Feasting on the Uke Recipes: Heidi Swedberg’s New Mexico Red Chili Sauce and More

Here’s the recipe for Heidi Swedberg’s basic New Mexico red chili sauce, as well as a recipe for Spam musubi.

In New Mexico, says Heidi Swedberg, “every meal is forwarded with the question ‘red or green?’ Chili is not a spice on our foods, but an essential component. In fact, it is the vegetable.”

The following sauce can be used to make New Mexico huevos rancheros. Ladle the sauce over cooked eggs on a tortilla, then garnish with grated cheese, minced raw onion, and perhaps some shredded iceberg lettuce and chopped tomato.

“We also use it in place of tomato sauce in Italian dishes, such as pizza or risotto, for a ‘nuevo mundo’ effect,” says Swedberg. Or, she suggests, make “pizza rancheros” by substituting the red chili for pizza sauce. “Crack eggs on the almost finished pizza and put it back in the oven until the eggs are soft-cooked. Wow!”


Any red chili powder sold in the Mexican food section of your local grocery store will do, though Swedberg is partial to the powder made from New Mexico-grown chilies.


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic,
  • minced
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup New Mexico
  • red chili powder
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2-3 cups water

Heat garlic in olive oil over a medium flame. Add flour to make a roux and stir until flour is lightly toasted. Add chili, oregano, and water. Stir until mixture is smooth and let simmer about 20 minutes.

Recipe: Spam Musubi

  • 2 slices Spam (classic flavor)
  • 3 ounces cooked white rice, seasoned with furikake and toasted sesame seeds, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon House of Tsang Sweet Ginger Sesame Sauce or Sam Choy’s cooking sauce
  • 1 whole sheet nori

In large skillet, cook Spam until lightly browned and crisp. Place rice into musubi press or small can. Place Spam, on rice; drizzle with grill sauce or cooking sauce. Top with remaining rice; press down. Remove Spam and rice from musubi press. On work surface, lay nori shiny-side down; top with Spam mixture. Wrap up. Cut each musubi in half. Slice each half diagonally into two pieces. Serve immediately. Courtesy of Spam®.

Cocktail: Trader Vic’s Mai Tai

  • 1 ounce Jamaican
  • Rum (15- or 8-year old)
  • 1 ounce Martinique Rum
  • 1/3 ounce orange curaçao
  • 1/3 ounce orgeat (almond-sugar syrup)
  • 1/3 ounce rock
  • Candy syrup
  • Juice from one fresh lime

Combine all ingredients and shake well, strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with lime shell, mint sprig, orange slice, and a maraschino cherry. Courtesy of Tiki King.