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October 17, 2009

Chili-Dog Casserole
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:38 PM * 120 comments

As served at Viable Paradise XIII.

Chili-Dog Casserole by Sean Craven

Reprinted by permission.

A certain individual of note asked me to post the strategy for this dish someplace where people could find it, so here it is.

Chili-Dog Casserole is a horrific conflation of lasagna, Frito pie, and chili dogs. I always play it by ear, so I’ll describe how I made the last batch. This is just an example. Warp it to your will.

This was made for a dinner at the Viable Paradise writer’s workshop. My inspiration was the term ‘craptastic.’ As soon as it was explained to me, I said, “Oh, you mean like chili-dog casserole.” After serving this, I was startled to see Hugo winners on their knees in worship before it (I am not joking; I could name names but shall refrain); your results may vary.

Ingredients:

1 bag of Ranch-flavored Doritos
1 package of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs
4 cans of Hormel chili (I prefer Dennison’s, which wasn’t there. I am dying of curiosity regarding Wolf chili, which I suspect may be superior.)
Innumerable fistfuls of pre-shredded orange cheddar cheese
Slices of pepper Havarti
Slices of extra-sharp New York white cheddar
Vlasic pickled nacho rings
About a quarter-cup of French’s yellow mustard

Wash your paws.

Slice the hot dogs the way you would for beanie weenies; maybe 3/8ths of an inch thick. Put them in a bowl, squeeze a big goober of yellow mustard over the hot dog slices and toss.

Go mooch the shredded orange cheddar from Mac’s freezer and swipe a couple of aluminum baking pans. Run downstairs and ask Mac whether you should be using it up or saving some. (The answer in this case was use it up.)

Slice the Havarti and white cheddar into irregular broken pieces until you’re sick of dealing with the unpleasant combination of a cheap serrated knife and a pebbled glass cutting board.

Realize the time is getting late, wash your paws, and start preheating the oven to 325, since those aluminum pans are thin and will probably burn at the preferred temperature of 350.

Get a spoon to handle the hot dogs. Open the nacho rings and set a fork in them for later use.

Spread a fistful (which in my case would be like a cup, cup and a half) of the shredded cheddar over the bottom of the pan. Top with one-quarter of the hot dogs, which should be generously coated with mustard. Look at the time nervously; wish you had the option of browning the hot dog slices in a sauté pan before marinating them in the mustard. That trick really ups the flavor and these people deserve it. They ain’t getting it, though.

At this point, Mac will loan you an oven thermometer and warn you that the ovens are very unpredictable. Silently curse the electric stove. Hang thermometer from a rack in the oven.

Return to your mise. Spread a few nacho rings between the hot dogs on the left-handed half of the casserole.

Open a can of chili. Spread it out over the whole pan in an even layer.

Top with the sliced cheeses, using the pepper Havarti only on the side where you’ve placed the nacho rings.

Add a layer of the shredded orange cheddar.

Go and wash your paws, then take the bag of chips and roughly crush it before opening. Spread a layer of chips over the cheese.

Check the oven. Holy smokes, Mac was right, it’s only like 275 in there. Look at the time nervously, increase temperature to a hypothetical 375.

Hope. Curse electric stoves.

Layer hot dogs, nachos, chili, sliced cheeses, shredded cheese, chips.

Wash your paws.

Check the temperature of the stove; not bad, it’s at just under 325.

Open a beer, drink half in two gulps. Cover your mouth and belch. Set the beer down next to the cutting board.

Wash your paws.

Begin to repeat the layering process, then realize you need to cut more cheese with that horrible knife and cutting board. Curse aloud.

While slicing cheese, knock beer over. It spills between the wall and the table. Set beer upright, get up to fetch a dishtowel, experience a premonition of disaster.

Grab the beer and finish it off before you spill it again, oafboy.

Fetch the dishtowel and swab the wall, table, and rug.

Wash your paws.

Slice more cheese.

Finish the third layer.

Look nervously at the time. Contemplate bourbon (Wild Turkey 101, to be specific.)

Walk across the hall and tell Mac you want to write about a superhero named Overproof.

Return to kitchen. Wash your paws. Set down a fourth and final layer with the last can of chili going on the very top, and mark the spicy side with a nacho ring. Reserve about 1 1/2-2 cups of chips for the gratin. Crush these chips finely. Reserve 1/2 in a bowl covered by a small plate and leave the rest in the bag.

Look at the baking dish. Look at the oven. It isn’t your oven, so you’d better use some aluminum foil on the rack in case there’s any leakage from the pan. Go swipe foil from the staff room. Line the rack with foil, set the pan in the oven, and go take a shower.

Return from your shower, look at the time, open the oven, and inspect the casserole. It is not bubbling around the edges, let alone the middle.

Panic. Wash your paws.

With your extra-clean finger poke a hole in the middle of the casserole and realize that it’s tepid at best. Panic some more while smearing the casserole about as you try to disguise the finger hole. Hope nobody notices it when you serve.

Take the foil out of the oven, since it blocks heat from the stupid electric element on the stupid floor of the stupid oven. Turn up the heat. Move the casserole to an upper rack, unknowingly scraping part of it onto the oven floor with a flange on the oven roof that you cannot see.

Get another beer. Get a cushion from the couch and try and use it for lumbar support as you loll in the armchair. Sip your beer while praying to deities in whom you do not believe that the casserole will be properly cooked by the time you’re supposed to serve it. Reflect on the fact every ingredient can be eaten raw. Think about eating a raw hot-dog. Shudder.

Notice the smoke coming from the oven. Open the oven, note charcoal on the floor and the stupid heating element. Crouch while grunting in pain and see the stupid flange. Go open the sliding glass door. Return to your chair and beer.

Spill beer in crotch when the fire alarm goes off. Leap to your feet and run to the fire alarm. Stare up at it, far out of your reach. Wish you could figure out how to take out the battery. Experience an abject sense of emasculation as you contemplate your inability to cope with the physical world. Take two deep breathes while wallowing in self-loathing. Remind yourself that you are a worthy and loved person.

Run screaming into the hall.

At this point, a nameless faceless voice will tell you to take out the battery. In your panic-stricken condition (optimally, your hysteria will be informed by sleeplessness, starvation, and the steady mix of booze and pain pills you’ve been pouring down your gullet for days), you try and do what the voice says.

