Fermented Mt. Pleasant chili paste.

The premise for this Indonesian inspired chili condiment is to ferment ground chilies in their brine and then stop the fermentation with vinegar.  Pepper options were limited at the neighborhood Spanish markets so scorching Jamaican scotch bonnets (100,000–350,000 SHU)  and rather benign red jalapeños (2,500–8,000 SHU) had to make do.  The peppers were cleaned and put through the meat grinder on account of the food processor’s blades having taken a beating whilst bludgeoning the boudin 2.0 farce.

Bubbles in the hot chili tub.

3% of the peppers’ weight determined the salt portion and a few bay leaves  were added for good odorous measure, as well as a mashed clove of garlic or two.  A small amount of water was added to help dissolve and mix in the salt.  The mixture was placed in a jar with the lid loosely closed and left at room temperature to ferment.  A perforated plastic disc was placed on top of the mixture and helped to press it down below the brine to keep and mold at bay.

After a few days the fermentation process began and the salt extracted much of the water, in effect curing or corning the chilies in their own brine.  When the bubbling stopped 10 days later, an indication that fermentation had slowed down.  The liquid was drained from chilies, half was drunk for breakfast with a cigarette in the shower and the remaining half was supplemented with 1/3rd of its weight in white wine vinegar,  thereupon stopping the fermentation and producing a hostile environment for would be bacteria and whathaveyous.  The resulting sambal was put into jars and is enjoyed with rice and rainbow sherbert.

Hottie or Nottie? Uh …a little of both actually.  Not particularly enjoyable due to the heat.   Wouldn’t recommend putting it on your junk.  A blender would have helped to purée some of the paste for a smooth & chunky texture, but such a gift has not yet been made, ahem.  Some puréed onions cooked in olive oil and butter could have brought a sweeter element to the paste as well.

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