Green Chile Sauce

I liked our homemade sriracha sauce so much that as soon as it was finished, I immediately filled up a new jar to make more. This time I thought I'd go for a fermented green chile sauce, since we still had lots of cayenne peppers left that still hadn't turned red on the counter:

So I grabbed a bunch of green cayenne peppers, plus a handful of green jalapeños and cilantro (which ended up being about 1 pound of material), gave them a very rough chop, and tossed them in the food processor:

After a thorough pureeing, I added 4 cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of kosher salt, and about 1/4 cup of honey:

After a final blitz, I put it in the jar with a tablespoon of starter brine from a jar of lacto-fermented chard in the fridge. You can skip this, or add a little whey from some yogurt if you want. Once the jar is capped, it sits on the counter for a week or so:

My jar wasn't full, so releasing the pent-up gases from the fermentation never was much of an issue. After a week, I pressed all the peppers through a fine mesh strainer to finish the sauce.

It was manageably spicy, but kind of bitter. It tasted too green, if you know what I mean. Obviously unripe. I'm blaming this on the green cayenne — these peppers don't have anywhere near the flavor of ripe, red cayenne peppers, and they were also starting to dry out (as you can see in the food processor photo if you look closely). So for future reference, I'd just as soon compost cayennes that don't turn red, and make this sauce out of green jalapeños and serranos instead. 

In the meantime, I added another 1-2 tablespoons of honey and the juice of half a lime to hide the bitterness, which worked reasonably well. Not a ton of sauce, though:

Just this little jelly jar, plus an extra spoonful or two. I think this is due to the fact the the green cayennes were drying out, so there wasn't much liquid in them to work with. For future reference, the quality and quantity of the sauce depend on the state of your peppers, so I would make it much sooner after harvesting them. 

And again, it turns out that green cayennes are not worth saving if they dry out before they turn red. Most of the did ripen up and were excellent, though, so it's definitely worth bringing them in if you have a frost before they turn red outside. But if they never turn, pitch 'em.


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