This is my version of a recipe that originally appeared in Mary Land’s Louisiana Cookery (1954). I have spiced it up a bit. Okay, more than a bit, and added a few other spices. This sauce is served with grilled seafood and chicken, but if you wanted to sneak it onto some steamed shrimp or crawdads, I wouldn’t turn you in to the food police. It will keep in the refrigerator for a week and freezes nicely.
The neighboring island of Mauritius in the Mascarenes has a harissa-like sauce called mazavaroo that is usually served on sandwiches. This recipe for it was given to one of my writers, Leyla Loued-Khenissime, by Virjanan Jeenea, the sous-chef at the Oberoi Hotel in Mauritius. Leyla writes: “I was happy to see that his recipe is simple compared to others I have run into. I tried it four different ways: with fresh bird's eye peppers and again with fresh Thai dragon peppers, then adding shrimp paste to one and ginger to the other. The best result I obtained was by following the Oberoi recipe with the bird's eye peppers, although it still lacks that smoky fantasia found in the jar I initially bought. Below is the Oberoi's adapted version.”
This is the sauce that is traditionally served over smoked ribs in Memphis and other parts of Tennessee. Some cooks add prepared yellow mustard to the recipe. It can be converted into a basting sauce by adding more beer and a little more vinegar. Add more hot sauce to taste, or substitute red chile or cayenne powder.
I grow a lot of Peruvian ají chiles in my garden every year, and I always put aside a large bag of them to take to Miguel, our computer wizard friend from Peru. On my second or third trip to Miguel's (it was a bumper harvest of chiles), he was having a late lunch with this ají sauce over his rice.
Named after the zombie-like stilt character that prowls around during Carnival celebrations, this sauce features two ingredients common to Trinidadian commercial sauces, papaya and mustard. The sauce can be used as a condiment or as a marinade for meat, poultry, and fish.
Rick Browne, Ph.B., host of the PBS show “Barbecue America” and the author of The Best Barbecue on Earth and nine other books, is supplying articles and recipes to the Fiery Foods & Barbecue SuperSite.
This Brazilian sauce is traditionally served over black-eyed pea fritters (acaraj, called accra in the West Indies), but can also be spread over other bland foods such as potatoes. It has an intense shrimp flavor and high heat. It is traditionally made with dende, palm oil, but I have substituted one with less saturated fat. Variation: Add 1 teaspoon minced cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger to the paste.