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Harmony Grill’s Special Ingredient: Chipotle Peppers

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History:

Before we dive into the smoky, spicy pepper which is a Chipotle pepper we need to look at its roots; the jalapeno. Named after Jalapa, the capitol of Veracruz, Mexico, these smooth, dark green (scarlet red when ripe) chiles range from hot to very hot. They have a rounded tip and are about 2 inches long and 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Besides flavor, jalapenos are quite popular because they’re so easily seeded (the seeds and veins are extremely hot). A chipotle pepper is a dried and smoked jalapeno. Theyhave a wrinkled, dark brown skin and a smoky, sweet, almost chocolaty flavor.

Nutritional Facts:

Chipotle peppers contain about 180 International Units of vitamin A or about 20 percent of the daily value for vitamin A. It also contains about 0.7 mg of iron, which is about 4 percent of the daily value for iron. Chipotle peppers contain no vitamin C, calcium or potassium.

Where to Find It:

Most chipotle peppers can be found at specialty Mexican grocery stores. Since they have become more popular to the American pallete, most local grocery stores carry it in their designated specialty cuisine isles. Chipotle peppers are found dried, pickled, and most commony canned in adobo sauce. In Mexico, adobo is a dark-red, fairly piquant sauce made from ground chilies.

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How We Use It:

Here at the Harmony Grill, the chipotle pepper is a common occurance. It is in our tamarind BBQ sauce, red salsa, migas sauce for brunch, and occasionally in our daily soup.  One of the main food items that we use it for is our chipotle lime aoili. It is composed of chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce), lime juice and mayonaise. It is such a flavorful sauce that we use it on our turkey club, steak pita, and our pork tacos. Mixing it into an aoili (mayonaise) somewhat mellows the heat and brings out the smoky rich flavor that us chefs desire.

Recipe for Home Use:

2 chipotle peppers in sauce (adobo)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup mayonaise
Salt to taste

Combine ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add salt to taste.

Questions about the Harmony Grill’s Special Ingredient or topics for future posts?

Contact Chef Dave at dave@schubas.com