Homemade Pepper Sauce (Molho de Pimenta Caseiro)

Prep Time | 16 Min Cook Time | 42 Min
Chef Denise shares this easy, bold and authentic pepper sauce. Molho de Pimenta Caseiro is a beloved Brazilian household staple because of its pairable and versatile flavor. Spice it up to your liking and keep in the fridge to dip, top, and infuse your favorite dishes and snacks.
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  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 t granulated sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 7 oz (or 200 g) dedo-de-moça pepper (Capsicum Baccatum). NOTE: A suitable substitute would be red jalapeños, which are slightly less hot than dedo-de-moça.
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. 1

    Prep the infusion: In a medium saucepan, place the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cloves. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, about 4-6 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the infusion to a heatproof container and set it aside.

  2. 2

    Prep the peppers: Meanwhile, wash, dry with a paper towel, and cut the peppers in half, lengthwise. Discard the stem and using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and discard them. Then, chop each half. TIP: To avoid accidents (e.g. touching your eyes after chopping hot peppers) — capsaicin, the substance responsible for burning, is fat-soluble. Then, wash your hands with soap and warm water to remove the excess oil.

  3. 3

    Cook the sauce: Return the same pan to medium heat (no need to wash). When hot, pour the olive oil in and add the onion. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté for about 3 minutes or until wilted. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the pepper and sauté for 2 minutes to release their aroma and natural oils.

  4. 4

    Using a mesh sieve, pour the vinegar mixture into the pan and discard the bay leaves, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir and let it cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or until the pepper is soft. Turn off the heat and let it cool down until warm, about 10-15 minutes.

  5. 5

    Blend the sauce: In a blender or food processor, blend or process the mixture very well (with all the liquids and solids) until homogeneous. NOTE: Be careful when opening the lid of the blender: the pepper steam can sting your eyes!

  6. 6

    Strain and store: Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the sauce pressing with a spoon to extract all the liquid and let it cool completely. Transfer to a sterilized glass jar and seal the lid. Spoon over your favorite Brazi Bites® Pizza Bites and enjoy! Or, use this pepper sauce to make a quick dip for your pizza bites by mixing 1/4 cup of the pepper sauce with 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream (spicy rosé sauce). If you want, you may heat the sauce just until warm (not piping hot).

  7. 7

    NOTES: Store it for up to 1 month in the fridge. Do not freeze! For a spicier sauce, keep some of the pepper seeds.

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