, it might even be better!

I have lived most of my life dancing on the fulcrum of art and science. It’s an interesting place to exist, and it reminds me that everything in life requires balance. That’s all I wanted from this chili sauce – that it tasted “balanced” and I believe I nearly achieved that goal this time!

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