Monday, September 13, 2010

Hot chili pepper paste

Did you know, midwesterners are super-nice? Even if your lack of green thumb turns all of your plants into infertile/tall specimens (the plant equivalent of supermodels), random co-workers will share the bounty of their, apparently much more fecund, gardens. DH's co-worker gave him "some" peppers:

Yikes! And this is after about 10-15 or so had been used up for various purposes. An internet search for hot chili pepper pastes and sauces wasn't particularly useful, as most of the recipes used up 3-4 hot peppers at most. Are these people out of their minds? What are you supposed to do with the remaining 372 peppers? Well, I got out the food processor, and you know what that means...

Hot chili pepper paste
2 c hot chili peppers
2 t salt
1 T sugar
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
10 cloves garlic

If you want less spicy paste, use more green and less spicy peppers:

If you want spicy paste, use more red and spicy peppers:


This is not rocket science.

Directions: Boil large pot of water. Cut tops off peppers. Put peppers into boiling water, turn off heat, and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put other ingredients into food processor. Transfer peppers with slotted spoon into food processor (it is ok if still a bit wet). Whizz all in food processor for 30 seconds, scraping down sides halfway through. Pull a Clinton and DO NOT INHALE when you open the lid!
Place into clean jar, and store in fridge for up to 1 wk or in freezer indefinitely. DO NOT TOUCH EYES for the rest of the day. The beauty is that if you make multiple batches, you don't have to wash the food processor parts in-between batches.

This paste tastes a lot like Sambal Oelek initially, but over a few days in the fridge it will get less and less spicy, and taste more like a tarty, hot relish at the end. Surely there is a good food-sciencey explanation for how one or other of the ingredients breaks down the capsasin so that it gets less spicy with time. For the layperson, there is much pleasure in matching the changing hotness-level with appropriate foodstuffs. This tastes good in/on/with:

-mixed into chili
-mac & cheese!
-soy dogs (also, I assume, hot dogs)
-crudites, esp mixed with sour cream or mayo
-fries/chips, esp mixed with mayo
-fresh spring rolls
-pizza, hot or cold, deep dish or regular
-cheese & crackers
-mango or other fruits
-asian noodle bowls or ramen
-ok, this list could go on forever with all the foods I eat...

Hope you enjoy!

eta to add measurement units for vinegar


mooncalf said...

If you get more, I'm reliably informed that you can freeze them easily and that when needed they can just be popped into a mug of hot water to quickly defrost. I've got a tupperware container of 30 or so chillis in my freezer right now so I hope it is true...

Julie said...

what a great idea!! that sauce will be an amazing condiment for so many things.

Thea said...


Sereknitty said...

Oooo, thanks for that! Our son-in-law loves anything with peppers, so I appreciate the recipe.

emicat said...

We actually got a few red peppers from our deckside plant this summer. Probably not enough to make a chili paste, but that sure does look good!