Some Like It Hot Essentials: Louisiana Hot Sauce
Andy Anderson !
It takes about two weeks to properly ferment, but oh so worth it.
So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.
12 ozpeppers, more on this later
1/2 crice vinegar, non-flavored, or distilled white vinegar
1/2 cfiltered water, more on this later
1 tspsalt, more on this later
1/4 tspsmoked paprika
How to Make Some Like It Hot Essentials: Louisiana Hot Sauce
- What about the Seeds?
First, we need to clear up a misconception. The heat of a pepper is not in the seeds, because they do not contain capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers hot. Capsaicin is actually contained in the whitish pithy pepper innards (called the placenta), and if you like you can remove it to make the pepper milder.
When we prep the peppers, we will start by cutting off the stems. As to the seeds, understand, not only are they not spicy; they are non-toxic. You could eat them all day and they will just pass through your body. I remove the seeds when I am doing soups, stews, or chilis, because I do not want my guests seeing them floating about in their bowls… we eat first with our eyes.
Since we are going to strain this sauce, I see no need to remove them. It is just busy work. But that is up to you.
FYI: And do not forget that whenever you work with peppers, you should wear gloves.
- Besides the peppers, there are two other things that can sink the fermentation process: salt and water. Read this section carefully.
Store-bought salt contains all kinds of things that are not actually salt. For example, iodine. Depending on the brand, and the amount of iodine, it can completely kill the fermenting process. I use sea salt for two reasons:
1. It is iodine free.
2. It contains trace minerals (from the sea water) that enhance the flavor of what you are fermenting.
Choose what you will, but no iodine.
Citified water can contains all kinds of things; two of them being chlorine and/or chloramine. Either of these chemicals will stop the fermentation process in its tracks.
So, what do you do? Well, depending on which of the chemicals you are dealing with, you have several choices:
If your water contains only chlorine and not chloramine, you can let it sit for 24 hours and the chlorine will dissipate into the environment.
If your water contains only chlorine and not chloramine, you can drive the chlorine off by boiling the water for about 15 minutes.
A charcoal filter is designed to strip your tap water of chlorine and chloramine; carbon filters are necessary for effective removal.
Most, if not all, reverse osmosis water systems have a charcoal filter.
There are chemical methods for removing chloramine, but I am not, and never will go in that direction… That is using one dicey chemical to remove another dicey chemical.
Alternate Water Sources
I will give you two: one costs; the other is free.
1. Costs… Bottled spring water.
2. Free… Rainwater.
When I had my second pergola built, I topped it with a steel roof. When the rains come, the water is directed through a drainage spout into a 20-gallon storage tank. A good rain will fill it in no time. Then, I boil it, run it through a strainer with cheesecloth, and save it in 5-gallon containers.