My Grandma and Her Impeccable Palate

(Story by Erin Wade / Photos courtesy of Erin Wade) 

In the 1980s, my grandma drove a Plymouth Champ. It was one of those tiny two-doors with good gas mileage—like a Gremlin or a Pacer—that was churned out in the aftermath of the oil embargo. Hers was brownish yellow, the color of good Dijon. One spring afternoon, my mom and grandma were cleaning the house for garden club when my mom realized she was short coffee mugs. These were the early, heady days of Martha Stewart—paper cups freshly shunned—so Grandma took off for her apartment to get the good mugs.

A mile into her journey, Grandma and the Champ were broadsided by a carload of teenage drivers who ran a stop sign. The Champ was totaled. Undeterred, my whiplashed grandma unfolded herself, spoke to the police, and hitched a ride from the nice gentleman who witnessed the accident—first to her apartment for the coffee cups, then back across town to our house, just in time for the party.

The fact that I share genes with someone who managed to get the damn party mugs even after she was T-boned in a tin can, is perhaps why I have survived, thus far, in the restaurant industry.

But I’ll never be as tough as my grandma. She was from that generation that was born into war, came of age in the Great Depression—when people saved bits of string and patched their underwear—and entered adulthood just in time for another war. On top of this, my grandma’s husband—the love of her life—died of cancer not long after they had moved away from her closest friends and family.

Despite it all, I never heard her complain. But she wasn’t particularly fawning or lovey-dovey. What we think of as nurturing, nowadays, usually involves talking about our feelings, working them over like bread dough. Grandma didn’t go there: She rubbed your feet and made you a good meal—fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, and chocolate cake, if you were really broken-hearted.

A lot of people bandy about the expression “food is love,” but they don’t exactly mean it. My grandma would never have said something namby-pamby like that, but cooking was how she loved. Mealtimes during the holidays, with my mom and aunt and grandma crowded together in the kitchen, squawking about what they were making and would make, peppering one another with cooking questions they already knew the answers to, was when she was happiest.

Nowadays, we might say she had an impeccable palate—and she did—but it was more than that. It was more a matter of ethics. She had a quirky, stubborn sense of right and wrong in all matters pertaining to food. You could always tell how much she liked something just by looking at her face.

A few of the things that turned up her nose: potatoes cut in large or sloppy chunks, mostly in soup but also in potato salad; too-thick soups, which were dubbed “wallpaper paste;” the dubious spice, mace; floury or pale gravy; under-seasoned anything; the liberal use of cinnamon; overly sweet desserts; fussy food; funky liqueurs; muddled flavors.

Some things she loved: pan-frizzled pork chops with a salty crust; Manhattan clam chowder; a bowl of posole at La Fonda; platters of tomatoes and scallions sliced open and simply salted; kolaches with California apricots; slightly tart fruit pie with a flaky crust; sauerkraut; mayonnaise; chocolate.

But she didn’t fetishize food or put cooking on a pedestal. She cut onions in the palm of her hand, and apples for her pies with her thumb as a backstop. Cooking was an everyday affair meant for everyone—unpretentious and real.  “If you like to eat, and you can read, you can cook,” she used to say.

Of the staple dishes she made hundreds or perhaps thousands of times in her life, she expected near-monastic purity and straightforwardness. She didn’t like any “guff.” But as Marcella Hazan says, “Simple is not the same as easy.” Which is why she never stopped critiquing her cooking—usually aloud and while you were eating it.  It was, occasionally, exhausting. Sometimes, you just wanted to enjoy the pie, not hear about how it needed more lemon juice or a few minutes longer in the oven.

My grandma died before I opened my first restaurant, Vinaigrette, in Santa Fe, but I like to think I’ve inherited her palate and good food sense (all of the ladies in my family have), and that they’ve kept me out of trouble. But in the years since I opened my first restaurant, the food world has gotten harder to navigate. There is a relentless hunger for whatever is new and exotic, even if it’s ridiculous. The other day, I caught myself considering offering a Wheatgrass Latte for the cafe at Modern General, until Grandma’s face flashed before my eyes, with an expression that would have curdled nut milk.

And while working on the menu for the wine bar and bistro we were opening on Central Avenue in Albuquerque, I felt my clarity faltering. Everything I came up with was, in my grandma’s words, a bunch of malarkey. It had no soul. Trying to root out the one undone thing in the ever-expanding cosmos of food feels a fool’s errand, like riding a treadmill of trying-to-be-cool. I needed to get back to solid ground.

I about-faced to the dishes my mom and grandma made when I was growing up: Chicken Chasseur, Spare Ribs with Sauerkraut, Deviled Stew. I craved the way that food made me feel: cared for, safe, part of something.

