Dips: Chipotle and Fresh Salsa

Sunday, September 03, 2006
A couple of my friends who will be starting their next years of elementary and junior high in a few days had a cooking day with me recently. We had a great time making chips, dip, and lime tarts. The dips were two of my favourites - chipotle and fresh salsa.

Chipotle Dip

One theme I am going to explore a bit more once we get into the colder weather is the power of seasonings and flavour agents to inexpensively transform ordinary food. This chipotle dip is a great example. One small can of chipotles in adobo is enough for several batches of this fiery and aromatic dip. You mix 3/4 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream (or thickened yogurt), stir in one or two chopped green onions, and one or two chipotles with a bit of adobo sauce depending on how hot you want it. My friends liked it more on the mild side. Salt to balance the flavours. I've also made this with finely chopped white onion and parsley, when green onions were too expensive. I love this dip with nearly anything; I've been known to take it to barbecues and slather it on hamburgers, and am scheming to try it stirred into canned fish soup, à la rouille.

Fresh Salsa

Fresh salsa is more of a method than an exact recipe. Ours had 2 tomatoes, 1 peach, 1/2 small red onion, 1/2 bunch cilantro, juice of 1 lime, and salt. The vegetables and cut fruits should be in a very fine, uniform dice - a bit finer than pictured is ideal. This is most attractive and allows the flavours to blend easily. You then adjust the lime juice and salt to balance the sweet, tart, hot, and salt elements. I wanted to add a jalapeno but my friends voted me down.


Mahek said...

i discovered you blog from mimis blog .
nice blog i am reading your backdated blogs
i found this dip interesting but can you tell me what is chipotle
and can i substitute it with something else.

Pepper said...

Hi Mahek, chipotles are smoked jalapeno chilies and for this recipe you need to use the ones that come packed in a tomato sauce called adobo. They have a really intense spicy and smoky flavour. With all the wonderful chilies that are available in India, I would be surprised if nobody has tried smoking them yet, but I don't think you could substitute.

If I was in India and wanted to make a spicy dip, I would cut some achar (or some other type of those very sour, hot pickles) into very small pieces and stir it into some really thick yogurt.

Mahek said...

is that your name
thanks for visiting my blog...
we have lots of chillies and spicy dishes in india , but in our normal meals we do not have smoked jalepeno chilies and we do not get adobo here.but i will try the yoghurt and aachaar thing and will let you know.
i liked it that you used such a indian word for pickles i.e. achhar how did you know it?
i will defintely make poha in a couple of days,take a nice snap and do a post on it for you what say?

Pepper said...

Hi Mahek, you can call me Pepper....like many, I blog anonymously. Looking forward to the poha recipe.

I love Indian food, especially South Indian because we have mostly North Indian NRIs in my city and South Indian is rare. But it is like learning a code to read the recipes and shop for them...asking at the stores for 'hing' instead of asafoetida, 'dhania' instead of coriander, etc.

Email me if you want to discuss offline,