This has been a vexing conundrum over the years. Virtually every recipe that you see for dressings,dips,or sauces calls for so many chipotle peppers with adobo sauce pureed or incorporated in the recipe and blended. The ultimate problem is when you have a sufficent smokey chipotle taste, you have too much heat for most people. I've ran into this problem with BBQ sauce, Chipotle Ranch that we used on our wraps and dipping sauces, and also for a short time when Chipotle Mayo was popular. I've looked at countless recipes both home and foodservice and they pretty much look the same with no clue about raising the taste signature while reducing heat. This isn't my palate alone, but those of others too that have complained about the heat and point out that commercial sauces used in the chains aren't hot. Apparently, dressing and dip manufactuers must have access to some special chipotle flavoring or products, but none list it as an extract or flavoring like they would a paprika oleoresin.
I've tried several dry, ground Chipotle pepper powders. Same heat/taste ratio and noticeable red speckling in the sauces. I've also tried bottle sauces like Cholulu and Tabasco's Chipotle. Those do give the uniform pink color without a particulate in the sauces like commercial products, but the excessive heat is still there. I've also tried carefully slitting a can of peppers in adobo sauce. Scraping out the pith and seeds and rinsing out the can and seed/pith scraping with a little vinegar to recover as much as the adobo and then blending the peppers with a little more vinegar into a paste in a mini blender. It's better, but still too hot and not the same as the commercial preps. I've seen recipes where you see a suspiciously low amount of Chipotle used and then the addition of smokey paprika or ancho powder used presumably to raise the smokey signature. It generally doesn't work and totally forget about liquid smoke.
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