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November 26, 2008

Showdown at the Whitefish Corral


Somewhere outside, you hear the rumble of a motorcycle. It stops, and there are the sounds of boots hitting the ground heavily followed by a dramatic silence. The door swings open, and the hands of nervous onlookers instinctively drop to holstered pistols.


Somewhere, a guitar strums in dramatic silence.


Standing there, is a jalapeno pepper. It leans against the door frame, and tips back its cowboy hat. The tension rises. Will there be violence, or will the pepper make bold advances on someone’s wife?


The answer is the sound of flint striking steel. Seconds later, there is a cherry red glowing rod sticking out of the pepper’s mouth.


It’s no ordinary jalapeno pepper. It’s a chipotle. It is one of the kitchen’s natural-born rebels.


Another one of the kitchen’s great rebels isn’t nearly as obvious, however. It’s whitefish.


Whitefish has the reputation as being something of a delicate flower. You nuance its flavor with dill and butter. What you don’t do is let it get walked all over by something as powerful as a jalapeno pepper.


What you maybe don’t consider is the whitefish’s own rebel streak. It is prone to smoking, although it doesn’t strike quite the same pose as the jalapeno pepper.


They make an attractive pair, smoked whitefish and chipotle pepper.


Flake the fish apart and finely chop canned chipotle peppers. Mix them together in a bowl, and grab a taste. You will notice that they are bound by their shared smokiness. There is a brief taste of fish followed by a pleasurable heat.


It is an attractive pair, and will draw around them their own kind of gang. The accomplices are cream cheese, which you first stir into the fish and pepper.


Stir until the cream cheese is evenly distributed amongst the fish and chopped chipotle pepper.


You will have achieved your goal when it takes on the consistency of drying cement. Lubricate with the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon.


Once you have restored things to a state where they can be more easily mixed, add some sliced green onions, chopped black olives, a smattering of garlic powder and salt and pepper. Mix it all together to visual consistency.


The gang has been gathered. The rebels, chipotle and smoked whitefish, and their surrounding cast. You will want to find some useful purpose for them, or else the gang will scoot out the door and you won’t see them again until they’re standing in front of a local convenience store, hassling the shopkeeper and using harsh language.


You can occupy their attentions better by delivering the spread to a roomful of guests.


It might seem predictable that the proper delivery vehicle would be a tortilla chip, but this could be taken as an insult to the chipotle whitefish spread gang. Hostages could be taken.


Instead, cut several tortilla chips into pieces and fry in canola oil until golden brown. Remove, drain and lightly salt. What you have is a chip that can deliver the spread without the threat of ensuing violence.


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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