For my ex-wife potatoes and fairy dust addictions, I blame Sarah Lenz, my fierce friend and fantastic co-star of Spatula.
If I end up on Intervention, she better be there too. It would only be a "I go, if you go" situation. I'm not watching her grind up Fairy Dust while I use commercial grade Cayenne Pepper. That would cause me to relapse. For sure.
Let me back up a bit.
A couple of weeks ago, Sarah told me over lunch that she was attempting to make her own dried chili peppers. As much as I love her, I half-heartedly dismiss these projects she pronounces. It's not malicious. It's just she always has a project and is super-motivated, like me, so I see the results only days after she first mentions said-project to me. Why on earth get all fired up about the idea when within a week I can ponder the results for a long while?
Needless to say, a couple of days later, Sarah calls to report about the dried chili flakes.
"After I ground the dried chilies in my spice (aka coffee) grinder, they came out like dust," she said.
"Like powder," I responded, dreamily.
I'm telling you I could be on Intervention. I'm thinking about how to get a cut of this stuff. How to divy it up. How to parcel it out. Without getting caught.
Dried Chili Dust = Foodie Cocaine.
What's weird is, I don't remember tasting it with Sarah. I remember her telling me about it. And then suddenly her dryer was in my house. Trays of halved peppers drying, with their seeds and membranes intact, widened our nostrils and awoke our lungs. Sarah warned me to dry the chilis in the basement; I kept them in the kitchen. After 2 days of drying, I put the shriveled peppers in a coffee bean grinder, like Sarah told me to, and ground them, in several different rounds, into fairy dust. I put the dust in an washed pimento jar. Then I feel as though I woke up and remembered my life, again.
The most mind-blowing result of fairy dust is forthcoming in a BG News article (click on the "YourNews" tab), but I have to admit that I put them in/on/over almost everything I eat.
I've mixed the fairy dust with butter and put it on steak.
I've swirled it into mayo and used it as a dip for my ex-wife potatoes.
I've sprinkled chicken breasts with it before a good sear and bake.
I've even added it to my olive oil before massaging it into a whole chicken's skin--above and just beneath its surface.
Tonight, FD added it to his venison chili, a fall dish I live for.
Rich with umami, FD's chilis are always acidic in a good way, complex in mouthfeel (the beans always stay firm and he always finds a chip or Nut Thin to add crunch while serving it), and hot(!!!) with chilies. The fairy dust just took it to a whole new level. Though, I have to admit that I almost put a few sprinkles of fairy dust on top of bowl just before my first spoonful.
I told you I have a problem.
To take some of the heat (pun intended) off me, I think Sarah should post the recipe. But if you read between the lines here and are feeling the itch from some fairy dust, you could easily put together the recipe from my post alone.
I'm not one to leave food junkies hanging. But be warned: THIS SHIT IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!
I seriously will never buy dried chili flakes or chili pepper for my pantry ever again when it's so easy to make my own.
...See, wouldn't Jeff have a field day with me?