Spicy Adobo Sauce

Perfect for pork, chicken, vegetables

June 2012 - Last year Drew brought a crock pot of chicken adobo to a Friends of Edgewood Park weeder party. It was really spicy, acidic, and most delicious. He sent me the recipe. Today I decided to make it, including a few mods of my own. This is a tomato-y sauce with a lot of heat, but not so much that you'll cry eating it. You can make it hotter (much, much hotter) by adding some (or all) of the pepper seeds to the pot.

The plate to the right shows a corn tortilla with store-bought pulled pork and this adobo sauce. I also have adobo on the steamed cauliflower.

Another time I divided a pot of this adobo into four and froze it for three months without a problem. Along the way I would heat up a portion and slather it over sous vide chicken breast or one time on some left over grilled rib eye. A bit on a fried egg is also heavenly. This sauce is so good I have to lick it off my fingers.

Prep Time: 30 minutes, simmer two hours

Can be made ahead of time and reheated. Freeze it for later use.

A. dried chipotle peppers  30 to 40 Dry, smoky, ugly, and beautiful!

Place the chipotle peppers in a sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of water.

Bring to a boil, cover, and remove from heat.

Let stand for 5 minutes.

Remove the chipotle peppers from the pot and place on your cutting board to cool. Hopefully they are soft and pliable, but not water logged.

Remove the stem and seeds from each. My technique is to hold the stem and slice through the body from just below the seed lump to the tip. Then I put the point of the knife into each side and slice them open. This leaves you with the stem holding four lengths of pepper. I gently scrape out the seeds without removing too much of the flesh of the pepper. Then cut the four sides off from the stem.

If you like your sauce screaming hot, then don't even bother removing the seeds, just pull off and discard the stems.

B. garlic 10 cloves  

Separate the garlic cloves. Put them in a pan over medium heat. Roast them for five minutes, stirring often to keep them from burning. Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.

Remove the skin from the garlic cloves and chop them into pieces.

C. yellow onions 3 medium Chopped coarsely.
cumin, ground 2 tablespoons  
vegetable oil 3 tablespoons  

Heat a 4 quart pot over high heat with the oil. When hot add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and browned.

Add the ground cumin and cook for one minute.

D. tomato paste 12 ounces  
tomato sauce 15 ounce can  
white vinegar 1.5 cups  
  water 2 cups  
  salt 3 teaspoons  

Add these ingredients, including any water left over from steaming the chipotle peppers.

Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and allow to gently simmer for two hours. Along the way add some water if the sauce gets too thick.

When two hours are over, use an immersion blender to puree the whole pot. You should have a thick, pulpy mass of red deliciousness.

I bought 20 new peppers, seen on the right. I was surprised at the variation in the other chipotles that I had in my cupboard.

Here it is bubbling away on the stove.