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Thursday, May 31, 2012 05:23 pm

SWEET POTATO HABAÑERO HOT SAUCE

Hot sauces made from Habañero peppers are endemic in the Caribbean, but seldom found elsewhere. I first tasted this riff on a traditional Caribbean Carrot hot sauce that substitutes sweet potato for the carrots at Cochon, a wildly popular New Orleans restaurant with a new branch in Lafayette, La. I’ve eaten at both, and each time left determined to duplicate their Sweet Potato Hot Sauce. After much experimentation, I think I hit the mark!
  • 1 c. chopped onion, NOT super-sweet
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 habañero peppers, seeds and stems removed, then minced
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 heaping c. chopped and peeled sweet potato
  • 4 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 T. cider (preferred) vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
Sauté the onion, garlic and peppers in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat until they soften and start to caramelize, about five minutes or longer. Add the water and sweet potato to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a bare simmer until the sweet potatoes are completely cooked through, 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the sweet potato pieces.

Remove from the heat and let stand until the mixture comes to room temperature. You can hasten this process by putting the pan in a sink or large bowl of cold water. Puree the mixture in a blender, hand-held blender, or food processor until it’s completely smooth. Pour into small bottles. It will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks. Makes approximately 3 c.
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