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Many people use Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce for a variety of recipes, especially during the winter months. But did you know that chipotles start from the same jalapenos that you find in your garden? Chipotle peppers are smoked and dried jalapenos – more specifically red jalapenos. As those green jalapenos ripen, they will turn a bright red color. This is the perfect time to pick them and fire up your smoker. (See: How to make Chipotle Peppers)
Now that you have your own chipotle peppers, what do you do with them? The most popular use is to make and store them in adobo sauce. Then they can easily be added to soups and sauces to add that unique combination of smoky flavor with peppery heat to almost any dish.
This recipe will take you step by step on how to preserve your own chipotle peppers in this classic sauce — and yes, without all the salt, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup that can be found in the grocery store varieties. And of course, we all know that homemade tastes even better!
Wait — if you don’t have any red jalapenos this year don’t stop reading– just head to your local farmer’s market. And if you haven’t ventured into using a smoker yet (and when you do, you will be so glad you did), you can also find dried chipotle peppers at farmer’s markets or specialty grocery stores. You will never buy the canned variety again!
12 dehydrated chipotle peppers
Boiling water to cover chilies
1 cup of ketchup or tomato puree with 1 tsp. sweetner (honey, brown rice syrup, sugar, etc..)
½ cup water
1 medium white or yellow onion – thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves – peeled and smashed
½ cup cider or white vinegar
½ tsp. salt
½ TBS black peppercorns
Extra water if necessary
1. Thoroughly wash the chipotle peppers, remove the stems and place them in a bowl. Cover them with boiling water and weigh them down with a small lid or plate. Let them soak for 20 minutes.
2. Remove 4 soaked chipotles, leaving the rest in the soaking liquid, and place them in a food processor or blender. Add the ketchup (or tomato puree with the sweetener) and half cup water. Blend until you have a uniform paste.
3. Add the blended chipotles and tomatoes into the pot with the remaining chipotles soaked in water.
4. Add the onions, garlic, salt, peppercorns and vinegar to the pan. Mix well.
5. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and allow chipotles to simmer for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check them at one hour. If the sauce has dried too much, add extra water as needed.
6. Place the chipotles and adobo in sterilized freezer safe containers. Hint – keep the containers small – most recipes only call for 2 peppers and a small amount of sauce. You can also puree and freeze them in ice cube trays for future use. Once you open your jar – be sure to use it within a month.
Mary and Jim