Entries in chilli (4)


Episode 29: Anni's Chilli Choc Cookies

Hey, Lucas, lately you've been really bad at this whole "regular updates" thing. Yeah, yeah, I know but hey! New one!


The making of these cookies and posting of this recipe comes from my friend Anni & Joel (or @annisugar and @gingerexplosion on Twitter). They are cool folk & are full of lovely knowledge and recommendations of things, but as Anni is intolerant to gluten & lactose, and Joel is a vegetarian, they are the very devil to cook for. In looking for something to bring to a pot luck brunch that everyone could enjoy, I stumbled across My Darling Lemon Thyme, which is a great blog full of gluten & dairy-free recipes, and these cookies. I'm working up to trying their medjool date chocolate slice one day. The resulting cookies were given the Anni seal of approval (she has declared that she would skip a meal & eat nothing but these, which is high praise).

Music Notes:

As with the last few times I got a guest to assist with the inspiration, I had Anni choose the music:

"Deceptacon" - Le Tigre, from "Le Tigre", 1999
"Wishbone" - Architecture In Helsinki, from "
In Case We Die", 2005
"California English" - Vampire Weekend, from "
Contra", 2010
"Why Can't I Be You?" - The Cure, from "
Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me", 1987 

The real surprise for me was how well The Cure's track fit into the rest of the thoroughly modern songs. Well, there you go. My young teenage self who wrote the Cure off as one-hit wonders & bleeding-heart-love-song-writers has been proven wrong, as he so often has been. Don't worry. Adult Lucas knows better.


Anni's Chilli Choc Cookies
makes 8-10 good-sized biscuits 


  • 55g ground almonds
  • 60g rice flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 55g cocoa
  • 55g brown sugar
  • 50g raw sugar
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chilli
  • 65g slivered almonds
  • 60g dark chocolate
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp rice or soy milk, or skim milk if you don't mind the dairy


  1. Sift the rice and corn flours, the cocoa, the ground almonds, the baking powder, the cinnamon, and the chilli into a bowl. 
  2. Add the salt, then the almonds, and stir to combine.
  3. Using whatever you feel like, bash the chocolate into little pieces then add it to mix.
  4. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil, vanilla extract & soy milk.
  5. Add the eggy-oily mixture to the floury-chocolatey mixture, get a wooden spoon (not a whisk) and mix it all together. You're going to get a damp mixture, like in the video.
  6. Using about two tablespoon of the mix, make a little pattie with your hands, like a felafel. Make sure it's flattish and smooth the outside with your fingers so it stays together. Make 8-10 of these patties & transfer them to a tray lined with baking paper.
  7. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool, seize, and consume!





Episode 19: Epic Metal Chilli Con Carne

Oh, indeed. It is epic. Behold, and hold onto thy butts:



The reason for the epic soundtrack and odd ordering of instructions is because a) I shot this in January (before I started messing with the shot format) and b) the recipe is essentially "cram all of the things into a pan and cook for 50 minutes". And the best part? The more time you take, the better the result. Sweat the onions for 40 minutes if you want, leave it on the stove all day (add a bit of water if it gets dry), whatever!

Funny story: using a quadrupled version of this very recipe, I managed to feed an entire floor of a call centre. Twice. The first time, we used a barbecue (to mixed results), and the second time I brought in a camp stove (to super-epic results). The tale has become an urban legend of the "four loaves, two fishes" variety.

The flavour of the chilli is more smoky that fiery, so feel free to add your favourite hot sauces or special chillies. I recommend the El Yucateca line, or Chipotle Tabasco. The page of the cookbook is splateered with red, as befits a good recipe.

