THE CHILI MAVENS

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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concentricsaturdays
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THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby concentricsaturdays » Sun May 05, 2013 6:49 pm

The creation of mind-blowing chili has come up at The Pav on occasion, so I thought it might be nice to have a place to discuss chili recipes, brick & mortar venues, creation techniques and such, pardners.

I'll throw out a few preferences and theories just for starters:

BEANS

I like 'em. I know some don't; the Texas-styled chili being the penultimate example of beanless chili. I see the farting problem of beans has popped up before at The Pav -- but wait! There are ways to reduce the gas phenomena of the dry beans:

1 ) an overnight pre-soak, followed by removing the resulting starchy topping that accumulates in the bowl and a full rinse of those beans. And then ...

2 ) parboiling the beans with a touch of baking soda to soften the dry beans and also reduce the possibility of any further gas emissions

PRE-SOAK OF DRIED BEANS

I'm in favor of additional flavor injected into the dry beans when they are pre-soaked in various beverages, including coffees and beers and ales. Porters and stouts may be preferred.

CUMIN SEED

I think it's "a must" as an ingredient. I grind cumin seed in a coffee mill and add it into the mix.

TOMATOES

I've heard to add them in very near the end of the bubbling / boiling process, as the acidity can taint the complexity of flavors if they're added into the mix too early on. Go with fresh produce tomatoes, never canned.

BAKED SPICES

I have a recipe that calls for baking oregano and other spices in a shallow pan or on a cookie sheet in an oven for about ten minutes and then adding these baked spices into the chili. I've done this and it does indeed create some distinctive flavors.

Other suggestions, Chili Mavens?

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby FrankChurch » Mon May 06, 2013 12:26 pm

Concentric, we have something here in Cincy called chili that we put on hotdogs and pile mounds of shredded cheese on top--always a good thing. We call these coneys, the spaghetti concoction is called a 3-way, if you do not have onions.

Our chili is not really chili but a beef-like, rather wet concoction, with a think cinnamon in the mixture--no beans. Here's one of our corporations that serves the glop:

http://www.goldstarchili.com/

Banana cream milkshake! Yea, I'm on it. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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concentricsaturdays
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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby concentricsaturdays » Wed May 08, 2013 11:51 pm

Checked out some of Gold Star's menu, Frank. The shredded cheddar cheese looks like it's ready to go out on a date with a Chia Pet! High sodium ratings on the 3-way: 1560 mg. Owww!

Gold Star's veggie chili, pumping out a solid 1052 mg. of blood pressure-raising sodium does look pretty in the pic, however. Thanks for the links. There seems something so American about Gold Star, as if a truck stop oasis franchise. But you say the joints are uniquely Cincy in feel factor?

* * * * * * * * * * *

DOWN 'N' DIRTY FROM A CAN NO. 1

My "fast home chili" lately has been pretty down and dirty -- and it still ain't really so fast to whip it up: I've been boiling some poblano and banana peppers in water, using a wooden fork or strainer spoon to pull them out when they're softened. I then add some noodles to that hot water, preferably whole wheat ones made in Italy. I've recently picked up a few bags of Racconto Conchiglie shells to ladle up the savory chili. They're a tad sweet, despite what a buddy sez about whole wheat noodles ("They have no taste.")

I then add the peppers to a can of chili. Yes, that's right. In this case it's a can of Chilli Man Turkey Chili (from Fairibault Minnesota, where a young Marlon Brando once attended school before being expelled). I get that stuff piping hot and dump that over the whole wheat noodles.

HOT SAUCES

This past winter I've been dousing my home chili with the unique Cholula Hot Sauce -- you can spot the bottle on a shelf with its wooden top (Arbol and Piquin peppers) and D.L. Jardine's Texas Champagne. This is a Cayenne pepper sauce that's ... pleasingly zipperotic, ya might say!

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby FrankChurch » Thu May 09, 2013 12:30 pm

Oddly, it never tastes that salty.

The cheese is the all-American orange that would the soul of the staunchest Frenchman.

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concentricsaturdays
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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby concentricsaturdays » Fri May 17, 2013 12:46 am

I've been pursuing a favorite Mexican white cheese lately, but somewhat lazily, Frank. The store where I initially purchased some doesn't appear to carry it anymore, I'm afraid. More info to come regardin' that search.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


CONDIMENTS

I'm going to make and bottle my own Habanero sauce. The recipe will follow soon. I'll be incorporating a bit of chocolate in addition to garlic and cumin. This might rocket the sauce into a kinda mole sauce category fer some folks.

Years ago, I was really impressed with how a sprinkle of fresh lime compliments beef. I may try sprinkling some freshly cut lime on ...

MEATS

Grilled Bison

Well, I'm kickin' off my boots, pulling out my harmonica and watchin' the campfire glow. That'll be be it tonight fer THE CHILI MAVENS.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby FrankChurch » Fri May 17, 2013 9:58 am

Go over the border and the tacos will blow your mind.

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Lori Koonce
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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby Lori Koonce » Fri May 17, 2013 12:07 pm

The only thing I can add to this delicious mix is the recomendation of a few tablespoons o f good dutch processed cocoa powder. It tends to up the rest of the flavors without people exactly being able to tell you why.

Think of the classic mole sauce.

