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Mexican adobo sauce with chipotle peppers, canned

How is canned Mexican adobo sauce (not Philipino) with chipotle peppers applied in cooking?
Is it used as a spice to sauces, on the side like peas or potatoes or as a sauce such as you'd use Hollandaise sauce? Is it a marinade?
I can find online plenty of recipes how to make adobo sauce but none that describe when to use adobo sauce as an ingredient in cooking.

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  1. I use the peppers and sauce to make a spicy vinegarette, I add the peppers and sauce to chili, eggs, any where I really want to add a bit of a kick.

    1. Chipotles in adobo are used just like regular old chipotles (dried ones); the adobo is just there as a liquid to hold the chiles. It is a convenience approach, really. The adobo is limited in volume and adds very little to the flavour.

      I prefer using dried chipotles myself, mainly because there is no waste involved. You only use as much as you need.

      The chiles are used as a flavouring, not as a sauce in and of themselves--they are pretty spicy and flavourful--would overpower just about everything.

      1 Reply
      1. re: zamorski

        thanks to you both, in the future I think I'll use dried chilpotle chiles and keep them on hand instead of these hydrated ones...

      2. I blend the contents of a whole can and keep it in a container in the frige so I can add a spoonful or so whenever I want both spicy and smoky. I use dried chipotles differently than I use this blend. I don't find them interchangable but I find them both essential.

        4 Replies
        1. re: weezieduzzit

          I blend a couple of cans with a block of guava paste. The sweetness cuts the heat just a little and is hardly noticed. This paste works well in a lot of dishes. Every thing from soups and stews to a tuna sandwich.

            1. re: scubadoo97

              Interesting...I once blended canned chipotles with part of a slab of mango pulp, and it still had too much heat.

              1. re: Veggo

                Yes it's still hot but seems to cut it just a tad. Enough where I can lick the spoon and not get my head blown off. It keeps in the fridge for a long time. I use it often.

                My dad spend some of his youth in Mexico City so I was introduced to chipotles as a kid. Always had a shaker of Buffalo brand chipotle sauce in the fridge and my mom would make pickled ones from dried moritas that were brought back from Mex DF. Now I can find moiritas at the local Mexican markets which we have several. We pickle them but not as tart as when doing jalapenos or as salty. Put them up with sliced carrots and onions. So not in an adobo since the sauce is thinner. They are really good.

          1. I use them whenever a recipe calls for them (soups, marinades, sauces). I put the rest of the can in a small tupperware and keep it in the freezer.

            1. This chicken and potato stew from epicurious ( http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... ) is quite amazing. I've always used the chipotles in adobo as called for, but I imagine it would be great with the dried chilis as well.

              1. I use the canned chipotles in chipotle mayo, sweet potato casserole, in chicken salad, some shrimp dishes, with pineapple or mango in salsas for chicken and pork, in quesadillas, and in chili and stews. A little goes a long way, be careful.

                1. You may be confusing an adobo sauce, used for example as a meat marinade, and 'chipotles en adobo'.

                  One is a puree made predominately from reconstituted anchos (or similar mild dried peppers). It can be as hot or mild as you want. The thinly sliced adobado meat (port or beef) that I get Mexican butchers with this marinade is not particularly hot.

                  The canned item, on the other hand, is smoke dried jalapenos that have been reconstituted in a tomato sauce. What comes out of the can is about equal parts sauce and plump chipotles. The flavor is dominated by the hot and smoky chipotles. Some recipes call for 1 or 2 chipotles to taste, but I am often happy with a partial spoon of the sauce. Depending on your heat tolerance a little of this canned stuff goes a long ways (and keeps well in a jar in the fridge).

                  looks like a good example of using a home made adobo sauce as a meat marinade. Roberto SantibaƱez is a well respected author of Mexican cookbooks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: paulj

                    Thanks for the clarification, paul.

                    Not to nit pick, it really doesn't matter much, and without having measured each component, I don't think cans of chipotles en adobo contain equal parts sauce and chilies; it seems to be more chipotles, and that could be brand to brand. I have a can of La Morena brand right now, don't really want to open them today, but I will assess at some point soon.

                    As you wrote, "The flavor is dominated by the hot and smoky chipotles." Yes siree.

                  2. We love the canned ones in lots of recipes, but I also smash some and mix with butter for chipotle adobo compound butter--really good on cornbread.

                    1. I use chipotles en adobo as an ingredient for a spicy meatloaf I make with ground bison. 2 or 3 chipotles, with a bit of the sauce, chopped add a delicious smoky flavor to the final dish. It's also used in quesadillas and chili but I really love it mixed with mayonnaise.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Gio

                        As most of these example show, unless you have a high heat tolerance, the canned chipotles are best used as a seasoning, not the primary ingredient in a dish or sauce.

                        1. re: paulj

                          As just One ingredient, not the prime ingredient, in this meatloaf recipe which uses 2 pounds of ground meat the CEA works its magic very well.