Return to your room, stare up at the smoke alarm. Realize that nothing has changed since the last time you did this.

Run screaming into the hall, where Jim will meet you. Jim will help you open doors and windows, then he’ll grab a towel and fan it at the smoke detector, which will go silent in a minute or two.

Jim will leave after this, giving you the opportunity to reflect on what little you know of his past. Few people have as thoroughly earned their air of command; try not to be bitter. Succeed in this to a marginal degree.

Wash your paws.

Open the oven, pull out the casserole and poke it again. Obscure the second finger hole. Look at the clock. Panic. Turn up the heat.

Return to your chair and finish your beer without spilling it again. Contemplate changing your pants; give up the idea as impractical and over-elaborate.

Get up. Wash your paws.

Put a couple of fistfuls of grated cheese into the mostly-empty bag of Doritos crumbs. Shake it until crumbs and cheese are mixed.

Wash your paws. Take the casserole out of the oven. Look at it dolefully; look at the time. Poke it with your finger; it’s at least warmish. The cheese has started to melt. Curse, with an emphasis on copulatory and excretory terms. Engage in ‘nesting,’ where one profanity is split into two parts in order to allow the insertion of a second profanity.

Obscure the finger hole, then top with a handful of cheese, then the cheese and crumb mixture, and finally with the reserved crumbs. Forget to mark the half of the casserole that has the pepper Havarti and nacho rings.

Go to the staff room. Loom over Mac and plaintively bleat that it’s going to take at least a half-hour, maybe more, for the casserole to finish cooking. She will tell you not to worry. Things will be fine.

After half an hour, remove the casserole from the oven. It looks perfect until you realize that there are a lot of spice wimps around here, and that you’ve failed to mark the side of the casserole that they should eat. Decide that it sucks to be them.

Carry the casserole downstairs, then go back upstairs to fetch more food. On your return, you will find that the casserole pan has been emptied, flattened, and licked clean.

Enjoy your enhanced reputation. Wish you’d gotten a bite or two — but hey. You can make this stuff any time you want.

(Note — you can mix all the ingredients together in a bowl rather than carefully layering them. You can stick beans up your nose, too. Neither practice is recommended.)


Comments on Chili-Dog Casserole :
#1 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 01:14 PM:

I see an excellent low-budget no-SFX movie.

And presumably workshop participants can supply subplots real and fictional.

Stanley Tucci, I would think, as narrator.

#2 ::: ChiaLynn ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 01:35 PM:

My husband was so thrilled with this recipe, he made it Thursday night. Which means I've eaten chili-dog casserole three times this week (what with the leftovers last night).

I should go for a walk.

#3 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 01:49 PM:

So, what's a "Vlassic pickled nacho ring"? Google, in its high-speed exuberance, pretty much only returns this very page for a search on that. I'm guessing from context that these are pickled slices of jalapeno or something of that nature?

#4 ::: Juniper ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 01:50 PM:

Oh, oh, this is so much like cooking for the LARP I fed that I laughed until the tears ran down my cheeks, and then had to go put my contact lenses back in straight before I could read the screen to comment. Oh wow.

I believe I shall try feeding this to the next crowd of LARPers I feed. (I'll have to find kosher hot dogs, though.)

#5 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 02:14 PM:

Brooke, 3: It's "Vlasic," but I can't find jalapeños on their website.

#7 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 03:12 PM:

I was expecting Peter Piper to pick those out.

#8 ::: Pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 03:19 PM:

Wow. That's truly impressive. I shall have to devote some thought to a suitable veggie answer to this wonder.

#9 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 03:31 PM:

I was thinking the same thing, Pedantka. Canned vegan chili and veggie hot dogs or sausages ought to fix the recipe, although that's probably too much processed vegetable protein and not enough actual vegetable.

#10 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 03:38 PM:

Not enough dinosaurs.

#11 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 04:47 PM:

#10
Not enough sodomy either.

But it sounds very tasty. (Now that I'm back in the chair, and not ROFLMAO ....)

#12 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 04:51 PM:

@10:

And barely a hint of sodomy. *sigh*

But even so, I find it an interesting and entertaining description of the process (or strategy, as Jim aptly describes it) of putting together a last-minute HotDish in an unfamiliar kitchen. The food, I probably wouldn't much like (unless there were a lot of rice for it to flavor -- I happen to dislike hotdogs), but the description... that, I relish.

#13 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 05:15 PM:

I presume you mean John Scalzi?

#14 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 05:37 PM:

#12 (or strategy, as Jim aptly describes it)

This was written by Sean Craven (who once upon a time wrote for Thugs On Film). I merely posted it here (with Sean's permission). The strategy is his.

#13 I presume you mean John Scalzi?

Not necessarily a good presumption. There were at least three Hugo winners present when this dish was presented.

#15 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 06:17 PM:

I'm pretty sure this recipe is in fact vegan, as--having eaten and enjoyed it--I cannot vouch that there is any actual FOOD in it, and meat (last I checked) was a FOOD.

#16 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 06:21 PM:

Brooks #3, Jim Macd #6:

I should note that although I have a high tolerance for things jalapeno, when I got a jar of these, I decided they were about two degrees too hot for ordinary use, such as on nachos. (I usually use Mrs. Renfro's; most jalapeno slices are too mushy, but Mrs. R and Vlasic both produce really crisp ones.)

#17 ::: dlbowman76 ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 06:24 PM:

ebear @ 15: Snicker, tee-hee, snicker. Oh lordy, lordy, there'll be letters. All joshing aside, I got a touch of heartburn just reading this post.

#18 ::: DaveL ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 06:29 PM:

This is deeply awesome, and I regret not having the opportunity to partake of it right now. All I can do is console myself with my Beans 'n Franks, which share a possibly Mesozoic ancestry with Chili-Dog Franks. For me they have always been a great complement to NFL Monday Night Football.

If you have one very hungry person or several not-so-hungry people:

4 all-beef kosher franks, boiled or sauteed and then thin-sliced (1/2 inch slices are what I prefer).

