Have you ever used the green chilies that come in a little can? They are amazing! They add great flavor to Southwestern food. When you add them to tortilla soup, taco soup etc. they take it from good to great. They're also delicious diced in scrambled eggs, an omelet or frittata. But who wants to buy them in a can? Now you can make your own delicious chiles.
Lacto-Fermented Green Chiles
1. Heat oven to broil.
2. Wash, dry and remove core from the peppers. Cut in half and then each half in half. You should have 4 pieces from each chile.
3. Place peppers skin side up, on a cookie sheet and place in the heated oven.
4. When the pepper skin is charred, remove the peppers from the oven.
5. Place peppers in a paper bag to steam for 10 minutes. This will help in removing the skin.
6. Pull the skin off of each piece of pepper and place peppers in an appropriate size glass canning jar.
7. Cover the peppers with a brine solution, leaving 1 inch of headspace. You'll need to weigh them down with something like this.
8. Put an airtight lid on the jar.
9. Place the jar on the counter with a plate under it, at room temperature. You'll need to burp the jar twice a day to release pressure. To do this, slightly loosen the lid to let off gas and re-tighten.
10. The peppers tend to get oxygen pockets between the layers. Once a day slide a knife down the side to release as many pockets as you are able to.
10. Ferment for 3 to 5 days, or until they are the flavor and texture you desire. Peppers will ferment a bit faster in the summer than in the winter.
11. Store in the refrigerator for up to a year.
The amount of salt is personal preference in the given range in the recipe. If too little salt is used, it will not discourage the growth of mold. However, if too much salt is used, it can prevent fermentation from occurring. Salt within the given range of 1 1/2- 2 1/4 tsp. per cup of non-chlorinated water will keep your brine in a healthy range; the amount used within that range is personal preference. This may take a bit of trial and error to figure out how much salt you prefer. I generally use towards the higher range of salt with peppers.
If you have any trouble with your fermentations, you can add up to 1 Tbsp. whey, or juice from a previous ferment, per cup of non-chlorinated water, as a starter.
For more information on fermentation, read these links under food based probiotics.