Hello from Los Angeles where I will be getting on a plane in a couple short hours and heading back to my babies (human and plant varieties). I had such a head-clearing, belly-filling glorious time and I’ll be sad to say good-bye to my sweet friends and even sweeter stone fruit, but even happier to see my family who hands down wins the contest of things I love the most.
In the meantime, while I’m flying high above you at 38,000 feet you can read about my new favorite ingredient—brick red adobo chile paste. Adobo chile paste is the lazy cook’s secret to super flavorful food. It is typically slathered on meat, especially pork, before being grilled. The combination of dried chiles, herbs, and spices melt into the meat’s marbling as it cooks, making every bite delicious.
I like to use adobo paste to flavor my favorite starchy indulgence—French fries. The thick paste coats each fry and turns glowing brick red as it cooks. It also creates a thin crust that is the perfect contrast to the tender, fluffy potato within.
Ambitious cooks can whip up homemade adobo paste by combining ancho chiles with oil, dried herbs, and spices such as cumin and cinnamon, and mixing them to a spreadable consistency. For a quicker fix, pick up the jarred version in the Latin section of your local grocery store.
This recipe first appeared on The Latin Kitchen
- Oil, for greasing
- 3 tablespoons Adobo red chile paste
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 small russet potatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds total
- Heat oven to 450°F and arrange rack to the top of the oven. Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil and set aside.
- Take a small spoon and scrape 3 tablespoons of adobo paste from the jar, trying to avoid as much oil as possible. Transfer to a large bowl and using the back of a spoon, smash adobo paste against the bottom of the bowl to smooth it out.
- Add brown sugar, lime juice, and salt and whisk to combine.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/4-inch thick sticks. Toss with the adobo marinade and let sit 5 minutes.
- Lift potatoes out of the bowl letting any excess marinade drip back into the bowl. Spread potatoes into a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake until crisped and brown, about 15 minutes, turning halfway through.