Datil Pepper Sauce in the Crock Pot
Datil peppers are easiest to pick at night, because when the sun goes down, they lift their leaves and you can see each and every pepper hanging on the trees like bright little green, yellow and orange christmas ornaments. I picked a cup last night and added it to the big baggie I keep in the freezer with previous harvests. My datil peppers are not seasonal, but an ongoing process, they just keep bearing and bearing with each pepper in a different stage of development. If you wait until they all turn orange, this will trigger the plant to stop bearing, so I just keep picking and picking.
Today is an at home day, but I have a lot to do, and hanging around the stove all day to stir stir stir is not in my schedule. I don't have time or desire to sandblast the pot after it's cooked all day either, as the sauce tends to stick on the bottom if you don't give it attention every ten minutes. Enter crock pot! (insert angelic harp music) This is my fourth crock pot in 30 years, the Rival Smart Pot Crock Pot, a 7-quart programmable genius of a crock pot! I'll give it two big thumbs up for the programmable timer. Choose 4 or 6 hours for High, and 8 or 10 hours for Low. After the time is up, it switches to warm for four more hours to keep dinner hot until everyone is home. The only thing I would change is, I prefer a big thick heavy lid, not this thin thing with a metal rim. I find that the heavy glass ones keep a water seal, which is the basis of how a crock pot works (heat is a given). This one requires a bit of pressure and I have an old dark colored beach towel that I fold and place on top to weigh it down. That is my only complaint and since I have said this, I will look on ebay for an oval corningware type lid that may fit.
The peppers and onions and other secret ingredients were introduced to the magic blades of my wonderful and amazing Ninja XL Master Prep Blender. Any other blender is a gravy grinder compared to this workhorse! If the house was on fire and I had to grab one small appliance from my kitchen, it would be this blender. So I put the raw vegetables in and zip zip zip, everything was done in an instant. After I dumped this into the pot, I added a little vinegar (I was going to add vinegar to the pot anyway) to rinse the solids out, then to wash the blender, I gave a little squirt of Dawn, followed by a half blender of hot water. Zip zip zip, rinse rinse, zip zip, rinse. Done! I love this way of washing a blender. It's genius! The blades in the Ninja are razor sharp and this simple wash trick saves me from injury, as I've cut myself on it before.
By 7am, the mouth watering recipe was cranking away in the crock pot. I've made it often enough that a recipe or measuring isn't necessary. I plan to use both the 6+4 hour (10 hours total) HIGH cook time. My backup plan is, if it isn't cooked well enough (as I normally cook it for ten hours on the stove), then I will pull out the big guns and finish it off in the pressure cooker. Wish me luck! Too bad you can't scratch and sniff the computer screen. This smells so good, I want to swim in it!
I filled 13 half pint jars and 4 pint jars and every single lid popped in, so they are canned and good on the shelf for a couple of years I guess. Recipients of my hot sauce tend to return the jars with a plea to please refill, so I have a variety of jars hanging around. I will, as long as my plants keep producing!