creamy jalapeno side sauce
Are we seeing a condiment come-back?
Not quite two years ago I started seeing more variety in the sauces, especially pepper based, popping up in the stores. I’ve been making my own, simple hot pepper sauce and pickled jalapenos for many years. But these all simply vinegar based, and many of these new ones now were oil and vinegar sauces. I wasn’t sure if they were going to be any good, but I was intrigued.
There was this creamy jalapeno sauce in particular I had seen and kept what it was like. I finally just picked up a small bottle at the store that was on sale, Blue Top Brand. When I first picked it up I had it on my morning eggs, on slices of cornbread, and on some tacos I made, and it just went really well with all of them.
I really like this stuff. It’s not too hot, flavorful, and yes, kind of creamy. After doing some digging online, I couldn’t find any recipes really close to what this is, they all used some sort of dairy or avocado to achieve the creaminess. Looking at the ingredients, this doesn’t use any of those, it’s actually closer to a seasoned mayonnaise as it uses oil, vinegar and egg yolk.
I knew I could do something close to this, if not better. They use egg yolk powder, mustard flour and xanthan gum to help keep the oil and vinegar from separating, they naturally help keep the emulsfication from breaking down. I don’t keep any of of those around, I’m not even sure what “mustard flour” is, so my version uses some dry mustard instead. It may be the same thing, not really sure, but it’s enough to do the trick without really adding any mustard flavor.
Here’s the full ingredient list of the store brand.
Expeller pressed non-GMO canola oil, water, jalapeno puree (jalapeno peppers, water, salt, vinegar), cane sugar, distilled vinegar, cage-free egg yolk powder, dried jalapeno peppers, salt, spices, mustard flour, lime juice from concentrate, lemon juice from concentrate, spice extractives, xanthan gum (a natural food fiber), dried garlic, calcium salts of fermented organic acids, polylysine (a natural preservative).
I thought about just using straight up jalapenos, but decided to bump things up a bit by roasting the peppers. I think it adds some nice flavor with really more of a time addition than effort. If you really want, you can skip this step. Another advantage to the roasting though, it softens up the seeds so they puree up nicely. I’ve found in past recipes, blending raw peppers doesn’t always puree the seeds fully. You can get around this by just seeding the peppers before adding, or just live with having bits of seed in your sauce.
And of course, I can’t do jalapeno and lime without cilantro. If you’re one of those that just don’t like cilantro, leave it out. I’ll forgive you. If you are one of those that think cilantro tastes like soap, I feel sorry for you.
Like when I make homemade mayo, I used my immersion/stick blender. If you don’t have one yourself, get one. Or… use a regular blender or food processor. But seriously, get a stick blender. You’ll thank me later.
After I roasted my peppers, I put them in a bowl and covered using a plate for about 10 minutes to let them steam a bit. This makes getting the skin off really easy. I kept all the seeds, in part because I wanted the heat and in part because trying to remove them would have removed more of the flesh of the peppers than I wanted. If you don’t want the seeds or heat, get as many of them out as you want, or even try coring and seeding before roasting. Let me know if that works.
Everything got coarsely chopped, layered in a tall mason jar, then the vinegar was added and I blend until as smooth as it would get. Then while leaving the blender in the jar, I added the oil, gave it a minute to settle on the top, and then just as if I was making some mayonnaise, or even whipped cream, I started blending with the blender on the bottom and as it started pulling the oil down I would slowly start lifting the blender up and down until all the oil was incorporated.
The original version uses water, and I don’t think I need to add any to this. We’ll see though. Right now mine is a bit thicker. After I use it a bit, I may decide I want it thinner, and will do so with a touch of water, maybe no more than a teaspoon or two. I’ll update things if I go that route. I also didn’t add any sugar. I just don’t think it needs it. But when you make some, try if you want. Again, start with maybe a teaspoon and go from there. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out again.
The company that makes this sauce makes a few others, flavors such as Curry Habanero, Honey Chipotle, Garlic Hatch, and a Buffalo Cayenne. If I can get some hatch peppers, I may try a version of that. The honey chipotle also intrigues me. If I try any, I will definitely share.
Let me know if you try this recipe, how you like it, what you might do different, I’m always open to the sharing of ideas!
creamy jalapeno side sauce
1/2 pound jalapeno peppers, whole
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, packed
3 cloves garlic
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tsp dry mustard power
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp coarse/kosher salt
1/4 cup distiled white vinegar
1/2 cup canola or other neutral flavored oil
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Using an oven-safe pan, put the whole jalapeno in an oven for about 15 minutes, turning at least once to get some char on all sides. Once done, remove from oven cover with lid or plate and let them cool off about 15 minutes. This is to allow the peppers to steam and loosen the skins.
- Remove as much skin as possible without losing the “meat” of the pepper. Cut off stems and discard. For less heat, discard seeds from at least half of the peppers.
- Roughly chop the peppers and put in a blender or food processor, on in the blender container for an immersion blender. Add everything else but the oil and blend until smooth.
- If using a food processor or regular blender, start the processor and slowly drizzle in the oil to allow it to emulsify with the pepper mixture. Keep blending until fully incorporated.
- If using an immersion blender, add oil to the container with the blender still in there as well. Let the oil settle to the top before starting to blend, using pulses at first, then slowly working the blender up and down in the container while blending until fully incorporated.
- Store in a jar or squeeze bottle.