Crafting hot pepper salts as Christmas presents for our nearest and dearest is a pleasant tradition. In 2020, with travel and social gathering bans restricting who we can visit, I cut back to one base recipe. I’m recording it here for my own reference, but I thought you might enjoy a peek at the process. Let me know if you try it.
Gather all the herbs, spices and salts together before you start. If you don’t have a grinder of some sort, you can use pre-ground ingredients in slightly smaller amounts (to adjust for granule size). For grinding I use the pulse function of my trusty Nutribullet. Any blender with a small jar or a coffee grinder could be used instead.
Follow these stages carefully to get the right texture. Some ingredients just need more grinding than others.
Seasoning Salt Base Stage One
- 1 tablespoon dill seed
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
In the small jar of the blender, pulse the dill seed and peppercorns three times. They should be nicely broken. Then add:
- 2 tablespoons Himalayan pink salt, coarse texture
- 2 tablespoons gray sea salt, coarse texture
- 3 tablespoons onion flakes
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
Pulse one to three times. Less is more. It’s easy to overgrind and turn the salt into powder, so be careful not to run the blender too long or pulse too many times.
Seasoning Salt Base Stage Two
Pour the mixture into a large jar to free up the blender so you can grind the herbs. Or if you are using only pre-ground ingredients, just measure and stir everything together.
I use whole, dried herbs from my garden. I prepare each herb before I combine them. Into the emptied blender jar put:
- 1 heaping tablespoon dried parsley sprigs
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves, stripped from the stems
- 1 teaspoon sage sprigs, previously ground. For some reason, sage doesn’t become powder so after pre-grinding it is quite fuzzy. The texture will improve by the end of this stage.
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, stripped from the branches
Pulse grind the four herbs until you’re happy with the texture. To get the size of particle right, imagine how it will look on your food. Add these herbs to the stage one ingredients.
Seasoning Salt Base Stage Three
Stir in, and then shake the jar until well combined:
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 1 cup granulated white sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
This makes about two cups of seasoned salt base. You can stop right here, label the jar as Seasoning Salt and you’re done. Keep a shaker of it close at hand while you’re cooking or on the table during meals. It’s great for spicing up snacks too.
Add the Heat
For this to be a true BushFire Hot Salt, we have to add heat. Jim grows hot peppers. Some are old favourites but every year he tries at least one experimental variety. This year’s trial was Hot Lemon Pepper. It is delightfully lemon yellow and . very . very . hot. Medium hot Sugar Rush Peach is a another great discovery that we intend to grow forever. We found the seeds at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. (They ship free to Canada.)
To 1 cup of seasoning salt base, add 1 teaspoon of dried, powdered Hot Hungarian pepper. Mix well.
To 1 cup of seasoning salt base, add 1 teaspoon of dried, powdered Hot Hungarian pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of dried, powdered Sugar Rush Peach. Mix well.
To 1 cup of seasoning salt base add 2 teaspoons of dried, powdered Sugar Rush Peach and 1 teaspoon of dried, powdered Hot Lemon pepper. Mix well, preferably by shaking it in a glass jar with a lid. Let it settle completely before you open the jar and take care to not breath the dust.