Monday, November 17, 2008

It Had a Chipotle Heat!

One of the better gifts I have ever given Mrs. Abbey has been a big rectangular baking stone and a baking peel. They were two things that she has wanted for a long time and two things that I have mostly commandeered for my own uses. I think she has used it to bake bread once since September when she got them and I have used them seven or eight times to make pizza.

Growing up, I thought there was nothing better in this world than Pizza Hut pizza. Then about five or six years ago, either it started getting worse or I developed other tastes and I preferred my own pizza to it. I would bake it in a cookie sheet and life was good. Then September came and I tried a pizza on a baking stone in a screaming hot oven. I was in heaven. Since then, we have had pizza at least once a week on that thing.

Normally we have our pizza on Friday night but last Wednesday, the stars aligned just right. My wife had found a recipe for chipotle chicken pizza in an aisle of the grocery store, I had some leftover chicken that needed to be used up and I had the time to make some dough so that it had time to rise. The recipe was from Pillsbury and called for all their pre-maid stuff, which didn’t interest me, but I had all the raw ingredients and thought I could improvise.

One batch of dough makes four small pizzas about six or eight inches in diameter so I had the first two out of the oven and the third in when my wife got home from work. We sat down and by luck of the draw I took the first bite. It was great but instantly, the inside of my mouth started tingling from the spice. I made a comment to my wife that the pizza had a kick to it and went in for a second bite. The tingling turned into heat and was within seconds so intense that all I could do was suck air through pursed lips in gasps and guzzle down my iced pop to quench the fire. The forehead sweats never even had a time to appear. Even Little Abbey who normally loves spicy foods was whimpering. I gathered up the pizza and threw it away. I have never been so disappointed in my life.

As we heated up some leftovers and drank milk, water and pop to quench the fires in our mouths, I looked to see what had gone wrong. I had never cooked with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce before and had mentally associated them as a smoky mild flavored pepper. Inspecting the can showed no signs that what lay inside was insanely hot. There were no words of warning and only a fairly plain label stating chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Had I read Wikipedia's entry on chipotle peppers first I would have understood and this could have been avoided. But I didn't until after it was all over with and we were lucky enough to still be alive.

I next checked the recipe from the store that I had just lightly skimmed before doing my own thing. There I found my mistake. What I had thought said to chop up 1/2 to 1 (7oz) can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce actually read chop 1/2 - 1 pepper FROM a (7oz) can of chipotle peppers. There had been five or six peppers packed into that small seven ounce can and I had chopped up the entire lot of over ripened and smoke dried jalapeno chilies packed in a sauce.

So I did what had to be done. I made a special trip to the grocery store for some more chicken and made pizza the very next night except this time I used regular green peppers and instead of adobo sauce I used my all time favorite smoky barbecue sauce called Cookie's BBQ Sauce. It was heavenly and since it was cooked on a baking stone, it was the way pizza was intended to be cooked. As a bonus, I could eat it without gasping for error and liquids!


Murf said...

I thought engineers were all about the details. How could you have missed that? :-) I've been to quite a few Pampered Chef parties and they like to really push their stoneware, one of which is one that you could use for pizzas, cookies, etc. Maybe I should get one and make my own pizza despite my ideal pizza just being the classic pepperoni only.

Ed Abbey said...

How to figure our truss loading using the K-truss rule... not a problem. Knowing that chipotle peppers were actually overripe jalepenos... I guess I'm guilty as charged.

My first pizza that I made was a classic pepperoni. Very very good. Make sure you get a big rectangle one but still have a couple inches on all sides for an air gap. I bought a deep dish pizza pan from PC once upon a time and the thing sucked. A flat stone is all you need and I've actually heard of people using stone tiles from a hardware store as a cheaper alternative.

Beau said...

Oh that must have been awful- but I credit the fact that you're an engineer to the very rational decision to throw out the pizza right away when you knew it didn't measure up! Me? I would have grimly eaten every bit to a) Not waste it, and b) Not admit that I didn't want a very spicy pizza in the first place... :)

The Real Mother Hen said...

What, you threw them away??? Ah you should send them over to OR! :) I like spicy pizza. Sometimes I would even pour a spoonful of 300,000 Scoville rating chili oil to my food, just for the kick of it.

Btw, I like Costco pizza, cheap and good, perfect for Friday night dinner with some beer, oh it's only 10am, but now I'm hungry.

Ed Abbey said...

Beau & Mother Hen - Normally I would have eaten it all because I like spicy food and Mrs. Abbey doesn't care for it. But this stuff was well beyond any levels I could tolerate. It was the hottest thing I have ever eaten (i.e. Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce) multiplied by ten. The Insanity Sauce even has a warning on the label for the pregnant not to eat.

sage said...

I want one of them there stones! I often make my own pizza dough.

Ed Abbey said...

Sage - Ask Santa nicely this year!

R. Sherman said...

Bad, very bad. It's a good thing you didn't get any of the sauce in your eye. You'd still be in misery.


josh said...

I one time made salsa using fresh jalapenos, trust me there are worst places to get that juice. I am probably with Beau, I would have eaten it just because I made it. Good to hear the next night worked out.