Holy Moly Smokey Chipotle Sauce
Today, an all-time favorite — my Holy Moly Smokey Chipotle sauce. This is the start and end of Mexican sauces for me. I adapted it from Culinary Mexico by Daniel Hoyer, which taught me a lot about authentic cooking techniques of the many regions of Mexico. I've added cashews for protein and the creaminess factor and invite a mix of onions beyond the white onion originally called for. The heat from the chilis is hard to predict because size varies. I recommend starting with one and adding more to suit your preference. This sauce achieves a deep, complex flavor that comes from roasting the veggies, the clove, cinnamon and citrus juices — all vital ingredients here.
6-8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and roasted
3 large ripe tomatoes, quartered and roasted
1 medium white onion, quartered and roasted, or an equivalent mix of white, red, yellow, green, shallot, or any onions you have on hand
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ c. olive oil
¼ c. cashews (soaked for an hour or more)
1 to 3 chipotle chilies in adobo, to taste
1 pinch or 2 of ground cloves
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Freshly squeezed juice of two juicy limes
Freshly squeezed juice of one orange
¼ c. packed chopped cilantro
I’ve enjoyed this on:
Soak the cashews. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the unpeeled garlic, tomatoes and onion mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper the veggies. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes, turning once, until the tomatoes and onion begin to caramelize. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, remove the peels from the garlic and transfer all the cooked vegetables and their juices to a blender. Drain the cashews and discard the water. Add the cashews, chipotles, clove, cinnamon and citrus juices to the blender. With the lid on, turn the blender on low to mix it up a bit, then add the olive oil through the feeder hole in a slow steady stream. Kick up the speed to medium and blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. The sauce should be fairly thick and adhere to the back of a spoon. Now add the cilantro and pulse a few times to combine. You should still see tiny cilantro bits in the final sauce. Use immediately or cool the sauce completely and store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze and thaw when ready for use.