We named the bistro The Feel Good. Copies of old, battle-tested recipes, splotched with oil and sauce, yellowed with years and crammed full of my grandma’s slanted, baroque cursive, hang in the hallways and behind the bar. This tidbit about Stuffed Green Peppers came from a letter to my aunt:

I take the tops from pepper and take out seeds.  You can either leave whole or cut in half. I usually buy large peppers and cut in half. I used to always put in large pan and par boil, but have almost quitthe only advantage is it makes the peppers not quite so strong tasting. For my meat mixture I just dump. I usually make a big batch so I usually use about 1 ½ lbs of meat, cracker crumbs (about 15-20 single) (depends on how much you want to stretch the meat)

It goes on—confusing and ambiguous the whole way through, regaling my poor Aunt Judy with every detail of her endless tinkering. For my grandma, a recipe was a living thing, always evolving, but also tethered to its beginnings.

Maybe looking backward is just nostalgia—that rosy perspective on the past that buffs away its harsh edges. Or maybe it’s a kind of acknowledgment that we are here on the shoulders of a whole lot of folks, many of them women, who have quietly held us all together, making now possible.

It feels good to honor that.

Erin Wade is the owner of Vinaigrette and Modern General in Santa Fe; Vinaigrette, Modern General and Feel Good in Albuquerque and Vinaigrette in Austin, Texas. As her website states, “Much of the produce for Santa Fe and Albuquerque is grown on Erin’s 10-acre farm in Nambe, New Mexico. A farm in Gastrop, Texas supports the Austin restaurant. Sustainability is a top priority. Food waste from the restaurants returns to the farm to feed the animals, and also gets composted back to the land to feed the healthy soil.”

Still Hungry March 2019

(Story by Lynn Cline)

What’s in a bowl? Why, anything and everything, from soups and salads to candy and cherries, with or without the pits. For centuries, bowls have held things we hold dear, from a nourishing meal to the ability to enhance the body, mind and spirit. (Think, for instance, of Tibetan singing bowls used for healing and meditation.) The oldest known bowl, discovered in fragments in China’s Yuchanyan Cave, dates back some 18,300 years. That’s a lot of nourishing and healing across the millennia. We thought we’d celebrate the potent roles of bowls in our March wellness issue by sharing a few simple recipes for nourishing and comforting fare—all served in a bowl!

Ahmed Obo, Chef and Owner, Jambo Cafe

“This is a popular dish, something I’d always make for visitors who’d come to my house before I opened the restaurant. It is something that I grew up with, but after that, I made this recipe from my memory of growing up. It’s a traditional dish, a specialty on Lamu Island, where you cook it with lamb and a fusion of different cuisines. You could make it with fish, shrimp and a vegetarian version. But I particularly love it with chicken. It has been on my menu from day one.”

Jambo Coconut Chicken Curry

Serves 6-8

½ cup olive oil for cooking chicken

½ large yellow onion, diced small

1 Tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons curry powder

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 Tablespoon ground coriander

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

1 Tablespoon ginger powder

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup Roma tomatoes, diced fine

1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 ½ to 2 Tablespoons each of curry powder and turmeric

1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste

3 pounds boneless chicken thighs and breasts, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes

Olive oil, for cooking

Heat olive oil in a deep-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the onion and garlic 3-5 minutes until soft. Add all of the spices, mix well and cook 3-5 minutes until the spices start to stick to the pot. Stir in the tomato paste until softened, 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat if needed. Add the tomato, cooking 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in coconut milk and chicken or vegetable stock, mixing thoroughly. Turn up heat to medium-high and boil for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and add the salt, simmering for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While sauce is simmering, sprinkle chicken with curry powder, turmeric and salt. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil until shimmering. Cook the chicken in batches until the flesh is firm. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Transfer chicken to the curry sauce and serve.

Jambo Cafe is located at 2010 Cerrillos Road in College Plaza Shopping Center in Santa Fe,, 505.473.1269.

Scott Eastburn, Chef, Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen

“The star of this dish is the spicy tahini dressing. Creamy, nutty and tangy with a hint of spice, this versatile sauce can work as a salad dressing, a condiment or as a sauce in this dish. I stumbled upon this sauce shortly after our first Chinese New Year celebration one year ago. Mixed with stir fry vegetables and chilled noodles, a dish was created where individual components are both celebrated and brought together in a cohesive and addictive way.”

Warm Noodle Bowl with Spicy Tahini Dressing

(Serves 6-8)

Spicy Tahini Dressing

1 cup tahini

1 cup rice wine vinegar

3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon tamari

2 Tablespoons sesame oil

2 Tablespoons sambal

Noodle Bowl

2 cups chilled Asian noodles

2-3 Tablespoons neutral oil such as sunflower

1-2 cups chopped vegetables per serving

3-4 ounces tahini dressing per serving

4-6 ounces protein per serving (optional add-ons include tofu, tempeh, shrimp or house-made buffalo sausage)

2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients for spicy tahini dressing in bowl with wire whisk. (Can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated.) Chop 1-2 cups of hearty stir-fry vegetables per person. (Can be prepared one day ahead.)

