In the past, when fast food chains introduce new products billed as “spicy” I usually try them and think “wimpy,” so I ordered the new offering with my expectations low.
The Bacon Habanero Quarter Pounder really surprised me - it was spicy! Hot enough to make my nose run a little after trying it for the first time.
I was so impressed that I decided to make my own sauce featuring habanero peppers. To tame the extreme heat I simmer them in pineapple juice. As the juice reduces, it takes on their heat and flavor. I then use the juice to make a barbecue sauce with enough sweet to balance the heat. The end result is a spicy sauce different from McDonald’s, but perfect for adding a little fire to the next backyard barbecue.
BEHIND THIS BITE
I hadn’t worked with habanero peppers in a couple of years before creating this recipe. They’re just way to hot to deal with. I love spicy food but chopping up a raw habanero and throwing it into a dish is almost guaranteeing that it will be to hot to eat. Delicious spicy food is one thing, insane, agonizing, set your ass on fire the next morning food is another.
Food can be painful and habanero pepper will deliver if not treated with the proper respect. The technique employed here is the best way to extract flavor and heat from the pepper, it provides the dish with a hint of the habanero’s power and allows you to actually taste it’s fruity apricot-like essence.
I’m starting work on a habanero aiolo for the near future. I want to create a dipping sauce for french fries that is creamy and spicy. I’m not sure how to accomplish that but it seems like a nice habanero challenge. I just hope that I can get it right the first time and don’t have to suffer through a habanero overload.
Eat well, cook often...
Makes 3 cups; 1 hour
3 Habanero peppers
2 Cinnamon sticks
1 can Pineapple juice (46 oz)
1/4 C Red onion diced
1 Tbs Garlic minced
1 C Ketchup
1/4 C Cider vinegar
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs Honey
Make pineapple reduction
Cut slits in sides of the habanero peppers. Place peppers and cinnamon sticks in sauce pan then pour in pineapple juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until pineapple juice is reduced by two-thirds or about 1 1/2 cups, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat, discard peppers and cinnamon.
Sauté vegetables, finish sauce
In a sauce pan over medium heat sauté onion in a little olive oil until soft 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more. Add pineapple reduction, ketchup, vinegar, dijon mustard, worcestershire and honey. Mix together with a whisk and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, let cool. Use on grilled meat or as a finishing sauce on burgers.