The hard apple cider I had fermented in the closet of my 400 square foot apartment turned out to be a wicked elixir. The ethanol percentage clocked in at over 10%. Couple the high alcohol content with the ‘personality enhancing’ chemical that must have been synthesized by a wild strain of yeast, and the beverage we christened ‘Apple Death’ was endowed with the ability to turn any plebeian into the lizard king. Fast friends crowded my couch to sip the twisted mélange and, after periods of manic activity (marked by questionably social behaviors), came to be like junkies on the nod. The drooling, the hangovers, and all the pretty, pretty colors- it was just too much to take. I swore off cider making.
Years removed from the insanity induced by my hard cider and many miles from my crazy closet brewery, I have reason to believe that the spirit of the ‘Apple Death’ is, in fact, alive and well. As I transferred to a secondary fermenter, I snuck a taste of the beer I recently brewed with a new strain of yeast. The flavor was vaguely reminiscent of you-know-what and finished drier than the Sahara Desert (no doubt this new strain of yeast attenuates extremely high). The dry beverage had me thinking wet food- Fish Chili.
1 T butter
1 lb Tilapia or another white fish, cut into chunks
1 can tomato soup
1 C chopped fresh tomatoes
1 T chili powder
½ t garlic pepper seasoning
2 T El Pato brand jalapeno salsa
1 ¾ C frozen peas and carrots
- Fry fish in butter until fish is nearly cooked through, about 5minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.
The ITP had this chili gone in minutes. They touted it as a “sweet and likeable” chili. (No doubt a great counterbalance to my soon-to-be-completed homebrew.) The Campbell’s tomato soup definitely imparted the sweetness in the chili. The chili powder and jalapeno salsa held serve and gave enough spicy pushback to keep matters balanced. The tilapia gave the chili a mellow flavor that isn’t possible with ground beef. In sum, this chili is a real keeper while the new homebrew is, well, let’s just wait and see if it brings out Jekyll or Hyde.