Traditionally, this dish is made with poached chicken, but you can save time by using store-bought rotisserie chickens. Just make sure you buy chickens without any special flavoring; if that's all you can find, try to remove all of the skin. You can use any kind of dried red chile for this recipe; anchos, guajillos, pasillas, whatever you have on hand. Look for ingredients like canela and masa harina in the Mexican foods section of your supermarket, at a Latin American grocery, or online. Serve the pepian with plenty of white rice and fresh corn tortillas.
Here is a tasty grilled dish featuring native New World game, chiles, and tomatoes, plus pepitas–toasted pumpkin or squash seeds. Garlic is not native to the New World, but is given here as a substitute for wild onions, which the people of Cerén would have known.
This recipe is for a dish called the national snack of Peru. It’s prepared and sold by street vendors all over the country. Traditionally it is made with beef heart, but I’ve substituted sirloin for a more tender kebab. Achiote paste is made from the red seeds of the annatto tree and is used as a seasoning and to impart a yellow coloring. Available in Latin markets, mail order, or in speciality sections of grocery stores, the paste is much easier to use than the seeds.
This particular ceviche is spicy because the addition of a fair amount of crushed ajís or whatever dried chiles you have available. The use of corn and sweet potatoes signal this dish as being very typically Peruvian. Serve it as an entree for lunch or dinner on those hot and sweltering days of summer. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
Since Chile has a 2600-mile coastline, I would be remiss if I didn't include a fish recipe from that country. There is a minimum of grazing land in Chile, so instead of beef being the major source of protein, it is fish and shellfish. The wines of Chile are quite good, so be sure to include a nice chilled Chilean white wine when you serve this Chilean ceviche. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
Cuvée Executive Chef Dean Brunner notes: "It consists of habaneros (and a few other seriously hot donations from local fans), plus jalapeños. We like the burn to have great spirit but also be well balanced." He suggests marinating the shrimp in the sauce for at least an hour before grilling them.