Summer kicks off with the 4th Mystery Ingredient Club...the sort of club where the meetings are mysteriously infrequent and cloaked in secrecy.
Speaking of secrets, before the meeting begins, I've got a confession.
A pinprick of fear darted through my chest when Bandwidth chose the ingredient: chipotle. When it comes to hot peppers, I'm a big, old sissy baby. My husband is worse. He breaks out in a cold sweat if his food isn't in the Missonary Position.
But I'm glad that we moved out of our food comfort zone and became acquainted with the smoke and heat of chipotle. This staple ingredient in Mexican dishes became a food star when it broke through into mainstream cuisine. Now, you can find canned chipotles in most grocery stores, along with exotic offerings like chipotle chips, salad dressing, and marinade.
You won't find a fresh version of these chiles in the produce section of your grocery. They are created from jalapeños--then then they are smoked and dried (many cooks use a food dehydrator).
Bandy had planned to make his own chipoltes, but his peppers aren't ready to harvest. The idea of using store-bought peppers didn't fly. However, I suffered from no such qualms.
First, I made a raspberry-pineapple chipotle sauce.
Then I cooked a slab of St. Louis spareribs.
Pineapple-Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
Sautee 1/2 cup chopped onion in 1 tablespoon canola oil and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Add 1/2 cup chopped (multicolor) bell peppers. Sautee until the onions are translucent. Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic and sautee another minute (don't burn it or you'll have to start over; don't salt and pepper at this point, as this hinders the sautéing process). Add 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (less if you prefer) and cook another minute or two, stirring frequently.
Drop in a handful of fresh raspberries (optional--they are impossibly seedy!), 1 [18-ounce] jar of seedless raspberry jam, 1/4 cup chopped pineapple, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, a splash of raspberry balsamic, and at least 1 whole, canned chipotle pepper (remove the seeds by scraping them with a knife). If you love heat, add the whole can, including a few teaspoons of the adobe sauce.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Reduce the sauce over a low flame. Transfer the slightly cooled sauce to a large bowl (set the pan aside--you'll need it later). Puree the sauce with an immersion hand blender.
Place a strainer basket in the sautee pan.
Pour the sauce into the strainer.
Discard seeds. Pour sauce into a sterilized Mason jar. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week--if it lasts that long.
St. Louis Spare Ribs
1 slab of pork ribs
Season the ribs. Place in a baking pan and bake at 375 degrees F for 90 minutes.
Remove from oven. Brush on sauce and cook 5 more minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
If you have leftover pork, you can make chipotle tacos.
Since I'm no longer a chipotle virgin, I went a little wild and added it to guacamole. I also made a
(In other words, an "Everything but the Kitchen Sink" salsa.)
1 carton store-bought mango salsa
1 cup chopped peppers
1 cup chopped onion and celery
apple cider vinegar or raspberry vinegar
salt, pepper, chili powder
chopped canned chipotle peppers
fresh lime juice
Mix all ingredients and chill, allowing flavors to mingle.
Now it's time to par-tay, as my mama says.
Won't you try the salsa?
Chipotle pairs well with so many things, doesn't it?
chipotle + pineapple/raspberries/strawberries/watermelon/mango
chipotle + mayonnaise + lime
chipotle + avocado + cilantro
What's your favorite combination?
I can't wait to see what the Mystery Ingredient Club members have cooked. You can
find recipes by clicking on any thumbnail or by visiting their blogs.
Have a great week. Thanks to everyone who cooked with me today! You'll be receiving a complimentary chipotle gift, so please send me your mailing address.
I'm linking to: