While I prefer most of my foods to be plain, or seasoned with, say, basil or thyme, there are a whole lot of people out there who need a bit more spice. Hot sauce is really popular where I'm from, and I've even known a few people to carry small bottles around with them.
I'm starting to come around to loving spicy flavors, but until I do, I've made hot sauce and hot pepper flakes for the boyfriend so he can season his food as he sees fit.
Best of all, it's fermented! So it takes awhile to make, but it lasts forever! Unless you pour it on everything of course...
First up is the actual hot sauce. I found the recipe at Killer Pickles (who, yes actually, has the BEST pickle recipe). I found all of my hot peppers at the farmer's market. It was the end of the season so my particular farmer was selling bags of peppers for $1.
I threw in all of the assorted peppers I was lucky enough to score (plus a few more from the regular market), mustard seeds, and garlic in brine for 4-5 weeks. Then I soaked some sun-dried tomatoes in the brine before blending everything up and pressing through a sieve.
And it's great! Assuming you like hot sauce, of course.
Of course, I can't just throw away all the bits that don't make up the sauce. I saved the seeds and little bits of pepper and, thanks to Phickle, decided to use them as I would hot pepper flakes.
I don't have a dehydrator to make a proper dried spice, but that's okay. I left it as a paste and I stir it into soups and stir-fries where hot sauce would be a little strange.
(Is hot sauce ever strange in foods?)