2011 is my year of exploring the world of South American chillis. I bought bags of dried chipotle and pasilla from Toronto recently,  but haven’t gotten around to using them yet. I have of course been experimenting with fresh jalapenos alot — so far I’ve stuffed them with an assortment of cheeses, mushrooms, minced beef and prawn. Simply fry and serve. Delicious. For anyone who has tried the food at Khana Commune, you will know we love our chillis. This is also why my favourite pasta in the world is a beautifully made, simple dish of prawn aglio olio, heavy on the chilli padis.Today, I am using my dried chipotles. Pronounced ‘Chih-POTE-lay’ these dried babies are actually smoked jalapenos, also known as chiles ahumado. They give off a pungent, smoky delicious aroma and can be used in a variety of ways. The Aztecs in the area north of Mexico City first smoked jalapeños to preserve them, because the peppers’ thick skin inhibited the natural drying process and the peppers would rot before they dried.

I am creating a sauce with the chipotle today. This light tomato based sauce, known as adobo, is used as the base for many different dishes. It has to be simmered on the stove for a couple of hours, after which it can be stored in the fridge for several weeks. I plan to use it in a raspberry glaze I am making for a lamb dish tonight. Raspberry with smoky chipotle glaze on a lovingly roasted lamb rack. Is that my stomach growling or yours?

Cooking the dried chipotle in this sauce and storing it in the fridge allows you to give flavour, spiciness and smokiness to a variety of otherwise simple dishes whenever you’re cooking. Add chipotle adobo to stews, soups, salsa, other sauces or use it as a marinade. Some ideas: Add it to your mayonnaise, or rub it into your meat with some lime. One of my favourites: mix with mashed potatoes and a little sour cream. *scream* Add to your tuna salad or a lentil dish. FORGET TABASCO SAUCE.

Chipotle in Adobo Recipe

12 dried chipotle, destemmed, split lengthways and seeds removed. (i didn’t remove seeds)
6 Tablespoons organic tomato ketchup.
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup cider vinegar

Gently simmer all the ingredients together in a heavy, covered saucepan together with 3 cups of water for about 60-90 mins until the liquid is reduced to one cup. This is the result:I then stuck it in a blender and pureed it.Store in an old jar and it keeps for a month!I’m going to be using the chipotle in a raspberry glaze I am making for a lamb rack dish (inspired by this recipe) for dinner tonight. The raspberries are already a-cookin!

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3 Responses to Chip-chip-chipotle!

  1. Oh man, why are we not part of this commune – again? sounds and look delicious 🙂

  2. notabilia says:

    Was looking for a recipe for chipotles in adobo sauce. Thank you, kitchen savior. (I could buy these in my local market – I lived in quite a Hispanic neighborhood in NYC – but now have to trek to Tanglin Marketplace to get my fix.)

  3. zinaalam says:

    Marie: This wasn’t for a commune! 🙂 I just made it for dinner tonight. Cooked the chipotle into a raspberry glaze, and served with lamb rack. It was divine! Good feedback from my guinea pig… will definitely make it at an upcoming commune.

    notabilia: The adobo sauce is so easy to make! And thanks — I had no idea where to get chipotle in Singapore!

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