Hot Sauce

Caracas Arepas Secret Sauce

This recipe is one that is near and dear to our hearts. Our obsession with this sauce started when we first visited Caracas Arepas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Here we were treated to a common Venezuelan dish known as an arepa.  It is basically a corn meal pancake cut in half a stuffed with any and everything.  They were amazing, but the star of the show was sitting in the middle of our table.  Each table in the restaurant had this tall squirt bottle with red tops filled with this dark yellow "secret sauce".  

At first we did not know if it was a hot sauce or some other type of sauce so we all put some on our fingers and took the plunge. Our taste buds were smacked with this intense combination of sweet and heat mixed together with a ton of garlic.  The sauce was so addicting we used practically the whole bottle, dowsing our arepas in it after each bite.  We sat their trying to guess the ingredients and could not do so.  We asked the staff but as to be expected we were told it was a secret.  We were determined to figure it out what was in the sauce.   That was about two years ago and we never got much further along in the process until about 2 months ago.  

While searching for recipes to make our own homemade aprepas when we stumbled upon a website claiming to have perfected the "secret sauce" recipe.  We could not believe that someone had cracked the code.  At first there was a feeling of disbelief until we reviewed the ingredients.  There they were, a handful of things we knew had to be in the sauce, so maybe, just maybe this person was on to something.  Well we knew right then and there we had a responsibility to make this recipe and judge for ourselves if they had succeeded.  We give to you Caracas Arepas "Secret Sauce"

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Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 cup e.v olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup of yellow peppers
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • 4  cloves garlic 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mayo
  • 1 tablespoons oregano
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients but Olive oil in food processor one chopped, gradually mix in Olive oil until desired consistency.
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Results:

We could not believe it, they did it.  It is the "Not So Secret Anymore Secret Sauce"!  This recipe is as close as you can get Caracas Arepas "Secret Sauce" without actually having their recipe.  It has the same flavor profile and texture.  There are however a few minor issues.  The sauce seems to be missing a bit of kick, we are thinking perhaps some habanero peppers or mustard would solve the problem.  Our version also turned out very green, the original sauce is a dark yellow, we may have used a bit too many fresh herbs.  Even with these minor issues this is still the perfect sauce to use on just about any meal.  It pairs perfectly with pork, especially the pulled variety.  It would also work nicely with steak, chicken and even shrimp.  We would even use it on top of our eggs if we were making huevos rancheros.  We highly recommend whipping some of this sauce together especially for your next taco night.  You with love the sweet and spicy flavor the emanates from this sauce.

Should or Should Not Eat:

If you have been to Caracas Arepas then you know how addicting their secret sauce is.  This recipe gives you the opportunity to have an almost perfect replica of the famous "Secret Sauce" in your fridge at all times.  This recipes is a Should Eat and we would love to hear what things you have put it on.

Habanero Mango Hot Sauce

For our first recipe on the site we have decided to go with our foray into hot sauce.

We chose a Mango Habanero Hot Sauce with the intentions of making our own version of the Buffalo Wild Wings Classic Mango Habanero Wings.  

This recipe is a tribute to a friend who loves Buffalo Wild Wings and more specifically the Mango Habanero Boneless Wings.  We even heard a tale of a road trip in which he stopped at 5 different Buffalo Wild Wings in one day (eating in at least 2 of them).

After sifting through numerous recipes online, we finally found one that looked up to our standards.

 Ingredients:

  • 6 whole Mango (peeled and seeded)
  • 7 whole Kiwi fruit (peeled)
  • 7 whole Habanero chile peppers (stemmed and seeded)
  • 4 whole Limes (juiced)
  • 3 whole Lemons (juiced)
  • 4 tablespoons Orange Juice (Frozen concentrate)
  • 1/3 cup Vinegar (White)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups Water

Directions: 

In stock pot add Habaneros, water and salt. Slow boil for 15 minuets. then drain, saving 3/4 cup of water.

Puree in blender the saved water and all ingredients except vinegar. Return to stock pot and simmer on medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar till slightly cooled. 

Keeps in refrigerator 4 months or can and process. Refrigerate after opening.

Serving Ideas: Sweetly Hot and Spicy ideal for chicken, pork or fish.

 

After following the directions step by step, here is the finished product.

 

 Results:

The sauce has some great flavor, it starts off with an intense mango flavor with very little heat.   The heat then slowly starts to make itself known and after a few seconds you start to feel the full effect of the Habaneros.  While you can feel the heat it is not overpowering and adds some nice depth to counteract the sweetness.  

We have not been able to test this sauce on wings yet because it does still have to age.  With most hot sauces it is recommended that you let it age a minimum of 2 weeks to really let all of the flavors and heat of the sauce develop.  The plan is to make some wings for the Super Bowl and give this sauce a wing test.

Tips:

- When working with hot peppers you may want to wear gloves.  When cutting, stemming and seeding peppers you will be exposed to Capsaicin.  This is the active chemical in peppers that produces "heat" and if you do not wash your hands properly you may inadvertently get some capsaicin in your eyes.  It is not pretty.

- After you have aged your hot sauce you have the option to "strain" the sauce.  Doing this will allow you to remove any pulp and or seeds which will create a smoother/thinner sauce.  This is optional as some people do prefer to have a thicker sauce.