Spice up your snacks with this workhorse pepper

Chipotle peppers

This article was originally published in the Early Summer 2016 issue of Cottage Life magazine.

Somewhere in your fridge, there’s half a can of chipotles taking an adobo-infused siesta. Wake them up! Those plump, smoked peppers in a sweet, vinegary tomato sauce have a complex flavour that punches up spicy, sweet, creamy, or tangy dishes. And you don’t need a recipe, just an inquisitive palate.

Raise the salad bar

Enliven creamy Caesar or ranch dressing with chopped chipotles (1 mashed pepper for about 1 cup/250 ml of dressing). Add adobo to taste.

Mexican corn

Mix a few chopped chipotles with soft butter and a handful of grated Parmesan or Monterey Jack. Smear over cooked corn on the cob.

Firebomb ketchup

Spike ketchup with grated lime or orange zest and enough of the chopped chipotles and adobo to make your tongue burn—in a good way.

Spicy crema

Purée 1 chipotle with 1 cup (250 ml) of sour cream, and drizzle over scrambled eggs with avocado or into thick, creamy soups, such as broccoli or carrot. Add chopped green onions or cooked bacon for a dunking sauce for fries or a topping for perogies and baked potatoes.

Bloody good happy hour

Blitz 1 or 2 chipotles and a spoonful of adobo with a handful of fresh cilantro and lots of fresh lime juice. Add a spoonful or two to tequila and tomato juice for a Bloody Maria. Or mix some into half beer, half tomato juice for a feisty Red Eye.

Smokin’ roasted veg

Mash a few chipotles with some adobo, a splash of maple syrup, and a little olive oil. Toss with roasted squash, sweet potatoes, or carrots, and sprinkle with sea salt and chopped rosemary.

Cowboy oyster 

Mix finely chopped chipotles and a spoonful of adobo with melted butter, a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, and a good shot of bourbon or tequila. Drizzle over oysters before broiling.