Named after the zombie-like stilt character that prowls around during Carnival celebrations, this sauce features two ingredients common to Trinidadian commercial sauces, papaya and mustard. The sauce can be used as a condiment or as a marinade for meat, poultry, and fish.
This Brazilian sauce is traditionally served over black-eyed pea fritters (acaraj, called accra in the West Indies), but can also be spread over other bland foods such as potatoes. It has an intense shrimp flavor and high heat. It is traditionally made with dende, palm oil, but I have substituted one with less saturated fat. Variation: Add 1 teaspoon minced cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger to the paste.
This hot sauce from Pernambuco is commonly served in a small dish at Brazilian meals to spice up such dishes as feijoada and seafood stews. It features the malagueta pepper, that close relative of the tabasco pepper. Variation: Make a paste by pureeing the peppers, garlic, onion, and salt in a blender. Add the lemon or lime juice and stir well.
Early in the sixteenth century, chiles were transferred from Portuguese Brazil to their colony of Angola. These small, piquin-like chiles (which were probably Brazilian malaguetas) were called piri-piri (pepper-pepper) and became an integral part of the local cuisine. The sauce made from them was transferred back to Portugual, where it is a staple on dining tables--served with seafood, soups, and stews. Since the piri-piri chiles are not usually available, use chiles de árbol, cayenne chiles, chile piquins, or chiltepíns. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
From Arequipa, Peru, one of the hottest (chile-wise) cities in Latin America, comes this unusual, delicious sauce that is traditionally served over boiled and sliced potatoes that are garnished with lettuce, olives, and hardboiled egg slices. Try it over fried fish as well.
This recipe, from chili scholar John Thorne, was published in a slightly different format in the Winter, 1989 issue of The Whole Chile Pepper magazine, in the Special Chili con Carne Issue that I edited. John commented: "On the Texas range, firewood meant mesquite. Not only did the trail cook use it for his open pit cooking, but the ranch cook used it to fire his wood stove. Until it was replaced with gas and electric, mesquite-flavored grilling dominated rural Texas cooking with its distinctive sweet savor. The meat for this chili is seared over charcoal where mesquite chips have been set to flame (the taste of mesquite charcoal is indistinguishable from that of any other hardwood), which gives the resulting chili a haunting hint of smoke--and without tasting a bit like barbecue, since there is no onion or tomato in it, none at all."