You may well have purchased a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It’s a key ingredient in Mexican cuisine, and certainly a way to add zip to your guacamole.
There are both domestic and imported brands. Suzen and I are fond of that La Morena brand, although I do have a slight complaint. I don’t think the billing is appropriate. “Chipotle Peppers” is in one font and “Adobo Sauce” in a smaller one.
We find both components to be equally useful. Actually, I think we tend to favor the adobo sauce for its marvelous versatility.
Do you have some artichokes steaming away? Going to serve them with butter or mayonnaise. Take the mayo, add some adobo sauce, perhaps some lemon juice, and enjoy those artichokes as you never have.
What is adobo sauce anyway? The Spanish word “adobo” can be interpreted as marinade, sauce, or seasoning. Adobo sauce was created on the Iberian Peninsula [Spain and Portugal] where different versions are made with a combination of paprika, oregano, salt, garlic, and vinegar.
Variations exist around the world. For example, Mexican adobo sauce, like that in the can, are often combinations of guajillo chiles, water, garlic, vinegar, salt, sugar and cumin — a far cry from that original Iberian version. If you google, you will encounter a bounty of “personal variations” on this theme incorporating other chiles, spices such as cinnamon and clove and oregano, onion, and tomato. I think our La Morena sauce is probably quite basic and I thrive on that familiar, earthy flavor.
Here’s a simple but brilliant way to use that adobo sauce. Make Adobo Honey, a combination of sweet and heat that can be used from biscuits to aqua frescas. In fact, tomorrow’s post will feature a raspberry agua fresca with amplified flavor from lemon juice and adobo honey.
The proportions in the recipe below are based on some experimentation. The result you get will depend on the honey. This is NOT the time to use some expensive, floral honey because the adobo flavor is going to dominate. Instead, you want a good, basic, plain old honey. Good quality for sure, but with no flavor overtones. Let the adobo do the talking.
Yield: 2/3 cup
- 2/3 cup of plain honey
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
Warm the honey if necessary so it flows easily. A few second in the microwave will work. You need it flowing, not hot.
Add the adobo sauce and carefully mix to ensure uniformity. Taste test and, if you desire, add more fire. Just remember, you can make it hotter but you can only make it cooler by diluting with additional honey.
Source: Brian O’Rourke
Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/60th second at ISO‑800
Habaneros are hot. That we all know. In 2000, with its Scoville scale of 100,00-350,000, the habanero was considered the world’s hottest chili. Thanks to genetic engineering, and perhaps man’s endless quest for pain, the habanero has been displaced from the top of that list. But never from our hearts.
This particular pepper originated in the Amazon, then spread north in the Americas and ultimately worldwide. In the 18th century, taxonomist thought the pepper came from China, hence its Latin name Capscum chinense [the Chinese pepper]. It’s American. South American. Oh, it is closely related to, but not the same as, the Scotch Bonnet.
How can we use something so potent? Let’s, let’s drink it.
Combine habanero and honey to forge a Habanero Honey Syrup. And then, unleash the dogs of war.
Well, war may be too awkward a term here. How about: rich and rapturous flavor enhancement. If you have read this blog before, you understand that when it comes to cocktails, I adopt a classic approach: a liqueur, something sour, and something sweet.
Now, let’s shift to something sweet and hot. Use this syrup in a margarita in place of simple sugar syrup. In that combination, that syrup first strikes the tongue as sweet, because it is loaded with honey. Then the tequila and lime/lemon flavors approach. But the aftertaste now is not lingering tequila. It is a rush of heat from that habanero that lingers pleasantly.
This syrup is a reward you should engage. And, if margaritas are not your beverage of preference, then tomorrow you’ll see the Habanero-Honey Syrup used without alcohol but with total satisfaction.
Honey Habanero Syrup
Yield: ~11 ounces
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup honey
- ½ to 1 teaspoon dried habanero [available at Latin markets]
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of honey. Add the dried habanero. Bring to a boil, simmer for about 10 minutes, the let cool. Strain into a jar and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Use delicately. It’s hot.
Source: Food & Wine Cocktails 2013 and Wikipedia
Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/10th second at ISO-3200