chipotles-canChipotle.   Just the sounds this delicious word makes is enough to get me up and in the kitchen.   Many of my favorite recipes use this perfectly smoky, spicy flavor, and I’ve even been known to chop some up and add it to my scrambled eggs (with a little cream cheese…mmmmm).  

A chipotle pepper is a smoked and dried jalapeno – and it is fantastic. Most local grocery stores carry the canned version (vs. dried), which is really the best and easiest way to use it. Just a tip – when a recipe calls for one chipotle pepper, they are referring to one from the can, not the whole can! I am asked that question often, so there, it’s nipped in the bud. gourmetsleuth.com defines the chipotle pepper this way:

“Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeno chili peppers and are also known as chili ahumado.   These chilies are usually a dull tan to coffee color and measure approximately 2 to 4 inches in length and about an inch wide.   As much as one fifth of the Mexican jalapeno crop is processed into chipotles.”  

You can view the rest of the page, including the history of the chipotle, here.

You know how on Top Chef they’re allowed to bring a few select ingredients with them from home for later use on the show?  (Don’t even tell me you don’t watch it!)  Well, let’s just say that if I were on Top Chef, or stranded on a deserted island, or lost all my money in some random pyramid scheme, without hesitation my one and only ingredient that I would simply have to have at all times would be…you guessed it…the chipotle.

Here are some of my absolute favorite recipes using chipotle (some of which you will likely later see as their own posts because they’re so freakin’ awesome!):

Do you have any favorite chipotle recipes you’d like to share?