The word chowder comes from the French chaudiere meaning caldron, which traditionally were the iron pots used to cook soup, and the term refers to a thick soup or stew. This chowder combines two native Southwestern ingredients, chile and corn. The chipotle chile gives the soup a rich smoky taste which compliments grilled foods, but other chiles can be substituted. Jalapeños, serranos, and green New Mexican chiles are also tasty substitutes. This soup can be made heartier with the addition of crab, clams, shrimp, or chicken.
Ancho or pasilla chiles can be substituted for the fiery chipotles if you desire a milder sauce. I’ve even used this pesto on pizza in place of the more traditional tomato sauce for a hot, south of the border taste.
This sauce is wonderful on grilled chicken and firm fish like salmon. Use it as they would in Trinidad to spice up a fried shark sandwich. If you are using whole spices, grind them in a mortar or in a spice grinder. Allspice berries can be found in Latin and Caribbean markets, as well as specialty food stores. Note: this recipe requires advance preparation.
According to Paul Sheehan Jr., owner of Coast Kitchen & Cannery Foods, "After considerable time spent on trial and error, and many additional pounds added, we finally settled on Recipe #17. It's actually one of the simplest recipes we came up with but is one of the best tasting." I've added a sauce, but the dish is also good served without it.
If ever there were a macho potato salad, this is it! Grilled cactus and chopped jicima add an unexpected twist to this warm, spicy red potato salad. To complete the Southwestern theme, these ingredients are tossed in a dressing of freshly squeezed lime juice and adobo sauce mixed with a heavy dose of chopped cilantro. Though the cactus adds a unique flavor to this salad, if it is not available at your local grocery store, it can be omitted.
Like most stews, this one takes a while to cook, about 4 hours. It is interesting because it contains a number of pre-Columbian ingredients, namely Chiltepins, corn, squash, potatoes, and tepary beans. The spicy heat can be adjusted by adding or subtracting Chiltepins.