Music Notes:

The Northern Kings - "A View To A Kill", from "Rethroned", 2008

Imagine, if you will, the combined orchestra from the Lord of the Rings series, Meat Loaf, and Jack Black met up at an 80s night in Norway, got really drunk and decided to make epic music. You'd still be short of the Northern Kings. All they do are covers. They primarily choose 80s and mid-90s music, gleefully lampooning ballads like "Kiss From A Rose" and "Don't Stop Believing", while adding a real menace  and power to songs like "Creep" and "In The Air Tonight" (the former becoming the lament of a stalker/serial killer, the latter a mediation on revenge). The track I chose though, is something else, taking a decent, if rather dated Bond theme and turning into a juggernaut. Tanja hates it, due to her love of Duran Duran and the original (she has it on vinyl), but I adore it.

Jim Johnson - Flight of the Valkyries, single, 2011

This one is harder to classify, due the WWE's annoying habit of listing artist information on iTunes as the name of the wrestler who uses it. Yes. I admit it. I am a wrestling fan. And this theme is used by one of the two wrestlers that have re-energised my interest in the product: Daniel Bryan (the other is CM Punk, but that's another post). Just revel in the epic.


Epic Metal Chilli Con Carne
feeds 4-6 people

600g beef mince (vegetarians, substitute 400g Swiss brown mushrooms)
2 tins tomatoes
1 tin red kidney beans (2 if using mushrooms)
1 large onion
1 tbsp tomato paste
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 bay leaf
500ml stock (chicken, beef or veggie)
1 dried cascobel or pasila chilli, chopped (optional)
2 tsp fajita or cajun spice (optional)
4 tbsp sour cream, plus more to serve
grated cheese


  • Dice the onion, and put in a big-ass pan with a little oil on medium heat. Cook the onions for at least 5 minutes, or as long as you feel like without them burning.
  • Once onions are cooked, add the mince and brown for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic, salt, bay leaf, stock, drained beans, and all the spices. (if you like, you can combine these in a big bowl beforehand and let the garlic and beans and such absorb the flavours. If you got the time, this step is well worth it)
  • Bring to a boil, mixing well, then turn down to a low simmer for at least an hour, or as long as you want. If the mix looks a bit dry near the end, add a little water.
  • If you want, make up some rice in stock while this is going on. Also grate some cheese.
  • About 5 minutes before you serve, stir in 4 tbsp of sour cream, and then turn off the heat. The sour cream should be melted in before you serve it, so feel free to stir.
  • Put a layer of rice in a bowl, top with a few scoops of chilli, then sour cream and grated cheese, then a crown of corn chips, seize and consume!



Episode 17 - Heavenly Bahn Mi

Hi folks! This little message in a bottle goes out the day before I head off for a lovely Byron Bay vacation. So let's have a sammich!


This episode goes out to my friend Gonzi, who is the true connoisseur of the pork roll in the Inner West (seriously, he has a map).

This is truly an international Bahn Mi, as the pork was from a very German pork roast the night before, the chilli was Mexican Habanero, the mayo was Thomy (German), the pate was Tasmanian, and the ham was Black Forest. So all over the place, but it all came together in the flavour. But then again, Bahn Mi itself is a melting pot, with the pate, baguette and mayo coming from France, the char sui pork comnig from China, and the herbs and seasoning very Southeast Asian.

Speaking of the chilli, I forgot the most important rule about habanero: don't let it touch your skin. The flavour on the tongue is lovely and spicy... while your lips and fingers burn with numbness. Should've worn gloves and used a different cutting board. Oh well. Lesson learned.

I was in a real rush, so did the carrot pickle in 40 minutes total, but I have it on good authority that things really get amazing if you allow the full hour each.

The recipe makes 3 rolls, two big ones, and one medium. Feel free to expand the dimensions, it should scale nicely.

Edit: Oh! Nearly forgot! This is the first episode I've ever shot with only one camera (even the first episode used two at the end), and using my new Sony Fisheye extension lens. It turned out really well, I think, though the super wide angle means you need to get really close for your closeups.

Music Notes:

Crooked Fingers - "Under Pressure", from "Reservoir Songs", 2002

Crooked Fingers came into my life when I was working at The Pita Pit, part of a chain of pita restaurants in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada during downtime from my short-lived university career. I worked the late shift, so I started at 9pm, and finished up at 5am. It was rather hellish, as I would often have too much energy after work to sleep, so I would wander to an internet cafe and chat with my future wife on the other side of the world. One of the guys at work whose name escapes me put on a cd during one of these shifts. We usually picked music to keep the energy up, but this was different.

