Thomasina Miers book Mexican Food Made Easy , added a new item to the top shelf of my fridge “Chipotles en adobo” joins , home preserved lemons , marinading olives , roasted garlic and peppers (steeping in oil) as the home-made staple I can’t do without.
Just having these things glowing in jars immediately reduces the time required to create dishes with depth and each time I use them inspires a gentle glow of frugal domesticity.
Chipotles are smoked and dried jalepenos, so you should never be put off by a shriveled or brown a quick simmer in hot water swells them. I ordered a large bag from Mexican Grocer ( http://www.mexgrocers.co.uk) since I couldn’t get any locally.
Adobo means sauce in Spanish , but do not shrug this off as a simple chilli sauce it’s complex smokey flavour means it instantly adds depth and the appearance of a long cooking to a huge range of stews and sauces. I promise once you make it ( and you never make it quite the same way twice) you will be using it on and in everything.
Chipotle en adobo ( a version of Thomasina Miers from here)
40 chipotle chillis
1 large white onion peeled
1 head of garlic peeled
3 tbsp of oregano , thyme and bay leaves
1 tsp of cumin seeds
100ml of white wine vinegar
2 tbsp of demera sugar
1 tsp of salt
- Snip the stalk of the chillis
- Just cover chillis with water and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes
- Drain the chillis but save the water , pureee the onion, garlic and cumin with the chillis and a little of the water
- Heat a tsp of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan , add the chilli paste and fry
- Add the vinegar , water , sugar , salt .
- Simmer and cook for another 15 minutes
- Puree once more.
Once you have made your chipotle sauce it will keep for months in the fridge here are a few uses
- as base of my favourite chilli con carne instant depth,
- add it to a tomato sauce when I am making pasta sauce, adds a little kick.
- Mixed with some fresh tomatoes or avocadoes it makes a great topping for chicken wraps
- added to homemade mayonnaise. Recently I have started making mayo with rape-seed oil, it mixed with the chipotles is is heavenly on burgers and sweetcorn.
- sauce adds a smoky-kick to soups butternut squash , cauliflower seasonal now in a Smoky Sweetcorn Soup
3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp of white wine vinegar
350ml of rape seed oil
- Put the egg yolks into the bowl with the Dijon mustard salt and whisk until smooth.
- Gradually add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking all the time. You should have a smooth, quite thick mayonnaise that stands in peaks.
- Add the white wine vinegar to taste and briefly whisk.
Smoky Sweetcorn Soup
2 sweetcorn on the cob
500ml of boiling water
2 tbsp of creamed coconut powder
1 tsp of chipotles en adobo
- Remove the corn from the cob using a knife
- Place the corn in a pan covered by the water
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes until the corn is soften
- Puree the corn with the cooking water and add the creamed coconut