Tag Archives: soup

Guatemalan Insanity Pepper Chili | “The Simpsons”

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.

I got mine just for the occasion.

I got mine just for the occasion.

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.

 

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This is what it’s like to hold one.

 

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.

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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.

Now let's eat some of them.

Now let’s eat some of them.

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.

Ingredients: 

  • 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

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  • 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.
Lightly brown the ground beef. Lightly sear the peppers. Remove the beef and pepper from the grill. Remove the beef from the skewers and put them into a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker juice and all.
Chop all the vegetables, starting with the carrots and celery, then add them to the slow cooker. Then add the spices. Turn on the slow cooker to low. Then add the garlic. This is where we add the peppers. How you want to add them is up to you. Some cut them up like other vegetables, others will add them whole or half. I did a little of both.
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Wearing gloves and using a non-porous surface like a plastic or glass cutting board, remove the top of the insanity pepper(s) and split it open.  You can remove the seeds and membranes to cut down on the heat, or you can leave them in. Mince the pepper and add that to the slow cooker. Please wear gloves. You won’t be able to touch your eyes, nose, mouth, dogs, or loved ones for a week or so afterward if you don’t.
Guess why.

Guess why.

Add the tomatoes, stir well.
Let the chili cook for 6 hours on high, or 8 to 12 hours on low, stirring every once in a while. It’s finished when the carrots are tender. If you want to use the stovetop (as I did), you can set it to simmer on low for 3-5 hours.
In your face, Space Coyote!

In your face, Space Coyote!

Serve with some bread, a bit of sour cream or cheese. Or all three.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t remember much the next day.

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Minestrone Soup | “Moonstruck”

by Blake

New York in the 80’s seems to be like the New York of today, except a little dirtier, more Italians, and fewer minorities. Personally, I feel as though Hollywood just doesn’t make old Italian people like they used to. In fact, this movie is like a celebration of Italian New York, complete with food, from start to finish. The movie even opens with Dean Martin’s That’s Amorewhich you have definitely heard. My actual favorite food seen in the film was the Egg-In-The-Hole being made by the best Greek-playing-Italian Olympia Dukakis, but is really too simple to require a recipe, right?

breakfast

Awesome.

Cher is Loretta Castorini, a 37-year-old widow who looks 26 (even with gray hair) because Cher ages backward, very very slowly and who lives with her parents in an area of Brooklyn with no cars and no minorities. Her fiancé, Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello) flies to Sicily right after proposing to Loretta in a restaurant.  But he wants his angry, estranged brother Ronny Cammareri (Nic Cage, who appears to work as a coal shoveler at Cammareri Brothers Bakery in Brooklyn) to attend, and asks Loretta to get him there while he’s away.

The scene where Cher goes to the bakery to convince Ronny to come to the wedding contains what might be the first over-the-top Nic Cage speech scene in film history, a harbinger of the Nic Cage to come, the Nic Cage we all know and love. I would have checked, but it’s been a long time since I saw Raising Arizona and we all know what happens when you watch too many Nic Cage films.

So, Spoiler Alert: How awesome would it be for a strange woman to show up at your job, tell you she’s marrying your brother and then cook you a medium rare steak? Beautiful Cher is having dinner with Raising Arizona Nicolas Cage. And it becomes exactly the kind of relationship beginning you’d expect from a Nic Cage baker character with a wooden hand. After not nearly enough scotch to make me believe Ronny could just get a woman like Cher into bed after a steak and conversation, especially when she’s marrying his brother, I had to tweet my assertion to the world:

No way does Cher (seen here):

Cher

Fall for Raising Arizona-level Nic Cage:

Cage

Cher tweeted back at me, which was awesome. Then her fans started to, which was overwhelming. They’re pretty big fans of Nic Cage in this movie. So you decide the feasibility of this romance. In my opinion, it must have been one hell of a moon that night.

And it was. The day after Loretta meets Ronny, she’s doing her rounds as a bookkeeper at her uncle’s deli, where he asks her about the moon. The moon got into everyone the night before, apparently. As she goes, her uncle, walking off, yells to the back: “Hey Frankie! Make me a bowl of Minestrone!” Minestrone is what you eat when you’re in love.

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Or when you’re having dinner with Frasier’s dad.

So let’s start this soup which celebrates love, Minestrone is not going to choke a pig, but its a great way to start a meal that could.
Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup carrots, scrubbed, 1/4-inch dice
1 cup onions, 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup celery, minced
chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 quart water
1 cup plum tomatoes, diced
8 ounces fresh pasta
1 cup zucchini, diced and blanched
1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach
Fresh cracked pepper

Garnish
Grated cheese (such as Parmesan or Romano)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, torn into little scraps

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I grow my own basil, and so should everyone else.

 

* If you don’t have white wine on hand, chicken or vegetable stock will do in a pinch!

Instructions

• In a large saucepan, heat olive oil for 1 minute on medium-high.

• Add  carrots and sauté for 1 minute.

• Add the onions and sauté for 1 additional minute before adding the garlic, celery, and rosemary.

• Sauté this mixture for 5 minutes, or until the ingredients are caramelized.

• Add the white wine and bay leaf, bring to a boil, and add the water and tomatoes.

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• Bring to a boil, add the pasta, decrease the heat to low, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.

• Remove the pan from the heat, fish out the bay leaf, and swirl in the zucchini and spinach.

• Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

• Call Frasier’s Dad out for being too old to sleep with college girls and/or enjoy the zest love brought to your life.

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FYI – Cammareri Brothers bakery at Henry and Sackett Streets in Brooklyn still open!

 

 

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