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Chipitole Sauce

m
Michael Kinney Sep 17, 2001 01:59 AM

I love the smoky rich flavor of chipitole sauce, but most commerical preparations are hotter than Freida Kahlo's underpants. Anyone know of a bottled chipitole sauce that's got the good flavor but won't peel the skin off my tongue? I know, I know, I'm a lightweight. But still - any suggestions, brands, how to order em if not regularly available in the stores, would be much appreciated.

  1. t
    tom Sep 20, 2001 04:19 PM

    Try this:
    4 medium ripe tomatoes
    4 cloves garlic
    1-3 chipotle chiles, canned en adobo (available at Mexican groceries and many grocery stores)
    Salt, pepper to taste
    Splash of cider, sherry, or red-wine vinegar

    • Roast the tomatoes, Mexican-style. Line an oven-proof skillet with foil, and add to it the whole tomatoes. Broil until charred and splitting open on top, then give them the same treatment on the other side. This will take 10-15 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves. You'll turn them over a few times, and the peels will char a bit. It will take 5-10 minutes. Toward the last few minutes of the proccess, you can add a pinch or two of dried Mexican oregeno for some extra flava.
    • Combine and puree the whole, uncored tomatoes (along with any juice rendered in the broiling), with the garlic, the optional oregano, and the chiles. You might start with one chile, taste, and add more one by one until you find the right heat level. For me, three is the magic number.
    • Season with salt and pepper, add the vinegar, give one final pulse, and taste.
    This is a delicious sauce. For the specific techniques of roasting the tomatoes and toasting the garlic, see the great Diana Kennedy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tom
      t
      tom Sep 21, 2001 11:15 AM

      peel the toasted garlic cloves before combining them with the other stuff.

    2. h
      hobokenhenry Sep 17, 2001 11:53 PM

      My solution is to make a quick tomato sauce and insert either a dried chipotle chile (after soaking) or a canned one in adobe (w. some of the sauce clinging to it). You can adjust the heat by the number of chiles or depending on whether or not you remove the whole chiles after making the sauce, or cut them up and incorporate them in the final sauce. The canned chiles are more readily available but w. the increasing number of Mexicans in the NY area, I've started finding the dried ones.

      1. c
        Caitlin Wheeler Sep 17, 2001 04:10 PM

        If you can get regular dried chipotles, try reconstituting in boiling water, then chopping and adding to mayonnaise (Hellman's light is good for lower fat and cals) with some garlic (or without) If you let it sit for a day, the chipotle flavor will infuse the mayonnaise, making this a great sauce for sandwiches, etc.

        1. f
          foodpimp Sep 17, 2001 03:43 AM

          Have you tried Jump Up and Kiss Me Smoky Chipotle? This one is mild. Most chipotle sauces are going to be fairly hot because chipotles are made from red ripe jalapenos which are usually hotter than when left green. My fave brand is Bufalo, which can be had for cheap in Mexican groceries (even under a buck sometimes). That's my fave bottled product, though. For cooking, I always purée a can of chipotles in adobo, because the true flavor of chipotles is more apparent this way than with any bottled product. If you are making any sort of large stew or soup, you might try puréeing a can and not using all of it, maybe half. You could also just use one of the chipotles in the can (small can usually comes with eight or so) and purée it with the adobo sauce. That should yield a relatively mild product for you if added to a large soup or stew. If you're truly a wimp, the adobo sauce itself without any of the chipotles ought to contain enough chipotle flavor to satisfy you. Also, note the proper spelling of chipotle (pronounced: sheep OAT lay).

          10 Replies
          1. re: foodpimp
            f
            Frank Language Sep 17, 2001 07:40 AM

            Well, although the slogan of "Peppers.com" is "It's HOT at Peppers.com!", they have some mild hot sauces in their vast selection.

            I can't point you to a specific sauce, but they are fairly descriptive in their listings, and if you have a few hours to kill, will probably find the right one. I also offer this as a resource for anyone looking for just the right sauce. My personal (not too hot) fave is "Hot Bitch at the Beach".

            Link: http://www.peppers.com/

            Image: http://www.peppers.com/graphics/jalep...

            1. re: Frank Language
              g
              Greg Spence Sep 17, 2001 09:24 AM

              Make your own. The origin of the chipotle is that at the end of the growing season, the older red and somewhat dry jalapeno peppers were smoked over a fire made from the dried plants on which they were grown.

              I just made my tenth batch of what we call choke chile powder. We take jalapenos, dry them, and smoke them over a mesquite fire. Then we grind them into a powder that adds fantastic flavor to a wide variety of dishes. The smoky depth of the homemade product surpasses the flavor of any commercial product. You could certainly add it to any salsa.

              We call it choke chile because the first year we made it we got careless and inhaled some of the finely ground product. It was like being maced, so be careful. I'm suggesting this because you could pick the pepper you use to be not as hot. Instead of an outdoor smoker (if you don't have one) you could use a cameron (stovetop) smoker. Just grind in a food processor. It's not hard and the result is fantastic.

              1. re: Greg Spence
                a
                Ann Leneave Sep 17, 2001 03:27 PM

                Or Michael could order smoked chiles from Tierra Vegetables in Healdsburg,CA. and spend the day AT the beach.
                Phone- (707)433-5666. They sell ground smoked chiles as well as whole. Yummy!

                1. re: Ann Leneave
                  g
                  Greg Spence Sep 17, 2001 05:16 PM

                  Oh, there are plenty of places to buy smoked chiles and I've tried plenty of them. Trust me, for maximum deliciousness you've got to do it yourself.

                  1. re: Greg Spence
                    a
                    Ann Leneave Sep 17, 2001 05:55 PM

                    OK, Martha

                    1. re: Ann Leneave
                      g
                      Greg Spence Sep 17, 2001 06:59 PM

                      Ann, this process takes no more than about 1 hour labor and a little patience. And remember, "Chowhounds never settle for less than optimal deliciousness." I'm not out tiling the pool with my surplus American Express cards, I'm just after the best smoked chiles I can get. If an hour's worth of work can give me a year's supply of my favorite spice, it beats spending 20 minutes on the phone for an inferior product. Try it, before you criticize it. It will convert you. I'll even forward you a taste to proove my point. Email me if you are interested.

                      1. re: Greg Spence
                        m
                        Michael Kinney Sep 18, 2001 01:38 AM

                        Ann and Greg, you're BOTH right. There's times to smoke and times to buy. Thank you both for good information.

                        1. re: Michael Kinney
                          a
                          Ann Leneave Sep 21, 2001 01:07 PM

                          OK,OK! We should probably BOTH send YOU a sample. I think Dean and DeLuca still carries the Tierra chiles, although they may not have the ground ones. Another Tierra product we are addicted to is their chile jam. These are exemplary products, head and shoulders above any commercial ones we have tried. And we're not talking "pepper jelly" here (ugh!) They have a website, www.tierravegetables.com. Try the Panonia, with Gypsy, Szentesi, and wax chiles. Also the habanero.....hmm..getting hungry

                        2. re: Greg Spence
                          a
                          Ann Leneave Sep 21, 2001 01:11 PM

                          I GIVE!!!

                          So you'll send me some? Now you're talking!

                    2. re: Ann Leneave
                      n
                      Nancy Berry Sep 22, 2001 11:10 AM

                      Tierra Vegetables is a vendor at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market on Saturdays. Their smoked peppers (all kinds, not just jalapenos) are superb and the variety is amazing. Their jams are also excellent. You can order from their website at the following link:

                      Link: http://www.tierravegetables.com/

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