Flaming Blast of Lime Hot Sauce
Remove the tops from the peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Clean out the seeds and ribs, give them a rough chop, and put them into a small saucepan. Roughly chop the onion and garlic and add it to the pan. Pour in the vinegar and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. In the meantime, roughly chop the cilantro and put it into a blender along with the salt and lime juice. When the jalapeno mixture is cooked, add it to the blender. *Cover the blender, put a towel over the lid, and turn it on low. Once it is going, crank it up to the highest setting and puree for 3 minutes. Strain through a medium holed strainer and let cool. Pour into sterilized bottles and refrigerate. The hot sauce will keep for up to a month under refrigeration.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
About Sterilizing Jars:
Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.
Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two-piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum-seal when processed.
To sterilize jars before filling with jams, pickles or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.
Use tongs when handling hot sterilized jars, to move them from boiling water. Be sure tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.
As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.
After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.
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