Trail HEats: Spicing up the Great Outdoors

by ahanagata

 

Thousands of styles and flavors, with a squeeze and a tap hot sauce is a sure fire way to spice things up on the trail.

 

Old Faithful:

Louis

The Louisiana hot sauce has been a staple in the states for turning bland eggs into fiery excitement. So prolific it’s included in the MRE’s issued to our troops. It’s flavor is generally a tangy sort of neutral heat, due to it’s high vinegar content it can clash with some foods.

Best for: Eggs, Stews, Chili, Nearly everything.

Trail worthiness: Most of these types of sauces can be stored at room temp for up to five years making it a perfect companion on nearly any adventure.

Top picks: Original Tabasco (12oz/$9.16 spiceplace.com) they’ve been doing it since 1868 nuff said. Tapatio (20oz/$7.28 spiceplace.com) a Mexican variant close to the Louisiana style with less of a vinegar punch which makes it slightly more versatile.

 

Sriracha:

sracha

Named after the city Si Racha in Thailand, this South East Asian condiment has been putting down roots all throughout the United States. This import packs a punch with both heat and flavor. It has a unique delicious aroma, and a complex flavor laced liberally with garlic.

Best for: Sardines, seafood, stews, chili, sandwiches.

Trail worthiness: Keeps for up to a year at room temp, longer in the fridge.

Top pick: Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Sauce (17oz/$2.99 asianfoodgrocer.com) or Try Sky Valley’s Sriracha if you’re not down with Sulfites (18.5 oz/$6.99 amazon.com)

 

Pickapeppa:

pickas

Crank the Reggae it’s exactly what you’d expect out of a sauce from Jamaica, sweet, spicy and mellow. It’s such a staple on the island they call it ‘Jamaican ketchup’.

Best for: It’s very versatile for anything you want to spice up with this sauce made from exotic spices and tropical fruits. Exceptional on meats, it’s also a great marinade right out of the bottle.

Trail worthiness: Most keep for 3-5 years.

Top pick: Pickapeppa co. Pickapeppa sauce (10oz/$7.58 pickapeppa.com)

 

Make your own Red Hot Sauce:

Ingredients:

20 serrano chilies or 12 ripe Jalapenos roughly chopped (If you’re a real hot head, add a few habaneros or scotch bonnets)

5-8 cloves of garlic minced

½ one large onion

¾ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 cups of water

1 cup distilled white vinegar

Method:

Combine peppers, garlic, onions, and pop it in a food processor and pulse a few times to rough chop them. Throw the mix into a saucepan and mix with the salt, pepper, and olive oil. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the water and simmer gently for around 20 minutes until it’s ‘au sec’ or mostly dry. Pour mix into a bowl and let the flavors steep until it’s cooled to room temperature. Once cooled put the mix back into the food processor and puree until smooth and begin adding the vinegar slowly while the processor is still running.

Give it a taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. If you desire more heat you’ll have to repeat the above steps with your chosen chilies then add them. Strain your mixture through a chinois or fine mesh. Transfer to a sterilized jar or bottle (glass is best) with an airtight lid, mason jars are a great choice. Pop it in the refrigerator and age it for 2 weeks, this is when the magic happens. This will keep for a few weeks or months in the fridge.

Without modern added preservatives it doesn’t last as long, but the good news is its preservative free. Once you are proficient with the above recipe let the freak off the leash and start experimenting by adding new ingredients. You just might find the next household condiment.

Pro Tip: Repackage any hot sauce into a small plastic container like the ones you put lotion into so you can take it on a plane.

Bonus Uses: Put 10-20 drops of Tabasco into a glass of water and gargle to help cure a sore throat. Mix your favorite hot sauce with some simple syrup for a sweet and sour salad dressing.

I’m out! Pasta Winnebago… Live Wild, Eat Well.

visit me on Twitter,  Facebook and YouTube

© 2014 TheSavageGentleman.