Francesco Clemente’s Amazing Hot Sauce (Chipotle and Date Chutney)

Padma says:
This hot sauce is named after my very dear friend, Francesco. I always joke that Francesco is really an Indian man trapped in an Italian body, and he tells me I am an Italian trapped in an Indian body. He and his beautiful and elegant wife lived in Madras when I was very young. He is now so addicted to this sauces that I feel like a drug dealer when he calls to say he’s finished his stash.

With four children, he is forced to hide it deep in the back of the fridge. I love the tastes of hot and sweet in the same bite, as you may have figured out by now. And I love the tear-inducing fieriness of pickled chipotle peppers. My favorite brand, La Morena, comes in a bright orange can. This condiment will keep nicely in the fridge for a couple of months.

10 fresh or dried dates, pitted, cut into chunks
4 plum tomatoes, seeded, with the juice squeezed from them
13 ounces pickled chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

In a blender or processor, combine all the ingredients and blend until they make a thick paste. Pour into a deep saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, adding 1/4 cup of water halfway though and stirring. Cool and then store in an airtight glass jar.

Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 cups

All Recipes: From Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, published by Weinstein Books (October 2007).


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