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Mexican Ingredients - Chipotles
21.06.2021

Mexican ingredients are incredibly versatile. They can be used together with unexpected ingredients from other cuisines and shine in different and delicious ways. No other ingredient does this better than chipotle. 


Chipotle peppers are jalapeno peppers that have been dried and sometimes even smoked. Smoke-drying has been used since ancient times to preserve food. According to Wikipedia: The name comes from the Nahuatl word chīlpoctli meaning "smoked chilli"  


Chipotles have a distinct smoky and spicy taste. A constant ingredient in Mexican food and Mexican inspired dishes such as Tex Mex. The use of this ingredient doesn’t end there. On its own, the chipotle pepper is bold and often takes centre place, however, it plays nicely with other ingredients where it blends instead and transforms into something completely different and unique worth trying.


We will focus on Chipotle in Adobo because not only is one of our most popular ingredients but because they are ready to use and allows people that are not familiar with it, to be more adventurous and include it in small or big ways into their meals. Here’s a small but handy guide on how to make the most of this precious Mexican ingredient. From how to store it, the recommended use and some quick recipes that can help to include this product in unique ways.


Basic information

-Chipotles in adobo are whole chipotle peppers that have been preserved in a spiced tomato sauce. The chipotles can be quite hot but by removing the seeds, the heat intensity can be easily controlled. The adobo sauce they come with is infused with spices and with the chipotle flavour so it can be used instead of the whole peppers for beginners. 

-They commonly come in tin cans but due to their intense flavour, most likely they will be used slowly and it will take a while until you finish a whole can. The way to go is to transfer the contents of the tin to a glass jar and store it inside the fridge. They will last a long, long time. 

-They are free of any animal products making them a fantastic ingredient to be used in many diets. 

 

Sweet and Spicy

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This is such a lovely combination. The smokiness of the chipotle is mellowed by the sweetness of honey, jams or sugar and they both create a completely new flavour. This sweet and spicy combination is often found in Mexican sweets in the form of hard candy with chilli powder. It is also found in snacks such as cream cheese covered in strawberry jam mixed with chipotles in adobo. Here are some examples of how to start your journey with sweet and spicy chipotles and how to incorporate them into your meals. 

-Pulled Pork with Tamarind-Chipotle Sauce recipe here


-Veggie Galette with Honey Chipotle Glaze recipe here

-Chicken Fajita Bowl with Honey Chipotle Dressing recipe here

-Cream Cheese with Strawberry Chipotle Jam recipe here

-Chipotle in Adobo Pork Ribs recipe here

-Al Pastor Veggie Tacos recipe here

 


Smoky Creamy Sauces

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When chipotle peppers are combined with cream, mayonnaise or tahini, something creamy and delicious happens. In the case of tahini, its nutty creaminess combines perfectly well the smokiness of the chipotles. Just by mixing these two ingredients, you can obtain a delicious cream that can be used as a base of dips, dressings and sauces. The same thing happens when you mix chipotles with cream or mayo. 

You can find excellent recipe examples on the following links.


-Roasted Veggie Tacos with Chipotle Tahini Sauce recipe here

-Enchiladas with Creamy Chipotle Sauce recipe here

-Chipotle Beans Sauce Tacos recipe here

-Baja Fish Tacos recipe here


Rich Sauces

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This is where chipotles are traditionally found in Mexican food. Usually mixed in tomato-based sauces, chipotles shine bright. Their spicy smokiness blends beautifully with the likes of tomatillos making this one an incredibly delicious and powerful combination. There are many examples of dishes that include chipotles this way. Here are some of the ones we have enjoyed the most.


-Chorizo and Lentils in Tomatillo Sauce recipe here

-Chipotle Hotpot recipe here

-Pastel Azteca recipe here


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