There are very, very few foods that I wouldn't put hot sauce on. Breakfast? Obviously. What would a pile of scrambled eggs and avocado and crispy homefries be without some spice? I drown my burritos in Cholula, and I don't think I've ever voluntarily eaten macaroni and cheese without some sort of added heat. Watermelon with salt and hot sauce? Absolutely. And while I might not use hot sauce, per se, on dessert, I do love chocolate and chili together.
For a long time, my sauce of choice was sriracha. (This was before it took over the internet.) But something has changed. I find it too sweet now. There's not enough vinegar, not enough bite. At the risk of having the Sriracha Mafia come after me, I've moved on.
Even though I still love Tabasco to brighten up a dull Bloody Mary or bland chili, there's not much to it other than spice. Tabasco is just peppers, vinegar, and salt. It doesn't have a complex, layered flavor, nor is it meant to. It's heat, pure and simple. But I wanted something more than that. I wanted a hot, peppery sauce that still had depth. The heat shouldn't overwhelm the other flavors. I wanted a sauce that would contribute more than spice–I wanted it to contribute taste.
This sauce does all of that in spades. It's hot. Like, make-a-dragon-wanna-retire hot. When I first tasted it, straight off the stove, I thought it might actually be too hot, but as the sauce sat and cooled, the flavors blended together and mellowed. It retained its fire, but now it tastes fuller, more interesting. There's an underlying sweetness from the honey, and a smooth, round flavor from the roasted garlic. It's exactly what I was looking for.
Eat it on eggs. Eat it on pizza. Eat it on vegetables. It doesn't really matter. But just do it. Trust me.
Roasted Garlic and Honey Hot Sauce
- 15 assorted chili peppers*, stems removed (I forgot to remove the stems before I roasted the chilis, and nearly burned my fingers off while trimming them later.)
- 7-8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp honey (Vegan modification: 3 tbsp brown sugar)
- 2 tsp salt
*I used a mixture of mini sweet peppers, red finger chilis, and jalapeños. You can tailor your blend to your desired heat level.
Preheat oven to 425. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle peppers and garlic with olive oil and shake to coat evenly. Roast the peppers for 15-20 minutes, until blistered and partially collapsed.
While the peppers roast, combine the remaining ingredients in a pot on the stove and simmer until the onions are soft. Add the roasted peppers and garlic and simmer for several minutes more. Remove from heat and blend until smooth.