I’ve meant to do this experiment for a few years and I’m glad I finally got around to making this hot sauce with fermented dried peppers. Any dried peppers would do but I specifically chose Morita peppers because they are smoke-dried. Known as the poor-mans chipotle, Morita’s are simply smoke-dried red jalapeno. If you don’t have access to them, don’t fret – any dried pepper will work in the fantastically easy recipe.
Fermented carrots? We’ve made a vinegar-based carrot pickle for years (it’s extremely spicy) that remains one of the more popular items in our pantry. This fermented version has no spice and contrasts the natural sweetness of the carrot with the sour of fermentation. The carrots also have great texture (much the same as a deli pickle retains it’s crunch). We will eat these as a snack, garnish, salad dressing or as part of a side dish for dinner.
People sometimes ask us when we have time to preserve; my answer sometimes surprises them. Making Sauerkraut can take less than 5 minutes (and some patience as it ferments) and is one of the easiest things you can possibly preserve. Sometimes I preserve because we don’t have a lot of time! Preserving does not need to be a lot of work or take a lot of effort.
When I scanned the fridge last night I realized that we had a third of a cabbage that was turning the corner from peak freshness to something less than usable. I considered making a soup or a stir fry but didn’t want to embark on a significant project. Transforming cabbage into kraut takes very little effort (although it takes time to ferment).
One of the most enjoyable aspects of fermenting food (as compared to other techniques, such as waterbath or pressure canning), is the freedom to be ultimately creative and to experiment in the kitchen.
My early experiments in fermenting were almost always either overly salty or under-fermented. I’ve learned that using 15-30 grams (approximately 0.5-1 ounce) of salt per 1 liter (1 quart) mason jar, is the right amount of salt for me and that regular tasting ensures success in fermenting. A ferment can quickly migrate from under-fermented to perfect and then to over-fermented in less than a day (depending on the temperature and what you’re fermenting).
I also love to cook with mirepoix – the classic French combination of onion, carrot and celery. It’s fantastic as a base for stir fry, sauces, soups and more. We found ourselves with an awesome bunch of onions, heirloom carrots and soup celery (its late harvest celery that’s very tough to eat but has an abundance of leaves that can be used like celery hearts). I couldn’t resist fermenting them together:
One of the best benefits of knowing multiple ways to preserve food is the ability to extend the life of fruit and veggies with minimal effort and time. We found ourselves with a few extra rutabagas which were starting to get a little soft and knew that we wouldn’t be cooking for a few days.
It’s the end of the gardening season and we’re sharing what to do with the final harvests. Today is one of my most favorite and simple things ever: quick pickled green tomatoes:
We’ve made a lot of hot sauce this year (and there’s more on the way). We’re big fans of heat, it’s easy to swap and store. Although fermentation takes passive time (this has been aging for a few weeks and some will continue to do so), it takes very little effort. Like all of our ferments, it’s stored in the fridge when complete.
Today’s post includes our best tips for fermenting hot sauce!
Hot sauce really seems to get people excited! It was a sort of ‘Holy Grail’ for me when I started preserving – I wanted (NEEDED) to know how to make it and I did some experimentation with vinegar, hot peppers and other ingredients and was never quite satisfied… until I started to ferment.
If you’ve never fermented before, this is an ideal item to start with. You can make it in a mason jar (for a small batch) or in a fermenting crock (for a large batch). The recipe is provided in ratios so you can make as little or as much as you want.
Many people ask me how to make ‘crisp pickles’ and often refer to them as ‘like the ones from the deli.’ The biggest difference between most deli/ ‘kosher’ pickles and the ones people make at home is the method; traditional pickles are fermented while many home preservers make quick pickles which add vinegar to cucumbers.