Chile Mash!

Happiness is the August arrival of chiles from The Hatch Chile Store in New Mexico. Usually I order “Big Jim” Hatch Chiles for fire roasting on the charcoal grill. This year I ordered five pounds of “Lumbre X-Hot” Hatch Chiles for pureeing into a pepper mash.

Chile - 1To the left of the Hatch chiles are various chiles including sweet, red serrano and padron chiles, most from my garden. The chiles are washed, dried, then chopped and put in a food processor. They are pureed into a mash. At this point I do not remove the seeds. I wear eye, nose/mouth, and skin protection for this part of the process. These chiles are hot! After processing the mash is weighed. This batch weighed 2,053 grams. I added 4% pickling salt by weight (82.12g). The salt will create a brine by drawing out the natural moisture in the chiles.

Chile - 2 The mash was stored overnight in a 1/2 gallon mason jar with a Pickle Pipe that allowed extra brine to drain onto the plate.

Chile - 3 Chile - 4 The next morning the mash and brine were placed inside my Korean kimchi fermenting container. As you can see in the first picture just above, there is an internal lid that seals in the pepper mash with a hole to release brine. The pepper mash will be watched daily for about a week. After that it will ferment for several months.