Ají Picante – Spicy Dipping Sauce
As we continue to be on grilling mode I think is nice to have a versatile sauce that is easy to serve with anything. I love cilantro and my first mild choice is my Cilantro Chutney recipe. However when I am the mood for some heat this Ají Picante is perfect to satisfy. This recipe has been passed down for few generations on my dad’s side of the family. I felt ashamed that I never got this recipe from my grandmother before she passed, because I didn’t like to eat spicy foods. Lucky for me, and all of you, my brother has been making this sauce with my grandma’s recipe for years.
My brother came to Madison for the first time this past Spring. It had been 7 years since the last time we saw each other, even thou we keep a close relationship thanks to technology; nothing could replace the long conversations around the dinner table. We had a really great time! We enjoyed talking about some memorable childhood moments, like the time we made a camp fire in the backyard while my mom wasn’t home, and secretly took a bunch of ingredients out of the fridge to make a chicken soup over the fire that we shared with our friends; only to be reprimanded for “wasting” what my mom had planned to make for dinner. With his visit we spent some time cooking together.
Ají Picante is the recipe I asked my brother to share with me. He lived with grandma for a short period of time and got used to having this sauce with everything just like my dad. It’s incredibly easy! I modified the ingredients to what I could find here in Madison, he claims my dad would’ve found it too weak, but for my palate it turned out great. Spicy and creamy, not overwhelmingly hot. Perfect for grilled meat, chicken or vegetables, use it for dipping tortilla chips, drizzle over you burger instead of ketchup. Be creative!
Cook’s Note: You can strain the sauce after blending and before adding the cream for a thinner consistency.