Prepare and chill about 2 cups of Asian-style noodles (glass, soba, rice, udon) according to package directions. (May be prepared ahead of time and kept refrigerated. I find this works best if noodles are kept wet.)

Stir fry vegetables in an oiled wok or deep sauté pan on high heat using a few splashes of water until vegetables are cooked and tender. Add 3-4 ounces of dressing per serving to stir fry and mix so sauce comes to simmer.

Add stir fry with sauce to drained chilled noodles. Toss and serve. Top with fresh cilantro and optional prepared protein. (A simple marinade for proteins for this dish is tamari with a few dashes of garlic powder and ginger.)

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen is located at 1512 Pacheco Street, Building B in Santa Fe,, 505.795.7383.

Xavier Grenet, Chef and Owner, Restaurant L’Olivier

“I grew up outside of Paris, eating French onion soup when it got cold, in the winter. My grandmother, my grandfather and my mom all cooked onion soup. It was something we ate to feel better because it makes you sweat. They used to call French onion soup the poor man’s soup in France, because onions were growing everywhere and easy to find. Everyone has their own recipe and adds their own things. I add white wine and beef broth. And I add soy sauce. I don’t think many people do. But everyone does it a little differently. I enjoy this soup with a glass of Chablis.”

French Onion Soup

Serves 4

2 ½ ounces butter

1 pound yellow onions, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1½ cups dry white wine

4 cups beef stock

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

Salt and pepper for seasoning

1 baguette, sliced at an angle into slices 41/2-inches thick

8 slices Emmental cheese

Parsley, for garnish

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions to the pan and salt them right away. Caramelize onions by cooking for 20 minutes over medium heat, constantly stirring so they don’t burn. Stir in white wine and reduce over high heat. Add beef stock and soy sauce and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.

While soup is simmering, pre-heat broiler. Toast baguette slices. Ladle soup into four bowls, top with baguette slices and cover with 2-3 slices of cheese per bowl. Broil with a watched eye and serve, garnished with parsley.

Restaurant L’Olivier is located at 229 Galisteo St. in Santa Fe,, 505.989.1919.

Gurubachan Kaur Khalsa, Chef and Owner, Mata G’s Vegetarian Kitchen

“When I travel, I try things and then I create a recipe that tastes similar. When I was in Cabo San Lucas, we stayed in a hotel where the chef made some delicious food like this dish. With my food background and what I know about the taste of spices, like saffron, I made up my own recipe for this dish. I made up most of the dishes that I make in my restaurant…My idea in opening this restaurant was to show how wonderful vegetarian food can be—how tasty and healthy.”

Moroccan Couscous with Tofu Shish Kabobs

Serves 4-6

1 10-ounce box of couscous, cooked according to directions

Saffron Garbanzo Tomato Sauce

4  cloves garlic, cut into pieces

3 Tablespoons virgin olive oil

1  medium white onion, peeled and diced

1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained

1 20-ounce can tomato sauce

1 cup water

Pinch of saffron

2 teaspoons cumin powder

2 teaspoons coriander powder

Salt, to taste

Sauté garlic in olive oil until slightly brown and scented. Add onion and cook until transparent.

Add garbanzos and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, water, saffron, cumin, coriander and salt and cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Garlic-Soy Sauce for Shish Kabobs

½ cup olive oil

¾ cup tamari, soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Amino

1 bulb of garlic

Combine all ingredients in a blender until liquified.

Vegetable Tofu Shish Kabobs

8 10-inch metal skewers

1 each green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper and red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and cut into large squares

2 large onions, peeled and cut into large squares

12 large white mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed

3 zucchinis, cut into large cubes

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and cut into ½-inch squares

Alternately thread vegetables and tofu on each metal skewer. (Be creative with your palette.)

Position oven rack so it’s below the broiler and pre-heat the broiler. Liberally brush vegetables and tofu skewers with Garlic-Soy Sauce and place skewers on baking sheet. Broil in oven for 4-5 minutes, then turn skewers over, brush with more sauce and broil for a few more minutes, until browned. You can also cook these on an outdoor grill for about 5 minutes, turning, until well grilled.

Serve couscous in the middle of a bowl, ladle Saffron Garbanzo Tomato Sauce on top and place vegetable tofu shish kabobs on top.

Mata G’s Vegetarian Kitchen is located at 116 Amherst Dr. in Albuquerque,, 505.266.6374.

