I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too! Welcome!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Fermented Hot Sauce

Last week I participated in a fermentation workshop with my daughter about food preservation through fermentation. Here's what we did...
At the workshop we were given sterilized jars and a variety of peppers to choose from. I used jalapeños, scotch bonnet and yellow bell peppers. Oh, and when handling hot peppers don't forget to wear gloves or you'll have hot hands for days!


Hot peppers of your choice, ideally organic
garlic cloves
spices of your choice

cold filtered water (or boiled and cooled tap water)
2% table salt
2% sugar

Fill mason jars 3/4 full with roughly chopped hot peppers and crushed garlic to taste. I used one clove per jar.

Interesting fact I learned...it's the white membrane that holds the seeds and not the seeds themselves that is the hottest part of the pepper! 

They had the brine prepared for us but here's how to do it. 
Weigh the pepper-filled jar, then add the water until peppers are covered and weigh the jar again and subtract the weight of the jar without water. That is your mass of water.
Drain the water out of the jar into another container. To calculate the amount of salt and sugar needed multiply 0.02 by the water mass. So for example if you have 500g of water 0.02 X 500g = 10g salt, 10g sugar. Dissolve the salt and sugar well in the water. (PS: I hate math!)

Add brine back to the jar. Now this part was interesting as well! Because you don't want mold to form on the top of the peppers they must be completely submerged but sometimes they like to float up. If you have a small jar that will fit inside, sterilize it and sit it on top of the peppers (make sure you can close the pepper jar). Or you could fill a ziplock bag with some water, seal it and place it on top of the peppers. 
But once I got home with my jars of peppers from the workshop I used a piece of plastic wrap and pressed it down over the surface of the water to keep the peppers from being exposed to air.

Lids on, but not too tight. Keep in a dark place at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. I kept them on the kitchen counter with a dish towel over them. Some recipes say to not open the jars for the entire fermenting period, others say open a little each day. I loosened the top every morning to let any excess gas out. Didn't want to take a chance of the jars exploding all over the kitchen!

After 1 week the brine became cloudy and had an acidic smell, that's good . I didn't want to wait the second week so I processed the peppers after 1 week.

Again have sterilized jars and lids ready. I pour boiling hot water into the jars, that does the trick.

Here's where you can get creative. Use spices you like. I made 4 different sauces. Strain the brine into a bowl.

With one jar of green jalapeño and garlic I added
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
about 1/2 inch fresh ginger

Process the peppers and garlic in a food processor with your seasonings adding some brine until you get the consistency you want.

What a messy production!

For one of my jars (the round one in the finished picture)
I strained the processed peppers out keeping only the liquid something like a tabasco sauce.

For the other jar of jalapeños and garlic (with a little scotch bonnet) I added
1 tsp pickling spice
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the yellow bell pepper/scotch bonnets and garlic
pinch red pepper flakes (which could also be fermented)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the yellow bell pepper/scotch bonnets and garlic
pinch black pepper corns
pinch anise
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

The apple cider vinegar is not necessary I just happened to use it in each. And the amount of spices I used was small because these were very small batches of peppers.

Fill the sterilized jars, seal and refrigerate for up to 6 months.

The presenters at the Spice Up Your Life - Season Jars workshop peaked my interest in fermentation. I may try cabbage or cauliflower sometime! 

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