Okay, this should be the final installment of my Chili saga, for a while, but it's an important one. This is your basic, all-purpose* chili powder. No fancy caraway, no dedicated mole to match with it. Just pure chili powder.
- 6 oz. Dried Chiles, seeded and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips
- 2.5 oz. Cumin Seeds, whole
- .25 oz. Garlic Powder
Toast the chiles over medium heat in a dry pan until they are warm. Set aside to cool. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pain until the scent of cumin wafts into the kitchen. Put with the chiles to cool.
Put the chiles and cumin into a blender and blend for 2 minutes or until powdered. Let settle and mix with the garlic powder. Use immediately or store for, oh, six months or so.
If you store the chili powder longer than six months, it will lose flavor. On the other hand, if you find that you've had it for, oh, 8-12 months and it's use that or buy some chili powder, I think removing the cap and smelling what you have will prove to you that it's a better choice than buying in most instances.
The chile mix is really up to you. I tend to lean towards a milder spice combined with whatever happens to be available. I also tend to use between 3 and 6 different types of chile, depending. As a guide, if you dab a bit of the chili powder on your tongue and it's too hot for you, you've probably made it too hot.
In the case of overambitious heat, get another 6 ounces of a very mild chile, and similar proportions of cumin seeds and garlic powder, make a second batch, and combine it with the first. No sense wasting it, and you can always give it as a gift if you don't make enough chili for it to be worthwhile.
*- if your purpose is to make chili.
[2008-05-05] Improvised radial alembic for DIY steam distillation: "I would add that this is not my idea, originally, although I may have been the first to recognize the unique shape of the so-called 'schoolhouse' lamp globe as highly amenable for impromptu condenser service, since it comes with a readymade 'drip tip' where condensate can accumulate. My version […] requires a stainless steel pot with an integral strainer (constructed such that there is some distance between the pot bottom and the strainer bottom when the strainer is in place), a 'schoolhouse' style glass lamp globe which is of greater diameter than the pot, and a stainless steel or glass receiving vessel."
The Traveler's Lunchbox - Project Vanilla: "There are probably easier ways to do it, where you just use a set ratio of beans to alcohol and let it sit until ready. The beauty of this method, however, is that a) aside from the very beginning, you're only sticking used beans in there (which feels delightfully frugal), b) your extract will continue to improve as you keep adding new beans, and c) once you get the ball rolling, as long as you keep using vanilla beans in your kitchen you'll have an unending supply of extract on hand too. Pretty nifty, no?"
The general idea is to make a soft, syrup-filled candy that is primarily based on a distilled spirit. The process takes a full day, and the end product doesn't have much shelf life, so it would be keen for a party, for example. I would probably lean towards a more flavorful spirit such as bourbon, but that might be a bit strong for some guests. If you read through to the comments, there is a, um, energetic discussion (mustn't say 'spirited') about different spirits to use, possible ways to increase durability and shelf life, and how to measure.
chadzilla: making vodka pills in 24 hours: "Recently, Chef Fabian was experimenting further with the Adria/Torreblanca technique of making 'vodka pills.' I use this word to describe the process of making liquid-filled candies by pouring flavored alcohol syrups into cornstarch and letting it set until a hard outer shell forms. The process is simple, but requires great attention to certain details and a clean approach."