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Monday, January 11, 2010

Part I -- Chicago in Winter is "Hot as a Mutha"


Why was Spicy Food Guy's decision to consume two deep fried habanero peppers at dinner in Chicago last week so similar to (then) President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2002?


In our anxiousness to attack, neither of us really thought through how painful the exit strategy would be.

But Spicy Food Guy is getting ahead of himself.

As usual, for reasons best left unknown to the American public, Spicy Food Guy found himself in the Windy City last week.  Fortunately for SFG, he was joined by 12 Fun and Favorite Colleagues of Spicy Food Guy (FFCSFG).  And very fortunately for FFCSFG, they were wise enough to allow SFG to select the dinner venue.

So off we went to Heaven on Seven, one of SFG's all time favorite restaurants.  Anywhere.

And because SFG and FFCSFG made a nice baker's dozen at the dinner table, sharing appetizers and entrees was the strategy of the evening.

It began deliciously and innocently enough:  fried green tomatoes, grilled andouille sausage on sweet potato polenta (which tasted angelic, given we were in Heaven), fried oysters, crab cakes.  Then, somewhere into about beer two, SFG decided to order up a "Hot as a Mutha", which is a deep fried whole habanero pepper served in a bed of mango salsa.

SFG found the fried pepper to have a great texture, with the softness of the pepper offsetting the crunch of the batter.  And like most habanero's, the pepper had sweet fruity overtones.  And it was hot as fiery hell blazes.

So Spicy Food Guy felt very strongly that FFCSFG had to have a piece of this action.  So he ordered another.

With various degrees of bravado, enthusiasm (or total lack thereof), and trepidation did FFCSFG approach their slices of the fried habanero.  Some actually enjoyed it and have the potential to become real chileheads.  Others of FFCSFG acted as if their tongues had been seared by living fire (this was especially true of the one FFCSFG who happens to have the physique of a pro wrestler).  Some hid under the table.  

Soon enough the commotion settled and everyone had a fabulous meal.  As a reward for the habanero's, SFG and FFCSFG ended the meal with slices of chocolate peanut butter pie and mississippi mud pie

Here is what Spicy Food Guy has to say about these desserts -- you want this.  You really, really want this.

So declares SFG.


  1. That pepper is pretty scary to me. The rest sounds delicious though.

  2. Spicy Food are an inspiration!

    There are not many who would subject their delicate palates to a hot, fried habanero dish, even in my own Louisiana hometown, yet I join you in my love for the spicy. "Spicy is Nicey" my grandmother used to say, and she was right on the money with that one.

    Methinks your craving for spicy may have been the result of early experiences with spicy foods and especially from the possibility of having been subjected to them in your early travels to a certain Louisiana town.

    Now in Florida, I often enjoy "chocolate covered habaneros" which mix the chile with cocoa...two best friends! The idea often is found in Mexican "mole" sauces, which exploit all that is good with spicy-sweet.

    I applaud you for your love of fried green tomatoes, Louisiana andouille sausage, fun albeit fattening pies, yet I do not see turnip greens on your list. Might I suggest the "Old Glory" brand, found on your supermarket shelves everywhere. Just opening a can will take you back to rural Louisiana, where Spicy is Nicey. Indeed.



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