This was beautiful, it was slow, it had deft wordplay, like poetry.

And it was really really sad.

Like REALLY sad.

But I was hooked. Eric Bachman (formerly of nondescript-but-beloved-by-hipsters outfit Archers of Loaf) and his band have a way of getting to the heart of things. I recommend "She Spread Her Legs & Flew Away", "Juliette", "New Drink For The Old Drunk", "You Threw A Spark", and "Wrecking Ball", and all of the EP this track comes from.

Incidently, "Under Pressure" is the single most powerful earworm I have ever known. Even someone saying "He's under pressure at work." will have me humming it. I'm humming it now.

Automatic - Pump It Up, from "Occasional Coarse Language: Soundtrack From The Motion Picture", 1998

Hey kids, did you know that mellow elder statesman of adult contemporary Elvis Costello was once an angry young punk like you, and he made brilliant pop music that could get your feet moving, and other tracks that could break your heart? Well, you do now. My Aim Is True and This Year's Model are brilliant records and you should go and get them now. I have no idea what the movie this soundtrack is for is about. I found it with a pile of CDs someone left outside their gate.

Also requiring applause, I'd like to note, is Elvis' stance on overpriced reissues of his work. Upon seeing the £212.99, Elvis made comment that the set was rather lovely and contained nice songs and scribblings from the author but "unfortunately, we at find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire. All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping - when there are really bigger fish to filet these days - we are taking the following unusual step." and recommended spend the money on a very nice Louis Armstrong Ambassador of Jazz set instead. "If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means."

Ha. Haaaaaaaaa. Good on you, sir.


Heavenly Bahn Me Sammiches


3 Bread Rolls, or a baguette cut in half (get something crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside)
Whole egg mayo (I used Thomy, but if you can get some Viet stuff, go for it)
Pate or tinned liver spread
4-6 slices cooked pork belly
4 slices ham (I used Black Forest deli ham, but if you can find cha lua, use that. Or, you know, mortadella)
1 cucumber
1 red chilli
1 bunch corainder
Soy sauce to taste

for the pickle:

1 carrot
1 daikon (optional)
105g sugar, plus 2 tsp extra
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water

  • Grate or julienne your carrot (and daikon if using) with a peeler, zester or dread apparatus.

  • Scatter a tsp of salt & 2 tsp of sugar and let the mix rest for 20 minutes to an hour.

  • Squeeze as much of the liquid as you can out of the carrot, then rinse in cold water and squeeze again. Put it back in the bowl.

  • Heat the wihite wine vinegar, water, and the rest of the sugar on medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved, then pour over the carrot. Let sit 20-60 minutes more, then drain.

  • Chop up your coriander, and deseed the chilli. Using a peeler, cut the cucumber into ribbons.

  • Slice the pork belly lengthwise into thin slices.

  • When you're ready, put a grill-pan on medium-high heat, and grill the pork on both sides, to warm it through and give it nice grill-marks. Once it's done, very briefly grill the ham slices too.

  • Cut your rolls in half. On top half, smear mayo. Bottom half: pate.

  • Layer your ingredients on the rolls in this order: pork-ham-cucumber-carrot-coriander-chilli.

  • Add a dash of soy sauce if you want, then top with the bun, seize, and consume!


Episode 12 - Mountain Meatballs in Chilli Coffee Sauce

Morning folks. I will be typing gingerly today, as I seem to have blown out my shoulder in a completely non-embarrassing fashion.



This was recorded on the 23rd of December (eagle-eye viewers will see I'm wearing the same Beethoven shirt as in my Christmas message). We had our friends Adrian an Tommy over, but the only wacky shenanigans caught by the cameras was the opening of one beer by my lovely wife. Oh well!

