On a recent trip to St. Augustine, I bought some fresh datil peppers at a local market. A cousin of the habanero, the datil starts out sweet and fruity -- and then goes in for the kill with its heat, averaging about 200,000 units on the Scoville scale. These little peppers are widely grown in the nation's oldest city. In fact, this pepper that packs a lot of heat is celebrated with an annual festival.
I tweeted a picture of the peppers and almost immediately got a message from chef Todd Erickson, asking if I could pick some up for him. I did and promptly delivered a bag to Huahua's Taqueria. When I asked what he was going to do with them, he replied, "I'm going to make hot sauce." When I asked if that was difficult to make, he said it wasn't. In fact, he offered to write step-by-step directions for Short Order readers.
The chef, who now offers a line of his signature Tailwagger hot sauces ($6.99 each) at Huahua's, did just that and even went one step further to include safety tips and pictures. Because datils are hard to come by in Miami, his recipe uses dried chipotles and fresh jalapeños.