Adding tomatillos gives the variation of a traditional New Mexican chili a south of the border twist. They provide a tangy, citrus-like taste that can at times be very tart. The heat in this dish will very depending on the heat of the green chili you use. The Big Jim variety will be mild, the Sandia hot, and most will fall into the medium range.
From the Netherlands Antilles' island of Saba comes this simple, steeped hot sauce that graces seafood dishes or simple rice. Malt vinegar, made from malted barley, is the secret taste ingredient. Because of the vinegar, this sauce can be kept for a month or so in the refrigerator.
This is the sauce that commonly is bottled in liquor bottles and sold in the mercados and at roadside stands in central and northern Mexico. It is sprinkled over nearly any snack food, from tacos to tostadas.
From Tlaxcala comes a wonderful sauce that utilizes chipotles, or any type of smoked chile. Most commonly, chipotles are smoked red jalapeños. This is a table sauce served at room temperature to spice up any main dish, including meats and poultry.
This is a very basic sauce that can be easily changed to create a variety of different pasta dishes. For example, substitute feta cheese for the mozzarella, oregano for the basil, add some kalamata olives and chopped capers and you have Greek pasta. This dish can be served hot or at room temperature making it great for summer entertaining.
My friend Richard Sterling developed this recipe, which is his version of how the Spaniards transformed Montezuma’s favorite spicy beverage with the addition of alcohol. He commented: "Salud! Drink to the Old World and the New."