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.
Albuquerque-area resident and vegetarian cookbook author Nanette Blanchard has self-published a booklet of her favorite southwestern plant-based recipes. Fiesta Vegan: 30 Delicious Recipes from New Mexico contains her take on traditional recipes such as Posole, Calabacitas, Sangria, and Capirotada. Each of the recipes includes a color photo and a nutritional analysis. Fiesta Vegan also offers a list of online sources for specialty ingredients and recommendations for New Mexico stops for food-lovers. The 40 page booklet is available either in print or as a .PDF download. You can also find a Kindle version without photos; information on all the booklet versions is on her web site here. Blanchard also maintains a food blog, Cooking in Color.
If you can’t find prepared tostada shells you can simply serve this recipe on top of your favorite brand of tortilla chips. The Spicy Chile Sauce is also a great accompaniment to your favorite scrambled tofu recipe.