Sometimes I ask questions like: Has anyone seen my Mugi Miso? Or why won't my mom read my blog? Or, what's up with that (with the word that linking to a weird video)? And while all are very good questions, they are basically joke questions. Well, I have real questions this time--questions that I would love to get some real answers to. See, normally the pattern with Bon Appetempt is that we make something for the first time, we either succeed or fail, learn something about ourselves, post it and move on. But this post actually marks the third time we've attempted this recipe, and each time has birthed totally different results. We made the soup late at night the first time and as such, the photos were bad bad bad, but the soup was so good that we thought we would just make it again and get some better photos. Easy, right? Well, this second time the pictures weren't much better but the soup was bad. Same recipe, same process, opposite results. We were confused. We went for it a third time. How did we fare? Not so great.
The Pleasures of Slow Food's version:
our (third) version:
[Major sidebar for fans of Rick Bayless: Did you know that he is extremely active on Twitter? I wasn't sure if I could seed and stem the peppers sans gloves so I asked the question via Twitter and Mr. Bayless responded via direct message, almost instantly! He wrote: "Yes, but most people use latex gloves." Thanks, Mr. Bayless and thanks, technology!]
But then after chopping the peppers (with gloves), I realized fresh peppers made absolutely no sense in the context of the recipe as I was supposed to, "Add the chili pieces to the hot pan. Turn quickly as they fry, toast, and release a delicious aroma, about 30 seconds in all." Toast fresh peppers in 30 seconds? So confusing. Now, after a touch of research, I think that pasillas are dried peppers and fresh "pasillas" are a different thing entirely? Question 1: is this right? Lots of contradictory information floating out there on the Internet. Most seem to say it's the U.S. version of the poblano, some say pasillas are by definition dried (but don't tell that to Whole Foods) while others claim pasillas are really found only in Mexico. Anyone wanna chime in/sound off on pepper stuff? I am legitimately interested.
Back to the first time attempt: we continued on with the soup anyway and it was delicious. (See fresh peppers below.)
We were wrong. This time, the broth seemed way too thin and kind of one-dimensional if not flavorless. And then we must have toasted the pasillas for too long because they tasted equal parts bitter and spicy.
Scared by the massive fail of this second attempt, we went against the recipe and back to using fresh pasillas for the third try, but we still couldn't capture the glory of that first try. The third one was average at best, and what is possibly worse is that I have no logical explanations. Each time, we opted out of frying our own tortilla chips and used the same chicken broth. So, how could they be that different?
Will we continue to chase the memory of that first soup and make this again? You bet. Also, Matt and I had an amazing midweek anniversary trip to Desert Hot Springs.
For recipe, click HERE.