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.
This simple but tasty dish evolved from the need to preserve meat without refrigeration since chile acts as an antioxidant and prevents the meat from spoiling. It is a very common restaurant entree in New Mexico.
This layered dessert is unique in that it can be cooked on the grill. It does have chile in it, so it can become an honorary member of the barbecue inferno. Don’t worry, ancho powder is quite mild, with a nice raisiny flavor. The finished dessert has a cake-like topping and a chocolate syrup on the bottom. You can serve it with whipped cream, or to be truly decadent, with the Rum Glaze.
The chiles that are traditionally used for this sauce are the ones pulled off the ristras or strings of dried chiles. Ristras are not just used for decoration--this is one method of sun drying or preserving the fall chile crop for use throughout the year. Use this sauce in a number of dishes, as a topping for enchiladas and tacos, as a basis for stews like posole, or any recipe that calls for a red sauce.
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.