Sassy Lemon, a Fiery Red Pickle

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You’re still with me the peppers!

If you read the past few days you know I came into 15 pounds of assorted hot peppers. I found something for them all to do. The final-preserving round was a colorful tray of long, thin hot peppers drying on a tray. All was fine in the world of pepper processing.

But then… a few days later the beginning-to-dry peppers were calling to me to do something more with them. A ferment. A pickle. Something sassy.

Re-enter Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling (again!):

(Not Green) Chile Pickle

yield: about 1 pint

Disclaimer: This is the recipe I followed, but the result is a very loose interpretation. I call it Sassy Lemon, a Fiery Red Pickle.

  • ½ pound small hot green peppers, sliced thin (I used a random combination of mostly red and orange thin peppers)
  • 2 TBSP pickling salt
  • 1 pint water
  • ¼ cup whole black mustard seeds, ground (I couldn’t find mine at finishing time so skipped it. I don’t like mustard anyhow so don’t feel I’m missing out)
  • one 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced (I used 1 ½- inch piece)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 TBSP lime juice
  • 2 TBSP mustard oil or other vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • I finely chopped a preserved lemon on a whim at the end and added it
  1. Put the peppers and 1 TBSP salt in a bowl and mix. Pack peppers into a quart jar.
    fermenting hot peppers at grow and resistThey do look a bit too dry…
  2. Dissolve remaining salt in the water. Push a quart size freezer bag into the top of the jar and add enough brine to weight the peppers and seal out air. Seal bag. Let stand at room temperature.

    fermenting hot peppers at grow and resistIn case the brine-in-a-bag thing sounded confusing, here is a visual

  3. Start tasting the peppers after 3 weeks. When they are as sour as you would like, transfer them to a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.
  4. Repack mixture into a pint jar and store in the fridge.

The recipe did not go as planned because I had already started drying peppers a few days earlier and they were already getting wrinkled and a bit dry. Therefore lacking a lot of moisture needed. There was also a somewhat questionable looking area in the mix that I wasn’t sure if was a product of fermentation or spoilage. Kate was in town and suggested adding more salt. Great suggestion! More salt in! It did release some more fluids, but after a few days I decided to remove the bag again and add a bit more water and replace the bag. The spot I was concerned about disappeared so I decided it was likely just a fermentation thing.

I also didn’t taste as I went along because, seriously, the peppers I used were insanely hot. I just trusted the 3 weeks mentioned and went with that. I decided to run the mixture (including the random preserved lemon) through a round in the food processor before placing it in the jar.

fermented hot peppers at grow and resistIn no way should you eat a spoonful like this or you might spontaneously combust. Just a friendly warning.

Verdict: Oh yum. Oh me, oh my. I can’t wait to use this. It is packed with flavor and I really think the lemon added another layer of interest to round out the intense heat.

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