There are few things in life that make as much sense to me as pairing berries of any kind with chipotle chilies … if for no other reason than the contrast between sweet and spicy. It's a classic example of the principle "opposites attract" and makes for an amazing marriage. No doubt you've heard of raspberries and chipotles mixed into a sauce or jelly of sorts. It's super fabulous with cream cheese and crackers for a quick, straight-from-the-pantry appetizer.
I made these on June 21st, the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. It seemed fitting that we should BBQ and although I felt a little drizzle while doing so, it was definitely the right thing to do.
I came across this recipe in the current edition of Bon Appetit, which I will say is my 2nd favorite magazine (Sunset being the first). When I read the ingredients, I knew I would make it and love it. It calls for a wonderful combination of spicy and sweet, salty and sour … just perfect for BBQ, in my opinion.
Cherries are starting to show up for sale at the roadside stands now. I will eventually get some to make my own preserves, but this time, I used Bonne Mamman cherry preserves, which are the best, in my opinion, beyond home-made. (And if the kitchen and copper pots in the photo on their home page were a photo of my own home, I would die a happy woman … classic living!) When a jar has the warning that you might find pits in the preserves, you know you have something authentic. I also chose to use organic ketchup. The more I read ingredients, the more I know that there are tons of unneeded ingredients used to make our foods convenient. Why does ketchup need modified food starch, or high fructose corn syrup. It doesn't! So find a brand that is as pure as possible – or make your own!
I was leary of using the liquid smoke just because I like REAL smoke! I'm nothing if not real. Most of the time. ;) But I found the Stubb's brand makes a liquid smoke. I'm still not sure how they bottle 'smoke' and it does have soy sauce in it which is taboo for Emily with her wheat allergy. I'm now on the search for a wheat-free liquid smoke. I also used tamari instead of soy sauce for the same reason – soy sauce contains wheat. I think tamari has a equally pleasing taste with no wheat.
Bottom line is … you throw all these things in a pot, bring it to a simmer and leave it there for about 10 minutes. That's it. And you can make it ahead of time, too. That's a bonus in my book!
The recipe in Bon Appetit suggests using beef ribs with a dry rub, but I grilled chicken with the same rub and loved the combination of Chicken, Cherries, and Chipotles.
I've also rewritten the recipe to fit my cooking style … download whichever one you want, but whatever you do, get thee to a grill post haste with some cherries and chipotles!