Imagine combining the spicy zing of your favorite Tobasco sauce with the complex flavors and live-culture, probiotic goodness of a lactic acid ferment, and you get this amazing hot sauce – one that we make at the end of summer and enjoy all winter long.
Here’s how to make it:
First, we start with ripe, fresh chiles.
These are Long Thin Cayenne Peppers mixed with a few yellow hot peppers, but you could also use green chiles like seranos or jalapenos for a green hot sauce.
Cut off the stems and chop into a couple of pieces, and loosely pack into a mason jar.
Mix a 5% brine (3 TBSP salt per quart water) in another container.
Pour this over the chiles and cover with a cloth or a lid that is left slightly a jar.
The technique is exactly like making naturally fermented pickles.
I like to keep this jar on my counter where I will see it every day and remember to invert the jar 1 or 2 times per day to keep mold from forming on the surface.
After a week or two, the liquid should be cloudy, the sign of lactic acid bacteria proliferating, and the ferment should taste delightfully sour/tart. Now we’re ready to blend!
Carefully blend the chiles and brine into a velvety red puree.
You might not need to add ALL the brine – start with a small amount and add to your desired consistency – more for a liquidy, Tobasco-like sauce, less for a thicker paste-like hot sauce.
We usually add a few drizzles of apple cider vinegar, just to increase the acidity, which helps the hot sauce keep longer.
Store in a cool or refrigerated place, and enjoy a bit of summer heat all year long!