Now's the time to pick up a batch of fresh, locally grown hot peppers and mix up your own hot chili garlic sauce, the kind they serve in Asian restaurants. It's sinfully easy to prepare, keeps a long time and tastes much better than the store-bought varieties.
Here's what you'll need:
Hot chili peppers, any variety you prefer, but if you want it to look like the store-bought variety get all red or orange ones
To prepare: Wearing gloves, wash and chop chilis-no need to chop too finely you'll be putting them through a blender or food processor later. Place chilis in a saucepan with 1 to 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2-4 cloves smashed garlic and enough vinegar just to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Run the entire batch through a food processor or blender to smooth out texture. Strain seeds out with mesh strainer if you prefer not to have seeds (optional). Store in refrigerator indefinitely.
Note: the store-bought varieties have stabilizers that allow them to be stored at room temperature, but it is best to keep yours in the refrigerator or to process them in a water bath canner if making lots and you want to store on the shelf.
Now's the time to get the chilis cheap, so scoop them up while they're fresh off the vine and enjoy!
One side comment--don't stick your head directly over the saucepan while they're cooking or you'll get a snootful of pepper!