Been some years, and as I tried to explain to my buddy, I don’t have a recipe. Meat, peppers, onion, garlic, seasoning, and the secret ingredient, Chorizo.
Think this one was three firm green tomatoes, half-dozen mild winter jalapeños, two hot Serrano peppers, two organic bell peppers, some ground meat, some meat I cubed, and toss all into a pot. Wait a few hours.
Was aiming for my brand of walmarts chili, which I haven’t made in some time, but I didn’t get around to it. Traffic was too much to get the store. Just took a shot with what I had. Sea salt, cayenne, some mixture of unknown stuff?
The one great secret I didn’t include? Brown sugar. Or, more to form here, piloncillo, a small chunk off of a sugar cone. Old trick used to work really well, just a spoonful of brown sugar to sweeten the pot, so to write. With the hotter peppers, the sugar slows the burn until — that original chili chef (Scorpio) claimed it slowed the burn until those peppers kicked in like afterburners.
This batch? All worked. Wasn’t as hot as I like it , but my buddy was begging for something that was less fiery.
No habanero —
More’s the pity. C’est la vie.
Most seen here — Road Kill Chili.
The chili recipe is important as there is no recipe. It’s a matter of gauging the size of the chili pot, then seeing what looks good at the time. While I love to include anaheim and poblano peppers? Didn’t look right this time, and the green tomatoes were far more appealing, and certainly firm enough, to work quite well.
Chili — my kind of chili making — is a lot like the way I approach my day job, reading charts. There is no recipe. There is no one firm and guiding principle. Some astrologers are so versed in just one “recipe” — that’s all they know.
Like my chili, I tend to be a generalist and I favor a format that doesn’t have rigid guidelines of specific interpretations, as humanity, much like what’s available at the store for making chili, can vary from day to day.
There’s also a taste-test factor. I picked up a half-dozen fat, succulent, juicy winter jalapeños for the chili. As I was slicing them, I popped a thin sliver into my mouth. Tasted like jalapeño and not a lot of heat. Perfect. Then I tested the Serrano, and it was still summer-drought hot.
Peppers develop more character (heat) if those peppers are mistreated, and drought, summer sun, endless questions, nagging, all of that makes the peppers meaner. Hotter.
Peppers that are always told that their mother dresses them funny? Them’s the hot ones. Peppers like that are downright ornery.
The jalapeño were not that hot, probably raised in a greenhouse, and had plenty of love and water. Those Serrano’s? Yeah, mean farmer, be my guess. Only used two of them, in this pot. While I’m not one who is afraid of the wash and flush of a pepper-induced rush, I was asked, politely enough, not to make it too hot this time.
The term Roadkill Chili was originally a title christened by friends in other places. Think we used some venison in that version, along with whatever it was, and my buddy termed it Roadkill Chili.
While title is poetic and certainly has a ring to it, realistically? No roadkill was used in this stuff.
The appellation stuck, though, and methodology, same one I’ve been using for years, just gather what looks best that day, with no real eye on specific contents.
Like my astrology chart readings. Each one is a little different because there’s no real recipe for what’s most important.
If one follows a recipe, the results are predictably the same, every time.