I used a Rick Bayless recipe as a base and built my version around it, adding mango and a bit more sweetness in the form of agave nectar. Mr. Bayless' sauce uses habaneros which are of course, scorching, but the level of pepper heat is always a bit hard to describe, isn't it? I, for instance, would categorize Wenk's Yellow Hots as a sort of medium heat, similar to a jalapeno, but I am quite certain that my friend Eric would be weeping in a hellfire imprisonment if one even got near him. He thinks pepperjack cheese is spicy, so...yes. We are all different.
I loved this sauce and was motivated to make a tropical-style dinner to use up the sunshine-tinged goodness. I cooked up some black beans, white rice, and fried some nearly ripe plantains. The mango and tangy heat worked well together and made the whole meal deliciously spicy.
I have no evidence of this, but I am guessing that the amount of vinegar in the sauce will allow it to last quite a while in the refrigerator. I plan on packing mine into jars and handing them out to those who appreciate a little spice in their life.
For about 4 cups:
- 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- ½ pound fresh chili peppers, stemmed
- 1 cup diced ripe mango
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ a medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1½ cups cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or sugar or honey)
Roast the garlic cloves in a small skillet over medium-high heat, turning frequently until blackened in some spots and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside and peel when cool enough to handle.
In a medium saucepan, combine the chili peppers, mango, carrot, onion, vinegar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
In a food processor (or a blender), add the pepper mixture along with the salt, agave nectar and roasted garlic. Puree thoroughly until quite smooth. Taste and add a bit more salt or sweetener if desired.
Pour into jars and store, covered, in the refrigerator.