OK. So, those that know me and have sampled this have asked me for it, and here it is – how to make my “will burn a hole through hell’s floor” chilli mix.
Right, we need to start with the right chilli’s – personally I tend to make it with what’s around – including Habanero – but generally tend to go for the “Naga” for their flavour … although I’ve been known to use “Cherry Bomb”, “Jamaican hot” or “Caribbean Red” when I couldn’t find them, or simply steal some of dad’s “Prairie Fire” hybrids from his garden.
I tend to try and find them dried – makes it easier … if not, then shove them into a pair of clean stockings and hang them from the garage rafter for a month, should dry them out nicely.
Right, once you have your dry pods, time to get crushing – personally, I go at it with a huge mortar and pestle, but I suppose a food processor could work … basically, you want to crush the pods down to nothing but specks of skin and seeds.
I also like to add a little flavour to the mix – so I tend tmix in some dried garlic, aniseed, caraway seeds, Cinnamon Sticks and/or Bay Leaves (usually at a ratio of 1:30 – but to suit your tastes, obviously) as I crush the chilli pods.
Once you’ve crushed your pods (and flavour enhancers), grab a big bottle of brandy and pour it through the mix. No, you didn’t misread that. While any 40%+ spirit will work, I tend to prefer the flavour a brandy or whisky imparts on the mix. Vodka will work just fine though, as what we are wanting here is an agent to leech the Capsicain oil out from the placenta and crushed meat.
Pour the mixture into jars and place them in the back of your pantry for about 3 weeks (or until the brandy has been completely absorbed by the chilli mix).
Now, you’ll need a good olive oil – first harvest cold pressed green olive oil. Pour the olive oil into each jar and seal it, place it upside down in the back of the pantry and let it sit for about 2 weeks. It should be ready by then.
After the two weeks it’s ready – at this stage, you have a choice – use as is, or you can pour the olive oil out from the jar into an oil bottle for the best chilli oil you’ll ever have – simply re-fill the original jar and allow it to re-ferment for another 2 weeks. I have been able repeat this re-fill process for about 6 refills before starting to notice a substantial drop in the heat infusion of the oil.
Word of warning – A small amount of oil is enough for most people – this recipe utilises a “fermenting” process which allows the ability to leach the full extent of the capsaicin from the placenta (the part that holds onto the seeds and the actual source of all that heat!), the brandy leaches it out, then in being reabsorbed by the chilli pieces, the capsaicin is evenly distributed and then slowly re-leached out into the oil in the second stage. This process thus enhances the heat of the chillis used and that means that whatever you use, this mix is deadly! But oh so flavoursome!