Some of the most popular Mexican dishes are the antojitos or appetizers, and the single most popular one is the taco. Come early evening in Mexico, the streets fill up with sellers of antojitos. The tortillas are filled with imagination: shredded meats, fish, grilled vegetables, topped with cheese and either cooked or raw salsa. On the side you might find condiments like homemade chiles serranos en escabeche or other pickled sides with all kinds of vegetables as part of the ingredients. There is a wonderful cookbook by my friend Barbara Sibley, the owner of La Palapa Restaurant in New York City, called Antajitos, where you will find great recipes.
New Mexico Red is the start to every red sauce that ends up as your taco sauce, red chile stew or braising sauce for vegetables. If it is tomato season where you live, get 4-6 fresh tomatoes, one jalapeno deseeded, a couple of garlic cloves, and ½ onion. Grill until blackened a little, chop everything fine, put it in a bowel with ½ cup New Mexico Red and let sit 15 minutes. (I use an emulsion blender to make it smoother.) Done! Don't like cooking? You can chop everything and make a fresh sauce instead. Or change it up a little. Add a habanero instead of the jalapeno, add orange or tangerine juice, pop in some cilantro, or simply add pure ground chile powder. See our recipes for more excitement in cooking.