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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Chile Relleno Quinoa Bites

So I really wish I could start off this post by telling you about my love of finger foods. And then give some serious props to Laura and her Chile Rellenos Casserole, which — with its two astounding and delicious pounds of cheese — has plagued my thoughts for over a month now. But I can’t. Because before I do anything else, I need to whine. Like a big baby.

Here’s why: This Saturday, fueled by some serious can-do-will-do ambition, I decided it was time for garden prep work. This was especially exciting for me, because this year I have ALL of the garden space to myself, thanks to my new neighbors who happily told me to have at it (yay!). And as I was ripping out weeds and dried-up remnants of tomato plants, I began to notice all of the other things I could clean up. Mainly, the leaves, which were still leftover from the fall. I’m guessing that’s due to the fact that none of us own a rake, which is kind of essential. But I was determined, so I set about clearing a 3′ x 15′ patch from the front of our house. And when I finished, I felt super proud. Hurray me. Then I woke up the next day and tried to walk.

Apparently, clearing a semi-large patch of leaves by hand is the equivalent of doing squat thrusts for 45 minutes straight. It’s two days later, and I’m still in pain. And I can’t decide if I should be proud of my groundskeeping-related aches, or slightly ashamed that two hours of yard work has rendered me an insufferable baby with the mobility of an old arthritic dog. So instead, I’ll just focus on the fact that my lawn is clean, my seedlings are planted, and I got some serious exercise in the process. And now, I’m done whining (thank you for listening!). On to the bites!

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Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno poppers are quite possibly my most favorite appetizer. Deep-fried, cheese-filled spiciness! Yum. One of my jalapeno plants took off late in the season, and I had an exciting number of peppers just waiting to be stuffed and fried.

This was my first attempt at making poppers. I like spicy food, but—for whatever reason—these were a little too intense for me. Both my boyfriend and brother didn’t have a problem eating them, so I pretty much felt like a big wuss. I do think the peppers I used may have been hotter than I anticipated, since I’d let them ripen on the vine for a couple weeks longer than necessary.

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