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Friday, January 7, 2011

Louisiana Swamp Scum

Hi ya'll.  "Huh?"  "What is Louisiana Swamp Scum?"  It's a jalapeno-based hot sauce made by Mossy Bayou Foods.

Louisiana Swamp Scum hot sauce

It happens to be Chucky's favorite brand of hot sauce.  It occasionally finds itself available at my local Tijuana Flats restaurant.  Don't ask me why though but they seem to only get one small order of bottles a year.  And there are other Louisiana Swamp Scum affectionados out there who compete with me when the shipment arrives.  It's probably akin to finding that Willy Wonka Golden Ticket?

I think of Steve Martin in the movie, The Jerk.  "The new phone book's here, the new phone book's here!"  I think of the Seinfeld "Mackinaw Peach" episode where Kramer proclaims, "It's like having a circus in my mouth."  'Cept I am like a 2-foot red-headed plastic misunderstood kid in a hot sauce candy store when the bottles arrive.

Each week when I visit Tijuana Flats the first thing that I do before ordering is look behind the counter to see whether a shipment of Louisiana Swamp Scum has arrived.  With the exception of once or twice per year the answer is consistently "No."

What is this most precious commodity?  My taste buds tell me of three primary ingredients:  jalapeno pepper, vinegar, and hickory smoke.

So I asked myself, "Can I make something similar myself?"  Why... Yes, you can Chucky.  By no means as tasty as the original but quite a pleasant finished product if I may say so myself.  Tiffany tried it when she arrived home tonight and she loves it too.

  • 20 jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic (only because I did not have fresh garlic on-hand)
  • 1 medium white onion, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp reduced sodium salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp liquid smoke, hickory 
  1. In medium cast iron casserole pot combine oil, jalapeno slices, diced onion, garlic and salt.
  2. Cook over medium heat until onions become translucent.
  3. Add water and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. Stir in liquid smoke.
  6. Transfer to food processor and puree until smooth.  I used my Blendtec.
  7. Slowly add vinegar while processing.
  8. Pour into sterilized jar(s) with tight lid and/or recycled hot sauce bottles.
My batch filled up three recycled hot sauce bottles, one 1-quart Mason jar, and a skosh left over to enjoy with dinner tonight.

Note:  For my next batch, as enhancement, I plan to roast the Step 1 ingredients on my grill instead of using the stove top. 

Addendum 09Jan2011 - Duh!  Looked at the Louisiana Swamp Scum label this afternoon.  One key ingredient that my recipe lacks... molasses.  The bottle ingredient listing as follows:  Peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Molasses, Natural Flavoring, Caramel Color.  In my opinion, Natural Flavoring = liquid smoke.

Hi-dee hi-dee if-your-eyes-don't-tear-it's-not-hot-enough-ho my friends!


  1. I can't wait to try this! I was looking for a swamp scum recipe, and this looks really good. How much molasses would you recommend using for this amount?

  2. Wait! Wait, Katie L!!! I have a couple of things to add to my original post. First, don't make a batch as large as I did. You'll be swimming in the stuff.

    Secondly, I originally forgot to include the molasses. I don't know what to tell you other than simply add just a little at a time taking frequent samples. You can always add more but cannot take some out once it had been added.

    I'll have to admit now that it's all said and done, I'll simply Google search for Swamp Scum Sauce next time around.

    If you are going to make it and are familiar with Swamp Scum Sauce, I'd love to hear what you think. From one Swap Scum Lover to another, good luck my friend!

  3. Hey Chucky,
    Well, I made my second batch today. I did add a couple twists to it - I roasted and skinned the jalapenos first, used the blender instead of the food processor, and added a squeeze of lime to it - but overall, it's a great recipe. I did do a half recipe, and it was still quite a bit of sauce, but that's alright, because we're going to a taco party tonight. The molasses really makes the whole thing come together, and I thought it was just as good, if not BETTER than swamp scum. I would definitely recommend roasting the jalapenos, because it adds flavor and makes the sauce nice and creamy. The liquid smoke is also really necessary, because I made the first batch with smoky paprika instead, which was fine, but it just seemed a little off. All-in-all it was super good!

  4. Awesome Katie! Now I am getting excited thinking about making another batch myself. Thanks for the suggestions. Your ideals are simply wonderful. From one Swamp Scum fan to another... Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!