It’s all about anniversaries right now down at the Apple Chapel. It’s almost a year since I got my dream job and moved from my home town once again. It’s almost the fourth anniversary of mine and Hungry Hubby’s wedding. On Monday, it is our 14th anniversary as we had been together for a full decade before the Hungry one finally proposed ;). But today, today is a very special day.
It is the third anniversary of my first post on this blog!
There is an awful lot to celebrate this July to August so you may have expected I created a new cake to mark this momentous occasion but I’d been seduced by a smoking hot little mama of a recipe instead, which I will tell you all about shortly. First though, here’s your chance to celebrate with me and win this gorgeous and equally smokin’ red-hot traditional weighing scale, brought to you by Dotcomgiftshop.
I’ve always had a soft spot for these sort of scales. Of course we live in a digital age and to stop and ponder on the technological advances us human beings have conceptualised over the blink of the eye we’ve been on this planet blows my mind (*pop*!) but you can’t replace the romance of a good old-fashioned balance and spring weighing machine. The fact that it matches my Candy Apple KitchenAid almost exactly is just serendipitous ;)
Now to talk about the recipe I’ve chosen to fly on my scale’s maiden voyage. Chipotles en adobo sauce, adapted from Chilli Notes by Thomasina Miers. I first came across this American/Latin American invention when reading this post by The Pioneer Woman some three years ago. She was a big inspirational force in me starting my own blog as I loved her writing and her style of photography instantly appealed to me.
Whilst I have made very few of her recipes as are they are so over the top indulgent (I just can’t bring myself to use that much butter and sugar) I love to read her and this particular pulled pork recipe was trailer trash but not so heart-stoppingly bad for you I really wanted to make it. Alas, chipotles were no where to be found in England at that time, or at least, not easily found) and certainly not in the magical adobo sauce so I never got around to trying it. I will be rectifying that now!
A chipotle chilli is simply a smoked jalapeño. When you rehydrate then cook them in a sweet but sour, tomatoey barbecue-esque sauce, they become en adobo. I think I’m right in saying that in the USA, you can buy the chillies still whole but in the adobo sauce in a can. That seems to be the most common way I’ve seen them on American blogs anyway.
Tommi blends hers to make a thick, paste-like sauce which thrills this chilli addict’s heart! They cook so well even from dried form that you could leave them whole if you wish – they are hot, hot, hot though so you may not want to bite into a whole one!
The variety of chillies available in the UK appears to be growing steadily and you shouldn’t have much difficulty in finding them online. A friend gave me a bag of chipotles and I bought another from eBay to have enough to make this sauce. It may be that I got particular soft dried chillies but they cooked quickly and the sauce came together faster than I thought from reading the recipe.
I used a whole head of garlic which I cut the top off, drizzled with olive oil then wrapped in foil and baked until soft whilst I had the oven on to make some bread. Reason? It’s so much easier to squeeze out soft, roasted cloves of garlic than peel a whole head of the raw ones! Plus you can’t deny the sweetness of roasted garlic is a beautiful thing.
I used some to make myself lunch yesterday – I cooked some mushrooms with garlic then put them at the bottom of a small ovenproof dish. I then cooked some canned tomatoes with red pepper, spring onions, oregano and a full tablespoon of chipotles en adobo before topping with an egg and baking. Another very worthy destination for the sauce would be in my whole spice chilli.
Apart from the already mentioned pulled pork recipe, you could swirl some into mayonnaise to serve with burgers or to make Subway-esque sandwiches at home. Stews would dance to the Rumba Beat with a dollop of it too. Chilli fans will find many other ways to use this fiery condiment I am quite sure – I’m already chalking up recipe ideas in my head for the rest of this admittedly rather large jar.
Without further ado, let’s get onto the competition rules.
- You need to head to my homepage and sign up to receive email notifications for my blog. Don’t worry – all you will ever receive from me is a heads up that a new recipe is up and running; you’ll get no spam from JoJo!
- Leave me a comment on this post – entries on my FaceBook page, Twitter Account or other social media WILL NOT COUNT! Sorry for shouting.
- Here’s the bummer – you have to have a UK postal address in order to qualify for this giveaway. I can only apologise to my international friends, next time my friends!
And that’s as simple as it is. The competition will be open for 2 weeks and the winner will be drawn at random with the help of Hungry Hubby on Saturday 26th July 2014. I’ll update the post when we have a winner. I want as many of you to be included as possible so if you want to enter and have a friend or relative with a UK postal address then please go ahead and enter. The prize will be sent directly from Dotcomgiftshop after the draw is made.
Leave me a comment in the box below after you have subscribed to the blog. Don’t be shy! I love to hear from readers and if you just want to say hello, then do so. Or why not tell me how you would use this sauce or why you would love this beautiful scale? If you can’t wait to see if you are the lucky winner, then head on over to Dotcomgiftshop to check out their summer sale. It’s a beautiful site jam packed full of gifts any house-proud, self-proclaimed foodie would be thrilled to receive.
Enjoy the recipe and GOOD LUCK! :D xxx
***UPDATE – COMPETITION OFFICIALLY CLOSED****
WE HAVE A WINNER – CONGRATULATIONS CLAIRE AUTY.
Thank you all for entering :D
- 100g dried chipotles chillies, stems cut off
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 1 small-medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf, fresh if possible if not dried works
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 175ml cider or white wine vinegar
- 25ml good balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp tomato puree
- 3.5 tbsp demerara sugar
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- Slice the top off the garlic then rub with a little oil and wrap in foil. Bake at approx 180°C until soft – about 40 minutes usually (I do this when the oven is on for something else).
- Rinse the chillies well as they are often a little dusty. Cover with water then simmer until soft – about 30-40 minutes. Drain and discard any excess seeds (unless you like it super hot).
- Whiz the garlic, onion, all the herbs with three of the chillies and 100ml water in a food processor or with a powerful stick blender until you achieve a thick, cohesive paste.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat then add the paste and cook for a a few minutes stirring all the time or it will catch and burn.
- Add the vinegars, tomato puree, sugar, salt and about another 50-100ml of water stirring well until combined before adding in the reserved cooked chillies.
- Either return to your food processor or use a stick blender in the pan, off the heat to blitz the soft chillies to a soft, pulpy paste. Return to the pan if you used the food processor.
- At this point, cook until the sauce thickens and comes together as a rich paste. I found I needed to add a splash more water or it would have been too thick but feel free to thin it down as much or as little as you like.
- Pour into a sterilised jar and once cool, seal and store in the fridge. It will keep for months.
Recipe adapted from Chilli Notes by Thomasina Miers[/recipe]