The Hatch Chile !!!
This unique chile may have a very short window of harvesting starting in August and finishing late September and its worth it.
There is quite some controversy about retailers and distributors naming other varieties “Hatch” due to the exclusivity of the crop, so if you find them in the markets outside of the season, they are most likely imposters.
On a health note, some of the compounds in chiles have been studied about the interesting responses to our bodies and our minds.
Outside of being tasty, chiles have been used for a variety of things ranging from toothaches to shark repellent.
Although I don’t think its a good method for shark repellent, these chiles do taste great and do offer a flavor slightly different from other chiles.
So here is a recipe for some hot sauce I cooked up the other day.
- Roast the chiles in on oven or on a grill until blistered
- Cool the chiles, peel off the blistered skin and chop into large pieces
- In a small pot on medium heat sweat onion and garlic in the coconut oil just until they begin to caramelize
- Add the chiles, spices, vinegar, and water
- Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes
- Set aside and allow to cool
- When cooled add to your blender the chiles, salt and honey, blend until smooth
- Adjust seasoning and store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator
Bubbly, tangy, delicious kombucha. If you are not familiar with this beverage, start your exploration here at Kombucha Kamp. If you are familiar with the beverage then welcome back.
This is a short tutorial on the process of brewing and flavoring this beverage based on my experience and explorations of recipes. Its very easy to do and once you get started its easy to keep the momentum.
If you are like me, then you will be skeptical about the sugar content. I consider myself to be quite sensitive to sugar and smaller servings of kombucha ( 6- 8 fl oz’s) does not affect me the way other sugar containing foods do, which to my understanding has to do with the sugar being food for the bacteria and yeast creating a crisp and clean end product. I have tried to use different types of sugar for this operation and nothing compares to the classic organic unbleached cane sugar. Im not sure why, but after failing multiple times experimenting with other options I have quit trying to change a good thing.
Next is the vessel to brew your elixir. I use a gallon Anchor jar, it has a wide mouth, it is sturdy, very affordable and you can buy it on amazon. Cheese cloth will be needed to cover the jar allowing air to flow through so the bacteria can breathe while keeping dust, small insects and bugs from contaminating the brew.
The SCOBY, which is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, is what makes kombucha what it is. You can buy a scoby from Kombucha Kamp or as I recently have done, you can grow your own from a bottle of store bought unflavored raw kombucha. If you want to try to grow you own let me know and I will create another tutorial on that process.
Tea is used as the base of the brew and a green or black tea is the most common. I personally enjoy the flavor of earl grey which is a black tea infused with essential oil from orange. I have used others for the base such as oolong so its just a personal preference.
Tools/ equipment needed
16 oz raw unflavored kombucha ( as starter)
1 scoby ( it will vary in size)
Brew your chosen tea (steeping for five minutes)
Strain tea into your anchor jar
add sugar and allow it to completely dissolve
fill the vessel with water leaving room for kombucha starter and scoby ( about 3 inches from the top)
Allow to cool to room temperature ( Very Important)
add starter kombucha and scoby
cover with cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band
It will take 7-12 days for the kombucha to mature for the first brew. I recommend tasting it at 7 days and based on your flavor preference harvesting or continuing to brew longer. Shorter brew will yield a sweeter beverage, longer brew a more tart beverage. My preference is 10 days. During this time you will notice a new scoby forming on top of the brew. This is perfect and referred to as the baby, and sure enough the original scoby used is the Mother.
You will need jars or bottles to store your finished brew so find your favorite shape and size and go from there making sure they are very clean before transferring the kombucha. Remove the baby scoby and mother from the vessel and set aside in a clean bowl along with 16 oz of the brew for the next batches’ starter. Bottling is the next step as is the option to flavor your brew. See the options below for flavoring. You also have the option to continue fermenting which I usually do for another two days after bottling and flavoring the kombucha which will greaten the effervescence or the option to go straight into refrigeration. At this stage it is ready to drink but I find as it matures for another few days the flavor is much better.
Flavoring options per 24 oz bottle
2 oz lemon juice, 1 oz ginger juice
2 oz lemon juice, 4 oz grapefruit juice
Get creative and try your own