Tag Archives: sauces

Adobo Chicken Tacos


All tacos all the time!

I think ours would be happy household if we made this every day. The words, “I don’t think I feel like tacos tonight” have never been uttered under our roof. That is partially due to these awesome Adobo Chicken Tacos.

Veggie tacos used to be our jam. Step 1. Go to the latin grocery store around the corner. Step 2. Buy lots of jalapenos and other veggies for nearly zero dollars. Step 3. Cook with spices and insert in tortilla. Step 4. Enjoy. It was a nearly perfect process. Cheap and easy, fast and delicious. But that process was ruined – RUINED – when we received the  June 2012 Bon Appetit.

The June 2012 Bon Appetit is a very special Bon Appetit. It is the one with the salmon on the cover, but inside the is a huge TACO SECTION. There are pork tacos, beef tacos, chicken tacos, poblano tacos (which will require their own post at a later date) and SHRIMP TACOS!

(If you know me at all, you know that this is all highly suspect. I don’t eat anything that ever lived in the sea… so a Salmon Bon Appetit and Shrimp taco recipe should be an immediate turn off.)

So these Shrimp Tacos were cooked in an Adobo sauce. Obviously, the shrimp had to go, but the sauce looked so fantastic, we had to try it.

Long story short, (too late!) this sauce is awesome. And you should use it on your shrimp tacos, chicken tacos, sparingly on your veggie tacos, or on other non-taco-centric food-related ventures.


The whole process starts with Ancho chiles. I took a special picture of these chiles because sometimes it is hard to identify dried chiles once you’re at the market. Obviously, these are easier to find at your local Latin grocery store. If you don’t have one, you can still check at your regular grocery store, but you’ll probably have better luck at grocery stores with more elaborate “ethnic” sections.

If you have a bunch of dried chiles that aren’t Ancho chiles, or only a few Anchos and a bunch of other chiles, GO FOR IT! It’s fun to see what happens when you mix them. It might turn out very spicy though, so be careful!

Many chile sauces start with this same process, so once you have it down, you can experiment with just about everything. Go crazy! Use chicken stock instead of water! Add some spices! It will probably turn out very yummy.


This also requires a blender and/or food processor. If you don’t have one of these, GET ONE. It’s an awesome investment and your taste buds will thank you. Mmmmm just looking at this awful photo makes me want tacos.


This is just a picture of the shishito peppers I got at the farmer’s market. (Did I mention lately how much I love our CSA??) If you’ve never had them, you should try them. I just put them in here because I was snacking on them while making these tacos. All you have to do is char them and salt them and you have a really yummy snack!

Happy Taco Time!

Adobo Sauce
(adapted from Bon Appetit’s Shrimp in Adobo Sauce from June 2012.)

  • 6 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Toast the dried chiles in a hot skillet until fragrant and slightly softened, about 1 minute.

For a spicier version: remove the stems but reserve the seeds. Cut the chiles into strips with a scissor
For a less spicy version: remove the stems and seeds. Cut the chiles into strips with a scissor
2. Put the strips of chiles into a bowl and pour 1 cup of hot water over. Let them steep in the hot water (turning and stirring if necessary to get everything wet) for 10 minutes. [The original recipe suggested 1/2 cup water. This makes the sauce more paste-y. This is fine, but if you’ll be cooking it in a skillet, much of the water will eventually evaporate anyways. You can also substitute chicken broth for the water, if desired.]
3. Add chiles, water, garlic, vinegar, salt, oregano, cumin and sugar (along with reserved seeds, if using) to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Process into a thick paste/sauce.
The best way to cook taco chicken in the adobo sauce is to cut the chicken into cubes, marinate the raw chicken in the sauce for half an hour, and then cook it up in a skillet until the chicken is fully cooked. You can use a simliar method for shrimp or other meats. This sauce is powerful, so use sparingly with veggie tacos.
Taco Toppings!
Our favorite taco toppings are:
– Queso Quesadilla
– Sour Cream
– Pickled Red onions (see quick recipe here) or diced raw onions
– Lettuce or whatever greens are in the fridge
– Cilantro
And here’s one more picture of that awesome taco!
p.s. Have you seen this recipe on Spoon Fork Bacon (aka my favorite guilty pleasure food blog and thus my favorite food blog)!?

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Filed under Main Dishes, Meats

More Chiles Rellenos

Hi Karla,

So I haven’t posted in forever! But it’s because this is a crazy time. I had six people staying at our house this weekend, and everything has been nuts. I’ve had very little time for cooking, so I’ll do a little bit of a throwback post.

