I like challenges...
When I, Chef Adriel Montes was asked to make a hot sauce that was going to kick them in the ass with more flavor and heat than what was available on the table, I decided I wanted to make something natural with my 15+ year long craft of being a chef. It was rapid fire from my soul...I knew exactly how I wanted to prepare this sauce... I started with a very basic recipe of what we have today, but it was a great building block. First couple batches was my favorite peppers thrown in a pot with some garlic and shallot and reduced down to a puree. I started to add my love for char and then my love for the szechuan peppercorn. it became more complex, but way more enjoyable. The mouth-watering sauce started to become....better.
After over 100 experimental batches of the slightest tweaking to the recipe, I finally hit that spot in both flavor and heat that I was looking for. I had a clear vision of what I wanted, which is definitely not just another habanero sauce. The final recipe is a beautiful mixture of fresh orange habaneros and charred red fresnos, loaded with garlic and shallot with the addition of the szechuan peppercorn. This also has just enough vinegar and salt to give your food a "pop" and highlight the flavors of your food, not overwhelm them.
The combination of charred hot peppers and szechuan peppercorn is called "mala" in szechuan cuisine. It's a hot and numbing feeling that is quite amazing, but not very well known....especially in the hot sauce industry.
When this hits your palette, it has a bold heat bursting with 40% percent fresh hot pepper flavor. Through your nose comes a fresh aroma of charred peppers backed by loads of garlic and shallots. Afterwards, your tounge starts to tingle on the tip, sides, and underneath. This makes a subtle, but necessary mouth-watering effect that lingers on the palette and helps carry the heat to be more enjoyable instead of a direct burning sensation.
I use the ancient symbol Eye of RA for multiple reasons. It's a powerful ancient symbol used for protection, repelling negative energy, and restoring balance. I thought it was fitting for both the brand and the sauce.
Here is a little breakdown of ingredients and why I use them:
The Orange Habanero: It has those distinguishable notes of flavor that are easily recognizable because this pepper has infiltrated itself into the "popular palette." With just a little tonation, this pepper will still scream at you with both flavor and heat.
The Red Fresno: It will forever be ranked far above many peppers simply because the magical transformation from a ripe jalapeno pepper into a sweet and massively flavorful ingredient when cooked down. I take the ripe Fresno peppers and dry roast over a fire to capture the beautiful sweet char.
Vinegar: Using only natural distilled vinegar. It's neutral acetic acid. Which means the other flavors will be more apparent and easily presentable. This vinegar is also reduced to a minimum "gastrique" consistency to provide maximum pugency and minimize water content.
Garlic and Shallot: While this is pretty self explanatory, maybe some need a new perspective on these ingredients. These are base notes. They are here to provide this sauce with the basic notes of allium. I do not use onion. Why? because shallot is way better at being more subtle than onions are....Ninja onions. I don't cheap out on the amount of garlic and shallot, making sure this sauce is full of natural ingredients and not xanthan gum, oil, preservatives, or other fillers.
Szechuan Peppercorn: I use only one spice. It contains a natural chemical, Alpha Sanshool, which plays well with capsicum; providing that cooling/numbing effect that is subtle and playful with high heat. You can really feel it underneath and on the sides of your tongue. This also brings a new aroma to the sauce that is uncomparable. It floral and citrusy and very unlike what you think peppercorn would be like.
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