Hot sauce is vital ingredient in a seafood restaurant. the heat and high acidity both go great with fish, crab, oysters and just about anything out of the water. One of my favorite ways to use hot sauce is to make a beurre blanc with it. We reduce Crystal hot sauce and mount it with butter so it has all the great qualities of hot sauce but also rich and velvety. We served that with fried green tomatoes, blue crab and buttermilk gel. We also turn crystal into caviar size pearls that we serve with our oysters. They are set with agar and are a perfect bite with oysters.
For grilling I love to use El Yucateco habanero sauce. It is made with green habaneros and has this wonderful bright flavor. It is perfect with grilled mahi, shrimp or summer vegetables.
My favorite hot sauce is Cairo BBQ sauce – It may be called BBQ, but this is very much a hot sauce. A local favorite in Southern Illinois, I’ve been enjoying it since I was a kid. As the name suggests is does taste great on BBQ, but I really love to put it on shrimp, fish, ramen… anything you want to spice up a little. The heat isn’t overbearing and it has great cayenne and black pepper flavor. Every time I go back home I make a point to pick some up. -Executive Chef Nathan Duensing
Chef Nathan Duensing shared his recipe for a simple marinade using El Yucateco habanero sauce:
1 cup olive oil
2 limes, juiced
2 lemons, juiced
1 orange, juiced
2 oz green onion
2 oz basil
2 oz mint
3 oz cilantro
3 oz parsley
4 ears of garlic
3 tbs El Yucateco Habanero sauce (more if you would like it spicier)
4 tbs Salt
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix till completely pureed. Marinade spatchcock chicken, chicken breast or thighs, Mahi, shrimp or vegetables for several hours and then grill.