I saw that you made Chiles Rellenos! This is hilarious because Bill and I totally make Chiles Rellenos all the time. We use a fantastic recipe that I got from Bon Appetit a looong time ago, and I made this chili sauce from scratch with dried chilies that I smoke and then rehydrate. It’s stellar and the flavors are really complex.

Here’s a photo from the first time we made it that I found on my phone. This is from April 4, 2011!

We also made a tomato-mozzarella-caper-olive pasta salad that night. I remember that being very good too!

(I’m going to put all the recipes at the end. So, scroll down for those.)

It’s finally summer in Chicago, which means I’m sitting outside every day to eat my lunch. Right after mom visited a few weeks ago, I took the remainder of our arepas-with-corn-salsa breakfast to work with me and ate it in the park.

One real perk of working in a museum is that everything is so beautiful all the time!

Since I last posted, I also had some fun with veggie tacos, aka the easiest, cheapest meal around. Just toast a few little tortillas, add some veggies sautéed in your favorite taco seasonings, and top with lime soaked tomatoes, queso fresco, avocado and/or sour cream! Luckily at our nearby grocery store, this meal costs about $4, and you can pick everything up fresh on the way home. Bill and I definitely make these a lot. The ones in the picture are straight up portabella mushroom and onion tacos. It was what I had on hand. Yum!

I also went to Chinatown with Golosá. This time we went to a new Restaurant called Lao Yunan, which features the cuisine of the Yunan province. The food was incredible! Among the dishes below are Yunan Mushrooms (so flavorful!), a whole plate of Bitter Melon, the spiciest Ma Po Tofu you’ve ever had (it has that chili-spice in it that Dad talks about from the Szechuan province that makes your tongue numb. It’s phenomenal!) and lots of other stuff. It was really a treat. AND we got to meet the famous Tony Hu in person! If you don’t know him: check it out! (Tony is on the list of 100 most powerful Chicagoans!)

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Chiles Rellenos with Red Chili Sauce

(from Bon Appetit, June 2010)

* 8 large fresh Anaheim chiles
* 2 Tbsp butter
* 1/4 cup minced shallot
* 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
* 6 cups assorted sliced mushrooms (such as cremini and stemmed shiitake)
* 1/4 cup dry sherry
* 4 oz soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
* 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
* 8 (4×1/4×1/4) inch pieces of Monterey Jack cheese
* vegetable oil
* 3 Tbsp AP flour
* 3 Tbsp cornstarch
* 1 large egg white
* Red Chile Sauce (see recipe below)
* Sour Cream/sliced avocado/crumbled Cojito cheese (optional for on the side)

Char chiles directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in plastic bag and let steam for 10 minutes. Using small knife, scrape off blackened skin, taking care not to tear chiles. Carefully cut slit in each chile, from stem end to tip. Remove seeds, keeping chile intact.

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and thyme; saute until shallot is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are browned, about 7 minutes. Add Sherry; stir until almost dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate mixture 10 minutes. Add goat cheese and cilantro; stir to incorporate.

Place 1 piece Monterey Jack cheese lengthwise inside each chile. Divide mushroom mixture among chiles; press openings to seal. (Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Generously brush rimmed baking sheet with oil. Whisk flour and cornstarch in shallow bowl. Brush chiles with egg white; roll in flour mixture to coat. Transfer to prepared sheet.

Bake chiles until browned and Jack cheese melts, about 8 minutes per side. Ladle 1/4 cup Red Chile Sauce onto each plate.

Chili Sauce


* 3 large dried ancho chiles
* 2 large dried New Mexico chiles
* 2 large dried Anaheim chiles
* 2 cups water
* 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
* 1 Tbsp olive oil
* 3/4 cup chopped onion
* 2 small garlic cloves, peeled, sliced
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1 cup chicken broth, divided
* 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
* 1 Tbsp packed, dark brown sugar

Stem and seed chiles; tear into 1-inch pieces. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add chiles to dry skillet and toast until beginning to smoke, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 2 cups water; bring to boil. Remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes to soften. Drain.

Stir cumin seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until slightly darker and aromatic, 3 to 4 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground.

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; saute until golden, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and ground cumin. Add drained chiles and 1/2 cup broth; sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Add 1/2 cup broth.

Working in batches, puree sauce in blender until smooth. Add vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. (Do ahead: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.)

View of Chicago from the University of Chicago’s new Logan Arts Center, where Golosá performed a few weeks ago.

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Filed under Vegetarian