for the last 7 or 8 years, i have worked with chef hugh acheson on his three cookbooks. hugh, a friend & neighbor here in athens, is the owner of many great restaurants, here in athens and elsewhere (there are too many to list!), and he also does great work in our community. over the next few months, we will be sharing a few recipes from hugh, in anticipation of his forthcoming book, The Broad Fork, due out this may. the recipe below came from hugh's second book (or, his in-between book, as i like to say), Pick-a-Pickle...
This recipe was the first baby-step in my fermentation forays. It makes a wonderful
compound butter and is an excellent addition to a gumbo.
Makes 1 quart
- 1 quart pepper pieces (about 2 peppers; cored, seeded, and cut in strips)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon pickling salt
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- Pack the peppers into a clean, dry quart jar, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top.
- Set aside.
- Combine the water and the salt in a saucepan, and bring to a boil to create your brine. Cool to room temperature.
- Pour the brine over the peppers to just cover, still leaving an inch of headspace.
- Top the jar with a square of cheesecloth or paper towel and secure it with an elastic band.
- Set the jar in a dark spot in your kitchen that hovers somewhere between 68° and 70°F and let it do its thing for 5 days, checking daily to remove any white mold that accumulates on top.
- Once the fermentation period has elapsed, remove the cover, skim off any white mold that has developed, and taste a strip of pepper. If it’s to your liking, cap the jar with a regular top and place it in the fridge. The peppers are good for eating for about 7 to 10 days.
words & photographs by rinne allen