YAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!! I love it when hard work pays off! This past weekend, I competed in The Takedowns Hot Sauce Competition at The Great Googa Mooga, a food, drink and music festival in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. And I WON!!!! Well, the Saturday division anyways! I lovingly made a Habanero Coconut Sriracha…from scratch.
I have always been a huge hot sauce fan. My mother can’t smell, and raised me eating very spicy foods (and drinks!) I cant think of a food that I don’t put hot sauce on. Maybe cereal. The Bee and I have made our own “Srirachup” for years. (That will be coming soon in bottles near you) Regular ketchup was for the birds. So I clearly need to make a sriracha base. But what else to do?
I loooove habaneros, so I researched and tested ideas, and then, finally at a loss, I thought of my roommate, whom I lovingly refer to as Danielle My Shell, at first because she can talk like Marcel the Shell, and then because she has every coconut product on the planet. Danielle my Coconut Shell! COCONUT! thats what this recipe was missing. A solid, complimentary flavor that could stand up to the heat, and yet help soften the blow. I like a hot sauce that FEELS as good as it tastes. And I have high standards. Whats the point of a hot sauce that causes you pain and the inability to taste food?
Now, the biggest challenge in doing this particular competition was trying to find good peppers when they aren’t yet in season. After finally locating the elusive red jalapeno, I sat on the floor of the place and pulled out 10 lbs of only red peppers from crates, while the employees made fun of me, and called me loco, which is true. The second biggest challenge was finding out only 2 days before the competition that the chip sponsor had dropped out, and we were responsible for coming up with our own chips to serve our sauce on. I tried to think of the most tasteless, sturdy vehicle. A salty corn chip would ruin my tropical, Thai inspired sauce. And then it hit me.
I searched for someone to overnight me (without it costing an arm and a leg) a bag to no avail. Whining to Danielle about how sad I was, (of course I wanted to make them myself from scratch, but I had to work a 10 hr day Friday, and there was no more time.) she suggested I just use plantain chips and toast those babies in coconut oil. DONE. GREAT IDEA!!! My savior! And she helped me dish ’em out at the competition. Now that’s a friend!
Getting ready to compete at the Restaurant 101 stage, and happy to be outside and labeling cups!
Texture is as important as flavor to me in cooking, and can make all the difference in the world when making a sauce. I blended my pepper mixture in a Vitamix and then double strained it through a good quality metal sieve until it was perfect! I am not gonna give you the recipe, BUT, I will sell a bottle to you! Email me if you’re interested and I’ll post on Etsy soon! Just look at that color and texture! I am so proud.
and photo stolen from Consequence of Sound of us turkey basting sauce on to plantain chips, Cause what other tool would you use!? Its COCK SAUCE! Plus they wrote a really great review of the event that you should check out
As for the rest of the competition, The Brooklynauts took the win for Sunday, and I say we have a showdown! Really, I just want to taste theirs since I didn’t make it to the Sunday competition. : ) They are incredible people, and I love their blog. The festival was so much fun, even though I was so busy I didn’t get to eat ONE THING all day! How rare is that!? But The Roots played a ridiculously amazing set, and it was gorgeous out.
I can’t wait for the next Takedown! I’ll be competing with my favorite dessert category ever, ICE CREAM! See you next time!
~Cockonut sauce label designed by Marc Lynn, contact me for more info~