Photo from Adobe Stock/circleps
Makes 3 cups
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free
Fermenting peppers is a little like making moonshine. It takes patience, big clean jars, and some space. Leave this pepper mash in the jar for at least a week and much longer for more heat: It is the base to make other sauces such as Texas Pete-Style Hot Sauce or Sriracha.
- 2 pounds red jalapeno chiles
- 1/4 cup fine kosher salt
- 1 cup purified water
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Set three chiles aside. Spread out the remaining chiles on a baking sheet and put them in a sunny spot for 2 days, or until soft and wrinkled.
- Stem the softened chiles, slice them lengthwise, and put them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt. Using a potato masher, smash the chiles until only large chunks remain. Set aside at room temperature uncovered for 24 hours.
- Transfer the chiles and any liquid in the bowl to a 1-quart Mason jar with a two-piece lid. Put any mashed chiles that don’t fit into a separate container for later use. Pour the water into the jar, loosely screw on the lid, and place the jar on a plate. Let the mixture sit at room temperature until it begins to fizz over and the peppers shrink, 1 to 2 days.
- Add the leftover reserved mashed chiles to the jar. Place the three reserved whole chiles at the top of the jar and make sure the mashed chiles are submerged under the liquid. Loosely replace the lid and let sit at room temperature to ferment for at least 1 week and up to 2 weeks. (You may need to add more purified water to the jar to keep the chiles submerged.)
- Wearing food handler’s gloves, remove the whole chiles from the jar and discard. Remove the seeds from the mashed chiles and transfer to a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.
- Process the chiles. Add the vinegar and any leftover liquid from the jar. Process until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 months. (The mash will continue to ferment and fizz a bit.)
Also from The Hot Sauce Cookbook:
- Hot Sauces Around the World and 10 Tips for Making Great Hot Sauce
- Bermudan Pepper Sherry Recipe
- Puerto Rican Pique Recipe
- Sriracha Recipe
More on creating your own hot sauces:
Excerpt from The Hot Sauce Cookbook: The Book of Fiery Salsa and Hot Sauce Recipes , published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2014 by Callisto Media. All rights reserved.