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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cooking with Banshee: Coal Region Hot Sauce

I'm a Virginia girl now, but I grew up in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania.  It's a place where the lungs and the dirt are both black.  The Pennsylvania coal region is home to a cornacopia of delicious ethnic dishes, but the most unique food from the coal region might be hot sauce for pizza.  In Carbon and Schuylkill Counties a cup of this sauce automatically comes when you order pizza.  Anywhere else in the state or the country, they have no idea what you're talking about.

My father and I are loyal to our roots, so one weekend after moved out of the area, we decided to recreate the regional treat.  We spread out a slew of ingredients on the kitchen counter and made a  different batches until we had mastered the recipe.  What I present here is Hot Sauce #3.

Ingredients:
3 cups tomato sauce
4 TBS hot pepper rings, minced
4 TBS onions, minced
4 TBS crushed red pepper
2 TBS Frank's Red Hot
1 TB sugar
1/2 TB minced garlic
1/2 TB salt

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool before canning, jarring or otherwise storing.

Tips and Insights:
As you can see in the picture, this sauce is meant to be slathered on pizza, but I have known people to put it on a variety of Italian foods.  The sauce can be room temperature or even straight out of the fridge.  It is best on real, Italian style, hand tossed pizza, but it will improve any pizza.  This recipe makes about four 8 oz. jars of sauce.  You can make as much or as little as you want.  The ratios are the key.


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