Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Southwestern Gastronomic Odyssey, Scene One: Satan’s Ketchup

To build most things, you need a foundation. And maybe a wheel barrow and some duct tape.

Today we’re going to build the foundation of your chili: chili paste. I’ve dubbed it Satan’s Ketchup (trademarked, patent pending). Chili paste is much like tomato paste, but completely different in every way. Here’s what you’ll need:

• A pot. (Not to be confused with some pot.)
• A stove top
• A blender
• A quart of beef stock
• A cold beer in your hand with several more on deck.
• Leg warmers
• A variety of dehydrated chilies. Use what you can find at the local grocer. The pic above shows a good variety that are pretty mild. (Obviously, Sen. Harry Reid was in the pepper naming business before politics.) The Chipotles are a must. And I threw in a few habaneros for extra fun.

Do not use fresh peppers for Satan’s Ketchup. Why, you ask? Because fresh peppers contain a lot of water, and we don’t want that. Also, do not question my methods ever again.

Step 1:
Put leg warmers on (should not go above knee) and a crack a cold beer.

Step 2:
Pour beef stock into a pot and turn stove on low.

Step 3:
This is muy importante:
Break each pepper up so you can separate and discard the stems and seeds. Chances are, you’ve had good practice at this. Use scissors or some nunchucks to rip the chilies open if you have to. Place pieces of pepper flesh into the broth. We now have what we’ll call Lucifer’s Potpourri (trademarked, patent pending).

This is even more muy importante:
After handling these chili peppers, do not handle genitals - especially your own. Trust me on that. Don’t rub your eyes or pick your nose either. That’s just bad kitchen etiquette.

Step 4:
Cover and simmer pepper bits in broth on low for at least an hour, stirring occasionally and drinking beer continually. If you leave this stuff uncovered, your broth will evaporate, the peppers will burn and you’ll be totally F’ed in the A.

Step 5:
Let Lucifer’s Potpourri cool. Pour in blender. Cover. Blend it like you mean it. You don’t want chunks of pepper skin all up in your foundation now, do you? Do you? No, you do not.

Safety First: If you do not let this stuff cool, and fill your blender with hot potpourri, there's a good chance it will expand and explode when blended. That would suck for you, but could be humorous to others.

The final product should have the consistency of ketchup and the angry disposition of Satan. It should look like a bowl of poo. Make your own joke here about how the start of this chili looks, ultimately, like the finish. That type of potty humor is beneath me.

Give it a small taste. It should be strong, kinda bitter, smokey, and not too terribly spicy. It will also be quite Earthy. That's ok, Grasshopper. the flavors will balance out later. Satan's Ketchup should produce a burn, but not a painful one. It should feel like a kiss from Beelzebub. Try a heaping spoonful if you want to totally make out with him.

Go ahead and freeze this stuff. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to The Chili Odyssey, Scene Two: Nice to Meat You.

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