West African cooking quite often uses the mixture of chiles and peanuts, which are called groundnuts there. This unusual soup uses peanut butter as the peanut source and is one that you can have it on the table in under an hour. Don’t eliminate mixing the peanut butter with a little of the soup before adding to the pot, or the mixture may curdle.
One of the most basic Chiltepin dishes known, this recipe is prepared only in the state of Sinaloa, where the Chiltepins produce fruits all year long. This simple soup is served in mountain villages, and everyone makes his own in a soup bowl.
This South American paste can be used as a substitute whenever fresh chiles are called for. It will keep for two weeks or more in the refrigerator; for longer storage, increase the vinegar and reduce the amount of olive oil. For a red paste, substitute 15 dried New Mexican red chiles, soaked in water. For a green paste, substitute 10 New Mexican green chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped. For a much hotter paste, add 5 habanero chiles. All chiles should have the seeds and stems removed.
These meatballs fall into a class of tapas called "cosas de picar." Named after the picks that the picadors use during a bull fight, the term refers to those tapas that are served with toothpicks. In Spain, they would be made with minced meat, but since ground meats are more readily available, I use a combination of ground pork and beef. Traditionally these are made with paprika, but since I like my foods a little more spicy, I also add ground cayenne.
Although new to many people, these colorful beans date back to the ancient, cliff-dwelling Anasazi Indians. Slightly sweeter than pinto beans, they also tend to hold their shape better when cooked. If not available, substitute pinto beans in this recipe.
According to Paul Sheehan Jr., owner of Coast Kitchen & Cannery Foods, "After considerable time spent on trial and error, and many additional pounds added, we finally settled on Recipe #17. It's actually one of the simplest recipes we came up with but is one of the best tasting." I've added a sauce, but the dish is also good served without it.