This is a bright, herbal, pungent sauce that works well with any kind of grilled meat. Or bread, or cheese. Or potatoes. Or on cold pasta, or on warm pasta. It would probably be great with fish, too. It’s originally an Argentian sauce, and we always make it when we prepare grilled skirt steak; but we inevitably end up dumping it on everything, and even simply eating it with a spoon.
barbecue, eliseo, salsa, sauce, south american, spicy, vegan
An intensely aromatic, spicy chicken from the state of Kerala, in the southwest of India. Like a lot of food from Kerala, mustard seed and curry leaf are prominent. With the sweetness of the onion, the richness of the chicken, and the fresh spiciness—it’s crave worthy. We were literally stealing the last few pieces off each-others’ plates. We made this at the Normandie house, as part of a big Indian-food-and-Bollywood night, with our good friend Mythili (check out her great blog!) who’s a regular collaborative cooker in our kitchen. It was perfect with a coconutty egg roast, and some chapati, rice, and beer.
chicken, indian, kerala, mythili, spicy
Harissa is a dark red, hot, and highly spiced sauce common across North Africa, from Morocco to Tunisia. It can be made with a variety of spices, usually inlcuding caraway, cumin and coriander seed. It’s wonderful as a marinade for meat. It’s a great seasoning for olives, lupinos, and feta cheese (perhaps together with preserved lemons). It works well as a side for stews and vegetables; or a sauce for kebab. It’s also perfect for a making a quick, flavourful pasta sauce.
Because the spices are typical of many cuisines, from around the Mediterranean, into Iran and India, harissa is an ideal all-purpose condiment when you’re serving people who have variable spice tolerances. It saved my life in Japan, when spicy food was hard to come by, and my SO found even black pepper painfully hot.
brad, moroccan, sauce, spicy, tunisian
Few foods are as iconic, and deeply embedded in the American Southwest, and northern Mexico as chili rojo con carne. The origins of this recipe are with the vaqueros and rancheros of northern Mexico; and it’s traditionally been made with little more than chunks of steak, chili, and cumin; onion, garlic and oregano.
The definition of “classic chili” can be contentious, and ground for heated, almost violent, debate. If you grew up in the north, midwest, or especially the northeast, you’re probably thinking of a tomatoey stew, with red beans, and optional ground beef. Maybe with corn. That “chili” has nothing to do with the dark, earthy, moderate-to spicy classic version. There are no beans. There is no corn. There’s very little tomato. This version is within that tradition — similar to Texas red, or Eliseo’s mother’s chili.
— Brad, Eliseo
brad, eliseo, mexican, spicy, tex-mex, texan
Everything in Yucatan is served with this simple salsa. It’s usually made with green habaneros (the orange one is apparently “totally different”). It’s great with al pastor, and cochinita pibil.
habanero, mexican, salsa, spicy
When we were first experimenting with cochinita pibil, we found a recipe including this salsa of pickled purple onion, and we loved it. The simpler recipe of blanched onions in bitter orange juice seems to be more typical in Yucatan. But vinagreta de cebolla is still our favourite. Spicy, and slightly smoky from the charred habaneros; with the aroma of allspice and oregano. It’s quintessentially Caribbean, and ideal for pulled pork. It’s so good, we find ourselves eating it by the spoonful.
— Brad and Eliseo
mexican, onion, salsa, spicy, vegan, vegetarian