Friday, April 3, 2009

Breathing Fire

I love cooking... I love experimenting with food and making up sauces and going off recipe. I'm addicted to The Food Network, and the greatest cooking show ever, America's Test Kitchen which is on PBS. Best. Show. Ever. They take these recipes and try them hundreds of different ways until they find the best one. And it usually is nothing like the "original" or "traditional" recipe. Most of the recipes that I get are through America's Test Kitchen. They're mostly easy, sometimes take a little extra work, but the result is always AMAZING.

This time, Gene and I were making NY strip steaks that he got from the butcher. Ah-mazing. Super buttery and tender. In accordance with the test kitchen, I baked my steak for 30 minutes in a low oven and then put it in a SUPER HOT pan with vegetable oil to sear it and get it nice and brown. All sides. Then let it rest while I make the pan sauce.

The pan sauce is where the problems started. First, it's a tequila lime chile sauce. Except my grocery store doesn't carry poblano chiles, so I decided to substitute a jalapeno. I've never worked with jalapenos, but I know that most of the heat is in the seeds and a ribs, so I get those little suckers out of there. Chop up my little pepper, cook it in steak fat and cumin, and put it aside. Then I stick some white tequila... and i have to set it on fire. Except I don't have a kitchen lighter (the ones that look like guns with a really long barrel to light grills and things with?) or long matches. In fact, I can't find any matches anywhere. But I do have a gas stove and birthday candles (I know... dumbest thing ever... and I'm buying a kitchen lighter for the next time, beacuse this sauce was FREAKING GOOD). I was not expecting the flame that came... but that's all right. I didn't burn anything down. Everything was fine. Thank god. After the tequila, some chicken stock, and some fresh lime juice... I put the peppers and the cumin (there was also supposed to be a shallot, but neither Gene nor I like onions, so I scratched that), and some fresh herbs in the pan and cooked that up a bit more.

You thought it was the tequila on fire that is making me breathe fire, didn't you? It wasn't. It's the oil from the jalapeno. That shit stays on your freaking hands FOREVER and no amount of soap and water can get it out. So every time I blow my nose? The oils manage to get on my nose and it feels like the inside of my nose is on freaking fire. When I accidentally touch my eye? BURNING. I didn't wash my face or put on moisturizer today because I was terrified of what would happen. Last night, the oils were bothering the inside of my nose so much that my sinuses had swollen as if I had a cold. I made the mistake of trying to flush out the oils with water and my neti pot. BURNING. So... about 18 hours later... I'm still having nasal burning... and eye burning... and underneath my fingernails burn. I also like to bite my thumb if I'm thinking. Then my tongue burns. I hate jalapenos.

1 comment:

Joanie M said...

So, do you still have eyebrows? ;)

Think you get that love of cooking and trying different things off-recipe from your Dad.

You don't remember the time I made fresh salsa, do you? It was probably 15 years ago. By the time I was finished, my entire face was on fire! And then Dani was crying because I kissed her cheek and made her face burn.

My advice? Next time, wear gloves.