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Chipotle Flavors: Smoky Chiles Basics - Page 2 PDF Print E-mail
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Chipotle Flavors: Smoky Chiles Basics
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Mild Red New Mexican

Heat Scale

Of course, the heat scale of smoked chiles varies considerably. The coban and habaneros are the hottest of the smoked chiles and the morita and típico are the mildest. Since jalapeños themselves have medium heat, when smoked they retain the same heat level, which ranges from about 5,000 to 10,000 Scoville Units, measured in the dried form. By comparison, New Mexican chiles are typically 500 to 1,000 Scoville Units, and habaneros range from 80,000 to more than 300,000 Scoville Units. When many chipotles are added to a dish, the result can be quite pungent.

Chipotles Adobados (Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce)

Here's a pickled chile recipe from Tlaxcala. These sweet-hot pickled chiles can be the basis of a sauce of their own if they're further puréed, or they can be served as a condiment with enchiladas and other main dishes. Note that this recipe requires advance preparation.

½ pound dried chipotle chiles, stems removed

Water to rehydrate

1 quart vinegar

1 head garlic, peeled and crushed

½ cup piloncillo, or ½ cup packed brown sugar

1 cup roasted and peeled green chile, such as poblano or New Mexican

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

6 black peppercorns

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt to taste

Soak the chipotles in water until they rehydrate, at least one hour, then drain.

In a saucepan, add ½ of the vinegar, ½ of the garlic and the brown sugar. Cook this mixture for about 20 minutes, then add the chipotles.

In another pan, combine the green chile, tomato, remaining garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, cumin, remaining vinegar, and salt to taste. Cook for about 30 minutes, covered, over a medium heat. Add the chipotle chile mixture, stir well, and store in sterilized jars.

Yield: About 1 ½ quarts
Heat Scale: Hot

Normal 0

Smoky Mayonnaise

Use this interesting variation on mayonnaise whenever the bland kind is called for. Also use this as a topping for cold, cooked shrimp and hard-boiled eggs or as a dip for raw vegetables.

2 chipotle chiles, rehydrated, seeds and stems removed, or substitute 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce
1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro flakes

In a blender or food processor, combine the rehydrated chipotles and 2 teaspoons of the rehydrating water and puree. Alternately, if using chipotles in adobo, puree the chipotles with 2 teaspoons of the sauce.

In a bowl, combine the pureed chipotles with the mayonnaise, sour cream, and cilantro flakes and mix well.

Yield: 1 cup
Heat Scale: Medium

Thanks to Harald Zoschke for his photo assistance on this project.

Other articles in the Chipotle Flavors series:

How to Smoke Chiles Chipotles in the Kitchen Recipes & Products Chipotle Heaven in Texas!

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