Chipotle Chiles

  450g Ripe jalapeños



Zubereitung:
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 jalapeños 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 rack to smoke-dry the jalapeños. 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 jalapeños 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 barbecü with a lid. The grill should be washed to remove
any meat particles because any odor in the barbecü will give the chile
an undesirable flavor. Ideally, the smoker or barbecü 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
jalapeños, 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 difference between the fresh weight of the fruits and the finished
product is about ten to one, so it takes ten pounds of fresh jalapeños
to produce approximately one pound of chipotles.
A pound of chipotles gös 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
peppers 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 will burn slower and create more
smoke. The barbecü vents should be opened only partially to allow a
small amount of air to enter the barbecü, 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 fortyeight 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 twentyfour
months.

Bün apetito! NOTES : From the article: The Chipotle, Mystery --
Solved at Last! by: Dr. Paul W. Bosland, Agronomy and Horticulture
Department New Mexico State University



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