Sweet Fire

I wish I had my camera with me at the farmer’s market this saturday, as my favorite farmer Mark from Thistle Whistle had a dizzying variety of peppers. I asked him what his favorites were to dry for chili powder and for a fermented hot sauce. I am out of my Liquid Fire and so I am stocking up on as many pepper recipes I can now, while they are in season.

For drying and making chile powder he suggested Chimayo and Padron peppers, which are in the dehydrator now. I just cut the green top off and slice the peppers in half, leaving in the seeds, and dehydrate. You could also leave them whole and string up to dry. Then I put the dried peppers in the food processor with the blade, putting a towel over the processor when it is on because of the flying chile powder, and store in a mason jar. Last week I dried a big batch of jalapeños, Yum!

For the fermented hot sauce he had some sweet/hot peppers called Jimmy Nardellos. They are a long twisty red pepper which look like a cayenne, but are mildly sweet with a lot of seeds. In his bin he also had some red cayenne peppers, which he said were not a fiery hot variety, and so I bought a mixture of both.

I wanted to make a variation on Harissa, and this recipe from Kitchen Counter Culture is my inspiration for this sauce.

I want to make a half gallon of this sauce so I begin by processing two large heads of garlic in the food processor. Cut the tops off of Jimmy Nardello and Cayenne peppers and pulse process in the food processor.

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Add two tablespoons of real salt.

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I wanted to make sure I had the right number of peppers processed to fill a half gallon jar, so I used a funnel to keep filling the jar. It took about 40 peppers.

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Add two tablespoons of cumin seed

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and one tablespoon of ground coriander.

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I then transferred the contents of the jar to a bowl so I could thoroughly mix everything and taste. It needed another tablespoon of ground coriander and about a half a cup of raw honey.

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The flavor is intense, slightly sweet, and definitely hot but not mind blowing. The lacto fermentation will begin by the salt, and I usually add about a 1/4 cup of kefir whey to kick start my ferments. This time I did not want added liquid, so I just topped off the jar with the kefir whey to keep everything under liquid. You could top off with some salt brine.

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Leave in room temperature for 3 to 10 days for fermentation to take hold and then store in the refrigerator. When we begin eating this sauce, I will continue to transfer to smaller jars and keep a layer of kefir whey at the top, to keep out as much air as possible.

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Sweet Fire - A Harissa-like Hot Sauce on Punk Domestics

4 thoughts on “Sweet Fire

  1. Pingback: Grassfood Recipe Page | grassfood.

  2. Pingback: Francie’s Fabulous Fermented Fish | grassfood.

  3. Your photos are beautiful. I think you are going to love this hot sauce. Once you’ve tasted it, there’s no turning back to ordinary bottled and non-fermented sauces. And it just keeps getting better as it ages– if it lasts long enough unconsumed to age…

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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