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It’s been a strange few months. I’d give details, but there may be impressionable children in the room…

In any case, a re-start of the Chile Underground is coming Real Soon Now. Hopefully back to full speed by June 1. We’re launching a new theme today, and we’ll be back with all your old favorites like Friday Follies, and maybe some surprises too! The site may look a bit odd in coming weeks as we replace banners and such. (If you see something broken, please post a note. Thanks in advance!) Rest assured, the Chile Underground may appear nearly dead, but we can rebuild it:

  • We have the technology.
  • We have the capability.
  • Better, stronger, faster.

In the meantime, peruse the Archived Recipes and get those drool glands exercised; great stuff is coming!

Enjoy the (Too Long Away) Heat!

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Friday Follies: How Did She Eat Anything?


Can you spell “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?”

A woman with record-length fingernails has suffered a great tragedy. According to the AP in Salt Lake City, Lee Redmond had all her fingernails broken off when she was ejected from an SUV involved in a crash. (She had other injuries too, but she’s not worried about those.)

Those nails were in the Guinness Book of World Records! Total length, over 28 feet of nail.

The picture got me to wondering: Imagine the nail polish costs. Think about the problem of scratching your nose! (No problem scratching your back, though.) And more importantly, how did she ever eat anything?

Fingernails like that are a disability, near as I can tell. Lucky she didn’t starve to death, although she’s no plumper in the photo. (Photo by Tom Smart of AP, by the way; I hope he doesn’t mind the extra publicity.)

Maybe now she can put on a bit of weight and get a life…

Enjoy the (Hands-Tied) Heat!

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Superbowl Hangover: I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing


Okay, I didn’t get that one right, exactly. Which proves that old saying that predictions are mostly wrong when they’re about the future.

That Superbowl was a good one!Maybe top three all-time. (I can “predict” that with confidence since sports talk radio everywhere says it was the best ever. They’re always wrong.)

We were well-supplied with snacking during the event. In addition to everything else, I made a few quarts of Fresno Cruda:

  • 6-7 Fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 Medium-sized red onions, chopped
  • Lots of cilantro, chopped
  • 3-4 Fresno chile peppers, minced
  • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon per quart of salsa)
  • White pepper and garlic to taste

I set aside some before I added the peppers; my lovely spouse says I overdo the zest. Sometimes. (She’s wrong too, but I listen. Carefully.)

The proportions aren’t exact on this concoction. That means you get to make it how you like! Salt the tomatoes after you cut them, then you can drain off the juice after about 15-20 minutes and your chips won’t be sogged out. Then add the rest of the salsa components and stir. Let stand an hour in the chillbox, then serve.

Fresno peppers give this mix a different flavor, a richer heat without the grassy taste of jalapeños. I don’t mind fresh jalapeños, but I wanted something a bit different. I left all the seeds in from the Fresnos; otherwise it would take too many to get enough zest to notice. They’re mild; at least the ones we have around here.

Tomorrow I’ll post the dinner recipes we enjoyed during the last hour of the pre-game…

Enjoy the (Fresno Cruda) Heat!

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Sorry, Can’t Talk Now: The Game’s On!


I’m too busy to chat right now, and I know you’re too busy to read blogs. Enjoy the Superbowl!

[sound effects of cheering, munching, belching…]

Enjoy the (Superbowl XLIII) Heat!

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Saturday Superbowl Predictions


It’s almost time for America to stop doing anything productive for a day and watch that spectacle that is the Superbowl. Just like reading Playboy magazine, I only watch the game for the advertisements.

My prediction: There won’t be even one advertisement that features chiles.

Sad, too, because at $3 million a half-minute (NBC’s current rate), we could use some quality entertainment. Instead, we’ll get commercials with horses doing something clever, and mud-wrestling women, or comedians getting bikini wax jobs, and flaming flatulence. And that’s just the beer ads!

Sadly, no chiles. I’m guessing, but I’m willing to put my hard-earned reputation as a chile aficionado on the line here. We’ll see; maybe I’ll have to eat groundhog crow on Feb. 2

(P.S. Steelers 24, Cardinals 14; I’m not saying, I’m just saying.)

Enjoy the (Weird Beer Ads) Heat!

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Friday Follies, Superbowl Edition: Too Sexy For My TV?

Hot Chile Woman

Sophie Monk and Chiles, From PETA Website

With the Superbowl only a few days away and the pregame festivities in full swing (I think ESPN is holding a 60-hour pregame show), I decided to see if there were any “sneak peeks” on some of the Superbowl TV ads.

Sure enough, there is! From PETA, no less. And it seems they went so over-the-top that NBC chose not to air their offering. Even at $50,000 $100,000 a second. Their advert, titled “Vegetable Love,” has been deemed to sexy for us all.

I’m no supporter of the fanatics over at PETA, but as you can see above, they sometimes get it right. This time, though, they’ve clearly blown it. What could they have possibly been thinking? Supermodels? In lingerie? Doing unsavory things with vegetables??

Of course no red-blooded American male would ever want to see something like that! The only reason I’m bringing it to your attention is, arguably, it’s about food. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be drooling in our beer stoop so low deign to notice…

Enjoy the (Luscious Veggie) Heat!

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Bacon Redux: Pillows to Sweden, and More on the Bacon Explosion

Bacon PillowAh, those fun-loving Swedes. Inventors of Swedish Meatballs, Fondue and the Smörgåsbord, they have a long tradition of great food innovations over the centuries. (They used to be all about conquering the world, but they’ve given that up for civilization in the last few centuries.)

Now they’ve caught the bacon craze. And are importing Bacon Pillows. A food writer has got to ask, “What’s this world coming to?”

The Bacon Pillow is an invention of the Bacon Today website. A must-visit site if you’re a fan of the stuff. (We’re not, of course.) While there you can read about many novel uses for the best part of the porker, including bacon vodka. Surely that’s a libation mixer whose time has come!

In other bacon news, the Bacon Explosion (presented to you here on the Underground recently) even made the New York Times Dining & Wine section. Now that’s respect…

Enjoy the (Meat Candy) Heat!

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Sunday Sleep-In


Worked around the clock to make a deadline. Drank too much coffee, until it didn’t help anymore. How do I know?

I put Sriracha in my last cup instead of cream. Sleep-drinking. (In case you’re wondering, the port of Sriracha is just southeast of Bangkok on the coast.)

I can tell you with the utmost assurance, puréed chiles in vinegar is not a reasonable substitute for fresh cream. Or any dairy product, as near as I can tell.

So I called it a day or two and hit the rack; more once my snorkel breaks the surface…

Enjoy the (Spicy Sriracha Caffeine) Heat!

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