What the heck is a piri piri pepper? No, it’s not Peter Piper’s worst nightmare (well, okay, maybe it would be). Also known as the African Bird's Eye pepper, it’s a chile of Portuguese origin that’s most famously prevalent in Africa. I came across it in a little shop in Pike Place Market and knew I had to try it out. With my recipe for the Bennett’s special already partially formed in my head, I figured that a sauce would be the perfect way to include this exotic little pepper in my plans.
After some tweaking, the sauce was spicy, sweet, and tangy. It had complexity and a heat that just kept you coming back for more, and it was super easy to make. And here’s a hint: it might be REALLY good on smoked meat…
Piri Piri Pepper Sauce
(makes about 3 1/2 cups)
3 cups distilled vinegar
4 teaspoons chopped dried piri piri peppers
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1 kaffir lime leaf, crushed
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend together. Reserve and let rest for at least two hours.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
|This was the Bennett's special: Grilled chicken on a strata made with roma tomatoes, kale, Grand Central Bakery bread, and Georgetown Brewing's Roger's Pilsner, all topped with a thin gravy and roasted yellow & purple cauliflower florets. That's the piri piri sauce in the ramekin on the side!|