Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.
1 pound ground round
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 to 2 chipotle peppers (soaked in hot water to soften), minced
8 (8-inch) soft taco-size corn or flour tortillas, warmed
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs
Cook ground round in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 7 minutes or until meat crumbles and is browned. Stir in carrots, onion, and salt. Sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and chipotle peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften. Serve mixture with warm tortillas. Garnish, if desired.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per taco with flour tortilla and 1/2 cup beef mixture (not including garnish).
Vegetarian Picadillo Tacos: Substitute 1 (12-oz.) package frozen meatless burger crumbles for ground round. Proceed with recipe as directed, sautéing crumbles in hot oil 3 to 4 minutes.
Prep: 15 min., Cook: 13 min.
Adapted from a recipe by Maria Corbalan, Taco Xpress, Austin, Texas, Southern Living. JUNE 2009