Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pineapple & Habanero Sauce Knock-Off

I can not even tell you how excited I am to share this recipe with you today.  Recently we tried the Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce from Costco and it is amazing.  Looking at the ingredients, I knew it was something we could totally recreate.  And if you know Costco, just when you fall in love with something, they stop carrying it so I was totally on a mission.  (Note:  They still carry it, however it was so easy to make it doesn't matter.)

We LOVE Costco at our house and sometimes you can find the most amazing foods there that you can not find anywhere else (well, maybe online but I am not a big online shopper).

This sauce is absolutely amazing!  So far we have tried it on grilled chicken, pork chops, shrimp tacos, poured over a brick of cream cheese as a dip and straight up salsa with chips.  I swear, if you like sweet and spicy - this sauce is the bomb!

The bottle from Costco, while large (37 oz), is around $8.  Not a cheap condiment.  Looking at the ingredient list, I knew it was very doable.  There is absolutely nothing I wasn't familiar with so I headed to the store.  Grabbed my ingredients and set out to develop my recipe.  I don't have an exact breakdown of cost, but I am certain I spent no more than $8 and I was able to get over 4 pints of sauce.

Honestly, I thought it would take me a couple tries but it turned out amazing, right out the gate!  So here it is.

Pineapple Habanero Sauce

4 cups sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup pineapple juice
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp cornstarch (mixed with a bit of water to create slurry)
1 medium to large pineapple, roasted, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
1 mango, finely chopped
5-6 habanero peppers, roasted, finely chopped

Create a simple syrup in a large pot by whisking the sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice and lemon juice over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let sit while you prep the remaining ingredients.

Roasting the pineapple and habaneros will bring out their inherent sweetness and richness.  This can be done on your grill outside or using a grill pan on your cook-top.  (I chose to use my George Foreman since it was pouring rain outside when I was working on this recipe.)  Slice the pineapple in rings and grill until the sugars begin to caramelize and creates grill marks on both sides.

Note:  Before finely chopping my pineapple I trimmed away the outer rind.

Lightly char the skins of the habanero peppers over an open flame or on a searing hot grill pan.  Do not grill your red and yellow bell peppers in order to maintain some crunch and texture in the sauce.

Make sure the habaneros are super finely chopped. If you want to tone down the heat slightly carefully remove the seeds.  (I used my chopper so that I would not have to touch the peppers - I have a habit of getting hot pepper oils on my fingers and touching my eyes.  The pepper oils not only make your hand tingle but burns like crazy on your face.  NOT FUN! Additionally, the chopper allowed me to make sure the peppers were in super tiny pieces so no one bites into a large piece of super hot pepper.)

Next, finely chop all fruit, peppers and onion into 1/4" pieces (or smaller).  Stir the remaining ingredients into the simple syrup you prepared earlier.  Stir in the cornstarch (mixing with a few tablespoons of water first to create a slurry).  Bring the mixture to a boil and the turn down the heat to simmer for 5-10 minutes.  The consistency should be syrupy and chunky.

This recipe makes 4-5 pints of sauce.  The sauce may be canned using a water bath for 15 minutes. Or placed in jars and frozen.  Sauce should remain fresh in the fridge for approximately 2-3 weeks (if it lasts that long).

As with the store bought sauce, it is the perfect pairing with so many things including chicken, pork, fish and seafood.  It makes a great appetizer when partnered with cream cheese or goat cheese and used as a dip or a topping on crackers or croutons.  We love it to just dip tortilla chips (alongside a margarita and life is good).

I am going to take a small jar and pour it over a few pieces of chicken in the crock pot for dinner tonight.

I just love the versatility of this sauce.  The sweetness is awesome when paired with the heat of the habanero.  Plus, the vinegar offers just enough tang to help cut some of the heat as well.

I hope you enjoy!

Linked up with:  House of Hepworths, Somewhat Simple, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, The Frugal Girls, Nap Time Crafters, eighteen25, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, I Heart Naptime, A Crafty Cook, Under the Table and Dreaming