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Habanero-Orange Mignonette

Hands-on time 10 mins
Total time 30 mins
Yield Serves 12 (serving size: 2 tablespoons)
History connects Sauce Mignonette firmly to the peppercorn. Mignonette pepper, broadly speaking, is the good stuff, typically a blend of (ground, cracked, or otherwise) peppercorn varieties. Relative to peppercorns, though, mignonette is an archaic term. If you're talking oysters, though, the word has come to mean "thin, clear, acidic liquid, to which is added little bits of something that pickles quickly, and something spicy." It's usually a very, very simple sauce of (typically) shallot, just-beyond-cracked pepper, and some kind of vinegar. Here, we take creative license, inspired by flavors of the Yucatán.


  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons seeded and minced habanero chile

Nutrition Information

  • calories 7
  • fat 0.0 g
  • satfat 0.0 g
  • monofat 0.0 g
  • polyfat 0.0 g
  • protein 0.0 g
  • carbohydrate 2 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 0.0 mg
  • sodium 25 mg
  • calcium 3 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, the white vinegar, the salt, the dried oregano (rubbed finely with the heel of one hand into the palm of the other), and the black pepper.

  2. Add the red onion and let steep.

  3. Put your smallest sauté pan on the stove. Crank it to high. Let it get hot for about a minute. Now, turn it off.

  4. Have a soup spoon handy, and then put the chile into the pan. Keep your face away. Even this small amount can take your breath away.

  5. Let the chile wilt for 1 minute while stirring. You might get some char. That's good.

  6. Spoon the chile into the vinegar mixture. Stir, and let macerate at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

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