Blue Corn, native to the Southwest, gives these tamales a distinctive, nutty taste. Make them smaller than an entree tamale and serve as a side dish in place of a vegetable. This recipe is taken from Just North of the Border, by Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach. Prima Publishing, 1992.
This thick and hearty stew from Durango, one of the northern states, is another Mexican dish that closely resembles chili con carne. A very similar recipe, carne guisada, is given by Jim Peyton in his book, El Norte: The Cuisine of Northern Mexico. We use pork in our version, but beef (or even shredded beef) can be used.
If there were a typical eastern Caribbean hot sauce, this might be it. It has hints of Trinidad, Barbados, and even Grenada. To be perfectly authentic, you should buy or grow the red habaneros so popular in that part of the Caribbean, called Congo or bonney peppers. This will last up to eight weeks in the refrigerator.
I am including several ceviches from Peru because some travelers claim that they are superior to those of Ecuador. The most popular fish used in Peru is sea bass, or grouper, although every type of seafood and shellfish is used as well. The Peruvian ceviches include a few rounds of cooked corn on the cob and cooked slices of sweet potatoes. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
Thanks to Patrick Hancock, executive chef at El Pinto Restaurant for the concept for the sauce recipe. For the chicken, I used The Old Spice Shack’s Country French Rub, and it was delicious. Note that the sauce can be pureed or not, and that it is the most brilliant purple color that you will ever see.
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.