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.
Ceviche is made all over Central and South America, so it is no surprise that it has become popular in many Miami restaurants. The citrus marinade creates an opaque color and firm texture that mimics the effect of traditional cooking. In celebration of Miami chefs' tendency to borrow from many different sources to create a their own recipes, I have come up with a version using the Peruvian garnish of sweet potatoes, the Ecuadorian addition of roasted corn and a combination of seafood that you are likely to find at a typical Miami table. For a glamorous touch, serve the Ceviche in martini glasses. Note: this recipe requires advance preparation.