Also, HEY YOU GUYS you want to tell me what I can do better? Like seriously? Then do my 10-question survey! Tell me what I stink at! (Seriously, now that the editing itself is becoming less of a chore I start to worry at my content. Do people get annoyed by my banter? Do they want less instruction, more instruction? Do they want me just to shut up? Crippling insecurities!)

Recipe Notes: 

The recipe makes 8 meatballs, which could technically feed 8 people, or 4 hungry ones. Though it's very timing-dependant (getting the sauce made before the meatballs are ready), both the meatballs and the sauce are very forgiving in that neither of them will be ruined by a little extra time on the stove/in the oven. In the video, I served with the little bit of noodles, but I've happily served with rice or bread in the past. Just be sure you have something to mop up the lovely sweet-smoky-spicy sauce!

Music Notes

Sepultura - "Mountain Song", from "Revolusongs", 2003

I only used a little snippet of the intro for this, as the main song is a little bit repetitive and really didn't match the mood I was going for., allowing me to use....

The Baseballs - "The Look", "Hot N Cold", "Pokerface", from "Strike!", 2009

The Baseballs! Not only does it allow for delicious punning (meatballs, Baseballs, geddit?), but I get to showcase one of my favourite cover bands of the past year. The Baseballs are a 7-piece rockabilly outfit out of Berlin, who cover pop songs. Modern pop songs. Like Rihanna, and Lady Gaga, and Maroon 5, and Snow Patrol. I spotted their poster in JB Hifi, looked them up on my phone and had the album bought from iTunes before I left the store (cheating, a little, but JB had it for $27.95, and iTunes had it for $16!). And it's awesome. Elvis style vocal and three-part harmonies, with get-up-and-dance piano riffs make for a winning combination. I chose the look not only for my wife's love of Roxette, but because I saw a Youtube clip (now taken down) of them performing it live and watched as they sung the "Nanananana" bit as the opening and 5000 people went absolutely insane.

Their second album, "Strings N Stripes", however, I did not dig as much, after being unable to obtain it in Australia, in shops or on iTunes, I obtained it in a COMPLETELY LEGAL MANNER THAT DOES NOT RHYME WITH BORRENTING. I spotted a lot of reused piano parts, and missed opportunities. The standout was their version of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" which has made it into my regular rotation.




  • Preheat oven to MAX POWER.
  • Peel & slicify 2 onions to the smallness of your liking. Throw them into a big pan on medium heat & sweat them down for about 10 minutes.
  • Put your mince in a bowl and add the cooked onion, mustard, oregano, cumin, coriander, breadcrumbs (if you have giant hands, use less breadcrumbs), eggs, with some salt and pepper. 
  • Get your hands in there and squooosh it all together. Add more breadcrumbs if the mix is too wet.
  • Divide the mix into 8 spheroids the size of a softball (or cricket ball, or polo ball).
  • Pour out some mozza onto a cutting board.
  • For each shreroid, make a hole and fill it with cheese, then shape it back into a ball so it doesn't escape.
  • Line up the balls on an oiled oven tray, and cram them into the oven for 30 minutes.


  • Wipe your onion pan, and put it back on the heat. Moar oil.
  • Chop up your remaining onion, plus your capsicums, dried chillies, and all 10 freaking cloves of garlic, then add to the pan with the paprika and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Put on a pot of coffee in the meantime.
  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters.
  • When the coffee's done, add the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, vinegar, mustard and brown sugar, then the tomato quarters on top.
  • Pour the hot coffee into the pan, mix everything together, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes until sauce thickens up.


  • Take your balls out of the oven, leaving the heat on.
  • If you're feeling health-conscious, you can pour out a little of the fat, just be sure not to lose a meatball into the sink.
  • Pour the sauce between and around the meatballs and return to oven for a further 5 minutes.
  • Serve with noodles, bread or potatoes, pop a meatball into eat plate, cover with sauce, sprinkle ofver extra mozzarella cheese, seize and consume!

(please do the survey, guys! I require opinions!)