- Rosemary Chile Vinegar
- Oregano-Garlic Green Chile Vinegar
- Asian Chile Oil
- Sichuan Ginger Oil
- Piri Piri Oil
By Dave DeWitt and Paul W. Bosland
Excerpted from The Complete Chile Pepper Book
Chile vinegars are a great way of utilizing some of the chiles that are left after drying, freezing, and pickling your crop. Use these flavored vinegars for marinades, with oil for salad dressings, or to deglaze pans. We have included a couple of recipes, but use your imagination in combining your favorite herbs with chiles and vinegar, using the basic instructions as a guideline.
This is probably the easiest way to put up chiles. Simply pack the chiles and herbs in sterilized jars and cover with the vinegar. Place the jars in a cool, dark place and leave undisturbed for three to four weeks. Strain the mixture. You may speed up the process by heating the vinegar and pouring it over the herbs, which have been chopped and crushed. Let the mixture steep for a couple of days before straining and re bottling.
Any of the preceding vinegar recipes can also be used to make flavored oils. Be aware that fresh herbs will cloud the oil as they break down, so remove them as soon as the flavor has developed. Basil is the worst offender and will turn black in the oil. If using garlic, thread the cloves on wooden skewers because if a fuzzy haze develops around them, they need to be removed and removing a skewer is easier than removing individual cloves. Do not attempt to preserve fresh chiles or any of the other ingredients in oil as there is a risk that the jars will develop botulism.
- In jars, cover the chiles, rosemary, and garlic with the vinegar and cover. Place the jars in a cool, dark place and leave the bottles undisturbed for three to four weeks. Strain, pour into clean, sterilized bottles, and label them.
- 1 cup fresh oregano leaves
- 10 cloves peeled garlic, whole cloves
- 2 each fresh green chiles such as serrano or Thai, cut in half length-wise
- 1 quart white vinegar
- Cover the oregano, garlic, and chiles with the vinegar in a large jar. Store in a cool, dark spot and leave the bottles undisturbed for three to four weeks. Strain and pour into clean, sterilized jars.
- In a pan, heat the oil to 350 degrees, remove from the heat, and add the chiles.
- Cover the pan and let stand for 12 to 24 hours (the longer it steeps, the hotter the oil). Strain the oil into clean, sterilized jars or bottles.
- Tie a few dried chiles to the jars for decoration.
- 2 cups vegetable oil, peanut preferred
- 1 2" piece fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 3" stick cinnamon
- 4 each small dried red chiles, such as piquin, Thai, or cayenne
- 1 tsp lightly crushed Sichuan peppercorns
- Heat the oil to 350 degree in a saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the remaining ingredients, and let the oil cool.
- Cover the pan and let stand for 12 to 24 hours (the longer it steeps, the hotter the oil). Strain the oil and pour in clean, sterilized jars.
This interesting sauce is the Caribbean oil-based variation on the African sauce from Angola, which was transferred to the region by Portuguese immigrants working the cacao plantations in Trinidad and Guyana. Use it to spice up soups and fried fish. Pimento leaves are traditionally used in this recipe, but they are hard to find. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
- 3 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 2 each habanero chiles, cut in half
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 each bay leaves
- Combine all ingredients in a jar and seal tightly. Place in the refrigerator and let steep for 2 weeks. Remove the top and stir every 2 or days. The longer it steeps, the hotter the sauce will become. Remove the chiles when the heat level is correct.