Just two ingredients make up a basic hot sauce—peppers and vinegar. From this point, you can let your imagination take over and create a variety of sauces. Try adding pineapple, mango, papaya and lime juice for a sweet and spicy Caribbean sauce. Toss in some tomatoes and onions for a south-of-the-border twist. Add onion, garlic and ginger for a sizzling sambal. Or keep it simple for a sauce to rival any in the grocery store.
For the best results, always use fresh peppers—whichever variety is available in your market or garden. Avoid using canned chile peppers because salt is used in the canning process. Chile peppers can be serious eye, skin and respiratory irritants, so work in a well-ventilated area and always wear plastic gloves.
Kim Erickson writes on natural health and environmental issues and is the author of Drop Dead Gorgeous: Protecting Yourself from the Hidden Dangers of Cosmetics (Contemporary Books 2002).
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