Spice up your kitchen with Hobo Jim’s award-winning hot sauces
Hobo Jim Silk has been making hot sauces with exotic ingredients for 25 years. And all these years of perfecting his spunky recipes has resulted in some really excellent hot sauce blends. In fact, his sauces are so good that in late August this year, Hobo Jim’s Holy Crap hot sauce won first place in the category of pepper sauce in the Austin Chronicles Hot Sauce Festival, and that win has opened dialog with more buyers.
Jim and his son Josh make 12 different hot sauces with ingredients ranging from ghost peppers, molasses and mustard, to garlic, mango and habanero in the kitchen of Macadoo’s restaurant. They also make spicy glazing jellies, spicy ketchup, spicy mustard and BBQ sauce. Hobo Jim’s Hot Sauces are carried locally at Macadoo’s, Purple Porch Co Op, Maple City market, South Bend Farmers Market, Chicory Cafe, Sawyers Meats and Skipps Restaurant. It’s also available in 5 Whole Foods locations, including the Mishawaka store.
Dan and I have known Jim, Josh and the rest of the Silk family for years, and I wrote a blog post about him last year, but I had never tried the hot sauce until about a month ago. Shameful, I know. I had tried some of his other excellent products, but I guess I believed people used hot sauce as a crutch. I know that’s awful, but I had a distrust of hot sauces. Both of my sisters love food so spicy it’s inedible to me, and watching them pile on the spicy sauce makes me rather nervous. It seemed to me (but is not always true) that hot sauce eaters cover perfectly good food in spicy death.
When I told Jim I started writing a new food blog, he encouraged me to give Hobo Jim’s some love. And I admitted to him that I’d never bought any of his hot sauce and sheepishly asked for direction on how to use it. He looked a wee bit surprised and explained, “When I made my sauces I wanted them to be different from the mainstream tastes, so we looked at flavors that would work in everyday dishes, not just on eggs or chili or sandwiches. I’ve used them to sauté vegetables, make marinades … they work well in rice dishes, pasta dishes, soups, stews, wing sauces, ground meats, any vegan or vegetarian dishes, potato salads and deviled eggs.”
So I’ve been experimenting ever since. I’ve tried the Holy Crap sauce in several egg dishes, in roasted Brussels sprouts with apples, Saturday I used it to spice up my roasted pumpkin seeds and Sunday it went in with some sautéed collard greens, bacon, turnips and olives. Dan even used it in a smashing ham and bean soup. Yesterday I used it on a pot roast! I suddenly feel like these sauces are a must-have for my kitchen, so Saturday I bought another, the Season’s Fleetings sauce of Belgium chocolate and raspberries with Trinidad pepper. Did you read that? CHOCOLATE in this hot sauce! Can’t wait to try it.
Hobo Jim’s sauces are awesome as gifts for your hot sauce loving friends and would totally add some spunk to Thanksgiving. Am I right?
Jim says their next big goals are to find a small distributor to carry Hobo Jim’s products, so they can approach grocery stores that require a distributor; and to expand online sales. Long term Jim and Josh hope to have their own packaging and distribution facility in Michiana “to be a part of the community and create jobs.” In the meantime you can find them at the South Bend Farmers Market on Saturdays and you can find the sauces at the locations listed above.
Slightly Spicy Egg Pie
Inspired by The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther
- Butter to coat bottom and sides of 9-inch deep dish pie pan
- About 3 medium size potatoes
- About 5 de-ribbed and chopped kale leaves (or spinach, collard greens, etc.)
- Handful of chopped mushrooms
- Handful of crumbly cheese; I used a funky cow cheese from Oh Mamma’s on the Avenue
- 8-9 eggs (start with 8, add another or a bit more cream if needed to cover vegetables)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2-3 teaspoons of Hobo Jim’s Holy Crap hot sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Keeping the skins on, slice the potatoes crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Grease the bottom of the pie dish with butter and arrange potato slices along the bottom and sides of the pan to form a crust. Salt and pepper lightly.
- Place the kale and sliced mushrooms into the dish and lightly salt and pepper.
- Top with crumbly cheese.
- Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the cream, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and Hobo Jim’s Holy Crap hot sauce. Beat together with a fork or whisk until uniform in color. Pour egg mixture into the pie dish.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until center of the pie no longer wobbles when you gently shake the pan. Let pie rest 5 minutes before cutting and serving.