Sriracha or something like it

Our last harvest before the frost
We love Sriracha (pronounced - sir-atcha - ignore the first 'r').  It is on tables in many Thai and Vietnamese restaurants in a very identifiable clear bottle with a green cap and a rooster on the front.  I also figured it was a great autumn creation - I was able to use my own tomatoes, chillies and my in-laws' home grown garlic.

Fresh garlic

I decided to try making my own, since my husband puts it on everything from scrambled eggs to pizza - and also because he noticed a change in the consistency of the sauce.  It's not as viscous as it has been in the past.  Maybe a new recipe - whatever the reason, it is now a little thinner, a little hotter and not as dark red.  It's still good, just different. I received inspiration for this version after researching many websites.  This combination is one that I thought looked tasty.

The version I came up with turned out nice and had a nice texture from being processed with the seeds and skins left in.  I was going to pass it through a food mill, but decided to leave it as is.  The raw sugar I used added more sweetness per tablespoon than I anticipated, but the base flavours were amazing.  I thought perhaps it would have been too sweet, but the sugar offset the heat of the peppers very nicely.  The sauce is more reminiscent (to me) of a tomato based sweet chili sauce. The chillies add such a vibrant red colour with the finished product having a slight rosé hue.

1 cup of chopped red chili peppers
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 heads of garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, medium size
2 cups of tomato sauce
4 tablespoons of rice vinegar
3 tablespoons raw sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Very vibrant, freshly chopped in my mini Cuisinart

- Rinse then dry the chillies with a paper towel, then remove the stems
- Cut the chili peppers into 1/2" pieces
- Using a food processor, process the chillies until you get a coarse chopped texture
- In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, sauté the chopped garlic and shallots for about 1 minute until light brown and fragrant (if you burn it, start over!)
- Add tomato sauce and chillies, lower the heat and keep to a low simmer
- Add fish sauce, vinegar and sugar - mix well and continue to simmer for 15 minutes
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Process the sauce until it's the consistency you like (I used an immersion blender right in the pot) - this part is going to be based on personal preference - mine was more spoon-able than pour-able.

I found after the puréeing, further seasoning was not necessary.  I put the sauce into mini Mason jars and put them in the freezer until I was ready to use it.  It filled two mini Mason jars with enough left to enjoy with some spring rolls that afternoon.

An excellent condiment for my elk tourtière.

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