*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                              CHIPOTLE CHILES
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Sides
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    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
   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!
   Recipe By     : Garry Howard
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