Spicy and Saucy: Red Chile Adobo Sauce

Spicy and Saucy:  Red Chile Adobo Sauce


Hello my friends. The weekend is over. The holidays are officially over as of tomorrow. Are you ready for reality to strike?

I’m not at all. This weekend we finally saw the signs of the season here in Chicago with horrid slushy, cold, rainy, yucky and currently, snowy weather. Yesterday I had so many good intentions to go out and run errands, come home and cook up a storm, but after trudging through the yuck yesterday on my way home from yoga, I decided leaving the house was not in my best interest, and my errands got pushed until today. With no ingredients in the house with which to cook, I ended up taking down Christmas a little earlier than I had planned, but there was really nothing else for me to do.

This morning I finally got my raw ingredients for some cooking.  Fava came over for brunch, and when I texted her “sweet or savory?” she replied, as expected, with “well, you know I tend to roll both, but don’t put yourself out.”  Lucky for her I roll both as well (it’s one of the reasons why we’re friends and regular brunch buddies), so we had a feast for two with Smitten Kitchen’s gingerbread pancakes (so good- make them!) topped with a cinnamon pear compote and whipped cream for the sweet, and polenta topped with poached eggs, queso fresca, avocado and today’s recipe, Red Chile Adobo sauce, for the savory.  All of it was very good, but in my opinion, the red chile adobo was very very good, made even better by the fact that it requires no cooking (unless you count 1 minute in the microwave cooking, which I don’t).


According to Smith Hurd, adobo is one of the three essential sauces in Central Mexican cooking, and Serious Eats notes that in an adobo preparation, meat is marinated in chilies and vinegar. For adobo rojo, dried chilies like guajillo and ancho chilies are typical, while the adobo verde uses tomatillos, jalapenos, and serranos.  As I was trolling twitter a few weeks ago, I noticed that Rick Bayless, Mexican food guru and restaurateur extraordinaire, tweeted a recipe for Red Chile Adobo sauce. Score! It was meant to be in my kitchen and subsequently on all of my food.



This took…mmm…less than 10 minutes to make and I’ve had it both for brunch and dinner thus far today. I suspect it will be a regular condiment on my table.

Ingredient note: Rick says to use ancho chili powder. I couldn’t find that at my trusty Spice House this morning, so I used regular hot chili powder.  I’m not sure the difference it would have made if I had used the correct  ingredient, but my result was tasty nonetheless.

Red Chile Adobo
Yields 1
Write a review
Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  2. ½ cup ancho chili powder
  3. 1 ¼ cups water, boiling, plus a bit more
  4. ½ tsp cinnamon
  5. ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  6. ¼ tsp ground cumin
  7. 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  8. 3 TB cider vinegar
  9. 1 tsp salt
  1. In a small bowl, add the garlic and add just enough water to cover it. Microwave it for 1 minute.
  2. In a blender, add the garlic mixture and everything else. Puree until smooth and that’s it!
  1. If you can't find ancho chili powder, I recommend using your favorite hot chili powder.
Adapted from Chrissy
Adapted from Chrissy
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World http://thehungarybuddha.com/


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