WE’RE BACK AGAIN with Herb’s Cooking for One, the show where we cook things guys like to eat. I’m Al, filling in for Herb, who I just heard is breathing on his own again. We knew you could do it, Herb. Today we’re going to do something a little different—a little Tex-Mex, as they call it, which is the kind of food they eat down there in Texaco. It’s called chili, and it’s a big favorite with a lot of guys. So are you ready? Then let’s get cooking!
Now, the first thing you have to do is get your ingredients together. With chili, that’s easy, because there’s only one ingredient: this can that says “CHILI” on it. Make sure you get a can that says C-H-I-L-I. If it says C-H-I-L-E, that’s a country. I had to look it up. Turns out it’s way on the other side of the equator, where water goes down the drain the wrong way. That’s called the Coriolanus Effect. I had to look that up, too.
Anyway, I suppose you could just eat this stuff the way it is, but this is a show about cooking, right? That means we’re going to heat it up first. You have to be really careful about this, guys. I know it says “Easy to prepare” right here on the can, but don’t let that fool you. The first time I tried cooking this stuff, there was shrapnel everywhere. It’s a good thing I’d gone out for a beer, and actually sort of forgotten I was cooking something, or I might have been in there with Herb eating through a tube in my arm. So remember, guys, you have to open the can first.
So that’s what I’m doing here. I’ve tried all sorts of tools to open cans—a bandsaw, a power drill, a jackhammer—but the one I recommend is called a can opener. It’s sort of specialized for opening cans. You can probably do it with something else you have in your workshop, like even a hammer and chisel maybe, but believe me the can opener makes things so much easier. A lot of you probably have can openers somewhere in your house. Ask your wife if you don’t know. You might be surprised. When I asked my wife, it turned out we’d had an electric can opener sitting on the counter all the time. I never even knew. I thought it was supposed to be a decorative miniature model of a refrigerator or something. I mean, we have plastic fruit on the counter, and that sure as heck doesn’t do anything. So ask your wife. You might be surprised. If you’re not sure whether you have a wife, try to remember if you’ve seen someone else around the house who acts like she lives there.
So we go over here to the can opener, and first we have to throw away the lid from the can we opened last week, cause it’s in the way. Then we stick the can on it like this, and then we push down on this thing and it goes around. See? It’s not as much fun as a jackhammer, but it’s neater. And there we go! The lid sticks to this magnet here. You can throw it away the next time you open a can.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking the next step is to stick this can in the microwave for about five minutes. Well, that turns out to make a sort of miniature thunderstorm in your microwave, and that would actually be kind of fun, but we’re running low on microwaves here in the studio. So what I’m going to do (and see if you can follow me here) is pour this stuff out into a pan, and then put the pan on the stove. If you don’t know, guys, the “stove” is that place on the counter where there are four round things. If you turn the right dials, they get hot. That’s what we’re doing now. I’ve got my pan here, and as you see it’s still got some of last week’s chili stuck to it. But that’s all right. It’ll just add character. So we pour the stuff from the can into the pan—the can into the pan—that rhymes, doesn’t it? Hey, I’m a rap star. And then we put the pan on the stove here. You see that round thing that’s turning red? That’s the hot one. That’s the one you want to use.
Now, I could just sit here and talk to you while this warms up, but it’s going to take about three minutes, and who has time for that? So I recommend going out for a beer. That’s what I’m going to do. When I come back, this will be nice and warmed up, and I’ll scrape it out of the pan and off the ceiling and into a bowl. Oh, and you might want to have your cell phone with you when you go out, in case you have to dial 911 when you get back. That happened to me once. So until next time, this is Al, saying what Herb always says, which is, “Remember, cooking is for guys, too.”