I love the warm, earthy smell of peppers in the fall at the farmers market. Roasted-on-the-spot peppers are a treat worth waiting all year for but this year I had a different mission in mind once I discovered a simple recipe to make my own chili garlic sauce. Now I can dole out my pepper pleasure a little at a time. This recipe is insanely easy and even better than processed sriracha. It’s local, organic, has no added sugar and gives a kick to any dish that needs a little extra spice. All you need is 4 hot peppers, 2 sweet red peppers, 5 garlic cloves, some white vinegar and salt. It can become very addictive so you might think twice before sharing your first-born batch like I did.
Homemade Sriracha Hot Sauce
4 hot chili peppers, chopped ( I used red padrons from the farmers market).
2 red bell peppers, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 t kosher salt
Wearing rubber gloves, roughly chop the chilis.
Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium-high heat. Once mixture is simmering, reduce heat to low, cover and continue to simmer until peppers are tender – 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t be tempted to put your face over the pot and inhale the vapors even though it smells delicious — it will sting).
Transfer mixture to blender and puree. Pour in medium jar and allow to cool uncovered. Cover tightly and refrigerate. It will keep stored in the fridge for several weeks or months but it’s unlikely it will last that long — at least not in my house.
Many thanks to Melissa Clark in her NY Times column, A Good Appetite for these fabulous recipes.
The last visit I made to the South I found a jar of pickled jalapeno peppers and got in the habit of eating them with our nightly fish taco. I didn’t think to bring a jar home and just assumed I’d be able to find them in the Northwest. I’ve been looking ever since without any luck so I jumped at the chance to make my own once I saw Melissa Clark’s recipe. These are easy non-processed pickles that will last for as long as it takes you to finish a jar in the fridge.
Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
8 hot green peppers (I used jalapenos)
1/2 – 1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 t kosher salt
Wearing rubber gloves thinly slice the peppers and pack into a clean jar.
Stir the salt into the vinegar to dissolve.
Pour vinegar over the peppers.
Cover loosely with a lid or with cheesecloth and a rubber band. Refrigerate for 5 days, then close the lid tightly.
Depending on the heat of your chilis, I’d recommend trying a tiny bite before popping the whole thing in your mouth unless you’re very macho when it comes to peppers. The ones I made could knock your socks off if you aren’t cautious.
Having peppers in my pantry has inspired me to make all sorts of new dishes including a memorable noodle salad. Since I’m not quite ready to make the seasonal switch to soups and stews, adding some pepper heat to practically any cold dish is helping me make the transition gradually. I love the way this salad dressing tastes so fresh and still has a slow burn from the sriracha sauce.
Vietnamese-Style Salad Dressing
1/2 cup fish sauce
1T freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 t homemade sriracha sauce ( see recipe above)
1/4 cup water
Juice of 1 lime or more
Mix all ingredients together and pour over rice noodles, shredded chicken, grated carrots.
Garnish with fresh basil and shiso and extra lime wedges.
It may not take the place of heat from summer sunshine but make a batch of homemade sriracha and see if you don’t feel just a little warmer.