Still Hungry Feb 19

Story by Cullen Curtiss

Valentine’s Day is arguably February’s only boast and there’s a culinary angle, so naturally, we embrace it. In honor, we reached out to three award-winning regional chefs to share dishes designed to titillate! Because, while for some, Valentine’s Day is about sending candygrams, collecting a gazillion Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, hoping for a dozen roses and chocolate, or bestowing the cheesiest Hallmark card on your BFF you can find; for others, it’s about getting down with the one you love (or would like to love), if only for one night. Try these aphrodisiac-infused and -inspired recipes and report back. Oh wait, no, don’t do that. Just smile, enjoy life, continue to read Still Hungry and eat well.

“Oysters have long had an association with romance in Western culture. When one combines them with a luxury ingredient such as caviar, also a purported aphrodisiac, you get a seductive double-whammy! The Lemon Cloud is optional but adds an element of surprise, which is in itself titillating to the senses.” -Charles Dale, Director, New Mexico Fine Dining







Oysters on the Half-Shell with Lemon Cloud and Caviar

6 Blue point oysters (or similar)

Vegetable stock (or use a good quality pre-made vegetable stock)
1/4 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced celery
2 Tablespoons diced onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 lemon (zested and juiced)

Lemon Cloud
4 ounces of cold butter chopped into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper to taste
1 teaspoon soy lecithin granules
1 Tablespoon caviar

Using an oyster knife, shell the oysters and set them on ice in a serving bowl.

If you are making your own stock, combine the carrot, celery, onion and olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat, and sauté the vegetables for six minutes, or until vegetables have softened and the onion is translucent. Add the white wine, water, lemon juice and zest and bring to a boil over medium heat reducing the volume by two-thirds.

For the lemon cloud, strain out the vegetables, reserving the liquid into a blender, add the butter, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Add the soy lecithin and blend another 45 seconds until foamy. Alternately, a whisk may be used.

Spoon the lemon cloud atop each oyster then, with a small spoon, add 1/2 teaspoon of caviar on top of the lemon cloud. Serve pronto.

Dish compliments of the culinary team at NM Fine Dining, featured on Valentine’s evening at Bouche Bistro, 451 W Alameda in Santa Fe,, 505.982.6297.

“Pomegranate juice was tested and research shows that it is one of the fruits that helps promote healthy sexual functioning in men, so that says it all, baby!! And this is a lovely dessert that cleanses the palate after a romantic dinner.”  -Mark Kiffin, Chef and Owner, The Compound Restaurant








Pear Sorbet with Pomegranate Reduction

Pear Sorbet
1 pint pear purée
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Whisk ingredients together and place in ice cream maker, following manufacturer’s directions until frozen.

Gewürztraminer Jelly
1 cup Gewürztraminer wine
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
6 sheets gelatin

Heat wine, sugar and water in a large saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Add gelatin sheets. Pour into a 9 x 11 Pyrex pan. Chill until firm and then cut into brunoise-sized pieces (3mm or less).

Pomegranate Reduction
8 ounces pomegranate juice
1 cup sugar

Whisk together and bring to a simmer in a saucepan. Reduce to half until syrup coats the back of a spoon. Remove and chill.

3 ounces fresh pomegranate seeds

Add Gewürztraminer Jelly pieces to serving dish, add scoop of sorbet, drizzle pomegranate reduction over the top and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.

The Compound Restaurant is located at 653 Canyon Road in Santa Fe,, 505.982.4353.

“Spiced Chocolate Pots de Crème is one of our favorite desserts at Doc’s. This romantic recipe is all about the aphrodisiacs with both chile and chocolate to turn things up. If you are looking for a delicious date indulgence you cannot go wrong here!” -Bill Hartig, Chef, Doc Martin’s at Taos Inn






Spiced Chocolate Pots de Crème

Makes 4 servings

2.5 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 ancho chiles, dried and whole
2 New Mexico red chiles, dried and whole
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks

Garnish with whipped cream and red chile powder to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place half and half, vanilla extract, star anise, cinnamon stick and whole chiles into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir while agitating spices until it begins to boil, and then add chocolate chips and sugar to dissolve. Temper into a strainer over a bowl containing the yolks. Discard spice remnants.                  

Whip eggs into half-and-half mixture. Fill ramekins three-quarters full. Place ramekins in the center of a Pyrex baking dish. Fill dish with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of cups. Cover tightly with foil; poke several holes in foil. Bake until custard is set around edges but wobbly in center, about 25 minutes.

Remove cups from water bath, and let custards cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover (with anything—plastic wrap, foil, ramekin lid), and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Top with fresh whipped cream and dust with chile powder.

Doc Martins Restaurant is located at 125 Pueblo Del Norte in Taos,, 575.758.1977.