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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby FrankChurch » Fri May 17, 2013 12:34 pm

This is one issue where Texas can wage superior warfare.

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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby concentricsaturdays » Fri May 17, 2013 2:40 pm

This is the product that set me off to making my own Habanero sauce:

http://www.elyucateco.com/english/produ ... il-ik.html

It's rated at 11,600 Scoville heat units, claiming to be an ancient Mayan recipe. To me it's darned tasty, but there's a problem: it's got sodium benzoate in it as a preservative -- allowing this darlin' little bottle outta Mexico via Eagle Pass, Texas to remain on tables and counters at room temperature.

"KEEP IT IN A FRESH AND DRY PLACE" is stated on the label.

If any microbes would even want to reside in that bottle (without the inclusion of sodium benzoate), it would be beyond me. Maybe the buggers have a hankering fer some heat.

Well, I see an empty storage jar around the ranch here. It used to contain Arizona Gunslinger's Mango Habanero all natural salsa, hailing outta Mesa, Arizona. The stuff was very decent, a Christmas gift from my nephew. I've had some mango and pineapple in my salsas before, and I think a fruity sweetness is a pretty nice addition to a salsa, despite the affiliation of tropical islands and such. There's something at play with the sweetness mellowing out the fire a bit, and now I'm gonna take into account what Lori was on to, with her recommendation of dutch cocoa into a hot sauce. It seems this moves us into a mole sauce for the taste buds, and I'm likin' that.

Now I'm a pineapple fan as well ...

So overall I see about an hour's time spread out slowly over this weekend to fire up some habanero hot sauce.

I'll add a touch of finely chopped pineapple and dutch cocoa into the mix near the finale. A few online sources say to add that chocolate or cocoa in towards the end. And I'm gonna be frying those habaneros in grapeseed oil to carmelize the outer areas a bit. A blender will vortex the mix, but I'll be figurin' on some little chunkiness for texture. And then it'll all boil away fer a while and be set out to cool down. I'll try not to get all crazy and add in the kitchen sink. There's always another day fer messin' with complex flavor schemes.

Any other suggestions? I'll be movin' really slow on this concoction, possibly wrapping it up on Sunday night.

* * * * * * * * * *

Oh, by the way pardners, I need to correct a spelling error regarding Chilli Man chili. They are in Faribault, Minnesota. Wouldn't want to get any Northerners angry, now ...

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Lori Koonce
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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby Lori Koonce » Fri May 17, 2013 3:02 pm

Concentric

If ya want to keep it authentic, you may want to consider using mexican chocolate. You can find it in the ethnic section of most supermarkets with the brand name Ibarra. The cinnamon in the chocolate really would enhance the other spices in the mix.

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concentricsaturdays
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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby concentricsaturdays » Fri May 17, 2013 3:56 pm

I'll go right for that if I can find it, Lori. Takin' note.

I once attempted making Harlan's superb Ellison Café Diabolique and found myself, in a pinch, resorting to pulverizing those "Grandma Chocolate Disks" (forgot the name) from a Walgreens. Those disks are rock solid; it was tough work. Harlan turned me on to cardamom back then, as it is a vital ingredient in his unique recipe for that beverage.

Harlan Ellison actually inspired the name of this particular forum, stating somewhat recently that he and Susan were "Chili Mavens." From what I hear, their chilis are awesome!

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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby Moderator » Fri May 17, 2013 4:50 pm

Okay. Combining "hot" and "chocolate" you might check these folks out for ingredients. Good stuff...we tried them out last week and several of their mixes are terrific. (peppery chocolate ice cream was one astonishing treat.) ought to be great in chili.

http://www.kakawachocolates.com/
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby Moderator » Fri May 17, 2013 4:57 pm

Just went to their website and found this page:

http://www.kakawachocolates.com/chili-chocolates.php
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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concentricsaturdays
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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby concentricsaturdays » Fri May 17, 2013 6:26 pm

KAKAWA CHOCOLATE HOUSE

An excellent resource, Steve. This Chili Maven experience is definitely journeying though Mexico to the Mayan culture. Robert Silverberg could be here filling us in on some Lost Civilization historicals! Har!

I'm intrigued by the Chile d'arbols. The Arbol chile pepper is in Cholula hot sauce.

Agave is more than mind blowin', and I can attest to that. I've picked up some agave nectar and used it as a sweetener every once in a while on peanut butter sandwiches.

Steve, you and Cris have a chili recipe or two up your collective sleeves, if I reckon correctly ...

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Re: THE CHILI MAVENS

Postby Moderator » Fri May 17, 2013 6:28 pm

concentricsaturdays wrote:KAKAWA CHOCOLATE HOUSE

An excellent resource, Steve. This Chili Maven experience is definitely journeying though Mexico to the Mayan culture. Robert Silverberg could be here filling us in on some Lost Civilization historicals! Har!

I'm intrigued by the Chile d'arbols. The Arbol chile pepper is in Cholula hot sauce.

Agave is more than mind blowin', and I can attest to that. I've picked up some agave nectar and used it as a sweetener every once in a while on peanut butter sandwiches.

Steve, you and Cris have a chili recipe or two up your collective sleeves, if I reckon correctly ...


We do, but I'll have to search for it. It's rather spicy and thinner than most. Let me see if I can track that baby down.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.


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