Your Favorite Hot Sauce

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#21
Apparently, sc'hug is Yemeni is origin. I only found one online place to buy it -- a kosher market in New York. (aviglatt dot com) But it looks super easy to make. Here's a recipe.

1 teacup chopped coriander
5 medium hot green peppers
2-4 cloves of garlic
1/2-1/3 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbs. oil

Preparation:
Gently and carefully cut and clean the peppers from the seeds. Grind with all other ingredients in a food processor until the desired consistency is achieved.


(*) also spelled Schug, Zchug, Zhug etc. The meaning of the name is “ground”.


Here's another recipe. Similar, but slightly different. I have got to try this stuff!


  • 1 pound of red or green hot peppers (you can mix it up, but use red or green for bright, consistent color)
  • 1 head fresh garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • Black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • Olive oil to cover
  • Optional: fresh cilantro leaves, cardamom, and lemon juice.


  1. Throw your peppers and garlic into a food processor and purée.
  2. Add spices and pulse a few times to mix. Store the mixture in a glass jar and cover with olive oil. Refrigerate. Make sure to wash your hands before touching your eyes or anything else.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#23
That reminds me of my friend who cooks Caribbean cuisine. She rarely, if ever, uses any sauce of ANY sort out of a bottle. She doesn't use seasoning mixes, (like curry) either. Watching her cook is the coolest thing. She'll have leaves and twigs and other unrecognizable nuts, etc., sticking out of her pots. And I'll tell you what. When she's done, it's yummy. She can throw down!!!!! in the kitchen.

When you think of it, somebody came up with the recipes for all these hot sauces we buy, right? :cool:
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#24
What I learned in college is that hot sauce is what you squirt onto otherwise bland food to liven it up. It's what you use when you have people with delicate palates scooping from the same serving dish as you.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#25
Same deal with peppers. That's why my *real* Mexican (not Tex-Mex) food-loving friends eat the blandest foods ever! ... with a dish of chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) or roasted jalapenos on the side -- just to keep their taste buds alive. :lol:
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#27
When I go out to an ethnic restaurant, I check out the clientele. Do they look like me? Or do they look like they belong to the same ethnicity as the restaurant? Best is if I can't read the menus, and go with a native.

When the spicy dish is cooked to the typical taste of a native, I don't need to add any hot sauce. I may need some beer to cool the tongue, though.

This technique only works if you have a big enough local immigrant population of that ethnicity to support their real cooking, as opposed to a style tuned to make American palates more comfortable.
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#28
When the spicy dish is cooked to the typical taste of a native, I don't need to add any hot sauce. I may need some beer to cool the tongue, though.
Beer cools the tongue! :shock:

The heat/pungency comes from chemicals that are fat and not water soluble, thus fat soluble solutions work best. ;)
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#31
When I go out to an ethnic restaurant, I check out the clientele. Do they look like me? Or do they look like they belong to the same ethnicity as the restaurant? Best is if I can't read the menus, and go with a native.

When the spicy dish is cooked to the typical taste of a native, I don't need to add any hot sauce. I may need some beer to cool the tongue, though.

This technique only works if you have a big enough local immigrant population of that ethnicity to support their real cooking, as opposed to a style tuned to make American palates more comfortable.

Oh my goodness! Not exactly hot-sauce-related (although I will endeavor to get back on topic, eventually... *grin*)

I have a very, very good memory of the time my then-boss, who was Chinese, took my work group to a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant not far from where we worked at the time. A REAL Chinese restaurant. One of my coworkers had gotten his PhD, so we had an excuse to party. My boss walked in, said hello to the restaurant owner and wait staff as if they were old friends, and the consulted with the head waiter for a few minutes. None of the rest of us even got to look at a menu. About fifteen minutes later, maybe less, the BEST DIM SUM OF MY LIFE started showing up on little trays (that were placed on lazy-Susan thingies, so we could share.) We ate stuff that nobody else in the restaurant even knew existed. Oh my goodness! It was so good!
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#32
Okay. Somebody 'shplain the Scoville heat dealie to me. When I was out googling something only tangentially related, I found this.

AeroGarden ad said:
Choose from Jalapenos (2,500 - 8,000 SHU), Red Thai Peppers (40,000 - 50,000 SHU) or the Tiny Purple Super Hots (140,000 - 160,000). SHU is the Scoville Heat Unit which is a measurement of capsaicin (the stuff that makes peppers hot). On the Scoville scale, sweet peppers are 0-100.

