Monday, August 18, 2008

Chili powder

Thanks to Mark Bittman's words of encouragement (and instructions), I now make my own chili powder. This time, however, Joel totally caught on that I'd been using the coffee grinder to grind the spices after toasting them in the pan. The conversation went a little something like this:

Joel: (walks outside holding coffee grinder) Did you grind something other than coffee in this?
Me: Why?
Joel: The inside is stained all red.
Me: You didn't notice last time!

Then a long pause before he started laughing. After that I offered to buy him a new grinder and just use that one as my occassional non-coffee items grinder. I also tried to talk up the merits of "spicy coffee." I mean, it works with hot chocolate, right?

Here's the recipe:

Put 2 T ground ancho (or other mild chile) powder, 1/2 t cayenne, 1/2 t black peppercorns, 2 t cumin seeds, 2 t coriander seeds, and 1 T dried Mexican oregano in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast (stirring or shaking occassionally) until you start to smell all those delicious aromas (about 3 minutes, maybe longer). Grind until powdery (but then clean out the grinder really quickly to avoid the worst of the tell-tale red stains.
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