Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Voodoo Chili*



Chili-less chili. I know that usually makes about as much sense as a eunuch working as a gigolo, but there’s method in my madness. Not much, but some. The eldest kid can’t handle the really spicy stuff yet, despite my best efforts to toughen him up, and I’m just too damn lazy to decant a portion of onions and mince into a separate pan prior to adding the real heat. The ‘mild’ version I’ve come up with is OK, but it’s not quite there yet, so this is a request for suggestions from the more culinary minded among you.
  
I’ve been experimenting with spices and other stuff with a bit of flavor but a little less kick, because without those it’s basically just a bolognaise sauce with beans. Here’s what I’ve got thus far –

              Cumin
              Cloves
              Paprika powder
              Allspice
              Cinnamon
              Worcestershire Sauce
              Half a cup of coffee
              Mixed herbs
              Pepper, Salt.

I tried a bit of mustard, but short of using the powerful stuff that goes with oden, all the gentler French types we’ve got just get lost. The coffee is a brilliant idea I nicked from somewhere (maybe here, of all places), and it really gives a bit of smoke and depth to things. The cloves and allspice are an attempt to compensate for the lack of heat, and they work pretty well but you need to be careful not to overdo them or you just end up with Jerk Mince.

So where do I go from here? Anything obvious I’m missing? Apart from, well, the obvious? I’ve seen some people recommend adding chocolate, but I think that might just be overly sickly without the compensatory chili heat. Or should I just give it all up as a lost cause and stick with the spaghetti?




*I had a friend who swore blind this is how it was pronounced. Mind you, she also thought the popular Alpine breakfast cereal was called 'moo-ESS-lee'. Takes all sorts.

18 comments:

  1. Cloves seem weird to me. If you wanna make it kiddie-friendly, what about some sweet chilli sauce? Not really the same but it's a gateway to the harder stuff.

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    1. The cloves were there, I stuck them in, they seemed to work. Why not, right?

      I like the idea as sweet chili sauce as a gateway drug. Maybe with some of the Thai stuff and work up from there.

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  2. Sorry, you have to do the two pans or make something else.

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    1. Yeah, I guess I should have had you pegged as a purist. I'm perfectly willing to admit that by this point it is something else. Let's call it "Tasty Mince n' Beans" or something.

      Delete
  3. LOVE THAT SONG!!!!!
    I have a HUGE poster of James M Hendrix hanging right behind my monitor.
    Re: food

    Fight man FIGHT!!!!!!! MAKE IT work.

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    1. Our parents had such fucking cool music, and what do we get? MC Hammer. MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. There's no justice.

      Delete
  4. Try a bit of chili powder and some chocolate.

    (Though it isn't real chili unless you can feel the burn in your Eustachian tubes...)

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    1. True, but I suspect my own pleasure at that burn would be cancelled out by my son's displeasure, and having do deal with the same. Parenthood, it's all about the compromises...

      Delete
  5. I'd actually chop up a real paprika pepper and put it in. You can pick a good-sized one up at most supermarkets around here; don't know about your neck o' the wa, though...

    Coriander might give it a little something nice as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, supermarkets not so big on the more 'exotic' veg orund these parts. We grew our own chilis and piman last year, and it was great not having to rely on dried versions of the former, and being able to let the latter ripen past green. Never thought I'd get homesick about red peppers, but there you go.

      Coriander's a thought but likewise, getting the fresh stuff is tricky and I can never seem to keep the plants alive for more than two weeks.

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  6. And, don't be calling it 'Voodoo' anything unless it gives you a case of raspy asshole the next day...

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  7. Not sure if our definitions of chili are the same, but here's my two cents. I don't make it very hot for the same reasons. Cloves to me are what makes a bean and tomato soup into chili. Not sure why, but they are necessary at the end. I also put the onions, garlic, and peppers in a food processor before cooking, to thicken the broth. I'm not at home right now, so I can't dig up the recipe I use as a base, but maybe later.

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    1. Blend the base, you say? Interesting...

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  8. I admire and envy you that you have so much time for reading and cooking. I used to really enjoy cooking, but have been so time poor lately that I do it only out of necessity. Plus I miss big ovens.

    Also, I may come to regret this, but why not:

    http://momotaroreview.blogspot.jp/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's give that a proper hyperlink, shall we?

      Further Study is Needed

      I had to laugh at the 'so much time' line. Really, I've got no hobbies outside of what you see here. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie all the way through from start to finish. I'll agree on missing big ovens though, absolutely.

      Delete
  9. 'And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire...'
    Johnny Cash

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    1. What with this and Billy's raspy asshole, I'm coming to suspect that there's some sort of Williams Only Proctological Society out there...

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    2. We trade photos, if you're interested in joining...

      Delete