Still Hungry, July 2018

(Story by Cullen Curtiss)

After these long and lovely days of bright desert light and intense heat, we sigh in response to the Earth’s rotation and the sky’s slow softening into pastel-perfect mauves and oranges. But we’re not tired! And we refuse to say goodnight to the charms of summer! We’re drawn to the cool, clear air of the star-bedazzled night, beckoning us to stream out in search of pulse, flavor, passion and exciting, flirty dialogue!

Yes, we all feel the same! So, we’re reminding you of some delightful evening treasures in Taos, Albuquerque and Santa Fe that specialize in nearly 24/7 hospitality. Do not resist the calling from The Adobe Bar at the Taos Inn, the Inn of the Anasazi’s Bar and Lounge, Sandia’s Council Room, or Julia’s in La Posada.

At all four hotel venues, you can enjoy a light, delicious bite and world-class entertainment well into the evening hours. And should you want to replicate your culinary experience at home, we have included a late-night bite recipe, compliments of each locale’s chef. Bring on the night!

Taos Inn Adobe Bar
Mediterranean Spinach Salad
by Executive Chef Bill Hartig

Red Wine Vinaigrette 

¼ cup fresh oregano leaves

1 small shallot

3 cloves garlic

½ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 Tablespoon sugar

½ Tablespoon salt

½ Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1½ Tablespoons grapeseed oil

In a food processor, blend everything except the oil. Slowly add in oil to emulsify well.

10 ounces spinach

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 heirloom tomato, diced

¾ cup roasted red bell peppers

¼ cup piñon nuts

½ cup feta cheese

Kalamata olives

In a large serving bowl, toss the spinach, red onion, tomato, roasted red bell peppers and piñon nuts. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Top with feta and Kalamata olives and serve immediately.

The Taos Inn Adobe Bar is located at 125 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte in Taos, 575.758.2233, Big Swing Theory plays Fridays, 4:30- 9:30 p.m.








Inn of the Anasazi Restaurant, Bar and Lounge
Red Chile Popcorn “Bird Food”
by Executive Chef Edgar Beas

Non-stick cooking spray

2 cups popcorn

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds

½ ounce butter

1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon corn syrup

1 teaspoon molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon red chile powder

Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray and pour in popcorn and seeds under a medium-high flame. Fit with a lid and monitor popping. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt butter in a separate saucepan and add sugar, corn syrup and molasses. Bring to a boil. When it boils, let it cook for 2 minutes longer. Turn off heat, add vanilla, salt, baking soda and red chile powder. Spread popped corn over a cookie sheet and pour liquid mixture over it and mix. Cook for ½ hour in the oven, stirring every 15 minutes. Pour onto a tray and cool. Enjoy!

The Anasazi Restaurant is located at 113 Washington Ave. in Santa Fe, 505.988.3030,  Daniele Spadavecchia plays Saturdays, from 7 to 10 p.m.








Sandia Resort & Casino
Council Room Fish Tacos
by Executive Chef Tony Trujillo

7-ounce filet of boneless, skinless haddock or other white fish of your choice

6-inch white corn tortillas

½ fresh avocado slices

Lime (for garnish)

Cajun Spice

5 Tablespoons kosher salt

1 Tablespoon coarse ground pepper

3 Tablespoons Spanish paprika

2 Tablespoons granulated garlic

1 Tablespoon chile flakes

1 Tablespoon Mexican oregano

2 cups olive/vegetable oil blend

Citrus Slaw

1 bundle fresh cilantro

2 cups shredded cabbage

6 ounces fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro Crema

1 bundle fresh cilantro

1 cup water

½ Tablespoon kosher salt

2 cups sour cream

Combine all dry ingredients of Cajun Spice and add to 2 cups olive/vegetable oil blend in a Ziploc plastic bag. Add the boneless skinless haddock and marinate for 4 to 6 hours.

For the Citrus Slaw, coarsely chop fresh cilantro and add to the shredded cabbage, and then add fresh lime juice and season to taste. Toss mixture until well incorporated.

For the Cilantro Crema, combine fresh cilantro, water and kosher salt into blender and blend until cilantro is completely broken down. Whisk mixture into sour cream in a separate bowl until well incorporated.

To make the tacos:

On a flat grill, cook haddock on both sides for 4-5 minutes each. Split piece of haddock into two and cook until no longer translucent, but more opaque. Wet white corn tortillas with water and place on flat grill for 20 seconds each side. Place corn tortillas on plate, then layer citrus slaw, haddock and lastly the Cilantro Crema. Garnish with fresh avocado slices and lime wedges.

Sandia Resort & Casino is located at 30 Rainbow Road, NE in Albuquerque, 505.796.7500, Groove City plays July 27 and 28 at the Tlur Pa Lounge.







La Posada de Santa Fe
Crab Enchiladas
By Executive Chef Tom Kerpon

Makes a total of 12 enchiladas.

