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I learned my hot sauce recipe from the King of Pickled Chilies, Mr. Bill K of Philadelphia, now resident in Seattle. Some years ago Bill gave me a jar of his home pickled chilies that were by far the best condiment other than hunger I had ever tasted. He used a variety of peppers along with garlic and onions but what set Bill's pickles apart from all the rest was the sweet and sour brine. I enjoyed these pickles for a few years and finally persuaded Bill to show me his technique for creating this culinary magic.
I made pickles following his recipe for a while and on one occasion had more habaneros than required so I made a jar of only habaneros in the sacred brine. Eventually I ran out of the pickles a la Bill and had just the habs. I blended those with some dried pasilla peppers and shared them with friends. One of those friends had the proprietor of the local health food store over for dinner where she tasted my blended pickle sauce. One thing led to another and the local juice bar in the same building allowed me to make my sauce in her store (The Vortex) as a condiment for her burritos and such. Folks seem to like my sauce (which has gone though some changes since that first shared batch) so I am looking into the possibility of selling it out there in the world.
I discovered a blend of peppers through experimentation that has a vivid yellow/orange color and is hot enough to make you sweat without burning your mouth. Starfeather came up with the name "Lopez Sunrise" after the beautiful sky of our island home. Perhaps one day you will see Lopez Sunrise on your table.
peppers provide an essential flavor to my sauce. They are usually
quite warm in the mouth but Bill's magic solution somehow
moderates this heat allowing the warm glow of the habs to suffuse
one's mortal frame.
Revised Sunday March 21, 1999
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