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Take this mini bottle of Original Hot Sauce with you anywhere, it's the perfect blend of Habanero and Serrano peppers that form a thick rich flavour that transforms an ordinary meal into an Ass Kickin' meal where ever you go.
I absolutely love hot and spicy food and sauces so I was really excited when this product came up to review. I was lucky enough to be able to try this sauce and the ghost pepper sauce from the same brand. After trying the ghost pepper sauce first and having it knock my socks off, I was interested to see how hot this original flavour would be. The first thing I noticed that was different compared to the ghost pepper one, was that the original hot sauce had a lot more seeds in it. This had me really confused as I thought perhaps maybe it was going to be hotter than the other one.
I did what I normally do with any sauce is try a bit on my finger first as it helps me to gauge the amount I should use in my dish. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It didn't blow my socks off with heat but it definitely had a small amount of heat to it. I decided for this one to add it to some chilli beans I was cooking for tea that I would turn into nachos. Again, I'm not a fan of the width of the bottle neck as it is hard to get the sauce out easily. I think it would be best with a pour spout so you can control it easier. I put in maybe a teaspoon into the mince (500grams plus chilli beans) and found that this gave it quite a nice kick.
I think (over the ghost pepper one) that I would chose the original flavour as yes it has heat but I find the original easier to bear and it still has a bit of a kick to it. Great price and it is something I would buy again.
Anyone who knows me is aware of my preference for spicy food. I wanted to try this sauce on a couple of classic recipes that could be improved considerably by adding a little heat. Friends had asked me around for a meal of leftovers (always fun!) so I packed the bottle of sauce just in case. It turned out they had a pot of cooked beef mince which had been defrosted to use for a bolognaise sauce only to be consigned to the fridge when they decided to go out again. They also had some thawed beefburgers which needed using up.
I was trusted to sort the ingredients into a meal for four adults and two teenagers (aged 13 and 14), both of whom assured me they did not like hot food. No problem - I would add the sauce just before serving and see what happened. I sent the teenagers to the supermarket to get some burger buns, and set to work on the rest.
By dividing the mince mixture into two containers, I was able to set aside a share for the youngsters. I then added a few drops of the hot sauce to the main bowl and mixed it well. I tasted it for effect and it was not quite hot enough so I added a few more drops. I then reheated the mince in two separate containers, each topped with some instant mashed potato (ok, that was cheating - but we did not have any fresh potatoes) to make an ersatz cottage pie.
The boys returned with the buns and the burgers were put on to the barbecue with some chopped onions - convenience food par excellence! While they were cooking, we prepared a chopped tomato salad, stirring in some shredded basil, and then dividing it into two containers before adding a few drops of hot sauce to one portion and mixing it well.
Our leftovers dinner was a hit. Everyone got a portion of cottage pie with or without hot sauce - their choice - and a burger with chopped tomatoes, again with the choice of hot or not-hot. What made the whole thing so easy was the way the hot sauce could be added at the last minute so that the same meal could be accessible for people with different food preferences. Because the bottle is small and portable, it can be taken to a gathering and simply sprinkled on the food and then stirred in. Unlike salt or similar condiments, it is best stirred in before the food it served as that avoids concentrations that might be disconcerting to encounter.
I did an experiment on one more item, but this was done later at home. I tried two drops in my home brewed mocha drink (half chocolate and half coffee, served black) to see if it would be acceptable. It was more than acceptable, it was wonderful! Next time I have caramel icecream I am going to thaw it slightly then mix in a small amount of hot sauce. I am looking forward to trying that out on an adult audience, I might add.
Hot sauce is generally considered a table top sauce; something you add to a meal after you have finished preparing and cooking. This is generally due to not everyone enjoying the same strength and heat in a meal, so adding it afterwards, everyone can still adjust the level of heat to their liking. Myself, I'm too lazy for that. I honestly prefer to add my chili during the cooking, rather than add them afterwards, as I would rather have the flavour and heat throughout my meal, instead of just on the outside.
I tried adding some of this Ass-Kicking Original Hot Sauce to a Chili con Carne dish that I was preparing, but the cooking process did remove a lot of the kick, so I ended up saving it for a different meal as an addition to the meal post cooking rather than an ingredient during.
Looking at the product, it comes in a tiny 0.75oz package (that equates to just over 22mL or around 21g). A very small amount, less than the third of the size of a small tabasco sauce bottle. The packaging was very easy to open, but interestingly had a rather wide opening. I was expecting it to have a smaller opening as it is a sauce and not a chutney, so that the user would have more portion control. Instead, we have a wide opening, and a rather thin liquid that easily vacates the bottle. This does affect the number of uses you will get out of it, as you will often end up with far more than you need.
I cooked beef schnitzel well done, and let it dry out, to create a form of meat wedges. While the meat cooked, I steamed some gold kumara, peas and beans. Caramelising some onions, I added some tomato puree, BBQ sauce, and some of the Ass-Kicking Original Hot Sauce, to make a thick and chunky sauce. Like an alternative version of nachos, I used my thin meat wedges to scoop up the chunky hot sauce and kumara into a tasty mouthful.
While thin, the chili seeds are still intact in the hot sauce, and add a level of viscosity to it, which is also what leads to over pouring as the chili seeds have a tendency to pull extra sauce out as it pours. A reasonable amount of warmth emanates from the product when consumed, and will spread the warmth around your mouth. It has the most "burn" at the back of the throat, with the heat quickly lowering to a manageable level over the tongue.
An enjoyable flavour, that isn't too overbearing with the heat (on the higher end of the heat range, but nowhere near the "giving me hiccups" heat). Value really depends on the price (similar products are advertised at $4.00 per unit); as a person that loves heat with his food, this would likely only provide 5 uses for me, but I do have a high tolerance. For someone that doesn't need as much, this product would have plenty of value for the price.
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