Let’s talk a little about chiles. Chiles add flavor and heat to anything you put them in. And, depending on which chile you choose, you can get different flavors and different levels of heat. Take a look here for a chart on the heat levels of lots of chiles.
Now, the only way I can think of to explain the different flavors of chiles will make me sound like I’m using wine snob talk, but that’s the only way I can think of to explain, so please forgive me.
I think most people agree that the flavor of a chipotle is smokey and rich. But, how do you describe a jalapeno? To me, a jalapeno has a metallic flavor, one that isn’t pleasant to my palate. Wasabi has a biting, chemical lemony flavor, as does horseradish. But, some chiles have a fruity flavor. Habanero chiles, although super spicy, have that lovely fruity flavor. So do aji chiles. The aji chile is full of sweet fruity flavor with a strong heat level, and it’s one of my favorites because of its flavor.
The aji chile is a South American hot chile pepper. I keep a bag of red aji chile peppers in my freezer. I buy these bags from a Mexican market that’s pretty close to my house. Now, if you can’t find or grow aji chiles, I’d recommend using a Habanero for the fruity flavor it has. And, if you can’t find or don’t want to buy that, try a red jalapeno (which, once they’ve matured to the red stage, they’re sweeter than the green ones).
My Flamin’ Hot Sauce calls for Chipotle Paste. You’ll find the guide for that here. It’s really easy to make. At this point, I use a big 12 ounce can of chipotles in adobo and blend up the whole thing. It keeps for a long time in the fridge, that is if you don’t eat it all right away. Which, I admit, my jar gets used up very quickly! I love adding a small spoonful to soups, guacamole, or scrambled eggs.
My Flamin’ Hot Sauce is full flavored and lightly sweet. It isn’t hot just for the sake of being hot. It’s smokey and rich with chipotle peppers. Seriously, I’ve made several batches lately, and I can’t stop eating the stuff. It rocks on nachos or eggs. We ate it on taquitos and on pot stickers. Anywhere you want a little rich flavored kick, that’s the place to use it.
And, if you want to make more of a medium-hot sauce, just leave out the whole chile. The sauce is wonderful flavorful at the medium level as well, and may make some people very happy at this heat level.
- 1 red aji chili, habenero, or red jalapeno, optional depending on how hot you want it
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- juice of 1 lime
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoon chipotle paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
- Remove the stem of the chile pepper. Blend all ingredients, including the seeds of the chile, in a blender until smooth and well incorporated.
- Eat on everything!
- Directions for making chipotle paste can be found here: http://lifecurrents.dw2.net/chipotle-paste/