Tequila Lime Habanero Chili…of DEATH!

Every so often, the old Chef does do some cooking that doesn’t include the meat of well-tenderized hobos. However, the Chef’s cooking does (according to the Maitre d’) always include booze. That’s because alcohol is the one and only sign that God, in His infinite assholeness, wants us to momentarily be less than miserable. This might be why I tend to include it in what few recipes I know.

This, of course, would be one of those recipes (both the "few" and the "containing booze"). As has probably been made obvious before, the Chef has something of a weak spot for spicy foods, and an even bigger weakness for spicy chili. Adam Savage says he like to live his life as one part action hero and one part cartoon character. Personally, I like to live my life as one part Adam Savage and one part Adam Richman. It’s my mission to seek out new life and new civ- no, wait. That’s those goons on the Enterprise. It’s my mission to seek out the hottest shit imaginable and eat it, regardless of what it does to my bowels (being that I’m getting old, I should not eat like I do, but I do it anyway). Heaven help those who use the bathroom after me.

Naturally, when a big bag of peppers from the garden of our local Lions Club president fell into my lap, I was overjoyed. Not only were there large and beautiful jalapenos, but something even better: a plethora of Scotch Bonnets. Or at least I think they’re Scotch Bonnets; they may be regular habaneros, but their tendency to eat haggis and play tiny bagpipes makes me think otherwise.

Also naturally, I set out to find something to do with my spicy little friends. Being that habaneros have a citrus-like flavor, I thought pairing them with a tequila-lime chili would be a good fit. So I did a little research and found a couple of recipes (one a habanero chili, the other a tequila-lime one) and merged the two together into the unholiest Frankenfood ever to scorch a person’s colon.

Make no mistake, boys and girls: this chili is spicy. If you can’t handle a bit of heat and sweetness, you’d best move on and get you a hot cup of meat juice from Wendy’s (fast-food chili is interminably bland, though). Also, this does contain a heaping helping of tequila, so there’s a fair bit of the alkie left in it. If you’ve got friends who’re recovering alcoholics, you’d best keep them away from this or they might fall off of the wagon.

Without further ado:

The Chef’s Tequila Lime Habanero Chili of DEATH

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 package Carroll Shelby chili starter (or a basic chili spice of your choice; I use the prepackaged stuff because it’s much easier.)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (to taste, really)
  • 1 cup tequila (8 oz…yes, four shots of tequila. You can use less, but otherwise you won’t actually taste it.)
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes (I use Ro-Tel tomatoes & chilis, regular kind – you can use hot if you’d like, but you’ll end up with more habanero than you bargained for.)
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  • 4-5 limes (I’ve been using key limes for extra potency, but regular ones work also.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4-6 habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers (The "default" level is 4; using more can be done, but at your own risk.)
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • Masa flour (to thicken to taste)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (for serving)

Brown ground beef. Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers (unless you want things inside you to go explodey). Peel and chop the limes into small pieces – they will go into the chili. Be sure to save as much of the lime juice as possible to go into the chili as well. Combine all ingredients (except the cheese) in a big honkin’ pot or crock and simmer for at least an hour before serving, to let the flavors mingle. My favorite method is to leave the whole deal in the crock for a few hours and let the peppers and limes really seep into everything. The tequila should cook off partially, but remember that alcohol is never really gone completely. I find that sharp cheese on top makes a perfect counterpoint to the fruity acidity of the chili, but that’s up to you.

There it is. Try it at your own risk. Oh, and for the record, the Matire d’ will eat it. And he likes it.

About The Chef

The Chef was born 856 years ago on a small planet orbiting a star in the Argolis cluster. It was prophesied that the arrival of a child with a birthmark shaped like a tentacle would herald the planet's destruction. When the future Chef was born with just such a birthmark, panic ensued (this would not be the last time the Chef inspired such emotion). The child, tentacle and all, was loaded into a rocket-powered garbage scow and launched into space. Unfortunately, the rocket's exhaust ignited one of the spectators' flatulence, resulting in a massive explosion that detonated the planet's core, destroying the world and killing everyone on it.

The Chef.
Your host, hero to millions, the Chef.
Oblivious, the dumpster containing the infant Chef sped on. It crashed on a small blue world due to a freakish loophole in the laws of nature that virtually guarantees any object shot randomly into space will always land on Earth. The garbage scow remained buried in the icy wastes of the frozen north until the Chef awoke in 1901. Unfortunately, a passing Norwegian sailor accidentally drove a boat through his head, causing him to go back to sleep for another 23 years.

When the would-be Chef awoke from his torpor, he looked around at the new world he found himself on. His first words were, “Hey, this place sucks." Disguising himself as one of the planet's dominant species of semi-domesticated ape, the being who would become known as the Chef wandered the Earth until he ended up in its most disreputable slum - Paris, France.

Taking a job as a can-can dancer, the young Chef made a living that way until one day one of the cooks at a local bistro fell ill with food poisoning (oh, bitter irony). In a desperate move, the bistro's owner rushed into one of the local dance halls, searching for a replacement. He grabbed the ugliest can-can dancer he could find, and found himself instead with an enterprising (if strange) young man who now decided, based on this random encounter, to only answer to the name “Chef".

His success as a French chef was immediate (but considering that this is a country where frogs and snails are considered delicacies, this may or may not be a significant achievement). Not only was the Chef's food delicious, it also kept down the local homeless population. He rose to the heights of stardom in French cuisine, and started a holy war against the United Kingdom to end the reign of terror British food had inflicted on its citizens.

When the Crimean War broke out around France, the Chef assisted Nikola Tesla and Galileo in perfecting the scanning electron microscope, which was crucial in driving back the oncoming Communist hordes. It would later be said that without the Chef, the war would have been lost. He was personally awarded a Purple Heart by the King of France.

After that, the Chef traveled to America, home of such dubious culinary delights as McDonald's Quarter Pounder With Cheese. He immediately adopted the Third World nation as his new home, seeing it as his job to protect and enlighten it. When the Vietnam War began, he immediately volunteered and served in the Army of the Potomac under Robert E. Lee and General Patton. During the war, the Chef killed dozens of Nazis, most of them with his bare hands.

Marching home from war across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, stark-naked and freezing, the Chef wound up on the shores of Mexico. He spent several years there, drinking tequila with Pancho Villa and James Dean. He put his culinary skills to the test when he invented the 5,000-calorie Breakfast Chili Burrito With Orange Sauce (which is today still a favorite in some parts of Sonora).

Eventually, the Chef returned to his adopted home of America, where he met a slimy, well-coiffed weasel who was starting up a new kind of buffet - one dedicated to providing the highest-quality unmentionable appetizers to the online community. The Chef dedicated himself to spreading the word of his famous Lard Sandwich (two large patties of fried lard, in between two slices of toasted buttered lard, with bacon and cheese), as well as occasionally writing about his opinions on less-important topics than food.

Every word of this is true, if only in the sense that every word of this exists in the English language.