Saturday, February 12, 2011

Some Like It Hot

This food monkey has gone undercover to create a wicked hot habanero chili powder as gifts for the pepper grower and also mi padre.

The B-in-law sent a four finger bag of habanero peppers and seeds. This stuff was so potent that I had to let the blender sit unopened for five minutes each time, before I could open the lid and stir. I had to wear a scarf around my nose and mouth,glasses and of course gloves. And I STILL sneezed and coughed forever.

A couple of quick thoughts while making this chili powder blend; I can't believe how many peppers it takes to make a small amount of powder. I can't believe I never thought about doing this before because it is super fun and right up my alley! I don't see saving much money, if any, by making your own. But its SO cool to add your own mix and play around with the different peppers and honestly the difference in taste and level of flavor is indescribable!

The mix: I'm using what I feel would be good as a rub, or in a soup and in chili. Good, that is, if you enjoy painful movements, rectal bleeding and profuse sweating, like my dad. Habenero (the whole pepper, seeds and all!), cayenne, ancho, new mexican chiles, garlic, mexican oregano, spanish paprika, dried cilantro and lots of toasted whole cumin seeds.

Let's talk Mexican oregano a second: for me, just as important as the cumin in a lot of mexican dishes. It is way less sweet but its strong and has a lemony scent. It is a completely different plant then the greek version, not a mint at all. Its hard to find it in New York unless you hit the gourmet shops. They even carry dried cilantro. I finally found it at The Green Grape on my corner. I haven't gone there out of protest because everyone says how wonderful it is and I thought it was a lot of pretentious hippety-hoo-haa, but you you know they have great stuff and exactly what I had been searching for all day so I should just shut my mouth and enjoy them being so close. I had to brave Sahadi's for the whole cumin earlier that day too. I wanted to make sure it was fresh and not sitting on the store shelf for 2 years. When it was toasting I wanted to really smell it, and I did.

Since I had the blender running and all the spices out, I went ahead and made a little chipotle blend for myself and a lighter version of the devil dust.

I saved just enough of the good stuff to add to my Holiday Pork Pozole that I'm making this weekend.

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