1 can/jar of B&M or Bush's baked beans. (Kidney beans or chili beans can be substituted but this changes the genus of the dish).

generous dollop of spicy (Dijon or German) mustard

generous dollop of ketchup

microtome-sliced onions, not pre-sauteed

tablespoon or more brown sugar, to taste

small (or large, as taste indicates) amount of hot sauce -- Chili, Louisiana, whatever...

failing or supplementing hot sauce, some indeterminate quantity of diced hot peppers: oddly enough, the Vlasic ones work great. Don't overdo this, or do if it seems right.

Once the franks are done, mix all together in an appropriately-sized baking dish and bake (325 or 350 works) until bubbling.

Crack open a beer and consume. Crack open another beer if needed.

Dish may be multiplied as appropriate for local definition of "enough."

No cheese was harmed in the making of this dish, which may in fact be a reportable defect.

#19 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 06:57 PM:

Thanks for letting me laugh at that all over again.

#20 ::: Pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 08:05 PM:

Rymenhild@9-
As this dish is a Ode To Processed Food, I think your substitutions are probably spot-on. But as I don't have easy access to those kinds of meat replacements (vegetarianism isn't big in this part of Scotland) I'll be giving it a bit more thought.

It's the hot dogs that are the real issue. I've had some luck approximating a bacon-like flavour using smoked sea salt, so maybe salting mushroom caps and baking them till they achieve a chewy consistency?

#21 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 08:11 PM:

DaveL @18:
Yours does have the advantage of being kosher, so I could actually try it. Veggie dogs (at least kosher ones) just aren't the same.

#22 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 08:14 PM:

My arteries are hardening in joyous anticipation of this concoction of evil and yum. The description is priceless.

I keep thinking of Concentrated Evil from Time Bandits for some reason.

#23 ::: Chryss ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 09:25 PM:

OK, here is the recipe for my mom's dip that I could cheerfully eat all the livelong day--even though I'm vaguely embarrassed by it.

Take:
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (I KNOW. I KNOW.)
1 block of cream cheese
Some chopped scallions
Some garlic salt
Some paprika (for some reason, my younger sister and I were obsessed with paprika when we were kids. Please don't ask.)

Unwrap, unjar, and throw the comestibles in a food processor. Give it a whir until it all comes together in creamy unholy goodness.

Serve with Fritos. Do not attempt to serve this with anything but Fritos. For some reason, only Fritos will do.

Another time I will write down the recipe for my mother's other favorite cocktail snack, which was basically scallions covered in cream cheese and lunch meat. And yet we thought my mom was a good cook! GOOD LORD!

#24 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 10:03 PM:

Nobody here seems to have picked up on the Cool Ranch™ flavored Doritos... to me, those are the true horror of this dish. Not just salted sweetened powder-covered corn chips, but trendily flavored....

#25 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 10:07 PM:

#24
It beats having to add ranch dressing to the casserole. (Could be worse: chili-lime flavored chips are very trendy.)

#26 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2009, 11:32 PM:

Glass cutting board? Glass?

The owner of that must be flogged. And then shown to Ikea, with its large selection of very cheap and dishwasher-safe plastic cutting boards.

#27 ::: Lisa L. Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 12:18 AM:

B. Durbin@#26
Glass cutting board? Glass?

The owner of that must be flogged. And then shown to Ikea, with its large selection of very cheap and dishwasher-safe plastic cutting boards.

Viable Paradise's culinary staff [cough] and cooking inclined masochistic students[cough] don't have a lot of control over the kitchen implements stocked by the Island Inn.

I note, by the way, it was cracktastic, not craptastic. So I've heard . . .

#28 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 01:59 AM:

For the past ten months I've been unable to find Doritos Toasted Corn (i.e. unflavored) chips in any store in town. This has made my taco salads incomplete or just wrong. White corn chips just don't make the cut.

#29 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 03:23 AM:

Plastic cutting boards are bad for your knives. I'm pretty sure glass boards are too, but *shrug* It's wood, wood, or wood... for my money.

Then again, if you're using cheap serrated knives, it doesn't much matter, does it?

#30 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 04:37 AM:

P J Evans @ 11 ...
Not enough sodomy either.

There was repeated fingering ...

#31 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 05:25 AM:

Ooh! Ooh! I know the recipe for the "horses doovers" of scallions, cream cheese and lunch meat. My mom made those too!
One slice lunch meat (honey baked ham is my preference). One smear of cream cheese (generous as you like). A few chopped green onion bits (green is best here. White parts are too onion-y). Wrap and serve. This was my after school snack many many times. Also good with a sweet gherkin rather than green onion in the middle. Mmmm, pickles and cream cheese. My heart is racing at the thought. It might just be the clogged arteries though, hard to say.

My mom's fruit dip.
One 16 oz carton sour cream.
One small jar apricot preserves.
Dash vanilla extract.
Stir until mixed. Good with fairly firm fruit - apples, not quite ripe pears, grapes. Peaches/nectarines are good, but again, have to be somewhat under-ripe to dip, at which point, it's a waste of a perfectly gorgeous peach.

#32 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 08:39 AM:

Linkmeister #28: I use Mission brand tortilla chips. They kick salsa! ;-)

P J Evans #25: Actually, I think I might be less appalled by the dressing. Or maybe not:

22 oz bag of Mission tortilla rounds: 3080 calories, 6600mg sodium.

16 oz Kraft peppercorn Ranch dressing: 1760 cal, 5920mg sodium

Cool Ranch Doritos (googling): 1 oz has 140 calories, 170mg sodium. But the "big bag" for the Doritos is smaller, under 15oz, so that would be ~2100 calories, 2500mg sodium. (22oz gives 3080 cal, 3740mg sodium.)

OK, that was a surprise. Maybe I should find another brand of "plain" tortilla chips. :-(

#33 ::: Jim Kiley ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 08:55 AM:

I'll tell ya what this here is, this is chilly-Sunday football-watchin' food is what this is.

#34 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 10:35 AM:

When I sliced all those lemons for Kathryn from Sunnyvale at the worldcon, I didn't have a glass cutting board, or a wood one. I used a plate, and I don't think I damaged Kathryn's ceramic knife. (I also managed not to damage my fingers, which wound up quite fragrant. No tart comment, please.)

#35 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 11:02 AM:

Serge @34: Citrus self, then.

