Homemade Sriracha

homemade sriracha

Note: This post contains an updated recipe after numerous trials and some obsessive tweaking, as well as a note about the updates at the end of the intro, before the recipe itself.

If I had to sum this post up in two words, those words would be “F#@% YES.”

Sorry, that’s a bit of an aggressive way to start off a post! But seriously, can you blame me? I have been obsessing over making this stuff for nearly eight months, ever since Joshua Bousel detailed his experiments with homemade Sriracha on Serious Eats. I planned my entire garden around it, sacrificing what would have been a variety of peppers to grow only jalapeños. And then I waited, and waited, and WAITED for those darn peppers to turn from green to red. Being an impatient person, I also spent my Saturday mornings elbow-deep in Half Pint Farm’s hot pepper bin at the market, collecting every last red jalapeño I could find. It was on one of these days that Spencer of HPF suggested that red serranos might also work well, so I started buying up those too. (A great suggestion, it turns out, as a little more research led me to the fact that serranos were once the pepper from which Sriracha was made, until the company deemed them too difficult to harvest [or perhaps too costly] and switched to red jalapeños.)

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Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins, Filled with Nutella

Yup. I warned you these were coming! As if pumpkin doughnut muffins weren’t tasty enough on their own, I needed to fill them with nutella. Sometimes cramming as much delicious as possible into one treat just seems like the right thing to do.

This decision, quite frankly, was for my own good. Apparently I have this problem with nutella where, uh, I can’t stop eating it. I don’t even want to tell you how much had disappeared by the end of this photo shoot. “Oh look, there’s some excess nutella on this plate, might as well clean it up with my fingers.” “And oh no, now this knife is covered in it too. I certainly wouldn’t want to waste it by washing it down the sink!” “Oh and of course I will eat this bread covered in nutella.” That went on for 20 minutes. I spent the next half an hour cursing my lack of will power and the serious serious stomach ache it had caused, while slowly sinking out of my chair, onto the floor. At that moment, I never wanted to see nutella again. I even managed to climb back up into my chair to put out a call to local facebook friends to please PLEASE take some off my hands. But the nausea soon subsided, and the nutella cravings returned.

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Homemade Nutella

I am kind of freaking out at the moment. In a good way. Freaking out because I have a ton of posts lined up, and I want to show them all to you NOW. I sat at my computer this morning, downing coffee and staring at all of my unpublished image folders, contemplating which one to choose. Should I sneak some syrup from one of the three shrubs that are steeping in my pantry at the moment, and photograph it before the season has passed for its star fruit? Or should I snap some pictures of the recently bottled homemade version of everyone’s favorite spicy sauce? They were all so tempting, but this nutella won out in the end. And that’s because there’s a follow-up post. One that involves nutella contained within something. And pumpkin. And maybe also the words “doughnut” and “muffin.” OH YES. Pumpkin fever is upon us, and I’m ready to embrace the madness. So please, join me — let’s loosen our belts, hide our scales, and ready…set…TREATS!

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Orange & Roasted Plum Sorbet

There are questions that plague me on a regular basis. Questions like, “when will the bar in my closet finally collapse under the weight of a thousand dresses, taking out my flimsy shoe rack in the process?” And “how do I manage to do absurdly clumsy things, like wipe out on my bike for no discernible reason, right in front of some young guy who is nice enough to come over and pick up my bike while I hunt around for my shoe?” (That actually happened earlier today…I am the coolest.) But most of all, I wonder if working from home is beginning to take a serious toll on my social skills. These days, I feel like I’m rounding the “six months in” point on this Degradation of Social Skills timeline and approaching “one year in” at breakneck speed. (See the hilarious full comic here.)

To counteract this, I’ve tried actually engaging people in conversation. This started out a bit weird for me, as I have a tendency to, on occasion, misspeak and stumble over words when I’m thinking too much about what I’m saying, emit loud, bizarre giggles when I’ve decided that speaking has failed me, and become overwhelmed by waves of awkwardness, which cause me to turn bright red, sweat profusely, and consider turning and running in the opposite direction. (And while this isn’t something that happens on a daily basis, my limited social interaction combined with my propensity to dwell on the littlest things usually leaves me in a state of thinking, “oh god, that was the worst thing EVER.”) But slowly, it seemed to get easier. Less freakish laughter. Less awkward perspiration. Less neurotic dwelling. And along with feeling a bit more adventurous, socially, I found myself venturing outside of my comfort zone in other areas. Buying things I would normally walk right past and then figuring out what to do with them. And that is how this awesome sorbet came about.

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Crispy Wasp-Stings on Buttered Toast

That’s right! I know some of you are seeing this title in your email/rss feed and thinking, “uh . . . what?” Brace yourselves — things are about to get deliciously silly, because Thursday is Roald Dahl Day!

As many of you surely know, much of Dahl’s writing featured or revolved around food. This, in conjunction with his knack for dreaming up silly, bizarre, and (at times) rather disgusting-sounding dishes, led to the posthumous publishing of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes, compiled by his wife Felicity (and followed later by Even More Revolting Recipes). In the Introduction to the former, Felicity writes, “Treats were an essential part of Roald’s life — never too many, never too few, and always perfectly timed. He made you feel like a king receiving the finest gift in the land.”

I believe that, for me, being a Dahl addict at a young age instilled an early fascination with food as well. Or perhaps brought what was already there to a new level of wonder and silliness. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a sensory overload for my overactive imagination. And to this day, I can still imagine exactly what Bruce Bogtrotter’s chocolate cake would taste like. (This is also the reason why I can never, ever make the recipe for it that appears in RDRR. I contemplated it for a few minutes, but ultimately decided that there was no way anything on earth was going to taste as good as what my little 8-year-old brain had dreamed up.) But these crispy wasp-stings on buttered toast are far better than I’d imagined (and they’re actually quite good, too).

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