From the category archives:


Red Hot Pepper Sauce… and Vinegar and Pepper Flakes

Last year’s pepper haul was way more than expected. So much so that even after I put up 15 pounds of roasted New Mexico chilies, I still had pounds leftover. For no reason at all, I started throwing the peppers that went red into a bag in the freezer. I mean what the hell, they were coming off the plants by the handful everyday. We could not eat them all.

I grow the peppers for salsa, chili and burger toppings. But we like green hot peppers so I had no real idea of what I wanted to do with the red ones. I was reading a post about hot sauce and decided that a fermented red hot sauce would be the thing to do. As the process went along, the vinegar and chili powder just happened.

A former chef I know (well knew, as he has written me off) had suggested a week’s worth of fermentation aided by probiotics (acidophilus). But the kid tasted it day by day and we ended up with just shy of 7 weeks fermenting on the counter before he deemed it done. I did stick with his recommendation to not add salt or vinegar until after fermentation.

So 3 – 4 pounds of peppers were fermented forever and well, wow! The kid has a knack for the taste of glutamates and amino acids in food. These flavors develop as the fermentation happens. When he pulled the plug, the taste was beyond anything I had ever bought.

He also had the idea to pull off the clear liquid as a dressing for greens. This had two results. One was the hot vinegar and the other was that it condensed the red hot sauce.

Lastly, I ran the fermented peppers through a food mill. I toasted the remains in the oven and ground them up in a coffee grinder. Next year all seeds will be collected and frozen. While I only got 5 ounces of the grind, next years goals will be a pound. This is some of the best smoked meat rub I have come across.


3 pounds red hot peppers (jalepeno, thai, poblano, fresno, Sandia and Big Jims)
10 cloves garlic
1 Probiotic 10
Salt to taste
1 cup water

Chop the peppers and garlic in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add just enough water to get the blend to happen. Add the probiotic and pulse.

Put it into a clean glass jar (at least 1 gallon in size) and set it on the counter until it starts to bubble. Stir every other day and start to taste it after a week. Just let it ferment until it tastes good to you.

Using a food mill or strainer, remove the seeds and solids and save them. Place the vessel back in the refrigerator to let it separate for 3 days.

Skim off the clear liquid and save in the refrigerator. This is a nice sour hot kick when added to greens and salads.

Toast the seeds on a sheet pan for 1 hour at 300 degrees.  Grind in a coffee grinder and use, as you would use cayenne pepper.

As for the hot sauce, wings!!! Just add salt to taste. This can sit on the counter but I would keep it in the fridge.


Simple Turkey Broth for Soup

by Michael on November 29, 2014 · 0 comments

in Poultry,Soup,Technique

The thing we like to do the day after Thanksgiving is to make Turkey soup. Turkey soup with a turkey sandwich can’t be beat. But last night, after dinner, two of our guests admitted they have never made soup and would have no idea how. So here is a simple primer. First we start with the turkey broth.

No cooking skill needed.

First, remove all the leftover skin and any fat and discard. Then carve of the rest of the meat and set aside in the refrigerator.

An optional step is to roast the carcass and bone for 30 minutes until brown. I do this is a 450 degree oven. Add a bit of water to the bottom of the pan.

In a large stockpot, add two coarsely chopped carrots, stalks of celery and onions. Add two bay leaves, a tablespoon of peppercorns if you have them and a tablespoon of salt. Add the bones and carcass. Cover with enough water to cover everything.

Bring to a simmer. Do not boil. Boiling will render a cloudy broth. Let it simmer for as long as you can – I usually go 4 hours. Take it off the heat and let it cool a bit and then strain it through a fine sieve and you are good to go.

To remove any fat, just place in the fridge overnight and skim the solidified fat off of the top.

Keep in mind that there is very little salt in this. Adjust to your taste or recipe. From here you could just have a hot cup of broth with a sandwich, or add vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, parsley or leeks, chopped turkey and rice or noodles for a heartier soup.


Steak Tartare: Deconstructed Fajita Style

Thumbnail image for Steak Tartare: Deconstructed Fajita Style July 27, 2014

Steak Tartare: Deconstructed Fajita Style I love steak Tartare. And I love the flavors of Fajitas. So what do you get? Steak tartare: deconstructed fajita style. What the heck does that mean? If you had been here to eat it you would know. Sometimes you just have to show up. So basically this is chopped […]

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Homemade Prosciutto – Part Three – The Cure

Thumbnail image for Homemade Prosciutto – Part Three – The Cure October 29, 2013

OK, here we go. First, if you and went and bought a whole bone in shoulder, well, don’t follow this recipe. Chuck that thing on the smoker and get back to us in 12 hours. We need to start out by mixing the cure and trimming up the pork. Here is what you will need […]

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Homemade Prosciutto – Part Two

Thumbnail image for Homemade Prosciutto – Part Two October 22, 2013

A while back I just showed some cured ham and the place went nuts. The homemade Prosciutto gets almost 50% of the hits on the site. Go figure. So starting Saturday or so, A step-by-step week-by-week cook… well cure along will get underway. Start looking for those free range shoulders now and order your pink […]

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Whole Smoked Rib Roast – Prime Rib Recipe.

Thumbnail image for Whole Smoked Rib Roast – Prime Rib Recipe. June 15, 2013

Mmmmmm…. meat. Smoked meat at that. I told myself that I would keep all the smoking and curing off the blog but this was just too good. The whole rib roast gets 4 hours in the smoker and then finished to your desired doneness on the grill. This is a pretty easy recipe. And the […]

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Fresh Oregano Pesto

Thumbnail image for Fresh Oregano Pesto May 2, 2013

Fresh Oregano Pesto. I am usually a basil kind of pesto guy, but the oregano has been just bursting out of the ground. Oregano can be a bit assertive when dried, but in the spring, the fresh leaves are mild and flavorful. I have taken a few liberties with this pesto. But, in reality, pesto is […]

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Cajun Rice and Beans

Thumbnail image for Cajun Rice and Beans March 16, 2013

I wasn’t going to post such a simple thing as Cajun rice and beans. But I can imagine chef King reach out from Oregon and smack me on the head with the admonition, “Don’t teach the recipes; teach them how to cook.” How to make this adds up to much more than dinner. I never […]

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Biscuits and Gravy – A Southern Sausage Gravy Recipe

Thumbnail image for Biscuits and Gravy – A Southern Sausage Gravy Recipe March 1, 2013

The weekend is coming and I need something to take the stress off first thing. I am not sure that  biscuits and gravy is the way to fix the stress that adolescents can cause, but it’s a start. Good old comfort food. The technique used here is a basic white sauce. Basically it is ratio of […]

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Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika and Crispy Prosciutto

Thumbnail image for Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika and Crispy Prosciutto February 20, 2013

I love the idea of deviled eggs, yet I really don’t like deviled eggs. In most cases they are just false advertising. Recently I was at a bar that offered them as a bar snack. The description was amazing with all the herbs and truffle oil but in the end, not so amazing. As my […]

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