#36 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 11:08 AM:

Serge #34: No lemony snicket?

#37 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 11:36 AM:

Pedantka @ 20: A mixture of diced portobello and shiitake mushrooms, maybe -- they've got the texture, and good flavour.

#38 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 11:56 AM:

Joel, 37: But portobello and shiitake are FOOD. Putting them into this dish would be a terrible waste. No, I'd use regular old white mushrooms--unless I really wanted to match the Cool Ranch Doritos-ness of the thing, in which case I'd use canned.

#39 ::: Sean Craven ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 12:36 PM:

Dear lord. The response this has gotten is absolutely terrifying. This is the single most-viewed thing I've ever posted on the web. I offer hilarious autobiography, fine art, thoughts on writing, pulp fiction tributes, vicious political criticism, paeans to loved ones, and thoroughly-researched paleontological reconstructions, reportage on a shooting spree, and this is what you people respond to?

This speaks poorly of our culture, and I hold every one of you responsible for my public humiliation.

Juniper, Nathan's Famous hot dogs are kosher. On the other hand, the meat-and-cheese thing ain't.

Chia, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine the trauma you're going through. While this recipe is intended to harm, you weren't the person I was aiming at. Now a pal is collateral damage... I'll try and make it up to you.

Anyway, aren't you supposed to be cooking Zebu using a suis vide method, then serving it with an agar-jellied Australian bush plum compote?

Pedantka, the idea of a vegetarian version of this is appalling. I salute you! Please note that while this is a tribute to the industrial diet, I'm not afraid of using high-end ingredients when it'll improve the taste. Mushrooms sound like a decent hot-dog substitute -- the textures are compatible. Don't be afraid to use good ones, though. The intensity of flavor is significant here; Joel's suggestion strike me as right on. I'd suggest roasting the mushrooms, then marinating them in a nice garlicky vinaigrette, rather than using the yellow mustard. The garlic in the dogs is significant. You won't be able to match the horror of the original, but as compensation you'll probably have a dish that's actually good.

DaveL, at some point I guess I'll have to write out my approach to beanie weenies. Your franks and beans sound distinctly edible.

David Harmon, here in California, Ranch isn't trendy. It's played out to the point where it's on the verge of retro. Which I guess means it's almost trendy again. What can I say?

Xeger, you are a crass and vulgar person. Come on over and sit by me.

Hmmm. Maybe I should do a T-shirt design while things are running hot.

#40 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 12:52 PM:

Ginger @ 35... Fragano @ 36...

Hah hah...
(Peels of laughter bitterly rindered.)
At least neither of you accused me of navel-gazing.

#41 ::: Pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 01:38 PM:

Portabello had actually been my first thought, as they achieve the appropriately rubbery texture fairly easily. Sean, the garlic sounds like a delicious idea, though it's got gears grinding on a multitude of other upgrades.

I will give this some thought, a bit of test-kitchening, and report back--though it may be awhile, as kitchen experimentation is currently suspended in an effort to actually finish writing my doctoral thesis sometime this year.

#42 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 02:28 PM:

"Plastic cutting boards are bad for your knives. I'm pretty sure glass boards are too, but *shrug* It's wood, wood, or wood... for my money."

Actually, plastic cutting boards are not considered harmful to your knives, because they're soft and score easily (like wood.) Glass is just about the worst thing you can do to a knife. Wood is good, as long as you do proper decontam.

We're big Food Network geeks at our house, and this question comes up a lot.

#43 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 02:30 PM:

Sean@39: The response this has gotten is absolutely terrifying. This is the single most-viewed thing I've ever posted on the web.

You're in good company. Scalzi is famous for taping bacon to his cat.

#44 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 02:35 PM:

Debra Doyle @ 43... Scalzi is famous for taping bacon to his cat

How did Kyra Sedgwick react?

#45 ::: Sean Craven ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 02:52 PM:

Hey, Debra!

That's what has me scared. As a reader of Whatever, I've seen signs of bacon fatigue from the hon. Mr. Scalzi, as though his pork-related notoriety has become a painful burden.

To my shame, I must confess to having made a rude personal remark to el Scalzi. I'm having a paranoid vision of him crouched over a veve, St. John the Conqueror root in one hand and his gris-gris bag in the other, grinning as he condemns me to a life of orange grease, melted cheese and nacho rings.

It would be cruel, but it would be just.

#46 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 03:06 PM:

TexAnne #38: Joel, 37: But portobello and shiitake are FOOD. Putting them into this dish would be a terrible waste.

It sounds, then, like a viable non-foodish substitute could be Quorn dogs, which apparently taste like cardboard. What better way to mitigate the virtue of a recipe whilst technically maintaining the semblance of edibility? Quorn-based dog kibble could be used to make the chili component of the recipe, but that's a lot of extra work just to make a culinary statement, I suppose.

#47 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 03:32 PM:

ebear@15, at least some of the cheese there was actual food (not sure about the pepper havarti), so it doesn't quite count as vegan. On the other hand, during the first half of my life when I was still omnivorous, hot dogs never really were food. (There were exceptions - Italian hot dogs in New Jersey basically use the dog as an excuse for lots of fried peppers and onions and sometimes potatoes, and sometimes use a decent Italian sausage instead of the rubbery things.)

Pedantka@41, back during the bacon-meme years, somebody posted a recipe to YouTube on making mushrooms that allegedly tasted like bacon; basically roasting shitakes, olive oil, and salt until the mushrooms were dried out enough to be crunchy. I tried it - made nice chewy mushrooms that tasted like mushrooms to me, not like bacon at all. Perhaps Liquid Smoke flavor would help (or at least it would increase the Not Food quota for the dish.)

A few years back I was in Indianapolis for a convention, and there was a restaurant there with four kinds of chili, one of which was vegan, and some kind of veggie burger. So I got a chili burger there, something I hadn't had in years. It was an excellent sloppy mess, and the other chilis there looked like they were also Midwestern imitations of the real thing so I wasn't really losing authenticity points.

#48 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 03:51 PM:

Chryss @ #23, Add a little crabmeat and gelatin and yours looks like my Super Bowl dip:

* 6 oz. can crab
* 8 oz. block cream cheese
* 10.5 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
* 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
* 1 cup diced onion
* .5 cup mayonaisse
* Garnish with something green

Heat cream cheese, soup and gelatin, mixing till fully combined. Stir in balance of ingredients and chill. Serve with crackers or thick chips.

