Ingredients 3/4 pound fresh chile peppers 1/4 ounce sea salt 4 garlic cloves Vinegar (optional)
Trim the stems from the peppers. If they don’t pull off easily, I like to leave the little green caps on the peppers (but still remove the long stems). The caps impart a subtle, earthy perfume to the final sauce.
Combine the peppers, salt, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse mash. (You can also mince the peppers by hand, but I find that a food processor extracts more liquid from the pods.)
Pour the pepper mash (and all the liquid) into a quart jar. Tamp down with a spoon or rubber spatula to expel more liquid from the bits and pieces, and cover the jar with a lid.
You want to allow the fermentation gases to escape, so don’t seal it tightly — I simply leave a canning lid on (without the band) to keep out dust and pests. (A kitchen towel or several layers of cheesecloth also works to cover the jar.)