Adding tomatillos gives the variation of a traditional New Mexican chili a south of the border twist. They provide a tangy, citrus-like taste that can at times be very tart. The heat in this dish will very depending on the heat of the green chili you use. The Big Jim variety will be mild, the Sandia hot, and most will fall into the medium range.
Although many people think of sambals as a spicy condiment or sauce that is added to other dishes, sambals also include side dishes that range in heat from mild to wild, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia. This particular Indonesian recipe is a good example of a spicy side dish that is labeled a "sambal." Serve these spicy, chilled potatoes with a meat dish such as satays.
This simple potato salad is served warm and can be put together quickly after the potatoes are boiled. The recipe can be doubled or tripled easily. It's a nice change from the ordinary potato salad, and the flavors will really charge your palate.
I'm not so fond of pinto beans and prefer to use black beans, but hey, the choice is yours. Be sure to soak them overnight and change the water before you cook them. Again, bacon fat or lard is the preferred fat for frying, but if the food police have brainwashed you, use vegetable oil. “Refried” is a misnomer since the beans are only fried once, but I'm not going to quibble and call them “Recooked Beans.” Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
World traveler Jeff Corydon, who provided this recipe, says that the secret of this spicy salad is in the sauce, and the local taste is honored by including crushed peanuts and additional chiles. Any firm fleshy fruit can be used, such as under-ripe bananas, carambolas, Asian pears, and even some vegetables like jicama or cucumber.
Fresh salsas are a must during the summer are a great way to use the earliest pods such as jalapeños and serranos. Vary the flavor of the salsa by using different chiles as they become available. Keep a supply on hand to serve with chips as a dip, as an accompaniment to grilled poultry or fish, or with burritos, fajitas, or even hamburgers. This salsa will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator. It does not keep its texture when frozen.
Tomatillos, also called Mexican husk tomatoes or green tomatoes, aren't tomatoes and don't even taste like them. They have a tangy, citrus-like taste that can at times be very tart. This sauce can be used with and on other foods, or can also be served as a salsa with chips.
The attitude comes from the green chiles--they definitely add the spice and heat for this otherwise ordinary dish. I like to stuff a small wedge of jalapeño Monterey jack cheese into the center of the pepper just before it’s finished cooking. That adds even more "attitude"!