Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall... awesome. Best season of the year. Besides great weather, beautiful colors and Halloween it has one of my favorite things to do...walk through the garden and pick chiles. Referred to most of the time as chili peppers in the U.S., I have grown a lot of different varieties over the years but I always make sure I plant plenty of Jalapenos. 100 plants this year to be exact, along with 50 Serrano plants. It all started over ten years ago when I friend from work brought me some Coban chiles from Guatemala. They were the most beautiful, small, dark red and smoky hot things I have ever tasted. I had to find out how to make this stuff myself. I found out that Chipotle is the name given to smoked-dried Jalapenos and I have been making it ever since I tasted my first one. Some years the Jalapenos are hotter than others but after smoking numerous chiles from Anaheim to Habanero I find that I love the rich smokey taste and tolerable heat of the jalapeno when adding more than a few teaspoons to a given dish. This years crop was hotter than usual and the Serrano chiles even more so. Honestly, I eat it with most things for breakfast, lunch and dinner and nothing seems to taste as good without it. Here is what you need to do to make your own:

Have some space to plant-

Grow your own Jalapenos from seed or buy starters from a nursery like I usually do-

Spend an afternoon planting them-

Water, fertilize and weed-

Get excited when the first ones show up in the middle of summer-

Enjoy your summer and don't forget to water-

When the pumpkins start turning orange, the jalapenos will be turning red-

Pick a day when you can harvest as many Jalapenos as you can smoke-

Cut in half, place in trays, start your charcoal and smoke the chiles anywhere from 6 to 24 hours using apple, hickory or any other good smoking wood-

After smoking them I put all of mine in a dehydrator for a day or more until all of the moisture is gone-

After they are completely dry I throw them in a food processor and then a spice grinder. Some blenders can process them into a powder in one step but mine cannot-

Hopefully you now have enough to last all year. I usually make enough to give half of it to friends that have become hooked on the stuff. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Cool, a haunter and gardener like me! We have a ton of red jalapeƱos ready to smoke as well. Great how to. Thanks.