Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nearly Maced Myself

...In the kitchen. While cooking.

My nephew showed up this morning with The Gift Of Vegetables. (This is the guy who painted my house; he was asked for an estimate by a neighbor, whose house he ended up painting, and he was down to do another estimate for another neighbor: good work is its own best advertisment!)

Among the bounty (which included The Squash, photo possibly to follow), a number of tiny, hot bright-red peppers.

I decided to make Cincy-Tex chili; this is a spicy, fragrant, beanless treat with good beef (stew beef from Fresh Market), onion, and three kinds of tomatoes: fresh, diced-canned (Italian imports!) and crushed-canned. And, of course, the hot peppers.

Got the beef goin', with some chili powder (can't find my cumin!), added the onion and a couple of big, red vice vine-ripened tomatoes, cut in chunks; diced one hot pepper, tossed it in and thought to saute a few more, to mild 'em up before adding.

Het up a little skillet with some oil, chopped 'em and tossed 'em in. They did not go quietly. About a minute in and thirty seconds to go, I took a deep breath -- and started coughing. Eyes not-quite burning but holy cow! Opened up a window and started a fan to help the exhaust and it was still strong enough to catch Tam a good one when she wandered in a few minutes later.

I only added about half the peppers to the chili, along with the canned tomatoes and Various Spices* and let it simmer for a half hour. Umm-mm, good! And not even Tam went after the reserve hot peppers, either.

We both qualified for the Clean Plate Club. But I've gotta tell you, for a few minutes there, I was wondering -- I could not catch my breath when the hot peppers heated up! Afterwards, they still had bite but weren't harsh or overwhelming.
* Some black pepper in the pan with a very little oil, at the start; let it heat up, salt the stew meat a little and cut it up small. Then add some chili powder as it browns. With the canned tomatoes, some more chili powder, tarragon, garlic, paprika, ground nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon. Yep, nutmeg and cinnamon. You won't regret it. I'd tell you how much of each to add if I could -- I go by smell and, as it simmers, taste.


Divemedic said...

What I do is throw in a pinch of brown sugar. It removes some of the heat of the peppers, so you can taste them without being overwhelmed by the heat.

Anonymous said...

Now is the time for the Dance of the Vegetables!

Shootin' Buddy

Ken said...

...and with vice-ripened tomatoes, that oughta be some dance.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

BGMiller said...

And that right there is why I have a strick rule against allowing peppers as an option on omelet days at work. The omelet station was an after thought and lacks any real ventilation. As such any saute'ing of peppers leads to the whole cafe being gassed.

The sheep have learned that this rule will not be bent under any circumstances.

God(s) I love being a tyrant.


Drang said...

Solution: Bobbi, in the kitchen, with super-peppers.

WV: cloje. Should've been "clUje"...

Loki1776 said...

Yesterday I made chili and could find cumin but not chili powder. I think it's spice gnomes. They're closely related to the ammo gnomes Tam worries about unloading her carry gun during the night.