Chipotle chiles
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Chipotle chiles
  Chiles    Mexican  
Last updated 6/12/2012 1:14:57 AM. Recipe ID 44105. Report a problem with this recipe.
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      Title: Chipotle chiles
 Categories: Mexican, Breads, Muffins & r
      Yield: 1 Servings
      1 lb Ripe jalapenos
  Americans who love the smoky taste and fiery bite of chipotles have
  recently been hit with high prices and a scarcity of product. With
  prices for these smoked jalapenos reaching $15 a pound wholesale,
  home growers yearn to smoke their own. But the Mexicans have been
  fairly secretive about their techniques, and none of the books on
  chiles describe home smoking. After a trip to Delicos Mexico, I think
  I have solved this mystery -- but the process takes some dedication.
  First, let's look at how the Mexicans do it.
  They use a large pit with a rck to smoke-dry the jalepenos. The pit
  containing the source of heat is underground, with a tunnel leading
  to the rack. The pods are placed on top of the rack where drafts of
  air pull the smoke up and over the pods. The jalapenos can be whole
  pods or pods without seeds. The latter are more expensive and are
  called "capones", or castrated ones.
  It is possible to make chipotle in the back yard with a meat smoker or
  Weber-type barbecue with a lid. The grill should be washed to remove
  any meat particles because any odor in the barbecue will give the
  chile an undesirable flavor. Ideally, the smoker or barbecue should
  be new and dedicated only to smoking chiles.
  The quality of homemade chipotle will depend on the maturity and
  quality of the pods, the moisture in the pods, the temperature of the
  smoke drying the pods, and the amount of time the peppers are exposed
  to the smoke and heat. The aroma of wood smoke will flavor the
  jalapenos, so carefully choose what is burned. Branches from fruit
  trees, or other hardwoods such as hickory, oak, and pecan, work
  superbly. Pecan is used extensively in parts of Mexico and in
  southern New Mexico to flavor chipotle. Do not be afraid to
  experiment with different woods.
  The differenc between the fresh weight of the fruits and the finished
  product is about ten to one, so it takes ten pounds of fresh
  jalapenos to produce approximately one pound of chipotles. A pound of
  chipotles goes a long way, as a single pod is usually enough to
  flavor a dish.
  First, wash all the pods and discard any that have insect damage,
  bruises, or are soft. Remove the stems from the pods before placing
  the pepperrs in a single layer on the grill rack. Start two small
  fires on each side of the grill with charcoal briquets. Keep the
  fires small and never directly expose the pods to the fire so they
  won't dry unevenly or burn. The intention is to dry the pods slowly
  while flavoring them with smoke. Soak the wood in water before
  placing it on the coals so the wood wil burn slower and create more
  smoke. The barbecue vents should be opened only partially to allow a
  small amount of air to enter the barbecue, thus preventing the fires
  from burning too fast and creating too much heat.
  Check the pods and the fires hourly and move the pods around, always
  keeping them away from the fires. It may take up to forty-eight hours
  to dry the pods completely. The pods will be hard, light in weight,
  and brown in color when dried. If necessary, let the fires burn
  through the night. After the pods have dried, remove them from the
  grill and let them cool. To preserve their flavor, place them in a
  zip-lock bag. It is best to store them in a cool and dry location. If
  humidity is kept out of the bags, the chipotles will last for twelve
  to twenty-four months.
  Buen apetito!

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Recipe ID 44105 (Apr 03, 2005)

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