                      2. I use it as a seasoning. I like to puree the stuff, then put it through a seive. I like the resulting smoothness. I swirl it into a savory cheesecake (like regular, but no sugar), and top it with a mango/jalapeno sweet topping.
                        I use the pulp leftover in oil. I let it sit in the fridge. That oil is great to use to drizzle over refried beans, or to use when making a Mexican (my version, probably not even close to authentic) rice: put it in the pan, add onion, peppers, pre-cooked rice, saute.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wyogal

                          I once found in a clearance store, a squeeze bottle of 'chopped chipotles in adobo', essentially the canned ones blended to a smooth ketchup like puree. The serving suggestions included hamburgers and hotdogs.

                        2. I make a Chicken Tinga, the sauce and as much peppers as you wish are added to the chicken when it's cooking along with sauteed garlic and onions. Pretty good and warm too.

                          1. i use it in many recipes, particularly several soups. also in enchiladas when i want that smoky spiciness... as noted, a little goes a long way. and i too store in a tupperware in the fridge :)

                            1. I adore it as an ingredient. And just a spoonful, chopped, is great to marinate shrimp or fish in, then saute in butter.

                              If I am out of fresh jalapenos for chili, I use them in that as well.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: happybaker

                                Thanks so much for all your replies. You've given me a new world of flavors and ingredients.

                                1. re: happybaker

                                  I adore chipotles in adobo also...that stuff is *magical*...very hot but what flavor!!! nice thread going here!

                                2. all I can say is yea, I have 2 cans in the pantry but the flavor is very hot to my mouth.
                                  when I open the can, I take out the one needed and seal/a/meal into portions then freeze the rest for later use.

                                  1. I love an adapted classic gratin dauphinois:
                                    Put thinly sliced sweet potates in a buttered baking dish, barely cover with a mixture of half milk, half cream, salt, pepper and one or two teaspoons (or to taste) blended chipotles (just blend the can content, as recommended in other posts).
                                    Bake at 210 C (420 F) until tender ("pierce check" with a paring knife) and a nice crust has developed.

                                    Unfortunately Chipotles in Adobo sauce are not available here in Europe, so I have to bring some back on every trip or ask friends to smuggle some.
                                    Luckily they have a very long shelf live (both, the friends and the adobos...)

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: dfense

                                      You can get dried chipotles from this vendor in the UK, which has a good reputation and presumably ships within the EU: http://www.southdevonchillifarm.co.uk...

                                      As I mentioned above, just cut off the top (removing seeds if you want less heat) and rehydrate them for 30 minutes in hot water. Very convenient and no waste!

                                      1. re: dfense

                                        have a friend mail some dried ones to you, or canned

                                        1. re: dfense

                                          dfense, I don't know where in Europe you are, but I can get them here in Amsterdam.
                                          And I love them, and use them a lot.

                                          1. re: dfense

                                            How about using Spanish smoked paprika for the smoky taste, and some other pepper for the heat?

                                          2. Blend the suace and a few peppers with grapefruit juice, molasses, sauteed onion/garlic for BBQ sauce

                                            1. Canned chipotles en adobo are the essential ingredient in many Mexican style sauces.
                                              Chipotle, tomatillo or tomato (or fruit vinegar ?), roasted garlic and a little salt blended together is the simple start. Google around for some more ideas.
                                              The acidic ingredient does moderate the 'heat' - whether it's the volume or the acid itself is another discussion. Just let your taste buds be your guide.

                                              1. http://patismexicantable.com/2011/06/...
                                                Chicken with Tamarind, Apricots and Chipotle Sauce
                                                A Mexican dish with Middle Eastern influences
                                                Tamarind provides the sour, apricots the sweet, chipotle the heat

                                                1. Hummus! Bobby Flay does this. Next time you make hummus, just drop a pepper and some sauce in before you grind it up. Makes a delicious, smoky, spicy variation to an otherwise rather bland dish.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: MarkC

                                                    I did this, and it was a huge hit. Thought I had enough made for a crowd, but ran out quicker than I ever would have imagined. Now it's my regular go-to hummus.

                                                  2. The first time I used this stuff I thought it was just a mexican tomato sauce and I poured it (minus the peppers) over chicken and almost killed my family- I was tryng to duplicate a dish we had in a Mexican Restaurant. It has been banned from our pantry ever since but I'd like to learn how to use it as we are more accustomed to heat than we were 10 years ago when I did this.

                                                    1. Web up a recipe for tinga.
                                                      I also use them as a add in for sour cream for a topping sauce with a twist. * oz of sour cream, one of the peppers, a touch of lime juice, cilantro, throw it in a blender till smooth. Awesome as a simple topping sauce for tamales, or, um, well, generally anything. Mole plates, carne asada, tostadas, I'll use it to finish a plated dish think thin criss crossed lines on the final plate. I also like it as a chip dip.