Monday, October 06, 2014

Two Pecks of Peppers

I ordered half a bushel of Habanero chile peppers from my CSA having no idea just how much half a bushel might turn out to be (I knew it was two pecks, but this helps as much as knowing that a shilling is 12d). As a public service, I am posting this picture for anyone about to order half a bushel of anything so you may look before you leap.  These a pretty large peppers. The Tabasco bottle on the left and the lemon on the right are for perspective.

The chiles weigh 9.2 pounds.

I will freeze as about half for peysekh and process the rest into sauce.

Hot Sauce

Any kind of chiles in any amount
White vinegar or cider vinegar
Possibly a bit of sugar

Stem and seed the chiles.  If they are very hot, or if you are very sensitive, or both, you might want to wear protective gloves and a mask.

Put the chiles into a non-reactive pot.  Add enough water and vinegar (slightly more water) almost to cover.  Salt liberally and cook for fifteen minutes.  Allow to cool.  Very carefully taste a tiny bit and adjust for acidity, salt, and possibly a tiny bit of sugar.

Transfer small amounts of the pickled peppers and brine to a blender and liquefy.  Please be very careful when you remove the top of the blender to decant the liquefied sauce.  It is at its most volatile right after blending and you might want to leave it to cool a bit in the blender.  Avert your face when opening the blender.  Pour the sauce into glass bottles and refrigerate.  Those of you who know how to sterilize bottles for room-temperature storage can probably do that, and please offer tips in the comments. 

Usually, I hoard chiles at this time of year and make all my sauce for Passover, but if I freeze all of these guys, I will not be able to freeze anything else for six months.
I heartily recommend making your own hot sauce, especially if you have some amazing flavorful organic chiles, and I don't want to scare anyone off, but let me just emphasize once more, that you want to be careful inhaling near your freshly processed chiles. 

PS. I tasted the Wa Song and updated my Wa Song post.  Do have a look.