A Mexican coctel de camarones tends to be a lot spicer than one traditionally served north of the border, and the shrimp is grilled rather than boiled, which adds a different flavor dimension. In a pinch, substitute a Mexican hot sauce like Cholula for the chile powder and the jalapeño chile, and the result will be equally good.
No, you can't use canned or frozen--this recipe only works with fresh asparagus, so take advantage of these spring asparagus months. This is an excellent accompaniment to grilled seafood, too. Note: You can reduce the marinade in a small pan and serve it over the grilled asparagus.
From one of my far-flung writers, Linda Lynton, this recipe is a basic sauce from northern India and Nepal. She noted: “Although this specific recipe was given to me by a Patna housewife, some peasants originating from a remote Himalayan village in Central Nepal and housewives from an equally remote village in North Bihar gave us the same recipe.” Use it as a topping for chicken, fish, or vegetables.
Probably the most famous of all the chile breakfasts is huevos rancheros, or ranch eggs. This was the meal traditionally served to Mexican ranch hands after a hard early morning’s work. The basic recipe calls for salsa, tortillas, and eggs, but there are an endless number of variations of the recipe. For instance the eggs can be fried and placed on the sauce or poached right in the sauce, and the salsa can be made with red or green chile, which can be homemade or prepared.
This is a great idea for a Skewer Party, when you want your guests to be able to wander around, stay clean and look cool. Burgers and tacos are a two-handed operation, but skewers can be eaten with one. You can put a cocktail glass in your guest’s other hand!
You can buy ground chicken from your butcher, but be sure to specify that the skin should be removed before grinding. Or you can use a food processor with a sharp blade chop your own chicken, but use the pulse mode to get the proper consistency. Serve this with a cold Tsingtao beer.
Xinjiang, which borders Mongolia, is noted for its barbecued lamb even though lamb is rarely eaten in other parts of China. In fact, the Mongolian tribes introduced lamb to the rest of China. This simple barbecue could easily be prepared by the nomads on the plains of Xinjiang. Note that this recipe requires advance preparation.