domingo, março 11, 2018

Homemade and Fermented Hot-Sauce: Habaneros and Bird's Eye Chiles


Because Spring is almost here, it's time for making hot-sauce...Love spicy food. Hotter the better. Subtlety works too. It depends on what you're cooking. I make soups nobody I know will eat they're that ferocious (with the exception of my friend João Claudio who's also an aficionado of "hot" food; he's even thinking of founding a hot-chile fraternity...before I start receiving hate email, "chile" is the country and the spice. Chili is the Homemade and fermented chile just gives that huge extra dimension to a meal.  I believe it's the rush that comes from eating hot-chile with my food that is so pleasurable. It enhances food and definitely makes it more interesting and more connected to what I'm eating.

My favourite sensation is when eating something "hot" and (not sure if I'm describing it properly or if others get the same) it feels like the pores on my head, under my hair, are opening up. It's almost like the sensation of just getting your hair cut then going outside on a windy day. Like a cold frisson type sensation couple with sweaty-red face. I don't quite know why I enjoy it so much, so it's good to have some research looking into it. I truly love the tastes of hot food, various curries, etc,; they're great cuisine in their own right. But it's the burn that really makes it for me, some weird thing where you love the tastes of the food, and can only just take the level of heat, and it's not entirely comfortable, and somehow that makes it better.

A downside of being into chiles is that you find a lot of food underwhelming if it's an North-and-Centre-European version of the real thing. In Portugal, because of the Mediterranean culture (food, weather, etc.), the chili aficionados are very knowledgeable... 

Fake chile shit with some horrid sauce. No thanks. 

  1. Habaneros [Scoville heat units: 100,000-350,000 (extremely hot)];
  2. Bird's Eye Chiles [Scoville heat units: 50,000-100,000 (very hot)];
  3. 3 large Onions (one for each jar);
  4. Ginger;
  5. 6 cloves (2 for each jar);
  6. 1 litre of Brine Water (35 grams of salt per litre);
  7. Gloves
  • Put on your only ever fail to wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards before going to the loo once...lmao;
  • Wash the habaneros and the bird's eye chiles in running water;
  • Cut them in half (the habaneros) and crosswise (the bird's eye chiles);
  • Insert the cloves and the ginger into each one of the jars;
  • Insert the freshly-cut habaneros and bird's eye chiles into each one of the jars;
  • Insert the onion ring on top of each one of the jars;
  • Top-up each one of the jars with the brine water (the top of the onion ring must be fully immersed in water!);
(From left to right: the first two, habaneros; the last one with the bird's eye chiles)
  • Cover each one of the jars with a plastic bag;
  • To make them air-tight, use a rubber band (or in my case, black hair bobbles) at the top and bottom of the glasses.
  • Wait at least 2 weeks for the concoction to ferment in a safe place.

NB: Follow-up post in 2 weeks' time.

2 comentários:

Book Stooge disse...

Awesome food post! Of course, just looking at the pictures was almost too hot for me. I salute your bravery in pursuit of hot foods!

As for that feeling under your hair, and haircuts and all that, I know exactly what you mean. I don't seek that experience out, and since I shave my head now, it is also a little different. You described it perfectly though.

Of course, if you HAVE to wear gloves to protect yourself in "delicate" areas, that seems like a warning sign. Sadly, nothing but crudities pop into my mind, so I don't have much else to say on this particular aspect :-)

Now, why the fermentation? Is it so it stays available longer? Since you are going to cook them (I assume), it obviously isn't about any sort of alcohol. Please elucidate...

Manuel Antão disse...

The fermentation allows the chile-sauce to last longer. More on that on the follow-up post in 2 weeks' time (no alcohol mind you; only lemon, lime and cider vinegar; with the ginger and the cloves I don't need anything else to preserve it). I've got jars which have lasted more than a year...

As to its use, I use it both to cook and in a finished dish, i.e., "raw" (out of the jar with no cooking whatsoever, e.g, in soups).

NB: Too bad you didn't want to elaborate on the crudities...