Chipotles are one of the most flavorful chilies going around. If you have not tried using them in your Southwestern, TexMex, or Latin cooking, you are doing yourself a disservice. It’s a great idea to keep a few different chipotle condiments and chilies around. Because it keeps well, you can purchase a bunch and use long into the future.
Pre-Aztec peoples smoked jalapeños to preserve like their meats. The name comes from the Aztec words “chil”, chili and “pochill”, to smoke.
With the spreading popularity of Mexican food, the chipotle has become increasingly popular.
About 1/5 of Mexico’s jalapeño crop is made into chipotles. There are 3 common forms found in US supergrocers’ markets and Latin markets:
chili ahumado: tan, smoked for long periods of time
chili morita: deep red (the name means “little blackberry” because of the color), smoked less than ahumado
chili en adobo: these chipotles are packed in a sweet, sour, spicy sauce
Uses and Recipes
To Make: Grind dried chipotles in mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder. The addition of a little salt helps to break down the skins. Use like any other chili powder.
Chipotle Chili Salt
To Make: A two to one ratio of salt to chili powder is pretty good. This is great for meat rubs, but especially great for rimming glasses for drinks, like sangritas and micheladas, that can stand up to the smokiness of the chipotles.
Chipotle Chili Paste
To Make: Rehydrate chilies in warm water for 30 minutes (or use chilies in adobo after wiping off most of the adobo, but don’t wash!) Blend chilies in a food processors or blenders with 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 onion, and a drizzle of oil to bind. Great on grilled meats or to spike dressings and sauces.
To Make: Combine either powder or paste with mayonnaise and a touch of lime juice. Rations will depend on the quantity and personal preference. One of the best condiments for turkey or turkey sandwiches. Also great for dipping French fries in.
To Make: Combine melted butter with chipotle powder or paste and a little lime juice. Allow the butter to cool to harden. This is a great way to kick up grilled corn or for topping or dipping grilled seafood.
Chipotle en Adobo
- 12 dried chiptles
- 6 Tbsp. ketchup
- 1/2 onion diced fine
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups of water
- Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 40 minutes to an hour until the sauce has come together and the chilies have plumped.
Jar or can for storage or use immediately.
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