What is it about Hamilton and hot sauce? Somehow “The City of Waterfalls and Pepper Sauce” just doesn’t have that zingy, marketable ring to it.
Nevertheless, we should be aware that we are living in hot sauce heaven and I notice that in our late fall Go Cooking sessions, we will be highlighting this fact: to wit, on Monday, Nov. the 3rd, we can look forward to having Uncle Nathan himself demonstrating his hot sauces in a menu that includes stuffed pork tenderloin AND beef brisket.
Uncle Nathan (a.k.a. Chef Nathan Gard) is from Australia. His hot sauce is billed as all natural, local and gluten free and comes in a variety of heat levels and flavours. (The latest is the autumn appropriate “Flaming Maple Leaf” designed as a concentrate to add to your favorite BBQ sauce or marinade.) I can tell by the titles of Uncle Nathan’s sauces (“Trippin’ Ballz“, for instance, and the classic “Uncle Nathan’s FU“) that there is a certain male macho heroism attached to the heat levels. But I wouldn’t get all caught up in that because …
To add even more spice to your life, Chef Lindsay Vandekamp will be introducing HER new hot sauce on Tuesday, Nov. 4th. Chef Lindsay describes her sauce as having notes of exotic fruit and XXXX smoked hot peppers. She calls it “This is the ChIt” and the sauce will be available for sale that night.
The mysterious nametag on Chef Lindsay’s sauce derives from an artefact that she discovered and refurbished — an antique outhouse, all wood, with a blue tin roof, which became a marketing tool for her hot sauce. (“It was one of those funny chef moments”, she explains obliquely.) The ChIt sauce has lots of heat from smoked peppers, but it also includes smoked tropical fruits such as mangoes and papayas to add a sweet taste of exotic fruitiness to the flavour of the sauce. Chef Vandekamp says that she has already sold lots of sauce (check out the Facebook page under “This is the ChIt”) and she uses the sauce to marinate ribs, chili and fish but also on things like tuna fish salad, coleslaw, hamburgs and chicken. Gotta’ try it out …
(I should also add that there is something called Dawson’s Hot Sauce made in Hamilton by Brodie Dawson. On Dawson’s Facebook page, it notes that the sauce is made with no preservatives and is sold in the Cheese Shop on Locke and the Dundas market. We would love to hear from him …)
Anyway, I am a hot sauce fanatic always with a jar of Tabasco on the table (Sorry, guys, I certainly am going to try your brands as well.) I’m not sure whether or not hot sauce is good for you or is just one of life’s little pleasures, but I like to put it on scrambled eggs, (of course), but also in mushroom soup or stews or in a very “unclassic” Bolognese sauce. A “friend” who is my age tells me that this is because I have become so elderly, pale, wan and decrepit that I can’t taste anything anymore and need the sauce to let me know that I’m actually eating something. I say “Phooey” and a quick trip through the Internet will advise you of all of the benefits of eating hot sauce. Here are a few and you can decide which are the wackiest:
1) Hot sauce improves digestion: the spiciness stimulates blood flow to the stomach which increases the mucous lining and prevents ulcers.
2) Hot sauce battles depression by releasing endorphins, nature’s natural pain killers.
3) Hot sauce promotes healthy eating by adding zip to simple food.
4) Hot sauce fights colds by clearing the sinuses; wards off tumours; and prevents salmonella poisoning. (right!)
Perhaps the zaniest thing I found was something called “The Hot Sauce Diet.” This is from an article in Canadian Living by Dee Van Dyk. Apparently a Dr. Spiro Antoniades was struggling with weight control problems. He began to use hot sauce to suppress his appetite (?) and eventually lost 70 pounds. Well, you can read all about it at
Use at your own risk.
And, in the meantime, here’s a recipe for barbecued chicken wings using Uncle Nathan’s FU sauce.
Uncle Nathan’s Chicken Wings
about 3 lbs of chicken wings
1 small onion, diced
10 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp. of thyme
6 fresh sage leaves
1 tsp of lemon or lime (or a bit of both)
1 tsp of mustard (your favorite brand)
1 red bell pepper
1 oz of Uncle Nathan’s FU Sauce
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1) Put half of the marinade in a freezer bag with chicken wings and toss them through thoroughly. Let sit for an hour.
2) Put the wings in a tray and cover in foil. Bake in an oven at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes (40 minutes for larger wings.) Pre-cooking the wings not only infuses the flavour, it also draws out some of the fat from the skin and reduces flame flare ups.
3) Then throw them on the barbie! Keep brushing and turning until they are as crispy as you like them.