I found myself over the kitchen sink, skin on fire, burning hot and steady, under a refreshingly cool stream on New York tap, when the obvious realization that chili pepper should always be taken seriously popped into my head, especially these farm fresh, just picked, angsty jalapeños. Mind you I had been taking all the necessary precaution of washing my heads vigorously and continuously, scraping under each fingernails for any stubborn fiery chili juice, but it still got me. And, it burnt hard. Each fingertip turned bright red, screaming for relief. I kept ignoring it as I kept cooking, over a pot of hot, green, hot sauce.
You see, we had just gotten back from a trip to the market, when one of our favorite vendors insisted on us purchasing the most beautiful basket of chili peppers. No, we could not buy just one, or two, but the full basket, which contained about twenty peppers, of three or four different kinds, most of which I had never heard of. Seduced by the bright green color and intrigued by the challenge of cooking with a new “very spicy” set of ingredients I left the market feeling eager and encouraged, with a tad too many peppers in my bag.
Us Puerto Ricans, we don’t really eat spicy. Aside maybe from the pique we pour over fried street food, we lean towards the meaty and aromatic. Our peppers are sweet and harmless, and are usually part of our version of a Trilogy. Nonetheless, here I was standing over cutting board, slicing chilies, removing their seeds, one pepper at a time, and running my fingers through the spiciest of foods.
I chopped into one, two three, maybe five peppers when a wave of heat seeped into my eyes, then my lungs. One cough, two. Tears. Shit! What did I get myself into?
After transferring the chilies into a pot, the cloud became thicker, more potent, creating a seven-minute chili flavor force field, impenetrable and thick. Then like magic everything softened and sweetened. These peppers finally gave in; only to become the best chili sauce I have ever eaten in my life. Sorry Sriracha!
Complex. Sweet Spicy. Herbaceous. Delicious green goodness. My kind of food.
When you taste this Hot Green Chili Sauce you will know what I mean. As soon as you take a bite, you get an immediate hit of heat that is robust and fierce, then it mellows out, giving way to the sweeter side of summer peppers. Mixed in are ton of shishito peppers, herbaceous, sometimes sweet, sometimes hot, but always delicious. These add a layer of flavor usually foreign to spicy sauces. With a plentiful handful of the always present cilantro and garlic to spare, this chili sauce in unique and refreshing as it is hot and feisty.
It tastes good with about anything, and when I mean everything, I am talking about savory summer dishes like grilled vegetables, fish, and meat; or on top of tacos, tamales and quiches; with eggs, cooked over easy, scrambles, or soft boiled. This sauce is delicious!
To prove its potential as an everything sauce, I made a sandwich that would stand up to this sauce’s complexity. Stacked and rich, this full flavored sandwich is no wimp. It is neither your boring turkey sandwich nor your childhood PB&J. This sandwich is as kickass as the sauce it is paired with. Layers of pea hummus, greens, avocado, and eggs stand up this Hot Green Chili sauce with finesse. Both the creamy hummus and the dreamy avocado are a match made in heaven, paired beautifully with an oh so rich, oh so decadent runny fried egg spiced to perfection. Each bite as decadent as the first, filled with surprise; filled with delight.
Go ahead. Make this sauce. Pair it with this sandwich. I dare you. Just wear gloves (and maybe a gas mask).
Stacked Monster Green Sandwich w/ Hot Green Chili Sauce
Hot Green Chili Sauce
Makes about 16 oz.
Cook time about 10-15 minutes
- 3 jalapeno peppers
- 5 hot yellow hot pepper
- 4 long hot green chili peppers
- 10 shishito peppers
- 1 small yellow or green bell pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups cilantro
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. raw sugar
If you skin is sensitive, consider wearing gloves when handling all hot peppers. Wash and pat dry all chili peppers. Cut stems off and remove all seeds. Thinly slice and place in a large pot with one tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until peppers begin to soften, about 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add cilantro, vinegar, and sugar. Stir. Let cool completely. Transfer ingredients into food processor and pulse until smooth. Store chili sauce in an air tight container for up to two weeks.
Stacked Monster Green Sandwich
- 2 slices of sandwich bread, toasted (I recommend Free Bread if GF)
- 2 tablespoons Chimichurri Hummus or Pea Hummus
- Handful spinach, or other green of choice
- ½ an avocado, sliced
- 1 egg, fried
- 1-2 tbsp. Hot Green Chili Sauce
Place a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for two minutes. Crack egg directly onto the pan. Cook until whites are set and start to curl up on the side, about 4-5 minutes. In the mean time, toast bread. When toast is ready, add two tablespoons of the Pea hummus to one piece of toast. Place spinach leaves flat on top of the hummus, then the sliced avocado, followed by the fried egg. Drizzle Hot Green Chili Sauce over the egg. Serve open face or as a sandwich. Eat immediately.