This hot sauce from Pernambuco is commonly served in a small dish at Brazilian meals to spice up such dishes as feijoada and seafood stews. It features the malagueta pepper, that close relative of the tabasco pepper. Variation: Make a paste by pureeing the peppers, garlic, onion, and salt in a blender. Add the lemon or lime juice and stir well.
From Arequipa, Peru, one of the hottest (chile-wise) cities in Latin America, comes this unusual, delicious sauce that is traditionally served over boiled and sliced potatoes that are garnished with lettuce, olives, and hardboiled egg slices. Try it over fried fish as well.
This is not the commercial sauce from Jamaica but rather a specialty from Georgetown, Guyana. It is served over seafood or used to spice up gravies and salad dressings. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
There are many variations on this Creole sauce from Argentina, but this is my favorite. It is served with grilled, roasted, or barbecued meats, especially matambre. Variation: Add 1 bell pepper and 1 jalapeño, both seeded and minced.
This is a basic but classic Latin American salsa recipe collected in Ecuador. Although this recipe calls for the use of an electric blender, one can follow the traditional method of using a mortar and pestle. Ecuadorians are very fond of putting beans in their salsa. The most popular beans are the lupini, which are large white beans about the size of lima beans. Just add the cooked beans directly to the salsa. Use this salsa as a dip for chips or as a topping for grilled meats.
This is a commonly made sauce served over potatoes in Ecuador. The amount of chile in the recipe can be adjusted to be mild or wild, however you wish. This side dish would add also spice to any meat or seafood dish for a truly exotic dinner.
The technique of soaking a food in a liquid to flavor it—or in the case of meats, to tenderize the cut—was probably brought to the Caribbean by the Spanish. A marinade is easier to use than a paste, and when grilling your jerk meats, the marinade can also be used as a basting sauce. “In Jamaica,” notes food writer Robb Walsh, “like Texas barbecue, jerk is served on butcher paper and eaten with your hands.” Serve this version of jerk with a salad and grilled plantains.