We were on vacation in one of our favorite spots: Door County, Wisconsin; and ‘roughing it’ in my preferred way – in a fully appointed ‘cabin’ with all of the amenities.
while I did pack some of my favorite spices and blends, I neglected to stash any condiments in the car when we left, so when we opted to eat dinner in one evening by picking up a fresh take and bake pizza, I needed to make a quick run to the market.
I would normally add a bit of Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce to my slice of pizza, but my stash was resting comfortably at home four hours south. A quick scan of the local shop shelves confirmed that no CPSGPS was to be found (surprise!), so I picked up a small bottle of Crystal hot sauce and, hmmmm, what’s this?
‘A spicy sauce for meats, seafood & poultry’ – and it had a big, friendly ‘TryMe®’ across the top of the label.
So, I tried it, and it was good – tho’ mebbe a touch more on the sweet than the spicy side to my tastes.
Later in the week, I came across two boxes of (mostly cooking) books for $10, and so HAD to buy them. One of the books – well, two, really, but one was a signed copy by the author – was “Outerbridge’s Original Sherry Peppers Cookbook” – check out the Outerbridge’s Facebook page here.
When we got home, I set about looking through my treasure trove of books, and started thinking about that Tiger Sauce. I liked it, enough to bring the rest of the bottle home, but it really wasn’t quite spicy enough, and contained some ingredients I try to avoid, so I did some research on da Google, and, what do you know? Tiger sauce is a kind of a version of Sherry Peppers Sauce!
Well, the version I found from Molly53 on food.com certainly seemed to be, tho it still didn’t look like it would be spicy enough, so I tweaked things a bit, and came up with this blend which, in my not-so-very-humble opinion, is practically perfect in every way – and wicked simple to make, too!
•16 oz hot cherry peppers, drained
•1/4 cup juice from the peppers
•2 jalapeños, sliced (optional, but very good)
•2 (12 oz) cans tamarind nectar*
•1-1/2 cup water
•1 cup white vinegar
•1-1/2 cup sugar
•2 tsp sea salt
•1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
•1 tbsp hot sauce (Earl’s is nice)
•1 tbsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Sauce
– or, just use two tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce – I like the blend, myself
•1/2 cup sherry
•1 pkg (1-3/4 oz) pectin
**Look for Tamarind nectar in the Hispanic foods section of your market – I got mine at Woodman’s for 50¢ each.
I started out with sliced cherry peppers, if you can only find whole, that’s fine, simply cut of the tops and roughly chop the peppers.
Place all the ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
Boil for three minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every now and again.
Purée with an immersion blender, or process in batches in a regular blender until smooth.
You can let the sauce cool, then bottle it and stash it in the fridge, but my love on condiments keeps space in my (pretty darned huge) fridge at a premium, so I opted to can the puréed sauce in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes – ending up with approximately six half-pints of nicely spiced shelf-stable (until opened) sherry peppers sauce.
Whether you opt to store yours in the fridge or process it, let the sauce rest for a couple of days before sampling.
When ready to use, give the jar a good shake, and add as you will – I thought mine just about prefect on a home made pizza with my new favorite pizza dough recipe (more on that to come).
A few notes: as with most recipes like this, I started off by cutting the amount of sugar called for in the original recipe in half, and mebbe if I hadn’t added those two tablespoons of hot sauce/garlic pepper sauce, I would’ve been ok (the original recipe didn’t call for any), but taking a taste 20 minutes into the 45 minute simmer, I thought it needed a touch more sweetness, and am quite happy with the results. Even if you do add the sugar and don’t add the hot sauce(s), know that the sherry peppers sauce in the pot will be a bit more, ermmm, assertive before it’s finished simmering and then sitting for a couple of days.
And, tho’ the sauce is really, really good sprinkled over pizza, do try adding a bit to just about anything else, from dips and spreads and cheese balls and eggs, to soups and stews and roasts.
It really is all good.