I have no idea what Scoville Heat Units are, or how a rating of 100 relates to 100,000. Is it the physical amount of capsaicin that is in a pepper? Is it the perception of heat? What is it?

Anybody know?
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#34
That reminds me of my friend who cooks Caribbean cuisine. She rarely, if ever, uses any sauce of ANY sort out of a bottle. She doesn't use seasoning mixes, (like curry) either. Watching her cook is the coolest thing. She'll have leaves and twigs and other unrecognizable nuts, etc., sticking out of her pots. And I'll tell you what. When she's done, it's yummy. She can throw down!!!!! in the kitchen.

When you think of it, somebody came up with the recipes for all these hot sauces we buy, right? :cool:
Truer words were never spoken. I rarely use pre-made sauces/pastes, either. :)
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#35
Oh my goodness! Not exactly hot-sauce-related (although I will endeavor to get back on topic, eventually... *grin*)

I have a very, very good memory of the time my then-boss, who was Chinese, took my work group to a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant not far from where we worked at the time. A REAL Chinese restaurant. One of my coworkers had gotten his PhD, so we had an excuse to party. My boss walked in, said hello to the restaurant owner and wait staff as if they were old friends, and the consulted with the head waiter for a few minutes. None of the rest of us even got to look at a menu. About fifteen minutes later, maybe less, the BEST DIM SUM OF MY LIFE started showing up on little trays (that were placed on lazy-Susan thingies, so we could share.) We ate stuff that nobody else in the restaurant even knew existed. Oh my goodness! It was so good!
I always look for "hole-in-the-wall" kind of places. They are the best. I went to a great Ethiopian place in Philadelphia a few years ago. Recently, last month, in Silver Springs Maryland, I went to an Afghani and a Chinese place. Fantastic, both!
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#36
Okay. Somebody 'shplain the Scoville heat dealie to me. When I was out googling something only tangentially related, I found this.

I have no idea what Scoville Heat Units are, or how a rating of 100 relates to 100,000. Is it the physical amount of capsaicin that is in a pepper? Is it the perception of heat? What is it?

Anybody know?
Hehe. 1 Scoville unit ==> one spritz of water to cool your tongue after eating a pepper. Sweet green peppers are one unit.

That has been generalized. Once they figured out what concentration of capsaicin, the stuff that makes peppers spicy, equals how many Scoville units, they just apply a formula after chemical analysis of the pepper. Nobody is getting their tongue spritzed millions of times after eating a ghost pepper. ;-)
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#37
So there is an objective physical measure of the amount of capsaicin, which may or may not scale linearly with the perception of heat. Right?
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#38
Went back and looked it up, to be accurate. I described the way I had first heard about it. From wikipedia: "a measured amount of alcohol extract of the capsaicin oil of the dried pepper is produced, after which a solution of sugar and water is added incrementally until the "heat" is just barely detectable". On this scale, sweet bell peppers, with no capsaicin, measure zero Scoville units.

"pure capsaicin has a Scoville rating of 16,000,000 SHU".

Couldn't find anything on perception of heat, but I'd imagine it goes logarithmically.

Capsaicin causes the same reactions in cells as when they are exposed to heat.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#40
Thinking about this some more, it makes even more sense. If the Scoville scale objectively measures how much capsaicin there is in a pepper, then that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is going to react to that capsaicin in the same way.

It's kinda the same way that women have a high tolerance for pain and men are cry-babies. :shock: :lol: Just kidding! Figured I'd slip that in, to see if you're paying attention. :lol: Just because a pepper has 10,000 SHUs (or whatever) doesn't mean that everybody is going to react to those 10,000 SHUs the same way. Some people will think the pepper is blisteringly impossible to eat. Other people will think it's wimp food.

I think part of it can be cultural -- IOW what you're raised eating can determine what you're capable of eating. Kids who are weaned on jalapenos tend to be more tolerant of hot foods, later in life, IM Observation (which could be biased.)

But that's not the whole story. I have TWO GFs of Mexican descent who were both raised in houses with really, really hot peppers all over the place, and both of whom describe themselves as "white girls" when it comes to eating the hot stuff. (Their words, not mine.) Neither one likes anything peppery. Too hot for them. I also know, from my own experience, that it is possible to choose to build up a tolerance to hotter foods, over time. I've done that, myself.
 

Dance Ads