Makes 2 cups, enough to marinate 2 to 3 pounds of meat or seafood


  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 3 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 medium-size onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 to 4 canned chipotle chilies
  • 1 to 2 tsp. canned chipotle juices
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt (sea or kosher)


    Heat a comal, or dry skillet, over medium heat. Add the cumin and peppercorns and toast until fragrant, 2 minutes. Transfer the spices to a blender, or spice mill, and grind to a fine powder. Leave the spices in the blender.

    Place the tomatoes, garlic and onion on the comal and cook until nicely browned on all sides, turning with tongs. This will take 4 to 6 minutes for the garlic, and 10 to 12 minutes for the tomatoes and onion. Coarsely chop the vegetables and transfer them to the blender with the spices.

    Add the lime and orange juices, the vinegar, chipotle chilies and juices, oregano and salt. Run the blender in bursts to reduce the ingredients to a thick purée. Transfer to a large jar, cover and refrigerate. Use within a few hours of making.

    Excerpted from Barbecue Sauces, Rubs and Marinades—Bastes, Butters and Glazes, Too by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017.

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