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Jan 22, 2012 06:32 AM

Wick Fowler's 2-Alarm Chili Kit

I have used these mixes many times, (along with my own tweaking) and usually bring some back to the United Kingdom after visiting relatives in Tennessee as they are not available here.
I am down to my last couple and have measured out the spices so as to make up my own, the only issue that I have is the largest packet is labelled 'Chili Pepper' which weighs approx 60 grams, I am not sure what chili it refers to, it is certainly not the chili powder we have here as that amount would render the dish inedible!
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Chili powder (which I think is what it's labeled, IIRC) in the US is a blend of several different ingredients -- some chili pepper, yes, but also garlic, salt, and frequently other chili seasonings like cumin or oregano.

    I did a few minutes of Googling, and there are a few references that Tesco and Waitrose carry American-style chili powder, but I have no idea whether this is true or not -- it would appear that you might be able to order it from Amazon, as well.

    I used to buy Wick Fowler's until I realized that there was nothing particularly special about the spices, only the convenience of having them all in one place and premeasured.

    1. The 'chili pepper' in that kit is most likely one or more of the larger (and mild) dried peppers grown in Mexico and the American southwest. Ancho (dried pobablano) is a sure to be there, also one described generically as 'new mexico'.

      I don't know what a good European (or Asian) equivalent is. Some Spanish cookbooks suggest replacing the Spanish nora with the ancho, so the substitution could go the other direction. Paprika (Hungarian or Spanish) seems to be too bright red, and too mild and/or sweet.

      Penzeys claims Turkish Aleppo is Ancho like (though with more tartness)

      3 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        Cheers Paul,
        you are right about the Paprika and there is already a small sachet of it in the kit anyway along with Cayenne Pepper for the heat.
        Since I posted this question I have been on Google and came to a similar conclusion, there is also a pepper called Mulato similar to the Ancho, I also found the 'New Mexico' which I think is a blend of both or similar.
        Amazingly I found an importer on-line (relatively close to home) for all three varieties so on your explanation I will go that way, the 'New Mexico' I think.
        Regarding Spanish Paprika (Pimenton in Spanish) do not be fooled, you can buy Pimenton Dulce (Sweet), Pimenton Agridulce (medium hot) and Pimenton Picante (Hot).
        On a recent trip to Spain I purchased some 'Pimenton Picante' from a well known indoor market, I used it as I would Hot chili powder about a teaspoon full, bad move, I don't know what it is on the SHU scale but I have had to lock it in a container and use sparingly (about a quarter of a teaspoon)!!
        Thanks agan for the good info.
        Paul from Wales.

        1. re: psing

          I have some smoked agridulce, which I do use more sparingly than the dulce smoked. I'd don't think I've tried the picante.

          I was going to say that all pimenton is smoked, but then remembered that I have can of pimenton de murcia, which is not smoked. Funny thing is I've been using it as though it was smoked. I should pay more attention to Spanish recipes that call the sweet, nonsmoked variety.

          Even some of the Hungarian stuff can be quite hot.

          1. re: paulj

            The dulce varieties are not generally smoked which allows the sweeter taste to come out but I understand where you are coming from.
            Try the picante it's well worth the experience!

      2. It's most likely powdered New Mexico chile. You can order the stuff online from numerous purveyors. You can sub hot paprika in a pinch--so to speak--but the flavor won't be quite the same.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Perilagu Khan

          Thanks for taking the time bud you have basically confirmed things for me, 'New Mexico' it is then!

          is a nice overview of chile varieties, written from a California perspective, but with a lot of attention to varieties from around the world.

          1. To me it tastes like 100% ancho chile powder. This gives his chili a one-dimensional and muted flavor. It would be far better to have an ancho-New Mexico chile mix in addition to the extra packets in the kit.