10 August 2012

Smoked Salsa Grande

Last year I tried out a new pepper ...ahem.... chile... 'scuse me, CHILE in the garden. Called Santa Fe Grande. Because of it's pale yellow color, it was a very deceiving pepp....chile. I thought it would be a sweeter pepper, a milder pepper...chile, chile, CHILE!!!  boy was I wrong....sooo very wrong. These things are hotter than jales (that's jalepenos to those not in the know), and the heat sticks around. Like glue. On your lips, on your tongue, it's wonderful. It's a liar, but plenty flavorful. 

Fast forward to 2012, these things came back on their own, with a vengeance. 4 plants popped back on their own accord. and they went into full production mode. I picked one plant and not knowing what else to do with it, I figured I'd make some smoked chili powder, to spread the love of these wonderful peppers to many things.

Handy torch for startin coals

Gotta start the fire if I want some smoked pep..chiles. Don't need a big one, it's already hot w/o any fire at all. Stacked the coals i did nicely, to get a few hours of goos smoke time. all i used was 2 coals to get things goin, remember I dont need much fire since its so hot already.

NO lighter fluid!!! EVER!!

Stack the now grey hot burnin coals on top of the unlit coals with the wood, just so happened to be a hunka apple wood.  Situate the temp probe so it's under the grate. i just bent a peice of safety wire into a hook that stays permanently attached to the probe.

Temp probe hanged in position

Of course set up the grill for indirect heat. I take it one step further by putting a peice of a clay saucer over the top of the fire, to hold in the heat as it's created, and to keep it indirect. You can notice it here as the half circle on the right under the grate.

Once the fire got goin, and smoke started rollin, i threw on the  peppers..cough...hgm...chiles and had an idea, threw some maters ( also outta the garden) on to smoke  along with the chiles...happy??...very.

then we went out to dinner, nope didnt pay attention to temp, nor did i pay attention to the time they were on the smoke. almost forgot bout em, but remembered, woulda been a shame for these to waste. I went out to check and the skins on the tomatoes' skins were split open, still solid they were, but i figured that they were good and done.

We've gotta stick blender, and a wide mouth mason jar is perfect size for it to fit into, and let it do the work. Threw a few chiles in there all 4 maters, some cilantro, and basil from the garden, a good amount of fresh cracked sea salt, and coarse grind black pepper. Blended it all up, and that's all she wrote.

It's a slightly smoky, mostly spicy, nicely blended concoction of goodness, that so far has been good with chips of course, fantastic topping on my burger for dinner tonight, and I think would make a great addition to any other sauce i'd put it in.

The rest of the chiles will air dry, in the sun. The way we do it in AZ, once dry, i'll grind it up, seeds and all, fine as i can to make a nice smoky chili powder. Then i can spread the love to more of my dishes!!


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