Chipotle chiles (smoked chiles)

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 pounds Ripe; red jalapeno chiles
10 pounds Charcoal briquettes
\N \N As needed; smoke chips, your choice, I use mesquite chunks cut into smaller pieces
\N \N As needed; sprigs of fresh cut rosemary (optional)

Start this as early in the morning as possible.

Put smoke chips in a container and cover with water. Mound about one half the briquettes into the charcoal pan and light. Wash the chiles and cut a slit lengthwise in each one from just below the shoulder to about a half inch from the tip. Place the chiles in a single layer (slit side up) on a surface that will fit in the smoker and won't let the chiles fall through.

I use a BBQ wok, a pan shaped kinda like a wok (but with a flatter bottom) with holes drilled through meant for stir frying vegies on the BBQ. When the briquettes are covered with gray ash, spread out into an even layer (if using a BBQ, spread the briquettes to the side leaving a bare spot in the center). Place some of the soaked smoke chips on the briquettes. Fill the water pan with 2 to 3 inches of water (if using a BBQ, use an aluminum foil pan that will fit in the bare spot in the center of the BBQ) and put in place over (or in the center of) the briquettes. Put smoker or BBQ rack in place, place the container of chiles on the rack over the pan of water, and cover the smoker or BBQ. The idea is to keep a low-heat, smoldering, smokey fire for several hours. Add briquettes, smoke chips, and the optional sprigs of fresh rosemary as needed to keep generating heat and smoke. After 6 or 7 hours, the chiles have probably absorbed as much smoke as they're going to. They should be a dark, brick-red color and somewhat wrinkled; but, they won't be totally dehydrated to a point where they would keep at room temperature. Remove them from the smoker and finish drying them in a warm oven or a dehydrator. Use for making Chipotles en Adobo or wherever chiles with medium heat and smoky flavor is desirable...such as barbeque sauces.

Note: while ripe jalapeno chiles are considered the traditional fresh chile for smoking and drying to make chipotle chiles, other chiles can also be smoked and dried. I've found that ripe Fresno chiles are generally more available commercially that (should read "than"...gonna have to change that) ripe jalapenos and make an acceptable substitute.

Posted to CHILE-HEADS DIGEST V4 #113 by Rich McCormack <macknet@...> on Sep 04, 1997

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