So you wanna be the Pope of Chilitown, do you? Grab your wooden spoon and your chili boots, because it’s time to make Chili like Chief Wiggum.
The weather is chilly enough for chili, even here in LA. So why not save some money on the thermostat and make a chili that makes you sweat? In this instance, the chili will be powered by the Merciless Peppers of Quetzalacatenango… grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum.
That’s not entirely accurate. Guatemala is where Chief Wiggum gets his peppers to challenge Homer’s dominance of Springfield’s Annual Chili Cook Off. In the ninth episode of the Simpsons’ eighth season, Wiggum intentionally used the hot pepper to embarrass Homer at the cook off. Homer coats his mouth with wax after drinking a candle and shows Chief Wiggum who’s boss. But I’ll give it to you straight, you’re going to want some beer of your own for this one. Or milk. Or whatever you think will cool that burn.
I write a lot of Simpsons-related recipes at As Eaten, but this one is special. Yes, it is winter. That’s not special. What is special is that for the special ingredient in this one, I went to the shores of Lake Panajachel in the Guatemalan highlands and specifically retrieved the “Insanity Pepper” of Simpsons fame. The locals had actually heard of it and knew the Simpsons episode. Except they call it a horse pepper, a chile caballo, which is classified as a Rocoto Pepper. Rocoto Peppers can be rated for up to 250,000 Scoville heat units, making it one of the top ten hottest peppers in the world.
First, I start with your standard pepper-centric chili recipe, with my standard disclaimer. As in the “Sloppy Jessica” post, I am from Ohio and that’s why I chose Skyline Chili for that sandwich. To me, chili tastes better with cocoa powder and/or cinnamon.
- 2 lbs. juicy ground chuck
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large carrots, sliced into rounds
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 green pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 12 mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 12 to 16 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 small can of tomato paste
OR 1 28 oz can of diced and 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 to 3 Guatemalan Insanity Peppers, depending on how much of a chili wuss you are.
Don’t be surprised if you don’t remember much the next day.