Habanero Glaze

September 02, 2020

This recipe is from chef Rick Martinez, and it’s one of our favorite methods for consuming habaneros. Soaking the peppers in alcohol removes a good portion of their heat, a needed elimination when dealing with chiles as hot as these. Plus, the heat from the peppers infuses into the alcohol, giving us the perfect excuse to shake up some margaritas to go with dinner. In the end, the glaze that comes together is a magical one—hot, sweet, and perfect for whatever vegetables or protein are begging for an amped up flavor profile. 


18 oz. of vegetables and/or protein of choice

8–10 habanero chiles, seeded and chopped

½ cup clear liquor (tequila, mezcal, vodka, etc.)

1 orange, zested

2 sprigs thyme

3 garlic cloves, grated

1 cup maple syrup

¾ cup white wine vinegar


  1. Fill a small bowl with alcohol. Soak chiles for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours depending on preferred spiciness. Longer soak time will result in less heat.
  2. Strain chiles through a sieve into a small bowl, setting liquor aside for cocktails.
  3. Set a skillet over medium heat and cook vegetables and/or protein until cooked through, using oil and seasoning if needed.
  4. Cook chiles, garlic, and orange zest for about 4 minutes until chiles are tender and beginning to brown. 
  5. Stir, adding syrup, vinegar, and ¾ tsp. salt, increasing heat to high. 
  6. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring until mixture is thick. Baste vegetables and/or protein with glaze and serve. Don’t forget the margaritas!

Recipe by Rick Martinez, Photos by Local Roots Volunteer Jess Santoro (@jess_santoro)

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