Chipotles are simply smoked jalapeño peppers. The secret is to dry out the chiles in a smoke environment without cooking them first. Keep the temperature low for the best result. Then, use them as flavoring for everything from soups to salsa.
- 1 pound jalapeños
- First, you need a good clean smoker. Grease, oils or food particles from past smokes will leave a harsh and undesirable flavor on the chiles. Some people who make a lot of Chipotles have a smoker for just this.
- Once you have the smoker good and clean, start the fire. You will need to do a long smoke. Depending on the moisture in the chiles you might be looking at more than 24 hours so plan on adding coals to the fire periodically.
- Wash and dry the jalapeños. Remove the stems and make sure they are in good condition. Place the jalapeños in a single layer on the rack and close the lid. Chipotles are best smoked with a fruity wood, but oak or hickory work well also. You will have good Chipotles when the jalapeños have dried, become light in weight and a rich brown color. During the smoking process, move the jalapeños around periodically and keep a close eye on the fire. Ideally, you should keep a cool, smoky fire that doesn't cook the chiles before they dry. Try for a consistent temperature of about 180 degrees F/82 degrees C. There really is an art to this so don't be discouraged if it doesn't work out the first time.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|