If there were a typical eastern Caribbean hot sauce, this might be it. It has hints of Trinidad, Barbados, and even Grenada. To be perfectly authentic, you should buy or grow the red habaneros so popular in that part of the Caribbean, called Congo or bonney peppers. This will last up to eight weeks in the refrigerator.
This simple but tasty dish evolved from the need to preserve meat without refrigeration since chile acts as an antioxidant and prevents the meat from spoiling. It is a very common restaurant entree in New Mexico.
This layered dessert is unique in that it can be cooked on the grill. It does have chile in it, so it can become an honorary member of the barbecue inferno. Don’t worry, ancho powder is quite mild, with a nice raisiny flavor. The finished dessert has a cake-like topping and a chocolate syrup on the bottom. You can serve it with whipped cream, or to be truly decadent, with the Rum Glaze.
The chiles that are traditionally used for this sauce are the ones pulled off the ristras or strings of dried chiles. Ristras are not just used for decoration--this is one method of sun drying or preserving the fall chile crop for use throughout the year. Use this sauce in a number of dishes, as a topping for enchiladas and tacos, as a basis for stews like posole, or any recipe that calls for a red sauce.
Here is a recipe for unleavened corn tortillas with chile powder added. For a leavened version, see the recipe for Sonoran Enchiladas. The yield will vary as to the size that they are rolled out, but a 7-inch diameter is standard. Feel free to use blue corn masa harina to make the slightly coarser blue corn tortillas.