Dragons, Giants, Evans the Fish and Internet Shopping

Wednesday 10/8/2005

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Diary and Notes

Some time ago (quite a lot of my blogs begin with 'some time ago' it's a bit like 'once upon a time' but there are no goblins or witches or giants in the story that follows - shame really, maybe there should be) - anyway, some time ago, in a land far far away there lived a little green eyed girl called Gretchen. No, that's not right at all - I was going to talk about chipotle powder, not some weird semi erotic Brothers Grimm fairy story. I shall start again and this time get it right.

Some time ago... I mentioned that I had been on a hunt around Manchester to try to buy some chipotle chilli powder (see 29/5). Now as we all know, giants and dragons are very afraid of chipotle chilli powder as it causes them to sneeze. No it doesn't - what it does do is flavour food. No giants, no dragons and I promise I'll stop with all this silliness now.

So I was unsuccessful in my hunt for chipotle powder that day and have tried a few places since (including one very irritating encounter in a very posh food shop off St Anne's Square where the lady who ran the place seemed to think I had invented chipotle powder, claiming that she knew every spice there was on the entire planet and that as she'd never heard of it, it surely cannot exist - pompous cow!) - but no matter where I looked the chipotle proved as elusive as unicorn eggs and I had to do without.

Until I tried the internet of course.

Whatever you want to buy, whatever your desire, perversion, fetish or hunger, the internet will provide (for a wad of cash of course). I scouted around and found The Spice Shop based in London which would send me some chipotle powder and some other interesting things I've been on the look out for. They even had filé - ground sassafrass grass that is used to thicken true filé gumbo and something I had been trying to get hold of for several years. This shop was a little gold mine for the exotic. I ordered some chipotle (one for me and one for my chum Dr. Welshegg who had given me some exceedingly hot sauce - see 17/4), some filé and also some pennyroyal which turns up as an ingredient in ancient Roman cooking and will come in useful later no doubt.

I waited a few days and wham! The spices arrived - score one for the Jonster.

So today I thought I'd try out my chipotle powder. I had some smoked chicken breasts which I bought last week during a shopping binge in Didsbury (I also bought some smoked duck breast, a giant can of crab claw meat, samphire, rabbits, giant prawns and some assorted fish from one of Britain's great intitutions; Evans the Fish of Didsbury, a shop so good even Delia Smith raves about it.

I knew that a tasty bit of smoked chicken breast would go down a treat with some even smokier sauce, so it was an extra smoky dinner today and though simple and quick to cook (about 20 minutes from start to finish) was quite something. I also had a bit of Disaster Bay chipotle sauce to add a bit of extra smokey goodness.


Cake Blog

Starbuck's marshmallow twizzler. Much much much better than the infamous turkey twizzler and pretty yummy all round. Too small though - needed to be about eight or nine times as big.


  • Smoked, Charred, Chipotle Chicken
  • Rice
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Salad


    Smoked, Charred, Chipotle Chicken
    2 Smoked Chicken Breasts
    1 Red Onion
    1/2 Red Pepper
    1/2 Green Pepper
    1/2 Yellow Pepper
    2 Tomatoes
    1 Tbsp Peanut Oil
    2 tsp Chipotle Chilli Powder
    1 tsp Wine Vinegar
    1/2 tsp Cumin
    1 tsp Oregano
    Black Pepper


  • Marinade the chicken in the chipotle, vinegar, cumin and oregano for about 30 minutes. Heat a heavy pan and sear the chicken all over. Pour over the marinade and a little peanut oil and add the onion - turn down the heat. When the onion is soft add the rest of the ingredients (peppers sliced, tomatoes chopped) and stew for a few minutes until everything is nicely cooked.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for two people