Make Your Own Chipotles en Adobo!

June 30, 2011 , In: Other , With: 5 Comments

A while back I reviewed the cookbook Mexican Food Made Simple which is a great little book.  Many of the recipes call for Chipotles en Adobo, and instead of buying the canned stuff I knew I wanted to make my own.

This isn’t the first time I’ve made Chipotles en Adobo.  I did so back when I was living in London and I ordered my peppers online from the South Devon Chilli Farm which I highly recommend.  This time around I headed to Atwater market.  I went into Les douceurs du marché hoping to find my chipotles, and I did.  I took a double look thinking they looked strange, but it said chipotle on the bag so I bought them.  As I was cooking, I knew something was not right.  Turns out there are two varieties of chipotles – the meco variety which is tan or the morita variety which are more purpleish.  I had always used the morita variety, and according to wikipedia almost all of the meco variety is consumed in Mexico.  Somehow I managed to end up cooking with the meco though.  I don’t know if they are interchangeable (I couldn’t find any info on it), but the morita is certainly more appealing visually and what I am more used to.  In the future, I’ll try and find the morita.  But that’s going to be a long time from now as this recipe makes a lot!

It’s not too hard nor too long (although set aside about an hour).  Unfortunately, you can’t water bath can these due to the pH.  I put mine in tiny jars and froze most of them, although I imagine they’d stay pretty long in the fridge as well.  They also make great gifts, although I imagine most people would probably wonder what to do with it!  You can use it in stews, pasta sauces, mayonnaise and even dressings.

Chipotles en Adobo
adapted from Mexican Food Made Simple

Makes around 1L

200g chipotle chillies (around 65 of the purpleish morita variety)
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
a head of garlic, roughly chopped
3tbsp fresh oregano or some dried oregano
2 tbsp thyme leaves
2 bay leaves (fresh if you can)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds crushed
4 tbsp olive oil
350 ml white wine vinegar
50ml balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp tomato purée
7 tbsp demerara sugar or palm sugar
2 tbsp sea salt

  • Wash the chipotles in cold water and drain.  Do not forget this step, as you will be amazed how dark the water gets!
  • Snip off the stalk end of each chilli with scissors.  This allows the seeds to escape.
  • Cover the chillies with water in a medium pan and simmer 30 – 40 minutes until soft.  When soft, drain and rinse off any excess seeds.
  • Put the onion, garlic, herbs and cumin in a blend with 200ml water and 6 of the softened chillies.  Blend until in a paste.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan until it is smoking hot.  Add the chilli paste and fry for around 3 minutes.  Remember to stir.
  • Add the vinegars, tomato puree, sugar, salt, and another 100ml of water.  Cook for 5 minutes then add the rest of the chillies.  Cook another 15minutes.
  • At this point I always puree the entire thing.   You are usually asked to add pureed chillies en Adobo in a recipe anyways, so it’s just as easy to do it at this stage.
  1. Reply

    Very, very cool. We go through canned chipotle like the dickens and it isn’t available in all grocery stores around here. I will definitely be trying this!

  2. Reply

    This is fantastic! We plough through cans of chipotle peppers in adobo on a regular basis and it would be fun to have a homemade stash to dip into.

    • Anonymous
    • July 13, 2011

    This looks great! But…the instructions mention the addition of tomato puree yet it is not included in the list of ingredients.

  3. Reply

    You are right! I forgot the tomato puree! I’ve now added it in. Good thing is that I don’t think 3 tbsp of tomato purée will make or break the recipe (thank goodness!)

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Michelle Little

Writer & Photographer

Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy. Photographing your cutie family would make me very happy.

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