#49 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 04:31 PM:

Scott@29 said: Plastic cutting boards are bad for your knives. I'm pretty sure glass boards are too, but *shrug* It's wood, wood, or wood... for my money. Then again, if you're using cheap serrated knives, it doesn't much matter, does it?

Um, it's my impression that wood is one of the most metal-dulling things you can cut on (short of glass or ceramic, of course); this is why my good fabric scissors are never used to cut paper, not never, until they quit being sharp enough to do nice things with silk.

Not to mention the sheer hindbrain-level revulsion I have to using anything as water- (and bacteria-)permeable as wood for food preparation over the long term; there's just no reasonable way to sterilize the thing.

#50 ::: Pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 05:14 PM:

Bill Stewart @47:

I don't know about making something else taste exactly like bacon (I will confess the words 'Why would you want to?' are flitting through my mind), but my mother used to make a bacon-based vegetable soup that I used to love, and smoked salt is definitely the answer for duplicating the necessary note of bacon-ness in that dish. I don't know about liquid smoke, having never encountered it.

(Bacon meme? Do I even want to know?)

#51 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 05:33 PM:

Elliott Mason @49, the natural acidity of the wood kills a lot of bacteria on its own. There have been tests that show comparable residual bacteria levels between acrylic cutting boards put through a standard commercial dishwashing/sanitizing procedure, and wooden cutting boards cleaned similarly and allowed to dry overnight. When I asked my manager (who's more up on equipment regulations than I am) whether my wooden chopping bowl and curved chopper would be up to code if I brought them in to use in prepping the salmon burgers instead of the flat acrylic board and standard knife (really, fish bits go everywhere, and it stresses my shoulder) he was more concerned about the construction of the blade than by the fact that the bowl was wooden. When I said "it's all metal, we can put it through the dish with everything else, he said, "Sure, bring it in!"

We use acrylic cutting boards at work because they come in multiple colors that can be coded to their uses to guard against cross-contamination, they're less prone to splitting or warping when going through the dishwasher, and they're pretty cheap to replace (because they DO get scored and grubby and don't last forever, and you can't sand them like wood). But I've also worked at places that are primarily bakeries more than restaurants, and there have been GORGEOUS butcher-block wooden surfaces for handling dough. You scrape off the dough residue with a flat scraper, you scrub the surface with hot soapy water and a metal mesh scouring pad, scrape it dry, and then, at least once a week, you wipe it down with vegetable oil and let it dry. This gives one of the NICEST kitchen work surfaces you'll ever want to see.

#52 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 05:43 PM:

I've often wondered about cutting boards after reading contradictory advice about choosing them (some say to use glass for reasons of hygiene, others recommend wood or plastic because they're easier on knives). Some research has found wood cutting boards safer than synthetic ones. A cursory search hasn't unearthed more recent studies, though. Is wood generally thought to be the best surface?

#53 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 05:52 PM:

Rikibeth, so if you can use the mezzaluna fish hocker but you don't want to put the antique bowl through the dish, what are you doing? Using the hocker in a metal bowl?

#54 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 06:06 PM:

So what about bamboo cutting boards? Does that count as "wood"? I've been seeing those more, notably at Bed Bath & Beyond.

#55 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 06:58 PM:

Mark, I haven't brought it in yet. I'm seriously considering letting the antique bowl go through the dish, as it's done nothing but sit in my over-the-fridge cabinet for two years now, and it was not made to be a sacred ancestral talisman, it was made for Chopping Fish In It. Also, I have to hone the hocker first, because it's very dull. And it's not as if they don't make nice large turned-maple bowls right now, for not terribly much money, that are easily bought if the old bowl DOES crack.

But my shoulder tells me that I ought to hone the hocker tonight, and bring the set in tomorrow, because mincing onions on a flat board is one thing, but chopping fish? Quite another story.

#56 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 07:08 PM:

I used to make a casserole like Sean's except it had chili with meat instead of hot dogs and all the electric ovens I used worked.

I have two dips that I make when I need to take something somewhere, since I can't really cook anymore.

This one is hot and needs to be kept hot -- a crockpot is good:

1 block Velveeta cheese
1 jar jalapeno slices
about 1 Tablespoon garlic salt

Melt the Velveeta and mix the others in.

This one is cold:

1 big container of sour cream
about 1/2 Tablespoon garlic salt
about 1/2 Tablespoon dill
about 1/4 cup of *dry* grated Parmesan cheese, the kind you shake from a jar

Mix carefully and keep in fridge overnight before serving.

#57 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 07:23 PM:

Eclaire@31--My mother had the same recipe, but used a little prepared horseradish (to taste, and hers was fairly bland), typically with thin-sliced corned beef.

There's a reason for the saying "Crazier than a Kraft Foods recipe."

#58 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 08:13 PM:

My two cents on cutting boards:
As long as it isn't hard, it's okay.
Wood is okay.
Plastic is okay.
Glass is out, and so is granite. For me, anyway.

#59 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 08:42 PM:

My mother's chili recipe (invented on a camping trip):

Canned "chili con carne" (whatever brand was on sale--often Hormel)
Canned corned beef
Dump into saucepan and heat to bubbling; chopping up corned beef mass with edge of spoon and mixing them together while heating.

My siblings and I were quite fond of this when we were children, but I haven't tried it in years.

#60 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 09:19 PM:

"I am dying of curiosity regarding Wolf chili, which I suspect may be superior."

Wolf chili is a pretty good brand.

But be prepared to be disappointed on one front: There is no wolf in Wolf chili.

(There are also no bumblebees in Bumblebee tuna. Shame on you, Wolf and Bumblebee!)

#61 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 09:24 PM:

Spinning off Bruce Arthurs #60: I noticed just this week that both Bumblebee and Star-Kist tuna "in water" now seem to actually be in "vegetable broth" (with a "contains soy" warning). When did this happen? I'm reasonably sure that those ingredient lists used to be "tuna, water, salt".

#62 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 09:30 PM:

#60: One of my co-workers could supply me with the raw materials for coyote chili, which would probably be pretty close to actual wolf chili.

