Chipotle Peppers take many forms, from chipotle pepper powder to chipotle peppers in adobo and each one can be used effectively in many dishes.
Dried Chipotle Pepper Pods
The standard way to find them, there are several varieties of chipotle peppers, each with their own nuances. In general they have a nice smokey flavor with medium heat (compared to some of the hotter peppers). Chipotle pepper pods can be added whole to soups, sauces, and chili to impart a nice kick. They can also be soaked in very hot water until they rehydrate some, then chopped and added to breads, beans and rice, pastas, stir-fries or any meal that needs some heat. You can smoke jalapenos for your own chipotle peppers.
Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
These are chipotle peppers that have been stewed in a lightly seasoned liquid, normally a vinegar mixture. They have are very popular in Southwestern cooking due to their unique heat and great smoky flavor. Chipotle peppers in adobo can be added to almost anything, including breads, sauces, salad dressings, beans and pastas. Make sure you use a light hand, one or two chipotle peppers can go a long way.
Make your own homemade chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Buy Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
Chipotle Pepper Chili Powder
One of the easiest ways to get the flavor of chipotle peppers is to use the powdered version. It’s simply dried chipotle peppers ground up into a powder and you can find it at many specialty stores (and even some supermarkets). It’s a great addition to spice rubs, pasta sauces or any meal that could use a boost in heat.
Chipotle Pepper Hot Sauce
Another convenient way to get chipotle pepper flavor is through chipotle pepper hot sauces. This is normally a liquid made from chipotle peppers in adobo pureed with some vinegar and other light flavorings. A few dashes (or many, if you like it hot) of hot sauce is a great addition to soups, chili, beans and sauces, or used directly on meats or eggs. Make your own homemade chipotle pepper hot sauce.