03 December 2012
Lemon Drop Hot Sauce
This year in the garden, we grew a hot pepper called a lemon drop pepper. The plant originated in Peru and bears a Scoville rating of 15,000-30,000, making it pretty hot. It grew in abundance on short, bushy stalks and true to its name, it does have a pronounced lemony hit.
It seemed to be the perfect pepper for a sauce, so I gathered a basket and stet out to make a hot sauce. I ground the peppers with salt to make a fermentable mash. Then, I got called to D.C. What's a girl to do?
I loaded up my fermenting mash and brought it along. Now, it is altogether possible that I could have let my pepper mash ferment while I was gone, but I didn't want to come home to a growing blob. In D. C., I partook of a ritual that in unknown here in rolling hills of West Virginia; I went grocery shopping at drug store. I got a quart of vinegar at the CVS and began the second fermenting phase of hot sauce making -- adding the vinegar.
I packed up my now, still fermenting, vinegary hot sauce and headed home, frankly quite worried that if the car were to wreck, my mangled body would be bathed in hot lemon drop pepper sauce! We survived the trip and the sauce was strained and bottled.
Most recipes call for the fermented peppers to be discarded after the straining, but I just couldn't bear to toss out that lemony mass of ground peppers. I tucked them in a nice jar, covered them with olive oil and stored them in the refrigerator. The ground pepper have been a delight. They get tossed into soups and stews, spicy marinades and even vinaigrettes. But really, a little dabble do ya, as the mash is hot.
If you are looking for a hot pepper to sow this spring, I highly recommend the Lemon Drop.