(They've had a disappearing cat problem. He's just been throwing the corpses in a ditch. Seems like a waste.)

#63 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 09:49 PM:

TexAnne @ 38 -- Sorry, I wasn't really grokking the proper conceptual space. When I see a recipe like this, I automatically tend to try to translate it into something that I could make, eat, and enjoy. Hot dogs? No; possibly a decent veggie sausage. Veggie chili. Ranch-flavoured potato chips are loathsome (well, if you're gonna make something artificially flavoured to taste like a ranch, what do you expect?) but plain tortilla chips would be OK. Use part-skim cheese and the dish wouldn't be too bad for fat and cholesterol.

A bit earlier this evening, I started a crock pot going with 4 cups of dry brown lentils, about 10 cups of water, 1/4 kg of diced white mushrooms, and a couple of tbsp apiece of whole mustard seed and crushed dried chilis. Before I go to bed I'll slice up a package of veggie sausage (about 300 g, I think) and throw it in. Tomorrow morning I'll add a bit of molasses and a splash of soy sauce. Tomorrow night I'll put a slice of fresh bread in a bowl, add some shredded medium cheddar, and cover it with my lentil stew. Later meals will probably involve tortilla chips instead of bread.

#64 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 10:28 PM:

Reindeer chili is really good.

#65 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 10:39 PM:

FYI, melt provolone (the cheap rubbery slices, not the aged crumbly stuff) slowly in a heavily-oiled or -no stick sprayed omelette pan until it bubbles, and then let it cool in the fridge. Crumbled up, it makes great vegetarian "bacon" bits.

Conversely, slow-roasted thin slices of yam marinated in olive oil and soy sauce makes pretty decent "ham," particularly in split pea soup.

#66 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2009, 10:43 PM:

Sean Craven @ 39 ...
Xeger, you are a crass and vulgar person. Come on over and sit by me.

Thank you :)

Elliott Mason @ 49 ...
this is why my good fabric scissors are never used to cut paper, not never, until they quit being sharp enough to do nice things with silk.

Er ... I hope that's not implying that you don't sharpen your scissors ... (or have them sharpened...)

#67 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 12:13 AM:

re cutting boards (having spent four hours today with reps from Kai (i.e Shun) and Zwilling (i.e. Henkels).

Wood is fine, end grain is best. Plastic is not bad for the knives. The rule is, if you can make a mark (even a little one) with your thumbnail, it's not going to hurt the knife.

I happen to prefer wood because the knives chew up the plastic, which makes them hard to clean (and damaging to sponges). Reports say the same scores in the plastic are also breeding grounds for bacteria, and they insulate them from detergents. So I have a "scientific" rationale to go with my aesthetic predjudice.

Wood happens to be (esp in the endgrain/butcher block boards) anti-bacterial. Sandingresurfacing will reduce this, for a couple of days, until the environment rebalances.

Bamboo is also good. It's solid, doesn't score the way acrylic/plastic do, and survives in the dishwasher fairly well. I've not seen any reports on the anti-bacterial properties, but it can't be any worse than acrylics. My guess (because it scores less easily) is it's between wood, and acrylic.

#68 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 12:23 AM:

As to knives... I am in love. I am not a fan, by and large, of the santoku shape, but I got to use one today (the Zwilling 1731), and it was everything I want a chef's knife to me (well, I'd like a bit more point, but I have an A. G. Russell 6" untility for that).

Wonderful balance, enough belly to mince, at 7", just long enough to get around about everything I need something deeper than the Russell for, heavier in blade than a Japanese styled knife, but thinner than classic chef.

But, it's $450. I get a discount (because I'm working at Sur la Table), but I sure hope I sell a lot of Zwilling stuff. They are having an incentive program. I don't think it will sway me to reccomend things I wouldn't otherwise, but all of a sudden I want to sell more Henkels than Shun, and Staube looks as good as Le Creuset (actually, it does).

The Demeyere sold me when I saw they had none of the obnoxious protruding rivets (how hard would it be to make pans with flush rivets? The machinist in me says not at all: use a countersink and Bob's yer uncle).

The heart, it YEARNS!

#69 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 02:40 AM:

Terry Karney #68: The Demeyere sold me when I saw they had none of the obnoxious protruding rivets (how hard would it be to make pans with flush rivets? The machinist in me says not at all: use a countersink and Bob's yer uncle).

You figure there may be an aftermarket for deobnoxifying those protruding rivets?

#70 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 03:06 AM:

Earl: Not really. If you grind them flush, they no longer have the head, and so the handles fall off.

You could then drill a countersink, and put in some flush rivets.

It would cost $150-250 per pan.

#71 ::: Torrilin ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 09:42 AM:

#39 ::: Sean Craven

So get cracking, finish a book, and get it published. You'll be a lot less offended when we can buy it and GIVE YOU MONEY :D

I'm waiting impatiently.

#72 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 10:12 AM:

xeger @ 30... They never bring that up on those dinosaur documentaries of the Discovery Channel, or National Geographics's.

#73 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 10:18 AM:

Speaking of rivets... Is there such a thing as fake rivet heads, especially big ones, that one can glue onto other surfaces?

#74 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 10:52 AM:

Serge @ 73 -- It would be simple enough to buy dome-shaped metallic buttons and trim off the loop intended for sewing through. They're lightweight and come in a variety of sizes, and after the back is roughed up, should be gluable.

I used such buttons to make the eyes for my squid's Winslow-cultist hat. They were originally a metallic silver-grey before I painted them.

#75 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 11:04 AM:

Joel Polowin @ 74... That's an excellent idea. Thanks!

#76 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 11:08 AM:

Serge @ 72 ...
xeger @ 30... They never bring that up on those dinosaur documentaries of the Discovery Channel, or National Geographics's.

They don't say "Look! Opposable thumbs! ... " Er. Right. Going to get my nice cuppa tea now...

#77 ::: Sean Craven ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 11:53 AM:

Torrilin @ 71, I have every intention of giving people a chance to give me money. So far this morning, I've line-edited a short story that a check-signing editor has expressed interest in, and done line edits on two chapters of the seventh revision of my first readable novel.

You'll be hearing from me, best believe, he said with an air of disgustingly smug self-confidence.

