DIY Hot Sauce
- 8 oz. hot cherry peppers (such as Mezzetta brand), drained and stemmed
- 4 oz. roasted red peppers
- 4 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. You could also use an immersion blender. Mix until slightly smooth. Taste for desired spice level; add more red pepper flakes or salt as desired.
- Divide between clean glass jars and affix lids securely. Lasts up to 6 months in the refrigerator.
- 2 cups skinned hazelnuts (about 10 oz.)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 lb. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread out nuts on a rimmed baking sheet or in an ovenproof skillet. Roast, shaking sheet once for even toasting, until deep brown, 13-15 minutes.
- Grind hazelnuts with sugar in a food processor until a fairly smooth, buttery paste forms, about 1 minute.
- Place chocolate in a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water; stir often until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over saucepan; add butter and whisk until completely incorporated. Whisk in cream and salt, then hazelnut paste.
- Pour Nutella into jars. Let cool, and screw on lids. It will thicken as it cools.
- To use, warm gently in the microwave for 5 seconds, or let sit out at room temperature for a few hours. If kept in the refrigerator, it lasts 4 weeks.
Homemade Spicy Mexican Drinkable Chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8-1/2 tsp. ground habanero chili, to taste (the full 1/2 tsp. yields a very spicy hot chocolate)
- In a blender or food processor, add cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, salt and chile powder. Blend until mixed.
- Break up chocolate into pieces; one good way is to place the chocolate in a plastic bag and pound it with a mallet.
- Add chocolate pieces to the mix in the blender and process until smooth. It's ok if there are still small pieces of chocolate in the mix.
- Pour into jars and seal tightly.
- To make hot chocolate, place 3 tsp. of mix in a mug and slowly whisk in 1 cup hot milk. Whisk vigorously until foamy. Marshmallow optional.
Very Vanilla Pear Butter
Yields 4 half-pint jars
- 4 pounds ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 vanilla beans
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Run your jars through the dishwasher to sterilize, or wash them in hot soapy water.
- In a heavy lidded pot, mix the pears with the sugar.
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans into the pot and mix well. Add the pods.
- Roast in the oven for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove and discard the vanilla pods. Let the pears cool slightly, then puree with an immersion blender, food processor or blender. Make it chunky or smooth, whatever you prefer.
- Ladle the Pear Butter into sterilized jars. Preserve by water bath method, or affix lid tightly and refrigerate, using within a month.