Blog_MakingLactoFermentedHotSauceFromOverFermentedSalsa_05.22.14_Shannon_1

Do you remember when I made a huge batch of lacto-fermented salsa from on-sale tomatoes? That was over a month ago and this past week I had a half-gallon of the stuff still staring at me from the counter top. Because we don’t have workable refrigeration space on our off-grid homestead, most of my vegetable ferments remain on the counter top until they’re eaten up.

So, this batch had been sitting for about five weeks in 80-100 degree temperatures and you know what? It was still good. I had it in the Fermented Vegetable Master with Ceramic Weights and there wasn’t a lick of mold in sight. The flavor, however, was very tangy and mushy due to the higher temperatures.

We would have eaten it as is, but I thought there might be a better use for it – and I was right. This instantly lacto-fermented hot sauce is delicious!

Here’s how I made it.

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I wanted to capture the benefits of the ferment along with the twang and flavor of the brine. So, I decided I’d try to press the salsa through a fine sieve. You could use a blender to simply blend it all together, but I went with our off-grid option.

It actually worked really well! I used a sturdy ladle and out came the brine with most of the vegetables turning into a puree. Once I had a big bowl of puree/liquid to work with, it was time to flavor and bottle it.

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To a scant pint of this liquid I added about a teaspoon of ground cayenne, a generous pinch of salt, and a good splash of raw apple cider vinegar for extra twang. The result is a fresh, spicy sauce that we immediately used over bean tacos for supper.

I had another quart of the liquid and so I repeated the process. We really like hot sauce on beans, tacos, and rice dishes in our home; so I’m glad to have three pints of fermented goodness to pass around the table now.