Not like stove hot. Like hot hot.
Once, I was posted up in a booth behind a tourist couple, and the lady said in an alarmed voice to the man: “This food is so hot you can’t even taste the food!”
Lady, the hot is the food—of life!
I like my chile so hot it elevates my consciousness, sharpens me up.
I like my chile so hot it dilates my pores and sinuses.
I like my chile so hot it withers my shitty day.
I like my chile so hot it cremates boredom.
I like my chile so hot it burns the demons out of me.
I like my chile so hot it cauterizes my heart.
Today, I went to Cecilia’s Café. There were new warning signs posted around the restaurant. I thought, perhaps, they were there to caution new customers about the usual level of heat—which is in the red.
Instead, it seems the chile is now EVEN HOTTER. I had to take most of my meal to go after attempting it for some time with the acoompaniment of several glasses of water. I dropped ice cubes onto my tongue and just let them melt.
I have eaten my leftovers in four parts throughout the day, about a half-cup at a time. I’ve been on a kind of weird continual inhale all day—lots of little breaths in in in ... out ... in in in ...
This is high praise. My day has been awesome. Get the red.
Also, where’s your favorite hot spot?
Best of Burque
It's a bird, it's a plane!
It's the Weekly Alibi's 18th annual Best of Burque issue. Faster than a speeding red-light runner. More powerful than Don Schrader's home-brewed goat head yerba maté. You, the readers, picked the best of the best in the Duke City. We, Albuquerque's faithful alternative weekly, compiled those green chile slathered nuggets of local goodness into what is sure to be the best Best of Burque issue of 2011.
Don't take our word for it. The issue (officially) hits stands on Thursday, April 7, but if you hunt diligently it can be found in select locations on Wednesday, April 6.
Who will win best Albuquerquean? Which bar has the best staff? Which radio station came out on top? Tune in next week to find out.
A secret pinto bean recipe now released to the public at large.
I used to think beans needed salt pork or ham hocks to come out right. Not so. Beans are just as delicious with no meat at all. I imagine there may come a time when you don’t even need beans to make beans–just air and a discerning palette. In the mean time, here’s my world-famous recipe for beans.
1) Rinse some dry beans and soak them over night in a large saucepan. The beans expand as they absorb water, so while it’s difficult to know how many you should soak, you can be pretty sure you’re soaking too many. That’s okay, they’re cheap. Some people say you need to sort the dry beans for rocks prior to rinsing, but I prefer to simply buy “rock-free” brands and gamble with my very life.
2) After soaking, drain the beans and replace the water with fresh, then boil them for about five minutes, removing the white scum that forms on top. I like to believe the white scum contains extra fart-producing elements. I have no scientific basis for believing so, but you’ll want to scrape it off anyway because it looks gross.
3) Dump the beans and hot water into a slow cooker (i.e. Crock-Pot®) with half a diced onion and one or two cloves of crushed garlic, then let it cook on high for about five hours. The longer beans cook, they softer they become. Don’t add salt while they’re cooking. Salt lowers the boiling temperature of the water and will cause your beans to cook less quickly. It will also inevitably lead to somebody bitching about how salty they are. It’s best to just salt them to taste once they’re in the bowl.
I like to eat my beans with a little shredded cheddar cheese, and sometimes with some red or green chile. When it’s time to put the leftover beans away, let them cool off to room temperature without a lid before sticking them in the refrigerator. This guards against a disgusting aroma your beans might otherwise develop.
I think my house is haunted. I keep hearing sounds behind me, but when I turn around there’s no one there. Just a terrible smell.
The Food and Drug Administration ordered the seizure of chile products from a warehouse in Derry, N.M.
U.S. Marshals confiscated the chile from Duran and Sons. (I’ve got a call in to the FDA to find out how much was seized, and how this chile is usually distributed.) According to the complaint filed by the FDA, inspectors discovered:
• “Widespread insect and rodent infestation”
• Rodent excreta pellets on and around the food
• Stains that looked like rodent urine
• “Investigators observed and photographed rodent nesting material on finished product.”
• Cats and birds
• Insects, larvae and moths
According to this 2007 High Country News article, Duran and Sons grows 140 acres of chile and processes 600,000 pounds every year.
There was no answer yesterday or today when the Alibi called the chile company. Owner Carl Duran told the Associated Press that he’d been cooperating with the FDA, and the raid was a surprise. He also said the seized chile was slated for destruction anyway.
The Pink Panther in Repose
When I first started working as the Arts and Literature editor at the Weekly Alibi, I wanted to send out requests for art.
Where are all the sand hill cranes?
In the mean time...
What can I say, I have a fairly unhealthy fixation on birds the last year or two, in particular, sand hill cranes.
For the last month I have been impatiently awaiting the arrival of the ancient ones to Central New Mexico. I have seen huge flocks of birds flying high above the Rio Grande in recent weeks, coming in for the winter.
They blot out the sky. Some of them look like cranes. I love cranes.
Unfortunately, I am always going 80 mph on the freeway and can’t look too long. For this reason, I cannot confirm whether or not I’ve seen one yet. This is probably how I’m going to die, staring up at the sky trying to identify migrating bird species. I can think of worse ways to go.
I don’t want to say I’ve seen them until I’m sure I’ve seen them. Speculating will get you into trouble fast in this business. For this reason, I’m waiting until the three-foot-tall, dinosaur-like creatures are standing on the ground in a field somewhere, the crimson feathers on their heads plainly visible.
I can’t wait.