But I'll admit that I've been pondering the idea of doing more food writing. Maybe I should see if I can get some free hot-dogs or chili out of this strange twist of events.

#78 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 01:48 PM:

xeger @66 said in re my @49: Er ... I hope that's not implying that you don't sharpen your scissors ... (or have them sharpened...)

I don't, because it's far too much trouble to find someone who can really do it.

Back when I was sewing a lot, I bought a pair of the shiny-metal good Ginghers* in the grey fuzzy-lined box about once every 2-3 years, when the previous pair quit cutting through silk with no effort (at which point the old pair would become the Less Good Ginghers**, used for slightly more dubious purposes than the Good ones, the previous Less Good pair would become my general craft scissors, and the previous craft pair would go to the metal recyclers or be used for punching holes in chrome-tanned leather, or some such.

It really wasn't worth it to me to find somewhere to sharpen them when I was only going through one pair of $35 scissors every two years ... nowadays, I don't know what I'd do, but I haven't sewn silk chiffon in nearly a decade, so it mostly doesn't matter that I don't have a pair of Good Scissors anymore.

Also, the Good Scissors are used for doing haircuts, because they don't pull.

---
* There quit being good Ginghers about ten years ago; they weigh half what they did, so I'm presuming they changed the alloy. In any case, the new ones go dull in about 1/4 the time, and sometimes they come with chips already in the blades. Don't waste your money.
** I mark which scissors are which with a ribbon*** tied through one finger-hole; I change colors when I get a new pair, and remember the new colors are the Good Scissors; when they're demoted to Craft I cut the ribbon off.
*** For values of 'ribbon' that, in my case, include an embroidery-floss friendship bracelet constructed onto the scissors-handle through the 'safety-pin loop'. Because I'm a bit OCD that way. And it's pretty. And distinctive. :-> But you can use a ribbon.

#79 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 02:25 PM:

Elliott: hair dulls scissors faster than paper.

#80 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 02:34 PM:

Texanne #79: Cut with the scissors as though they were already dull? ;-)

#81 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 02:40 PM:

TexAnne@79 said: hair dulls scissors faster than paper.

Really? Hair is chemically equivalent to wool (keratin strands); paper is fairly disorganised chunks of cellulose and lignin. I certainly never noticed that haircutting now and then (or cutting wool yardage) did anything to my scissors, but cut out one frakking paper snowflake and suddenly silk snagged on the blades.

This led to my ribbon policy; people who didn't know How To Treat My Scissors could use any pair without a ribbon. :->

#82 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 02:55 PM:

Elliot, 81: I dunno, I'm just parroting what my friend the hairdresser told me. But wool is much finer than hair, so maybe that has something to do with it? Regardless, I cut neither hair nor paper with my good scissors.

#83 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 03:04 PM:

on cutting hair:
I've heard that hair is about as tough as copper wire of the same diameter.

#84 ::: Torrilin ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 03:35 PM:

I have pretty fine hair for a human. Shortish staple length maybe 20", no crimp at all. It does spin, but it is too coarse for use. It wouldn't even make good rug yarn.

Most of the wool I have on hand for spinning has a 3-6" staple length, so pretty short compared to my hair. The crimp is *much* better. And generally a wool fiber as thick as one of my hairs is incredibly brittle and will shatter when I spin it. A normal wool fiber would be in the 20-30 micron range. Typical human hair is more like 90 microns.

So yeah, human hair is surely worse on scissors than wool. But I am not at all sure how quickly one could tell.

#85 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 04:30 PM:

P. J. has it right, hair is about as tough as copper of the same diameter. It's not built the same, so you can get it to shear with less effort (so copper is harder on your scissors).

Paper isn't inch per inch, harder on scissors, but there are a lot more inches of paper in a single snick of the blades than there are inches of hair.

So, while hair is tougher, paper is harder on the blades.

#86 ::: JanetM ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 04:50 PM:

Julia @65: "Conversely, slow-roasted thin slices of yam marinated in olive oil and soy sauce makes pretty decent 'ham,' particularly in split pea soup."

I am forced to admit that I initially read "thin slices of yak" and wondered if you lived in Tibet or something.

#87 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 05:13 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 78 ...
xeger @66 said in re my @49: Er ... I hope that's not implying that you don't sharpen your scissors ... (or have them sharpened...)
I don't, because it's far too much trouble to find someone who can really do it.

Hm. I've had decent success with finding somebody to sharpen scissors -- the two most recent being the knife man (we still have a guy that comes by spring/fall-or-so, in his truck, bells and all, to sharpen things... and by calling what looked like a decent traditional tailor in my area, and asking who sharpens their scissors.

For scissors that I'm less concerned about, this message from the old tools list and this broadsheet from tools for self reliance are both good references.

#88 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 06:22 PM:

Terry #85:

Any hairdressers around, who could give us the benefit of their experience? How often do they sharpen their blades, are they jealous of their scissors, do they buy super-fancy ones, stuff like that?

#89 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 06:57 PM:

Paper dulls Scissors, Scissors cuts Hair, Hair hides Bald Spot, Bald Spot flash-burns Paper with reflected sunlight....

#90 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2009, 09:11 PM:

Aha. I think a final upshot of this is 'slightly dull scissors cut paper far better than they do hair,' or, rather, the hair will notice dullness faster (the scalp attached to the hair will, at least), so people cutting just hair with their scissors need to be very careful about keeping them sharp.

#91 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 03:54 AM:

joann @88:
Any hairdressers around, who could give us the benefit of their experience? How often do they sharpen their blades, are they jealous of their scissors, do they buy super-fancy ones, stuff like that?

Not me, but I did end up getting a hairdresser pitching fairly strongly for my business the other week. (my last professional haircut was in 1984). I was just waiting while the other members of my family got theirs done.

First he showed me his €400 scissors, specifically and only for hair, which are beautiful. Then he showed me his €1200 heated scissors, which melt the end just a little tiny bit as they cut it to reduce splitting. Then he pressed one, no, wait, take two little bottles of a silk-based hair conditioner on me, then insisted on putting some in my hair as well.

He's probably got my business, for two reasons. First of all, he's convinced me that he shares my goal of finding ways to get my hair even longer than its current hip length, mostly by addressing end splitting and breaking.

