Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Penzeys Ground Red Chipotle Chile Pepper

Penzeys Ground Red Chipotle Chile PepperThere's a very good reason I'm showing a nearly-empty bottle of Penzey's Ground Red Chipotle Chile Pepper for this edition of Kalyn's Kitchen Picks, and that's because I'm in Chicago where soon I'll be attending the 2009 BlogHer Conference, but first I'm going to buy more Ground Chipotle at a Penzeys store! For many years I've been buying spices from the Penzey's website, so you can imagine how excited I am to go there. I'm also thrilled to be at the conference, where I'm looking forward to seeing some of my favorite food blogging friends and learning more about blogging.

Obviously if I'm in Chicago I can't be home cooking, so this seems like a good time to tell you why I love this ground chipotle so much. First, if you aren't familiar with them, chipotle peppers are smoke-dried jalapeno chiles. It's the smoking that gives chipotle peppers such flavor, and they're used often in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. For years I bought the chipotles canned in adobo sauce, and they weren't overly convenient, since a can was far more than you needed for a recipe and they were a bit of a pain to chop up.

Then I discovered Penzey's Ground Red Chipotle Chile Pepper, and I've never gone back to using canned chipotles. With the ground chiles, you can easily measure out a small amount to flavor a recipe. A small half-ounce jar of this will last me more than a year, and at the current Penzey's price of $4.19, that's a real bargain. Since I love this little jar of spicy smoky flavor so much, it seems it's long overdue to be added to Kalyn's Kitchen Picks, where I spotlight food products and kitchen items I'd gladly buy over and over. (And in case anyone is wondering, Penzeys has never given me any free spices, and unless noted otherwise, all items featured as Kalyn's Kitchen Picks are things I've purchased myself.)

(A little side note about this product. For years on the blog I mistakenly called this "ground chipotle chile powder" until a sharp-eyed blog reader reminded me that chile powder is a blend of spices and this is really ground chipotle chile pepper. Unfortunately I haven't found time to correct all the places where I used the wrong name, but hopefully I'll get them all corrected eventually. Meanwhile, get some of this and try it, and you probably won't care what it's called!)

Recipes from Kalyn Using Ground Chipotle Chile Peppers:
Chipotle Lime Deviled Eggs
Chipotle and Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Double Cilantro
Black Bean and Beef Chili with Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa
Southwest Chicken Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing
Nick's Chipotle Grilled Shrimp with Black Bean Salsa
Garbanzo, Tomato, and Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing
Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro
Spicy Sauteed Chickpeas with Lime and Cilantro
Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup with Lime and Cilantro
Cuban Flank Steak

Other Bloggers Use Ground Chipotle Too!
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado Sandwich from Simply Recipes
Tex-Mex Chipotle Pitas from Culinary in the Country
Chipotle Apple Pecan Cake from Wine Imbiber
Chocolate Chipotle Brownies from Baking and Books
Chipotle Chicken Paninis from Ginger Lemon Girl
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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More to Chew On:


  1. I love the smoky heat of this spice and regularly use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is in a rub, along with other spices, for grilled shrimp. I'm very envious that you are going to Penzey's. Have a great time at BlogHer!

  2. I <3 Penzeys and their spices and herbs. The spice you highlighted is a favorite along with their Northwoods Fire. You may want to check that one out too. Enjoy Chicago!

  3. I love the smell of that store.

  4. Hold onto your empty jar! At the Penzey's store you can frequently buy larger --bags-- of spices for *far cheaper* than the jars. Recycle your jars by buying the bags -- save a bunch of $$ for more spices.

    That's the circle of spice life!

  5. Hi Kalyn, enjoy your visit to Penzeys. I am lucky to have a store about two minutes from my home. For spices I use a lot of, I buy in bag form and freeze them to prolong freshness. A helpful hint from the staff. Allow plenty of time for your visit. Way more fun than shopping online. Helen from Ohio

  6. Isn't a Penzey's store an absolute treat? A store opened up in West Hartford shortly before I moved away, though I made as much use out of it as I possibly could before I left.

    Like another commenter, I love the various size options they have available. It's great to be able to purchase only a small, inexpensive container of an herb or spice I don't use very often but need for a certain recipe, like chervil or fenugreek and the like.

    Have a blast at BlogHer!

  7. Hi everyone,
    I'm having a great time at BlogHer. Today I went to Penzeys and also to The Spice House (owned by another member of the Penzey's family.) Had a great time at both places and got some very cool spices to try, plus stocked up on a few things I've been needing.

  8. The way I learned long ago to differentiate the blend from the pure powdered chilis was too subtle: chili powder vs chile powder. Leads to confusion, probably why some recipes seemed so bland -- wrong one. Here in New England, what do we know? I like your way better!

  9. I heard angels sing the first time I went into a Penzey's store. (Its 200 miles from my house. Sigh.) My pantry is stocked with Everything Penzey's. Just a note: their boxed sets make GREAT gifts. I now have relatives and friends who rely on me for their Christmas gifts. I also did an all-Penzey's Bunco night, as well. A huge hit!

  10. I love Penzey's and I love chipotle peppers, so you know I love this post! Have a great time in Chicago!

  11. I could not cook without this!
    ;) I know you'll be in a wonderland at a Penzey's! Have a wonderful time.

  12. I can't wait to try my Penzey's spices from you and Lydia! Their website looks so good but more online shopping is NOT what I need to be doing :)


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