Hello there. It’s been a few days since my last post because I was busy celebrating my first Thanksgiving. It was also my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner for friends, which is kinda crazy since before last week I had no idea what Thanksgiving dinner was supposed to taste like, let alone know how to cook it. But thanks to the vast universe of recipes on the internet, I think I managed to put together a decent meal, complete with the turkey, gravy and cornbread stuffing. Our friends brought some amazing food to round out the table – delicious lamb, buttery mashed potatoes, artichoke dip, and pumpkin pie. I also made some no-knead bread, roasted some vegetables and made a peanut butter pie, because there’s no such thing as too much food.
Needless to say, we had an appropriate amount of near-disasters, bad planning and perhaps an inappropriate amount of alcohol, but all in, it was a great night.
While I loved the food and the spirit of the holiday, I’m pretty tired of eating leftovers and desperately need some spice back in my life. Hence this adobo. Mexican adobo is essentially a chili sauce that can be used as a marinade or braising sauce for meat, seafood and vegetables, or can be cooked further into a finished sauce. It’s a great introduction to the world of Mexican sauces – it’s not too hot and has a wonderful depth of flavor. I plan on using some to marinate some chicken tonight, and will use the rest to braise some pork later this week.
It keeps for a few days in the fridge, but for much longer in the freezer, making it an excellent standby flavor-booster. The recipe is completely customizable – you can make it with a single variety of chili or mix it up with a few different kinds (though you do need to stick to the larger variety, such as pasilla, guajillo, cascabel or ancho, since the smaller ones will have too much heat). The basic technique mostly remains the same – clean and deseed the chilies, toast them, soak them, then puree them with a few other spices and seasonings.
- 2 ounces pasilla chiles (about 6 chiles), stemmed, deseeded, and deveined
- 2 ounces guajillo chiles (about 8 chiles), stemmed, deseeded, and deveined
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
- ¼ cup water or light mexican beer
- ½ cup chopped white onion
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon fine salt, or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano, preferably mexican
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 5 whole cloves (optional)
- Heat a comal, griddle, or heavy skillet over medium-low heat, and toast the chilies 2 or 3 at a time, turning them over and pressing down on them with tongs frequently, until the chiles are fragrant, about 1 minute per batch. Soak the chiles in enough cold water to cover until they’re soft, about 30 minutes. Drain and discard the soaking water.
- Put the vinegar and water/beer in the blender jar with the chilies and the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, at least 3 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to puree. Strain for a silkier texture, if desired.
- This adobo keeps in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to one month.