As a nation, I fear we have a reputation for being spice-adverse, the old joke being KFC is too spicy for those of us north of the 49th parallel.
And really, I think it's deserved. It's not been that long since the spice aisle's heat came from packets of powdered cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne and a bottle of Tabasco. Today they still contain cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne, but they also have pods and seeds found in various masalas, shelves varying pepper sauces and aisles that help shoppers explore Latin American, Caribbean, Indian, Vietnamese and other cuisines.
Mmm...Canada, a multicultural society has many benefits and a widened selection of foods and flavours is merely one.
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be elusive in my part of the world, but can usually found in shops with an international clientelle or, if I'm truly lucky, in the mediumscarymegamart a couple of blocks away.
Personally, I love pairing their smokey fire with smokey sweetness, usually in a roasted sweet potato soup. But this being summer, turning on my oven isn't necessarily high on my list of priorities. This being summer, grilling is called for--even if it is via my cast iron stovetop grill pan...and when I grill...I sauce.
To balance the pepper's heat, maple syrup was my obvious choice. Simmered with a bit of mustard and tomato ketchup, as well garlic and shallot, and you get a gorgeous, glossy sauce that's perfect slathered on pork or chicken. Spice-adverse Canadians? Nah, not after this sauce.
Maple Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
180ml (0.75c) maple syrup
1 chipotle pepper with 1.5 Tbsp adobo sauce
2Tbsp tomato ketchup
2Tbsp dijon mustard
1Tbps apple cider vinegar
1.5 Tbsp soy sauce
Sweat garlic and onion in butter until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over a medium flame until thickened and reduced by about half. Let cool.
I'm a quill for hire!