Stop buying that bottled nonsense and make a batch of this triple threat awesome sauce. Great on steaks and burgers, or as a chicken marinade. Brush onto whitefish fillets for fish tacos. We even made an amazing adobo turkey chili.
We combine chipotle, ancho and guajillo chili peppers with smoked paprika for a smoky-sweetness with just enough after-burn. Layers of flavor without a salt bomb. What are you waiting for?Print
A smoky adobo sauce with layers of flavor and just enough heat.
- 6 dried ancho chili peppers
- 4 dried guajillo chili peppers
- 1 dried chipotle pepper or 3/4 tsp ground chipotle chili powder
- 1 small head fresh garlic (about 10 cloves), peeled and separated
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Prepping the Peppers
- Use a damp paper towel to wipe the dried peppers off, then remove stems and dump the seeds out.
- Cut down one side of each pepper with scissors or a sharp knife to remove any remaining seeds and strands of dried pith. Carefully open and flatten each pepper as much as possible.
- Heat a grill pan or large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Quickly place a few of the peppers in a single layer, and warm for 10-15 seconds. Flip and heat for another 10-15 seconds then remove from pan. We’re just looking to release some aroma and flavor so don’t let these go too long. The peppers will burn quickly and become bitter.
- Repeat with the remaining peppers then add them to a large, heat safe bowl. Cover with very hot tap water and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Prepping the Spices
- Turn the pan from the peppers to medium heat and measure out the spices. Place cloves and oregano in one small bowl and the remaining spices (excluding salt) in another.
- Once the pan is hot, remove from heat and add the cloves and oregano. Toss for 10-15 seconds then add the remaining spices. Toss for another 10 seconds then transfer to a small bowl.
- Pick out the cloves, grind them in a spice grinder, molcajete and tejolote, or mortar and pestle, and return to the spice mixture. Add the salt to the mixture as well.
Putting it Together
- Drain the peppers and discard the liquid. Add the peppers, spice mixture, garlic, and apple cider vinegar to a food processor or blender and pulse until as smooth as possible.
- Consistency is up to you. The adobo will be thick like tomato paste, but if you prefer a thinner consistency, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container up to a week or transfer to an ice cube tray and freeze to portion out individual servings (2 tbsp each). Store frozen cubes in a zip top bag with air removed for up to a year.
- Substitute a pinch of ground cloves for whole cloves.
- Mexican oregano is worth adding to your spice cabinet. It’s a bit stronger than the Mediterranean variety with a citrus finish that complements the peppers. If you can’t find it, regular oregano is just fine.
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Keywords: adobo, chipotle, guajillo, ancho