In the mean time, here is a picture of some pelicans in Chile, graciously sent by Mr. Paul Rust of Lawton, Okla. Thanks, Paul. You are tiding me over.
The Daily Word 10.14.10: Chilean miners rescued, Lobos No. 1, Cheney won't apologize
Albuquerque's Chilean community celebrates the miners' rescue.
Martinez ditches a campaign contribution from a rape joke-making Texan guv candidate.
Is this teen the ninja bandit?
14,000 abandoned mines punched into New Mexico.
Killer pens an apology letter 10 years later.
The Lobos rank No. 1 … on ESPN's Bottom 10 list.
The city will refile charges against a man charged with feeding homeless people Downtown without a permit.
Cheney never apologized to the dude he shot in the face.
Rapper T.I. saves a man threatening to jump from a skyscraper.
Darryl Strawberry sells chicken wings in Queens.
The world's new shortest man.
The McRib is coming back on election day.
Life-sized Lego models.
New Mexican cuisine
It’s in the Air
A couple of weeks ago I got a whiff of roasting chile. All of a sudden it’s fall, and I am reminded once again of how New Mexico made me her own.
The Daily Word 8.23.10: trapped miners, big traffic jam, Neil Patrick Harris.
There is a deadly Phillipine bus thing.
The world’s largest traffic jam enters its ninth day.
In Chile, 33 trapped miners are ok.
A few bad eggs.
Albuquerque didn’t make the list of ten most-tattooed cities.
Unravel the mysteries of Trader Joe’s.
There are reports of Black-Eyed Kids in Ohio.
There are alligators in New York.
We need 12-character passwords now.
Has the Chocolate Cafe closed?
Neil Patrick Harris held a fundraiser for Musical Theater Southwest.
A guy tried to steal a kid’s bike.
New Mexico is getting a bunch of Federal money for broadband improvements.
Happy birthday, Barbara Eden.
New Mexican for the old guard
One morning while waiting for a plate of huevos rancheros at Cocina Azul, some sort of meeting started taking place at a group of tables by the piano. Owner Frank Barela told me later that Cocina Azul has become a popular meeting place for local politicians, judges and other operators, and that Henry Tafoya sometimes does his KDEF 1150 AM radio show from the dining room, via cell phone.
The Daily Word 7.13.10: Emcore Gunman, George Steinbrenner, Fidel Castro
The gunman’s name is released in the Emcore shooting.
New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner dies of a massive heart attack at age 80.
There’s a major design flaw in the brand spankin’ new iPhone 4.
A woman gets nine years in prison after having sex with her adopted son.
Guacamole and salsa have been responsible for an increase in food poisoning reports, according to the CDC.
Twittering can get you up to 11 years in prison, like these two Venezuelans.
Fidel Castro to make a public television appearance, predicting the beginning of nuclear war.
A study shows that the position of your belly-button impacts your success in sports.
The burqa ban in France passes the lower house in an overwhelming vote.
Listen to the audio recording of Mel Gibson’s angry rant to ex Oksana Grigorieva.
The chile harvest this year is expected to be later and smaller due to the weird weather patterns.
An Española man thought it was OK to bring a gun into a Chili’s restaurant.
Top-secret Russian spy Anna Chapman’s UK citizenship is revoked.
Rincon del Pollo
It’s got the chicken market cornered
The line between Mexican and New Mexican food has always been thin. Perhaps nowhere in Albuquerque is this border more porous than at Rincon del Pollo, on north Fourth Street near Alameda, where few of the menu items can be ordered without answering the New Mexico state question. But the owners, Rifiel and Ana Rivera, call their food Mexican.
Aerosmith Plays the Lottery
After enjoying chile dishes at Duran’s Central Pharmacy this afternoon, my husband and I were cruising around the pharmacy, shopping for chocolate and greeting cards when he spotted a lotto vending machine stocked with Aerosmith scratchers. We scoffed at Aerosmith’s commercial masochism and the low quality of the band’s post-’80s material for a full two minutes, then broke down about bought a ticket.
And guess what: We won $15—well, $10 after you count the cost of the ticket. What will I do to celebrate? Post a video for “Sweet Emotion,” of course. (I might also dig up my tight, ripped Levi’s and pair them with a scarf and faded black and white band shirt.) I actually sort of like this song—the intro is especially nice. There’s a confusing phone sex subplot happening in the video, but otherwise the faux barroom antics and Steven Tyler’s bear trap-sized mouth shot in classic ‘80s high contrast black and white isn’t too bad.
Bob’s Burgers’ taco burgers
Earlier this week, my husband and I went to a used appliance store on Central near Atrisco and purchased an early-Aughts Kenmore washer and dryer set. As we made our way back Downtown we passed a Bob’s Burgers and decided to celebrate our thrifty purchase. Having been vegetarian for many, many years until recently, I’ve still not had (or really desired) the chance to feast on the world’s cornucopia of meaty delicacies. Therefore, I’d never eaten a taco burger, which seems like a ridiculous food, so I was skeptical of its reported deliciousness.
I have to say, eating a taco burger for the first time was like when I gave into the fact that Steely Dan is an excellent band—so processed, so cheesy, so good! I wouldn’t indulge in a cheese food and chile-covered hamburger patty inside of a taco shell, or the jazz rock of Can’t Buy a Thrill every day, or every month. Maybe not even every year. But it’s nice knowing these things are there waiting for me.
[By the way, the new appliances are swell, and we spent $300 (with free delivery and a lifetime warranty) instead of $3,000. Go bargains.]