Happy Mutants food and drink topic (Part 1)


The chocolate really takes it up a notch (or two, or twenty), and would be historically accurate!

FWIW, I usually use dark brown sugar in my chili, and I make sure to use different beans (they each have slightly different nutritional profiles). A lot of food manufacturers make a canned mix of pinto, black, and red beans which is perfect.


Oh, and, FWIW: I serve my chili over rice. My (grown) kids have started questioning me about it, because apparently nowhere in the world is this common. Even chili over spaghetti noodles is a thing, but not over rice. I have no explanation for why I do this.


It’s a pretty basic recipe but it’s kind of amazing how the cocoa powder and a bit of chocolate transform “spicy tomatoey veggie stew” into something with a lot of depth and richness. And yeah, I try to use three or four different kinds of beans-- pinto, black, kidney, pink beans, or whatever’s on sale, honestly. It would be really good on rice or cauliflower rice (beans & rice are a great combo), but I would only put my Cincinnati-style chili over spaghetti!


I find the real, honest to goodness secret to good chili is simply this:

Use ancho chile powder as your basis.


Blueberry’s in Maple syrup heated gently.


That’s shiny!


On my way…keep 'em warm for me!


Agreed, they do a great job IMO. I’ve made a number of their recipes and in general have had great results.
On a related note, I’ve been intermittently trying to find a ginger beer recipe that I like, was going to try theirs next. (Although I’ll probably add some black pepper to it).


Kimchee fried rice with spring garlic.
So simple.
1 tbs rice oil in hot wok
1 cup leftover cooked brown rice.
1/4 cup kimchee chopped smaller
1 spring garlic

This recipe makes one serving.
Heat rice oil in wok until it shimmers.
Toss in the kimchee and fry with rapid stirring for about a minute.
Break up and crumble rice in next.
Old dry cooked rice is best.
Garlic cut in small chunks.
Toss everything until you get the ingredients to
mix about 2 - 3 minutes.
Any ingredient except the Kimchee may be substituted.
I made this once with old spaghetti in a nonstick pan, with leftover red onion and peanut oil. I call this Batchelor food because many of my recipes were when I was between marriages.

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Kenji’s Food Lab cookbook deserves to sit alongside The Joy of Cooking as one of the great tomes of cooking, bringing science and his breezy tone to serious food prep.


Last night I made some macaroni and (fake) cheese. The recipe’s here but I think it’s paywalled. The “cheese” is made of boiled cashews and nutritional yeast.

It was… OK. (My wife liked it better than I did.) The texture was anything but creamy; I think I cooked the sauce for too long. It wasn’t until I’d put in the cornstarch that I noticed the can expired 6 years ago. But I figure if the cornstarch hadn’t worked, the sauce wouldn’t have thickened as much as it did (which was too much)? The flavor was not bad; I am now a fan of the smoked paprika I bought for this.


Cornstarch is a harsh mistress. You always need less than you think you do. It takes its good sweet time to thicken stuff.


Chili with rice is the usual mode all over Germany.


I did not know that, thank you!


This works very well with either quickly scrambled egg or tofu, to boost the nutrients to a full meal.


So true. And Bravetart is well worth the price of admission as well.

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You know, I like being an expat here in Germany, but Germans really cannot make chili! It’s always with canned corn in it, or even bell pepper chunks! And kidney beans! And worst of all, it’s the wrong kind of chili peppers, lacking the dark and rich smoky taste that makes chili different from, say, Hungarian dishes.

Ancho chile powder, Mexican oregano. those, my friends, are the secret to chili. And instead of kidney beans, try pinto beans… or leaving the beans out entirely and serving refried beans as a side.


Sounds like you would have liked my mole poblano.

Just FTR, I think Germans are willing to learn new culinary things. I’m so glad the 70’s and 80’s are over, receipe-wise…but there’s still way to go.


I have friends who occasionally travel to Germany for work, and they complain that the only kind of spice that Germans seem to know is paprika. Even for their version of Mexican food.


those are good recommendations, as is the one about dumping the beans. of course, as a native texan i’ve never regarded any sort of beans as an ingredient in chili. i have three or four chili recipes but my personal favorite takes my two favorite versions of chili–texas red chili stew and new mexican green chili–and blends them into a unified pot of chili.

the texas red starts earliest because it takes the longest cooking time.
in a crock pot set to high, i have
1 large can diced tomatoes, 2 medium white onions, coarsely chopped, i jalapeno pepper finely diced, and 2 medium carrots cut in half lengthwise and then thinly sliced into semicircles, 1 package of williams chili seasoning, and 1 scant teaspoon of sugar.

then i take a top sirloin roast which i trim and cut into half inch cubes, around 1.5-2 pounds. i liberally coat the cubes with coarse cracked black pepper, white pepper, and salt and then sear the cubes in a dry skillet until it gets a nice brown color. i generally split the meat into thirds to make the searing easier. i pour each pan of meat into the crock pot. after adding the last of the meat i pour a quart of beef stock (i tend to use kitchen basics brand) into the skillet and turn up to high until the stock is boiling and reduced by about 10% constantly stirring and pulling any bits of meat off the skillet. Pour into the crockpot and stir well. Then take 4-6 dried ancho chili pods, destemmed and wrapped in cheesecloth and place so that they are completely submerged in the crock pot. leave on high for one hour then turn to low. this can cook 4-6 hours as desired. remove the cheesecloth pouch with the pods and empty the pods into a blender. blend to a smooth looking puree adding stock from the crockpot as needed to achieve texture. pour the puree into the crockpot, stir well, and cover.

on to the green chili–

in a very large dutch oven or boiler add one large can of rotel diced tomatoes, 8 cans of chopped green chiles, 2 heaping tablespoons of ancho chili powder, 1 heaping tablespoon of paprika, one heaping teaspoon of roasted cumin powder, and one finely minced clove of garlic. stir well, bring up to a boil then turn down to medium low for a simmer.

next, take a little more than one pound each of ground chuck and ground sirloin and mix together. i salt and pepper the meat in similar fashion to how i did the cubed roast and then brown the meat in a skillet. depending on the leanness of the ground chuck is i will either add a little beef tallow or kidney suet to the pan or i will dab up some excess fat with a couple of folded paper towels. when the meat is thoroughly browned pour it into the pot with the green chiles. then take 2 cups of a mexican lager beer (i generally prefer corona familiar) and pour into the skillet. bring to a boil and reduce by about a fourth then pour into the pot. stir well, then make sure you have a low simmer and let cook for 2 hours. about an hour into this turn off the crockpot and let stand for an hour.

the meeting of the white nile and the blue nile . . . wait the meeting of the red chili and the green chili.
correct seasoning of each pot to taste. at this point you have a perfectly acceptable pot of new mexico style green chili and a pot of texas style red chili. what comes next combines them into a dish that i find extraordinary.

to the green chili pot add 4 tablespoons of cornmeal, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon of kitchen bouquet vegetable browning. then pour the contents of the crockpot into the green chili pot and stir until everything is completely mixed–about 10-15 minutes of stirring. cover and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes although an hour is usually better.

serve hot. i like mine garnished with minced scallions, chopped jalapenos, and a little grated sharp cheddar cheese. saltine crackers and plain tortilla chips (my favorite is plain, toasted corn doritos). it freezes beautifully and when reheated a day or two later has has an amazing flavor.