1 medium green pepper

1 medium red pepper

1 medium white onion

18 ounces canned crabmeat

12 six-inch blue corn tortillas

1 bunch fresh chopped cilantro (for garnish)

¼ cup pickled red onions (for garnish)

White Mole Sauce

¼ cup blended oil

½ ounce pepitas

¼ Tablespoon coriander seeds

1 star anise

¼ cinnamon stick

.375 ounces sunflower seeds

½ ounces pine nuts

¼ ounce white sesame seeds

½ ounce sliced almonds

¼ quart water

2 ounces white chocolate morsels

¼ Tablespoon salt

To make the mole sauce:

Heat oil to 250 degrees. Fry the dry ingredients (except white chocolate and salt) in the oil, one ingredient at a time, until the item is golden brown. Use a chinois (a conical sieve with an extremely fine mesh) to strain each ingredient, reserving the oil to fry the next ingredient. As you fry the ingredients, place them in the blender. Once all the ingredients are fried—and you are ready to serve the enchiladas—re-use the oil and add with the water, white chocolate morsels and salt to the blender and blend until smooth.

To prepare the crabmeat:

Chop the red and green peppers and white onion. Sauté the peppers and onion until done to satisfaction. Drain the oil and set aside. Place the crabmeat on a grill or pan and warm for 2 to 3 minutes. Mix the crabmeat with the peppers and white onion.

To make the enchiladas:

Place crabmeat mixture in each tortilla and roll up. Place three enchiladas on each plate. Pour mole sauce over enchiladas. Garnish plates with chopped cilantro and pickled red onions.

Julia: A Spirited Restaurant & Bar at La Posada de Santa Fe is located at 330 E. Palace Ave. in Santa Fe, 505.986.0000,  Nacha Mendez plays Fridays on the outdoor patio with friends, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Image by Frank Cordero

Image by Frank Cordero


Still Hungry for June

Image courtesy of Santa Fe Farmers Market

Image courtesy of Santa Fe Farmers Market

(Story by Cullen Curtiss)

Did you know that feeling ‘still hungry’ is a grave reality for a staggering 25 percent of New Mexico kids, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2017? This vulnerable population is described as food insecure, meaning they lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. As you might imagine, this puts our state’s kids at higher risk for a lifetime of health issues, including poor cognitive development.

Of course, a lot of organizations are working on solutions. Take the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute, for instance, whose Local Food for Local Kids program supports the Power of Produce Club, the aim of which is to engage the whole family and “establish a foundation for a lifetime of healthy and locally based eating habits.” The approach is fun, tasty and intentionally non-nutrition instructive. Program Director Melissa Willis says, “We present the idea of fresh fruits and vegetables in a fun way that doesn’t feel pushy. And once we have the family here, we can let them know about Double Up Food Bucks.” With DUFB, families on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can double their fresh-produce spending power at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Markets and select grocery stores. Melissa reports $200,000 in DUFB sales in 2017.

So, what’s the fun and tasty draw? Through POP Club, over the course of five weeks at any of the three weekday markets offered in the summer, children and their families participate in hands-on experiential activities, such as building seed mosaics, crafting colorful shopping bags, and vegetable printing, as well as the Two-Bite Club, an ingenious and gentle way to encourage that second bite of a new-to-you food, generally a sample from the Market Fresh Cooking demos. “Kids are comfortable with what’s familiar. With Two-Bite Club, the Farmers’ Market rewards that brave second bite with a $2 token to be used on any fresh produce.” And families walk away with a new recipe to try at home.

POP Club 2017 surveys indicate 63 percent of respondents reported that their child’s interest in eating fresh produce increased. In fact, one child was reported to have said she wanted the tooth fairy to give her Farmers’ Market tokens instead of money. Easily achieved, as are the following four recipes—vetted and adored by Santa Fe POP Club families.

Sign up for POP Club at any Market, July 10 Aug. 8. For more information about POP Club, visit To find out more about DUFB, visit

Zoodles with Cherry Tomato Pop Sauce

Zoodles / Courtesy of Santa Fe Farmers Market

Zoodles / Courtesy of Santa Fe Farmers Marke

by Laura McCann, MS, RD, LD

Zucchini ingredients:

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound zucchini, cut into ribbons with vegetable peeler, mandolin or spiralizer

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce ingredients:

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

3 pints cherry tomatoes

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup fresh basil, shredded

Freshly grated Parmesan for serving

Method for zucchini:

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Add zucchini, salt and pepper and toss gently for 1-3 minutes. Avoid overcooking or zucchini will get soggy.

Method for sauce:

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook and stir occasionally until tomatoes burst and release their juices—about 6-8 minutes. Serve over zucchini ribbons and top with fresh basil and Parmesan.

