[CH] In praise of chipoltes

Jim Bardsley (bardsljr@umdnj.edu)
Thu, 21 May 1998 10:49:05 -0100

I'm a huge fan of chipoltes.  I get dried chipoltes in big bags from Pendery's
in Ft. Worth ( my personal favorite spice store) and use them in gumbos,
soups, stews...anything with a liquid base that has to cook for a while. They
add a smoky hot subtle undercurrent to the dish- absolute killer in my catfish
courtbullion (recipe below).

The canned chipoltes in adobe sauce make wonderful cream sauces to access fish
or lighter meat ( veal, pork, etc) dishes.

Had a BIG misstep one January many years ago, though, when I made up a batch
of chili for a Superbowl party and dumped a whole can of chipoltes in there-
then forgot about them, and while stirring the chili, broke the peppers open
and they sort of disintegrated, seeds and all, through the chili. The first
mouthful was slow agony. I went back and doubled the meat and other
ingrediants in hope of salvaging the main course, but finally it was still too
hot for any use 'cept as hot dawg topping.



Cooked rice
Roux (see below)
1 1/2 lb. catfish filets, cut in 2" pieces (or as much as will be eaten
1 can Progresso Crushed Tomato Puree
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 bell pepper, seeded, 1/2 minced & 1/2 chopped
1/3 cup dried basil
1/3 cup dried Italian seasoning
1 Tbs. crushed red pepper
1 Tsp. white pepper
1 Tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup dry sherry
3 stalks celery, 1/5 minced, 4/5 chopped
1 small bunch green onions, 1/5 minced, 4/5 chopped
7 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 lemon, halved
dried chipoltes, to taste


In a 4 quart pot, combine tomatoes; basil; white, black & red peppers; Italian

seasoning; red wine; sherry; chopped celery & bell pepper;dried chipoltes;
and juice from 1/2 of
squeezed lemon.  Cover and simmer for 1 to 3 hours.  Add water as needed to
maintain volume.


Prepare at least 2/3 cup cooked long grain white rice per person.  Cook
according to directions for 20 minutes.

Microwave Roux

1/2 cup non flavored oil
1/2 cup white flour

Whisk oil and flour in a large Pyrex cup.  Microwave 4 minutes on High and
whisk.  Microwave 2 minutes on High and whisk.  Repeat at 1 minute intervals
until dark brown.  Cool 2 to 4 minutes.  Whisk minced celery & bell pepper,
green onions and garlic into roux.  Note:  Commercially or regularly prepared
roux may be used.

Final Preparations

Stir roux mixture into courtbouillon.  Add fish.  DO NOT STIR AFTER ADDING
FISH AS IT BREAKS THE FISH.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Before
serving, squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon on top of court bouillon.  (Do not


Place a portion of rice in the center of each individual soup bowl.  Gently
catfish and courtbouillon over rice.  Serve as an entree with a robust red
green salad and French bread.


Remove and discard all fish pieces from courtbouillon before refrigerating.
Before serving, warm courtbouillon, add fresh catfish, cover and simmer for 15

minutes.  Add lemon juice.  Serve over rice.