I love the smoky, tangy taste of chipotles in adobo, but I hate the inconvenience of opening a can only to use one or two chiles or a little bit of sauce. Each time I give in, I end up stashing the can in the way-back of my fridge, sure to be found 23 years later when I'm packing up for my government-mandated relocation to Earth II.
I thought I'd found a solution when I came upon the idea of puréeing the entire contents of a can upon opening it and spooning the purée into a resealable glass jar, so I could administer smoky heat whenever necessary. But now, I've found something even better: chipotle paste in a tube!
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When you squeeze chipotle paste from a tube, it means you don't need to fish whole chipotles out of the can and chop them while you're wearing protective gloves (and feeling guilty if those protective gloves are single-use only). And you don't have to chop them while not wearing protective gloves, feeling the sting of residual chile oil on your fingers while you figure out what to do with the rest of the can.
With chipotle in a tube, you don't need to file half a jar into a Stasher bag to freeze until you eventually forget where it is and open another can.
There's more good news: The tube preserves that chipotle magic better than the glass jar hack, since exposing the chiles to oxygen (which happens more quickly through the wide opening of a can or jar) can dry them out and degrade their flavor. Tubed chiles last longer; there's no rush to use them up.
Even if you don't need to, you probably will use the tubed paste up more quickly. Adding a little bit to a dish comes more naturally when there's no commitment. And more importantly, the tubed stuff just tastes better. When I did a side-by-side comparison of puréed jarred chipotles in adobo beside tubed chipotle paste by mixing equal amounts of each into Greek yogurt, the paste in a tube won hands down.
The flavor of the yogurt mixed with tubed chipotle paste was brighter, with more nuanced chile flavor and a smoky backbone. The jarred chipotle sauce wasn't bad, but the flavor was comparatively dull. There was a big difference in color, too: The tubed paste produced a pleasant pastel-coral sauce; the jarred sauce, on the other hand, was an unappealing khaki-gray.
One metric where the jarred chiles did have the upper hand was spice. If BIG CHILE HEAT is your primary concern, you'll need to use an extra squirt of the paste to satisfy your craving for fire. It's also worth noting that the tubed paste doesn't have the vinegar kick of canned chipotles in adobo, since—at least in the brand that I've been using—that adobo sauce isn't included in the paste. It's just the chiles in there, along with some water, salt, and citric acid. But that's nothing a squeeze of fresh citrus or a splash of vinegar can't fix. And something I'll gladly trade off for the well-rounded chile flavor and simple storage that a tube of chipotle paste provides.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious