Chipotles In Adobo Is The Smoky Ingredient To Take Your Tacos To The Next Level

chipotle chicken tinga tacos
chipotle chicken tinga tacos - Marcos Castillo/Shutterstock

Whether you're at a trendy taco trailer or an authentic Mexican taqueria, there's no shortage of garnishes and salsas to adorn your order of tacos. Besides the typical red and green salsas made with fresh or fire-blistered tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic, chipotles in adobo are the all-in-one saucy chili pepper to take your tacos to the next level.

Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapenos, characterized by a smoky and spicy taste with a bitter finish. Mexican adobo is a flavorful, aromatic spiced vinegar solution used to both rehydrate and preserve chipotles. In Mexico, chipotles in adobo are mainstay canned goods featuring plump, juicy peppers immersed in a chunky sauce with sauteed onions, garlic, tomato, sugar, vinegar, and common Mexican seasonings like cumin and oregano. They are simultaneously sweet, spicy, smoky, and tangy.

Such a complex ingredient will complement most taco fillings, from robust umami-rich meats like arrachera, al pastor, and carnitas to fried fish or shrimp tacos, to grilled mushrooms. Chipotles in adobo would also bring a spicy kick to hearty breakfast tacos full of earthy potatoes, buttery eggs, and grilled onions. You can even pair them with a potato or bean-filled taco de canasta to brighten the hearty, rich filling and fried corn tortilla. Chipotles in adobo are easy to find at grocery stores across the U.S. in the Hispanic food section, and some brands even offer a liquified canned chipotle sauce if you're looking for a smooth texture with the same flavor profile.

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How To Add Chipotles To Your Taco

chipotles and adobo sauce
chipotles and adobo sauce - Alexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock

You can add an adobo-covered chipotle directly to a taco for an intense burst of flavor. Canned chipotles in adobo are juicy and tender but also retain their seeds as well as the whole chunks of sauteed onions. They're easy to bite into, but you could also roughly chop them on a cutting board before adding them to a taco so you don't run the risk of pulling an entire pepper with one bite.

Another way to incorporate them into a taco is to chop them up and add them to the taco filling. Chipotles are the key ingredient in chicken tinga, which is a famous taco filling made by cooking shredded chicken in a simmering sauce of blended chipotles in adobo, fresh tomatoes, and raw onions blended. For a vegan twist, you can make a carrot tinga using the same spicy, smoky sauce to cook shredded carrots and sliced onions. Add roughly chopped chipotles in adobo to an egg scramble or potato and chorizo hash for a smoky upgrade to breakfast tacos. You could likewise blend chipotles in adobo with fresh tomatoes, raw onions, and lime juice to create a condiment to spoon onto tacos.

If chipotles are too spicy, you can chop them up and add them to mayonnaise or guacamole, or blend them into Mexican crema. A creamy chipotle sauce would taste delicious in a fish taco or as a dressing for taco garnishes like slaw or roasted corn.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.