Rick Browne, Ph.B., host of the PBS show “Barbecue America” and the author of The Best Barbecue on Earth and nine other books, is supplying articles and recipes to the Fiery Foods & Barbecue SuperSite.
The Texas Jersey Cheese Company, near LaGrange, Texas, makes 750 pounds of cheese a week. The star is a pepper Jack cheese (using large chunks of jalapeño chiles), and this is one of their star chile cheeserecipes.
Chiles and cumin combine here to create the olfactory essence of the Border. Most any type of small chile pepper that you can get in the bottle will work. Be sure to taste it often and remove the chiles when it reaches the desired heat--the longer the chiles are left in, the hotter the liquor will get!
Okay, okay, we borrowed a Texas technique and changed the rub to reflect our chilehead tastes. For years we have been perfecting recipes using a smoker known as an Oklahoma Joe’s. It is a horizontal, cylindrical smoker about three and a half feet long and about fourteen inches in diameter. It has an attached, dropped fire box that allows smoking with fairly cool smoke because the fire is separated a bit from the smoking area. Because smoking is so time consuming, it makes sense to smoke several things at once. In addition to brisket, we also smoke a turkey breast. Some cooks use the basting sauce as a mop during the smoking process and eliminate the long marinade at the end of smoking. Leftovers, if there are any, make the best barbecue sandwiches when served on a crusty hard roll with your choice of sauce from chapter 3.
The wild chiles called chiltepins in Mexico and the Southwest are known as chilipiquins in Texas. We always have some of the berry-like pods available because we grow them as perennials, but they’re difficult to find in markets. So substitute any pequin or small, extremely hot chile. This is a finishing sauce for grilled or smoked beef, chicken, or pork to be applied before serving or served on the side.
There is no such thing as chicken or tofu fajitas because the word refers specifically to skirt steak that is marinated and grilled. This is actually a simple recipe to prepare, and it works best when grilled over mesquite wood, or natural charcoal with mesquite chips. The technique known as smoke-grilling is perfect for this meat, and flank steak can be substituted for the skirt steak. Tradition holds that fajitas were first perfected in south Texas in the 1960s and quickly became a staple for Mexican restaurants–and others–north of the border. It is a classic example of combining several methods to make tough meat more palatable: marinate it, grill it, and slice it thinly against the grain. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
When you order "green sauce" in Texas, this is what you will be served. It differs from New Mexico's green sauce in that the color is derived from tomatillos rather than from green chiles. This sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, with enchiladas, or as a topping for grilled poultry or fish.
Why wouldn’t the cooks of Cerén have developed sauces to serve over meats and vegetables? After all, there is evidence that curry mixtures were in existence thousands of years ago in what is now India, and we have to assume that Native Americans experimented with all available ingredients. Perhaps this mole sauce was served over stewed duck meat, as ducks were one of the domesticated meat sources of the Cerén villagers.