It is getting colder out here in New England, so it was bound to happen. Something was going to go awry other than my toe, and most likely, we hope, in my kitchen instead. It was only a matter of time.
(Toe, by the by – went to a wedding last Sunday, and has been carefully shoved into a sneaker again. So it hurts less than it did, but wearing shoes feels like torture. We continue to heal.)
But yes. Soup.
The idea was that I was going to cobble together a new recipe for Corn and Potato chowder. I lost my original recipe but could kind of remember it? So off I went looking at other chowder recipes to see if any of them either offered inspiration or seemed close. I found a couple that seemed pretty close but weren’t quite it so what follows is an… adventure. Lets say.
For this we used:
1/2 pound of bacon, baked – reserving fat
Sautee until soft – in generous helping of rendered bacon fat:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
5 large carrots, sliced
6 large yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1 box of vegetable broth
1 small can mexicorn
1 standard size can of cream corn
Simmer – um… until all the things are soft and murgled together and the vegetables start to break down.
Taste, add salt and pepper. Taste.
Add a cautious sprinkling of season all.
AND THIS IS WHERE IT WENT HORRIBLY WRONG
Now, one of the many chowder recipes I looked at said to toss in a can of GREEN chiles. GREEN.Self. Do you see that? See what that other recipe called for? GREEN CHILES? Well. Guess what you bought. Guess what is absolutely NOT green chiles? Thats right. That innocent looking of can of fire above this paragraph? NOT green chile. This is why we cannot have nice things. This is why you do not rush through this part of the grocery store all.. happy go lucky like a bull in a china shop. No. NO.
This is also why you listen to your gut that says – “You know? I think two of these chopped will be ok.. or maybe not even chopped, maybe you just throw two of them whole and freeze the rest.” or that nagging thing in my head that suggested perhaps a seeded jalapeno instead of a can of chiles I am unfamiliar with when I was standing in the produce section of an unfamiliar store looking for garlic.
I keep telling my husband that I really need to listen to my instincts more often. But then … I mean. We wouldn’t have stories about soup handing my own ass to me, would we.
So yes. We roughly chopped the peppers we fished out of this can.
We threw them in.
We wandered off.
We returned and added:
2 cups half and half. (did you know that FAT spreads all that peppery spicy hell juice all over? Yeah.)
1 cup of mexican blend shredded cheese
-takes a breath, steels self….. Oh, you distracted twit, you have no idea what is about to happen to you….-
Gasp and cough, look at pot of soup horrified. Immediately search interwebs for some kind of remedy.
Add: The rest of the half and half – on recommendation that DAIRY WILL KILL IT.
Taste. Note that this is not a flavor. It is only burning hot lava and that sinus’ you did not know you had or that they were clogged are now clear.
Add: Two heaping spoonfuls of brown sugar.
Happily note that while it is still burning and lava like, you can now taste the sweetness of the corn a little.
Add: Two tablespoons of Lemon Juice – On the recommendation that acid might help.
Taste. – Note that it seems less burny, but is not less burny by much. Add another two cups of the cheese you were saving for shepherds pie later in the week. Sheepishly inform husband that cheese will have to be procured for said shepherds pie.
Taste – Soup seems much less burny for some reason. Realize TOMORROW that it is less burny because you killed your taste buds and desensitized yourself with the amount of capsaicin you have been rolling in your mouth for the last hour.
The soup actually is really, really tasty – its just too damned hot and painful.It is in separated containers in the freezer – waiting for me to make other chowders so that it can be added to THOSE. Now – Husband, who really enjoys super hot things, was sweating and enjoying the soup, and said that it was too hot for him but not so hot that he could stop eating the bowl he had in his hand.
He and his friends are the type of guys that sit there crying and sweating when they eat our mutual friends ghost pepper wings…. And they LIKE it.
So. Thats some perspective.
In the end, I would recommend making the soup… just maybe use one of these peppers at a time until you get the heat you want. (Oh – and if you managed to keep bacon snatchers at bay … crumble generously on top when serving.)