In case you haven’t noticed, I love the flavor of smoky chilies. I buy cans of chipotle chilies for my favorite salsa. I also home-smoke homegrown chilies to dry or turn into paste and then use in everything from spiced nuts to cheese dip to fish cakes. In my pickling cookbook, I recommend Fresno chilies in many recipes because of their natural slightly smoky flavor.
Chipotle peppers are actually jalapenos; they’ve just been smoked and dried. When you buy them canned, they’ve been rehydrated and stored in a spicy tomato-based sauce. The sauce can be as flavorful as the peppers, and they boost the heat and smoky flavor of a marinade. You only need a little chipotle flavor for a marinade, but don’t let that stop you from opening a can. Scoop any leftover chilies and adobo into an ice cube tray, and then freeze and bag the cubes for future use. A standard ice-cube tray holds about 2 tablespoons per cube.
After I’ve used a marinade for grilling, I hate to toss what’s left. So I boil it into a sauce and mix it into a second meal.
Learn to make Chipotle-Marinated Grilled Shrimp and Spanish-Inspired Fried Rice