No chili fan in their right mind is going to think of what I served up at the 2019 Bartels H-D Chili Cook-Off as a legit chili. That’s fine. I make variants like this for the folks in their wrong mind, like myself.
For the last several years, I’ve entered the annual cook-off at Bartels Harley-Davidson here in Los Angeles as a way to enjoy myself and share something different with the crowd. It’s like having an open air lab full of biker guinea pigs. No one’s shanked me yet, so so far, so good.
My previous entries have included a white pork, verde, and Jamaican Jerk pork chilies. This year, I wanted a Sichuan vibe using the pepper of the same name. Some have likened the tingling the Sichuan imparts to that of a weak electrical current or a carbonated soda. I wasn’t in the mood to use tingle water but the sensation of licking a AA battery terminal without the taste of licking one intrigued me. This concoction uses tons of Thai chile peppers, garlic, ginger, and onion, as well as the pepper. The kick is solid, plateaus quickly on the backend, and then drops off after about five minutes. Note that this meal requires advance preparation.
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