Sautéed Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Serves 4-5

Sauté ingredients:

2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 bunches of carrots (about 10 total; cut off tops and save), chopped into thin medallions

Pesto ingredients:

1/3 cup walnuts, pine nuts or pecans

1 clove garlic

2 cups rinsed carrot tops (remove the longer tough stems)

½ cup fresh basil

½ cup Parmesan

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method for sauté:

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots. Sauté until the carrots soften and start to caramelize.

Method for pesto:

In a food processor, pulse nuts and garlic. Add carrot tops, basil, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as processor is running until pesto is smooth and consistent, scraping down the sides as necessary. Process until combined. Top the carrots with the drizzle of the pesto.

Peach-Cherry Smoothie

1 handful fresh, local spinach (or any other leafy green in season/readily available: kale, Swiss chard, beet greens)

½ cup almond milk (or preferred milk)

½ cup fresh or frozen cherries (pitted)

2 medium peaches

Put the spinach and milk in the bottom of the blender. Add the cherries and the peaches. Blend and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from and

Sautéed Asparagus with Herbs and Pecans

Serves 4

1 – 2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 bundle asparagus, trimmed

Salt and pepper to taste

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon red chile powder

1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice

¼ cup unsalted pecans, chopped and lightly toasted

Add oil to non-stick skillet on medium low heat. Add asparagus, increase to medium-high heat and sauté. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, red chile, and citrus. Cook for 5-7 minutes, flipping spears for even cooking. Spears should stay bright green for best eating. Close to the end of the 5-7 minutes, toss in toasted pecans. Serve immediately.


Santa Fe Farmers’ Markets:
Tuesday Market (Tuesdays, May 1 – Nov. 20 at the Railyard, 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

El Mercado Del Sur (Wednesdays, July 3 – Sept. 25 in Plaza Contenta, 3 – 6 p.m.)

Wednesday Evening Market (Wednesdays, July 4 – Sept. 26 at the Railyard, 3 – 6 p.m.)







Still Hungry?

(Story by Cullen Curtiss / Photos by Joy Godfrey)

Remember that one long afternoon spent among friends and family on a porch under the blossoming tree in your backyard? The sun had that spring strength and all of you around the long wooden table absorbed the warmth in your skin so you stayed comfortable long after the yellow ball and horizon met. Remember the spicy stories and the generous laughter? Remember how the kids turned on the sprinkler and the dog chased them through it again and again and again? And remember the sensational, so special and so perfect pairing of food and drink that was at once savory, sweet, crunchy, tart, creamy, refreshing and hearty? You can have that all again. In fact, Local Flavor wants to foster that moment for you and yours, so we reached out to three Albuquerque restaurants that embrace the open air and all of the frivolity and flavor it brings. Thank you to the chefs and mixologists of Level 5, Savoy Wine Bar & Grill and Zacatecas—your pairings honor spring beautifully, and are a true gift to friendship! Salud!

Image byJoy Godfrey

Image byJoy Godfrey

Level 5 at Hotel Chaco
Sweet, savory and tart is the Hummingbird and Achiote Chicken Skewers pairing. A tribute to spring, this refreshing drink is inspired by the beauty and diversity of hummingbirds. The achiote offers the pepper that levels the Hummingbird’s sweetness; the aioli grounds; and the slaw is as refreshing!

by Mixologist Patrick Hendricks

1 ½ ounces Patron Barrel Select Reposado (infused with dried hibiscus)
¾ ounce Damiana liqueur
½ ounce lime juice
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

(For the full hummingbird effect, place one hibiscus-flower leaf in each box of the ice tray and then add water and freeze. Or add 3 hibiscus pieces to the drink as it’s being prepared.) Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake vigorously; strain over ice in a rocks glass. Top with tonic water.


Achiote Chicken Skewers 
by Chef Patrick Mohn

For the meat:
15 bamboo skewers
5 chicken thighs, each skinless and boneless

For the marinade: 
2 Tablespoons achiote paste
½ garlic clove, minced
4 ounces of vegetable oil
2 ounces of lemon juice
2 ounces of orange juice
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Soak skewers in water for 2 hours; create marinade 2 hours in advance. Cut each thigh into 3 strips. Puree all ingredients except chicken and salt and pepper. Toss chicken in marinade—do either 2 hours before or up to 12 hours and let sit overnight. Skewer the chicken thighs. Heat cast-iron griddle on medium heat or turn on outdoor grill. Season skewers on both sides and cook until done, approximately 5-6 minutes on each side.

Lemon aioli for dipping:
1 cup mayonnaise
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried mushroom powder
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and season to taste; incorporate well.

Tumbled Slaw:
1 gold beet
1 daikon radish
1 carrot
¼ cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons honey
1/8 cup of white vinegar
1/8 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Peel beet, daikon and carrot. Shred each with large grater or cut in thin strips julienne-style. Put all other ingredients in blender and season to taste. Toss vegetables in dressing. Serve skewers over dressed slaw with aioli on the side.

