Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fusion Cuisine 1: Chilibo (paca)

Is it chilibo? gumchi? Or just gumbo chili?

As people who have read this blog for more than a day know, I am all into the cross-cultural blending thing. That's why my nickname, since I drink a lot of soda is, Coke Fusion. Ok, it's not. Never has been, but anyone who wants to call me Coke Fusion can.

But I do like putting things together. A couple years back I was on both a chili cooking spree and a gumbo spree. One day I decided that I, Nuclear Paca, was going to put the two atoms of yummy southern stew goodness together and make one fused southern stew goodness: Chilibo.

I tried several big pots of my new creation, and N can attest the results weren't... what's the right word... good.

Yeah, not so hot. It never worked out to anything as good as either chili or gumbo. But as I have thought about this today, I think I know why. I didn't ever get down to the essence of the two dishes to really create. Instead I just made a roux, then I made chili in the same pot, then I sprinkled a lot of file in. That's just a cop out. So how would this really work?

There are all sorts of chilis: chicken, beef, vegie, bean. So the meat isn't the key to being chili. It's the chiles.

Next up, what makes gumbo gumbo? Roux, but more. File, but more...

Here's my new plan:

Make a roux
Add gumbo meats - sausage, shrimp, crawdad, chicken, possum, squirrel, gator.
Make it a real stew like chili not a soup like gumbo.
Now it's extra tomatoes like chili, okra like gumbo, green onion, but not too much of the white onion so it doesn't take over the flavor.
Then in with the mild chiles and the chili powder. Cumin, a little tobasco, or a lot.

Serve with rice. I'm all inspired now.


Sammy Jankis said...

Uhm, good luck with that, Coke Fusion. Even if you didn't go all gamy with your gumbo meats, that doesn't sound very appetizing to me. I think I'll stick with chicken and sausage gumbo and keep my chili on the side. But seriously, let us all know how that comes out. In fact, perhaps you should have N take a picture of you as you take the first taste!

Where the heck is the Llama? I'm going to e-mail him right now.

kristybox said...

I'm with Sammy. (Well, I sleep with him, so that's probably not surprising.) But that sounds, um...gross.

But I'm a big fan of Wendy's chili, so I don't exactly have a discerning palate.

pacatrue said...

For the record, I was joking about the possum, squirrel, and gator.

-E said...

Wendy's chili is the best.

i would try your new dish. it doesn't sound extremely appealing, but i am not grossed out either.

you may want to think about etoufee as a sort of missing link in your recipe. i normally add vegetables to my etoufee (carrots, squash, mushroom, lots of peppers) and it is quite tasty. i probably could add tomatotes and some different spices and come up with something like crawfish chili if i was so inclined.

pacatrue said...

Hm. A chili etoufee hybrid. I like it. And it can even be called "chiltoufee." Makes it worth trying right there.

kristybox said...

I told Sammy and e that while I have great respect for you, I lost a little bit. e asked if it was because of the chili-gumbo combo. Heck no! It's 'cause you listen to way too much Cool and the Gang. ;)