And secondly, he's clearly a complete hairdressing geek, and I like geeks.

#92 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 08:38 AM:

Abi @ 91... my goal of finding ways to get my hair even longer than its current hip length

Phew. When I began reading your comment, I became afraid that you wanted to part with your abundant chevelure.

#93 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 08:50 AM:

Serge @ 92 ...
Part, not part with :P [she upbraids]

#94 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 09:34 AM:

xeger @ 93... she upbraids

I feel distressed.

#95 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 10:27 AM:

Serge @ 94: Here, have a drink -- it's the hair of the dog.

#96 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 11:16 AM:

Ginger @ 95... That drink sure packs quite a few bangs.

#97 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 11:41 AM:

Serge @ 96: That's why I keratin cup.

#98 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 12:10 PM:

Ginger @ 97... Filled with Lock Lomond cocktail?

#99 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 12:46 PM:

Serge @98: Or Dogfish Head.

#100 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 01:34 PM:

abi, I had a post here that hasn't shown up, plus one the other day. I know you don't usually pull posts, but if you do, do you tell people?

#101 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 01:52 PM:

Marilee @100:

We don't pull posts, but if we did, you'd know about it. It's not your recipe at 56?

There's nothing awaiting moderation, either.

I've been away the whole weekend (nice break, great trip to my favorite amusement park, shame three of the four of us were sick and the car's clutch stopped working), so maybe one of the other mods knows something?

#102 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 02:29 PM:

#100 Marilee: When something went wrong with one of my comments it showed up in my “view all by” but not on the thread.

#103 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 03:43 PM:

abi, I updated one of the recipes with something I forgot. Kevin, it's not in view all by, either.

From #56, an update to include what I forgot:

This one is hot and needs to be kept hot -- a crockpot is good:

1 block Velveeta cheese
1 jar jalapeno slices
about 1 Tablespoon garlic salt
1 jar pico de gallo

Melt the Velveeta and mix the others in.

#104 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 05:38 PM:

When I hear mention of cheese in blocks, I am pleasantly reminded of Government Cheese, which tastes precisely like nostalgia.

#105 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 06:11 PM:

Earl, the odd thing is that the ingredients may be pretty mundane, even disgusting, but it tastes really good.

#106 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 06:25 PM:

Somewhere up in the pile of stuff at the top of my cupboard is a plastic tupperware-style container maid specifically for the canonical loaf of Velveeta.

I haven't been tempted to fill deploy it as intended.

Maybe if I host a Mad Men party . . .

#107 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 06:33 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 106... You have a plastic maid?

#108 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 06:55 PM:

#107: As opposed to a Rubbermaid?

#109 ::: Kaleberg ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 07:10 PM:

It's good to see a recipe with "wash your paws". Food handling hygiene is important. A friend of mine says that every recipe should start with "wash your hands", but for a lot of us "wash your paws" is more appropriate.

#110 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2009, 07:28 PM:

Kaleberg #109: Woof Woof!*

*: Translation: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

#111 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2009, 10:59 AM:

I think, if I were making this, that I'd be using at least part pepper (or jalapeno) jack instead of pepper Havarti, because the local stores don't seem to have Havarti in that flavor (plain, yes).

#112 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2009, 05:39 AM:

So I've decided that I need to introduce my family to chili hot dogs (I think the casserole would probably be too much of a jump) but you can't get Hormel's here. Nor Dennison. Nor anything else like that unless I drive out to Malaga.

I don't really know how to justify it but a trip to the city to buy canned chili imported from America just seems decadent beyond words.

So I decided I would just make some. I popped over to google and wrote "chili for" and hey! "chili for hotdogs" popped up immediately!

I don't know, it made me happy.

#113 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2009, 07:01 AM:

Is there a way to convert regular havarti cheese into the pepper variant in the home? My hand-wavey thought on that involves a food processor and some kind of hand cranked press to remold it into a brick-like form after the chaosing process. (In other words, something that an information technology executive might brainstorm [after being transferred into the cheese-making arm of a megacorp] to a general audience of face-palming cheese subject matter experts).

#114 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2009, 07:53 AM:

Earl, the pepper havarti will get all melty in the baking process anyway, so for the casserole I'd just melt some plain havarti in a double boiler, stir in finely chopped peppers, and pour it in a thin layer where you're meant to lay in slices.

If you want a block of pepper havarti for your cheese board, well, you go right ahead with your weird cheese death machines. I'll be over here.

#115 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2009, 08:10 AM:

Earl: #113: Also, I'd be wary of putting havarti through a food processor: I suspect it's got just the right semisoft consistency to jam it up, not to mention making a heckuva mess.

#116 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2009, 01:03 PM:

All right. As threatened, I made this (sans pepper rings) and I photoblogged it.

Fear the Casserole.

#117 ::: batwrangler ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2009, 07:23 AM:

Having witnessed Ebear's incarnation of this casserole, and, more impressively, watched people eating it while complaining about everything *except* the taste, the only thing I can think of to top it would be a layer of puff-pastry, like those crecent roles that come in cardboard tubes....

#118 ::: Liz Ditz ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2009, 08:26 PM:

I just made the chili hotdog Doritos casserole for a friend's memorial service potluck -- just his kind of food! And of course his friends.

Skipped the "nacho peppers" -- some of the guests are a bit spice shy, and substituted pepper jack for the harvarti.

I used Dennison’s original chili con carne (beans AND ...meat.)

It was delicious and disappeared faster than any other dish.

#119 ::: Joe McMahon ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2011, 08:53 PM:

Cincinnati Chili, especially the version linked to here, (pork and beef; allspice, cinnamon, and cocoa) is my go-to standard. I think it's the double endorphin hit from chili+chocolate. It's magnificent. Preferentially not-quite-five-way, with chopped onions and beans over linguini, but hold the cheddar cheese. A really sharp cheddar might be good, but I haven't tried it yet. The shredded-cheddar-in-a-bag is hideously overmatched if you use good chocolate.

#120 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2011, 12:41 AM:

My mom gave me a cookbook by Green & Black's, which includes a chili recipe -- it has allspice but not cinnamon. I've made it several times. The last few I've put in a couple of habañeros for a little extra zing.

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