HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Yes, I know – We’re like halfway into January and I’m all, “Let me throw confetti at you!” I love confetti. Sometimes I imagine myself walking up to a random person, yelling out “SURPRISE!” and throwing confetti at them. Then I realize: This is New York. I could totally get my ass kicked for that.
So I went on a self-imposed blog hiatus for the holidays. I thought I’d step away from the blog for a few of weeks and live my life. Enjoy my family and friends. Cook without having to turn on my daylight lamps and take a photo.
It was great, but I missed blogging – And so I’m back, coming at you with fresh eyes and whatnot.
So the main topic of discussion these days was Polar Vortex. Subzero temperatures where your spit froze your tongue to you lips if you uttered a word. Cities where only emergency vehicles were allowed to grace the Tundra/Siberia/North pole -like streets. We wore layers over our layers over our layers.
And as I slipped on my second pair of thermals I couldn’t help but think: We need some heat up in this piece. Heat all up in your mouth areas.
Have you ever made your own sriracha? You don’t know what you’re missing. There is a sense of BOOYA” accomplishment when you make your own hot sauce. I mean, I make many things from scratch. I infuse my own vodka for crying out loud. But this? This is like making a dope ass speech, dropping your mic, and exiting stage right.
And all it takes is some hot peppers and time. Making your own sriracha is simple. So simple you’ll be all, wait – Why didn’t I try this before?
And seriously, you should. I see your eyes glazing over with desire, not to mention your mouth is watering.
Now might be a good time to shift your focus for a few seconds to the Leftovers Club. Have you heard of The Leftovers Club? If so, why haven’t you joined?
What is the Leftovers Club?
In a nutshell: Each month you are paired with another food blogger/member of this club. All you have to do is mail your leftovers to them and then post your recipe on the first Thursday of each month.
Visit The Leftovers Club to learn more and JOIN!
This month I was thrilled to be paired up with Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. Susan and I, we have a history. We have actually competed together (she beat me. Twice.), we attend almost all the same events – And I know she doesn’t like coconut, guava, or bananas. But I won’t hold it against her. This girl knows her shizz. She can cook, bake, and makes a mean cocktail. Does she dance? I don’t know, but if she does, she’s a quadruple threat. I don’t know if I can handle that level of shine.
You should check out her blog, if you haven’t already. It is filled to the brim with amazing recipes like whiskey bacon onion jam, and pumpkin macarons (did you just scream a little? Oh, that was me).
I adapted this sriracha recipe from Reclaiming Provincial, opting for a longer fermentation time. This allowed the flavors in the mixture to meld and form flavor bonds, whatever that means. It is earthy, slightly sweet, and mildly spicy. A spice that you can feel in the back of your tongue, yet can’t get enough of.
After my second batch I came to the realization: making sriracha is not only simple and self satisfying, but the recipe can be adapted a hundred million ways. I mean, the possibilities are endless. Instead of using garlic cloves, add a mixture of garlic and shallots. Perhaps scallions are more your thing? Or ginger in your hot sauce? Whichever flavor profile floats your boat, you really can’t go wrong.
Because its hot sauce.
In a food processor, place peppers, garlic cloves, sugar, and kosher salt. Pulse until the peppers are finely chopped, but not blended. If you don't own a food processor, you can dice the peppers and the garlic finely by hand with a pairing knife, and then stir in the sugar and salt. Just be careful with the hand eye situations.
Transfer the chopped pepper mixture to a clean jar. Seal the jar, but not too tightly. Store the mixture in a dark place, like a cabinet.
Once a day, check the jar for fermentation. Fermentation begins when you see tiny little bubbles at the bottom of the jar. This can take anywhere from 2-3 days. Stir the contents once a day until the mixture is no longer rising in volume. This step can take anywhere from 5-6 days.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and add the vinegar. Puree until completely smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan pressing on the solids to release all the liquid. The strainer should be left with seeds and any large pepper chunks. Discard the solids.
Bring the hot pepper liquid mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Allow it to simmer for 10-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced and thickened, or desired consistency has been reached. Transfer your sriracha sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. This sauce will last well over 6 months.
Some notes: Following the 5 days fermentation period, I left the mixture in the cabinet for an additional 2 days, then moved the jar to my refrigerator for about 3 more days before I blended and cooked it down. I found this gave the finished product a nice deep red color, and allowed all the ingredients to meld nicely, giving the sauce more depth in addition to a nice spicy kick.
Adapted from: Reclaiming Provincial