James Beard Award winner Michael Schwartz of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami has written the rare chef cookbook (Michael's Genuine Food, Clarkson Potter, $35) that's less concerned with re-creating his restaurant's menu than with channeling its high-flavor, low-pretension ethos into recipes, like the one for hot sauce. Warning: Friends will soon be requesting jars of the stuff for their own larders.

Habanero Hot Sauce

1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, and chopped
3 habanero chilies, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup champagne vinegar
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

Put a large nonreactive pot over medium heat and coat with oil. When oil is hot, add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent but not brown (4 to 5 minutes). Add carrot, bell pepper, chilies, and tomato paste and stir to combine. Pour in vinegar and 4 cups water. Give everything a good stir and bring up to a simmer. Add agave nectar, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until all of the vegetables are supersoft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer the cooled sauce to a blender and purée until smooth. Store covered in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Makes 3 cups.