Today I was working on my recipe for the World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (blog to follow soon). When I reached into my spice cupboard for my Dutch processed chocolate, a bag fell from it and I stared in dismay at the offending article. It was the final batch of my rather abundant crop of cayenne peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) I grew in my little herb garden this year.
Considering I already had almost a pound of ground cayenne pepper from this crop, I was at a loss as to how to use up all these peppers. Then I had one of my famous AHA’s and ran to the computer to look up a recipe for hot pepper sauce. Cayenne pepper sauce is a hot, spicy condiment that can be used to add culinary heat to chicken wings and other appetizers. A dash of cayenne pepper sauce will also liven up scrambled eggs or give a Bloody Mary a jolt. You can grow the peppers in your garden or find them at a produce stand or in the grocery store.
As I searched through the recipes, I became frustrated. Cilantro? Not in my sauce thank you. Tomatoes? I wanted HOT sauce, not tomato sauce. I went to my refrigerator and pulled out the ever-present bottle of Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce. Now THIS was more like it! Just 5 ingredients—aged cayenne peppers, vinegar, water, salt, and garlic.
I pressed my hands together in gleeful anticipation of “MacGyver* experiment time” and got to work. This is what I came up with.
Homemade Cayenne Hot Sauce
Yield: Approximately 2 cups
Get prepared: Rubber gloves, Knife, Heavy stainless steel pan, Food processor
- 40 red cayenne peppers
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup Bragg’s cider vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Using gloves, wash and cut the stem end from the cayenne peppers.
- Add the peppers to a food processor. Add the salt, garlic, water, and vinegar.
- Process for 2-3 minutes until it is smooth and bright red in color.
- Pour the mixture into a stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Then strain the sauce through a fine strainer to get rid of the large particles.
- Pour into your favorite glass container.
Tips & Warnings
- When cooking the sauce, work in a well-ventilated area.
- Don’t accidentally touch your face with your hands or gloves while handling the peppers.
- I water my cayenne peppers only every 3-4 days. The sun bakes the soil, leaving the plants without moisture. Even though the peppers do not grow to their full length, what this does is give the peppers a concentrated heat index.
- This sauce, as it sits, will develop an even better taste as the flavors meld together I love hot sauce and it was quick and easy to make.
- Cayenne peppers range between 30,000 and 50,000 Scoville units or about a tenth as hot as habanero peppers.
- Cayenne peppers are rather easy to preserve by stringing to dry. Once dried, cayenne peppers can be powdered in a blender if desired, giving you a free gift from Mother Nature.
- History note: The taste of Frank’s RedHot made it the secret ingredient of the original Buffalo wings created in Buffalo, NY in 1964.
According to http://www.cayennepepper.info/health-benefits-of-cayenne-pepper.html, cayenne pepper increases metabolism by immediately influencing the venous structure. It is nothing short of amazing with its effects on the circulatory system as it feeds the vital elements into the cell structure of capillaries, veins, arteries and helps adjust blood pressure to normal levels.
Yes, cayenne pepper for high blood pressure is certainly one of its core uses, but cayenne cleans the arteries as well, helping to rid the body of the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Considering that heart disease is the number one killer in America, this is significant.
Cayenne is also great for the stomach and the intestinal tract. It stimulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines and aids in assimilation and elimination. When taken internally, it warms the body and has even been used by some herbalist doctors to help heal and rebuild flesh due to frostbite.
Notwithstanding its hot taste, paradoxically it is actually superb for rebuilding the tissue in the stomach, facilitating healing with stomach and intestinal ulcers. Cayenne pepper for ulcers is not something most would have considered but I can testify to that remarkable capability of cayenne.
The effect of cayenne pepper on your body is dramatic, even literally instant and no more so than with the heart. Dr. John Christopher, the famed natural herbalist, was persecuted relentlessly by the government for his practice of herbal medicine all the while assisting patients in curing heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis, infertility, rheumatism, leukemia, and every other incurable under the sun. One of his greatest stories in his long career was how he could instantly stop a heart attack if he could get the patient to drink a glass of warm cayenne water. He said, “A teaspoon of cayenne should bring the patient out of the heart attack.”
Cayenne pepper can instantly stop bleeding if placed on the wound immediately. It is also used in many creams for relief from aches and pains, especially the pain of arthritis. Many researchers are now finding an admirable range of benefits for this hot little number!
*For those of you not in the know, MacGyver was an American action-adventure television series created by Lee David Zlotoff. Henry Winkler and John Rich were the executive producers. The show ran for seven seasons on ABC in the United States and various other networks abroad from 1985 to 1992. The series was filmed in Los Angeles during seasons 1, 2 and 7, and in Vancouver during seasons 3–6. The show’s final episode aired on April 25, 1992 on ABC (the network aired a previously unseen episode for the first time on May 21, 1992, but it was originally intended to air before the series finale).
The show follows secret agent MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson (definitely a hottie in my book). MacGyver prefers non-violent resolutions where possible, and refuses to handle a gun. He works as a troubleshooter for the fictional Phoenix Foundation in Los Angeles. Educated as a scientist with a background as a Bomb Team Technician/EOD in Vietnam (“Countdown”), and from a fictional United States government agency, the Department of External Services (DXS), he is a resourceful agent with an encyclopedic knowledge of science, able to solve complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife.
The series was a ratings success for ABC and was particularly popular in the United States, Europe, Australia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Bangladesh, the Middle East, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand. Two television movies, MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday, aired on ABC in 1994. A spin-off series, Young MacGyver, was planned in 2003, but only the pilot was made. Merchandise for the MacGyver media franchise includes games and toys, print media and an original audio series. A feature film based on the series is being developed and may possibly be produced by 2013.Woo-who! I can’t wait!