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Asher Sauce

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Island legend holds that the name of this sauce is a corruption of 
“Limes Ashore!”, the phrase called out by British sailors who found
limes growing on the Virgin Islands. The limes, originally planted by
the Spanish, would save them from scurvy. I guess that the bird peppers
would save them from bland food. Add this sauce to seafood chowders or
grilled fish. Note: This recipes requires advance preparation.


At a glance
Chile peppers
Cooking Method
Heat Level
2 1/2 cups
15 limes, Key limes preferred
1 cup salt
10 whole bird peppers such as piquins or chiltepíns or 2 habaneros, halved
3 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon whole cloves
5 allspice berries
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bunch green onions, white part only, chopped


Quarter the limes but do not cut all the way through. Open up each lime 
and rub them with salt. Place the limes on cutting boards, cover them
with cheesecloth, and set them in the sun for about a week. Protect them
from rain.
The limes will shrink and their skins will turn brown. Rinse the limes
to remove as much salt as possible. Place the limes in a large pan,
cover with water, and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil,
reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Cool and strain the
sauce. It will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.


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