Prepare a smoker according to the manufacturer's directions, using
wood chunks and achieving a steady temperature of 275 to 300°. Place the chiles directly on the smoker rack (or use a shallow
disposable foil pan) at the cooler end of the smoking chamber
the upper rack if your smoker has one. Lower the cover and smoke
chiles for 2 1/2 hours, or until they are soft, brown, and slightly
Remove the chipotles from the smoker. In a medium nonreactive
saucepan, combine them with the chile puree, water, tomato paste,
vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and salt. Set over medium heat and
to a simmer. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the sauce is
thick, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Transfer the chipotles to a covered storage container and refrigerate
for at least 24 hours before using. They can be refrigerated for
2 weeks or frozen for up to 2 months.
Dried Chipotle Peppers: After removing the chiles from the smoker,
place them on a rack and leave them, loosely covered, at room
temperature, until crisp, light, and dry, 1 to 2 weeks, depending
the humidity. Store airtight at room temperature.
NOTES : Green jalapenos can be used, but red ones are more beautiful
and have a deeper, sweeter flavor. Grow your own, or select chiles that are beginning to turn red; they will eventually ripen. (Those picked without any red at all in their peels will
always remain green.)
Makes about 3 cups.
Recipe adapted from "Burning Desires" - W. Park Kerr