When you order "green sauce" in Texas, this is what you will be served. It differs from New Mexico's green sauce in that the color is derived from tomatillos rather than from green chiles. This sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, with enchiladas, or as a topping for grilled poultry or fish.
Why wouldn’t the cooks of the prehistoric, ash-covered village of Cerén in El Salvador have developed sauces to serve over meats and vegetables? After all, there is evidence that curry mixtures were in existence thousands of years ago in what is now India, and we have to assume that Native Americans experimented with all available ingredients. Perhaps this mole sauce was served over stewed duck meat, as ducks were one of the domesticated meat sources of the Cerén villagers.
In Jamaica, this sauce is served over a wide variety of fish and even lobster. It is such a tasty sauce that it is wonderful when served over pasta. The term “rundown” (“oildown” in Barbados and Trinidad) refers to cooking vegetables in coconut milk until most of the milk is absorbed, leaving a light oil.
A table condiment to similar in appearance to ketchup--but much more pungent--sriracha sauce is named after a seaside town in Thailand. Increasingly popular, this sauce is found on the tables of Thai and Vietnamese restaurants all over North America. Fresh red chiles are the key to the flavor of this recipe.
This recipe, which I found in a 1940s Trinidadian cookbook, is probably one of the earliest methods of preserving peppers in the tropics. It is also called “pepper wine.” The sherry, which gradually picks up heat from the bird peppers, is sprinkled into soups and stews and makes them quite exotic. The peppers can be either fresh or dried. It is used as a condiment and is sprinkled over soups, main dishes, and side dishes. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
This recipe was collected for me in Mombasa, Kenya by Richard Sterling, who wrote: “The barbecue master at the Big Bite Restaurant in Mombasa is Tsuma Nzole Kalu. He concocted this recipe for hot sauce and gave it its name. Serve it over grilled or barbecued meats and poultry.”
Variations on this hot sauce appear all over Africa, with the key ingredient being peanuts in any form. Here, peanut butter works well--and it's the cook's choice to use smooth or crunchy! Ladle it over fried chicken or fish.
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.