Do you like things a little bit spicy? I’m not sure when it happened for me, but for as long as I can remember I have liked spicy foods. Loved them, actually – even as a child. It was like a badge of honor if you could eat spicy foods without complaining. And I could down some spicy foods.
I like a lot of horseradish in my cocktail sauce. I want it to make my sinuses burn.
I like a lot of wasabi with my sushi. I want my eyes to water and my nose to run.
I put hot sauce on a lot of things, and jalapenos are a common topping for just about anything. When I was pregnant with both my boys I craved many different foods, but mostly it was anything that was spicy, spicy, spicy. The spicier the better – heartburn be damned.
So when I saw this recipe for fermented chili sauce
over at Nourished Kitchen I just knew I had to make it. As much tobasco and sriracha as I go through, it seems like I should know how to make it myself.
You know it’s going to be hot when it starts with 1.5 pounds of habanero peppers. Yes, you read that right – 1.5 pounds. The original recipe calls for three pounds, but since I’m the only lover of chilis in my family, I figured I could make do with a half pint instead of a pint of hot sauce. If I finish it all in a month, then I’ll know I was wrong.
Basically, you just throw them in the bowl of your food processor with a couple cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of sucanat, a teaspoon of unrefined sea salt and 1/8 cup of whey.
Puree it until it looks like this.
Spoon the mixture into some clean mason jars and stick it in a corner of your kitchen for about a week. This is mine sitting next to some sauerkraut and some ketchup that I was also fermenting. Screw the rings on, but don’t get them too tight – you want there to be some escape for the gases from the bubbles that begin to form as the fermentation process progresses. Check them periodically – if the lids begin to get hard when you press on them, unscrew the rings and allow some of the gas to escape. After about a week, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Pour the resulting liquid into a half-pint jar, and spoon the leftover paste into a pint jar.
These will keep in your fridge for a couple of months. Oddly enough, I like the sauce, but I find myself reaching for that paste almost every day. I put it in some pickles I was making the other day, I put a tiny bit in some scrambled eggs the other morning, and I mixed some in with my pasta carbonara for dinner tonight.
It’s hot – that’s for absolute certain. But it also has a perfume-y, almost floral quality to it. It doesn’t take much, just about 1/8 teaspoon will lend plenty of heat to a full plate of food without detracting from the flavor of the food.
If you like things spicy, then I highly recommend making this. It will make your eyes water, your nose run, your sinuses burn and your brow sweat – just as a good chili paste should.