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I have a bag of dried Chipotle chillies. All the recipes I see use chipotle paste. How can I make a sauce with them? Any good methods?

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If you're looking for recipes for chipotle sauce, that's off topic here (see the faq). I tried to answer the question in your title (what can you do with them), and suggest how you could substitute for chipotle paste, not that I think you'll need to. I think you can probably find recipes for what you want with a bit of searching. Feel free to edit your question if I haven't told you what you want to know. –  Jefromi Sep 19 '12 at 0:40

2 Answers 2

I'm not sure I've ever seen chipotle paste called for in recipes; I searched around a bit and what I found was consistent with my experience. I saw chipotle en adobo, ground chipotle, and even whole dried chipotle. I also easily found recipes for chipotle en adobo. I don't think you'll have any trouble figuring out what to do with them.

The most common way I've seen chipotles, both in grocery stores and in recipes, is chipotle en adobo. You can make your own by simmering dried chipotles in tomato paste with vinegar, garlic, onion (search for recipes if that's not specific enough). I suspect that most chipotle pastes you might find are something like this, but pureed, and possibly cooked until thicker.

The other common way to use chipotles is as a powder; that's as easy as grinding them in a spice grinder. If you're using them in something that gets cooked for a decent amount of time, I'd just do this and add them, instead of making chipotle en adobo or a paste out of them. Just think of them as a spice.

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You can also simply rehydrate them and then use as you would undried chillies. Just soak in hot water for 20 minutes. For chilli con carne, I soak them in beef stock, then use both the stock and the chipotle themselves in the chilli. –  ElendilTheTall Sep 19 '12 at 10:59

You could grind them with freshly toasted spices to make a nice curry base.

Or throw them in the spice/peppercorn grinder grinder along with some dried porcini mushrooms and a bit of kosher salt to create a nice umami seasoning for steaks and other beef dishes.

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