Some of you have experienced the flavor (or witnessed the general insanity surrounding the production) of my new ‘Diablo Sauce’. For any of you who are interested in making your own special concoctions, here are some helpful tips to help get you started.
Advice 1: Go buy a badass blender. You need one with at least 3 billion watts and several rows of blades and teeth .. it should be so strong that it makes the lights in the house dim when you turn it on. Mine actually has a picture of a ninja on the side.
Advice 2: You gotta get your mind right. You can’t just jump right into full-blown kitchen-scale hot sauce manufacturing with a trial-and-error approach. You can’t simply dip your toe into the pool of insanity and expect great-tasting hot sauce. To make it really good, you need to make over 200 bottles. It has to consume you. You must be up late at night, firing up variations on new batches with the intensity of a bearded weirdo in a cabin churning out pages of his manifesto.
Advice 3: Pretend to value the input of others. You do need a test audience, so skip around town and pass those bottles out like a spicy version of the Easter Bunny. But don’t be surprised when the feedback is all over the map. Some want more spice, some want it milder, some say it’s too sweet, some want more sweetness. You can’t make everybody happy. So in the end, just stick to the input from a foodie-connoisseur or two who you feel well-calibrated with. For everybody else, just nod your head and pretend like you’re listening. Whoever is reading this, yours is the actual feedback that I’m using to shape future batches. Wink.
Advice 4: Save the byproducts. In my recipe, I end up with an enormous amount of the pureed pulp from the blender that doesn’t get strained out into bottles. At first I was throwing this away, but I realized later that some people love this stuff. My buddies around here all put it on pizza, and my Austin buds seemed to unanimously prefer it over the original sauce. I dried some out into a spice rub and my girlfriend’s mom put it in brownies. I was just reading about how rum — the world’s first globally traded commodity — was manufactured from the byproduct of the sugar refining process. So hang onto ye scraps, ye salty sea dogs.
Advice 5: Go easy on the thickener. Whatever you use to give your sauce some stickiness/ emulsion / shine, approach that right amount slowly. In my first shot at it, I ended up with a batch that stuck in their bottles like Jello. A hot sauce- flavored Jello might be considered fancy and nouveau at some point in the future, but for now I just want something that I can stick on pizza.
Advice 6: Don’t touch your eyes or bits. Remember at all times that these peppers are chemically similar to the ones that are used to make weapons to repel angry humans. I can attest from personal experience, and having done both within the span of seven minutes, that if you rub your eyes and/or aim your man-parts after handing peppers, there is a burning surprise that awaits you.
Visit the new Diablo Sauce website here: http://diablo-sauce.com/