|The stress lines aren't a defect, but are supposed to indicate a higher level of heat.|
One of the reasons I made our smoker was because I had been studying smoked foods. I only recently learned what chipotle really is and even what paprika is. They lived in an ignorant place in my mind, more as just flavours than any physical thing. It's a bit like when Jerry Seinfeld is wondering if mesquite has anything to do with mosquitoes.
|Here I am, "neutering" some of the peppers. Gloves are a necessity if you're handling any of their guts.|
We've added chipotle powder to dips and chills without question, but making my own gave me a new respect for the flavour which is made from smoked, red jalapeño peppers.
The ripest red jalapeños are picked and then cold smoked for days on end as they slowly lose moisture and soak up smoke. It's quite a long process as they can take up to a week to fully dehydrate in the smoke. However i'm sure not all chipotle is smoked right to the end, wikipedia tells me that there are usually big gas dryers involved.
So, we picked a few baskets of our own jalapeños and put them in the smoker for two days before moving them to the dehydrator to finish. I decided to de-seed my first batch to lose some of the heat, which I later learned aren't actually called chipotles, but "capones", which literally means "castrated". Feeling less of a man myself, I kept the second batch intact, removing only the stem to let the smoke inside faster, while retaining all of their heat.
The sweet smokiness is incredible when you smell them, and we're still looking for the first opportunity to use them. We can't wait to start adding them to dishes this fall and winter. I like to think of the heat as a little bit of the summer sun captured for winter.