Level 5 Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge is located at Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque, 2000 Bellamah Ave. NW, 505.318.3998,

Image by Joy Godfrey

Image by Joy Godfrey

Bartender Chandra Hughes says, “The flavors of Chef Estrada’s coconut lime seafood ceviche swept me away to days lounging on the beach and sipping on my granny’s rum punch, a classic cocktail from the Caribbean. I wanted to preserve and yet bring a whole new style to the drink. A nicely aged Reposado containing vanilla- and wood-spiced notes easily carries the weight of the Angostura bitters. A bit of muddled serrano introduces the heat so familiar to this region.”

El Hidalgo 
by Bartender Chandra Hughes

Serrano pepper, sliced and muddled (spice to taste preference)
2 ounces Chinco Reposado
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1½ ounces lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup

Start by muddling the serranos, then add tequila, bitters, lime juice and simple syrup. Mix all contents together, add ice, shake well and strain in a coupe glass (it will be served up), garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy!

Coconut Lime Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche
by Chef Rodney Estrada

1 whole coconut, cut in half
1 can coconut milk
3 whole sprigs of mint
1 pound bay scallops
2 cups lime juice or enough to cover scallops
1 pound shrimp
2 serrano chiles
1 red onion, diced
3 scallions, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small cucumber, seeded and diced
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

On a clean cutting board, place a whole coconut in your non-working hand; use the blunt side of a knife or cleaver to hit the coconut in the middle. Once you see a crack in the coconut, continue to hit it until both sides come apart. Save milk. In a small saucepan, bring the canned coconut milk and fresh milk to a gentle simmer over a medium-low heat. Hold the gentle simmer until the coconut milk reduces by about a quarter (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove from the heat and add the whole mint sprigs. Cool completely. Remove the mint sprigs and discard. In a medium, nonreactive bowl (glass or stainless steel are best), combine the scallops and lime juice. Refrigerate the scallops in the lime juice until it is cooked (3 to 4 hours) so that the scallops are cooked completely through. Drain about three-quarters of the liquid from the scallop-lime combination (the rest you will add to the scallop and shrimp mixture at the end). In another small pot, bring seasoned water from the shrimp to a boil. Bring water to a boil and proceed to cook shrimp until done. Cool shrimp in an ice bath, dice, and place aside.

Add the reduced coconut milk, chiles, onions, scallions, red pepper and cucumber to the scallops and shrimp mixture. Add the lime juice that you saved, and toss the mixture to coat, then season with salt, black pepper and sugar. Add additional lime juice for more flavor. Scoop ceviche into halved coconuts and place in bowls over ice and banana leaves. Garnish with cilantro and tortilla chips or as pictured, garmish with plantain strips seasoned with Chimayo chile.

Zacatecas Tacos + Tequila + Bourbon is located at 3423 Central Ave. NE in Albuquerque, 505.255.8226,

Image by Joy Godfrey

Image by Joy Godfrey

Savoy Wine Bar & Grill
“The Black Widow cocktail pairs wonderfully with the Baked Local Goat Cheese, a combination of sweet and savory,” Savoy Bar Manager Jake Goodmon says. Chef Frans Dinkelmann agrees, and adds, “Ingredients that go well together are not always in season together, so this is my favorite way to use the cranberries we saved in the fall, by crusting them on a fresh local chèvre at peak season.”

Black Widow 
by Bar Manager Jake Goodmon

4-6 blackberries, muddled
2 basil leaves, muddled
1½ ounces Sauza Black Barrel Tequila
½ of a fresh squeezed lime
Splash of cranberry juice
Splash of egg white

Muddle blackberries and basil in a shaker, add the rest of the ingredients and shake vigorously, strain over clean ice in a Collins glass, garnish with a lime wedge and blackberry on a pick.

Baked Local Goat Cheese 
by Chef Frans Dinkelmann

Cranberry-Black Pepper Chutney   
Serves 2-4

1 Tablespoon shallots, chopped
1 Tablespoon jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon black pepper, fresh coarse ground
¼ cup Champagne vinegar
Kosher salt to taste

In a sauté pan over medium heat, sweat the shallots and jalapeno until soft and fragrant. Add the cranberries and the pepper and continue until warmed thoroughly. Add the vinegar and reduce until it is all absorbed. Season with salt and refrigerate until cool.

Prosciutto Chip
1 medium piece of prosciutto, sliced deli thin

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Place prosciutto on a cookie rack on top of a baking sheet and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, keeping the door slightly open so it can dehydrate but the edges won’t burn. When the meat is almost crisp, remove and let cool. It will continue to harden as it cools.

Goat Cheese & Baguette
Large chèvre log (Chef Frans uses goat cheese from Estancia’s Old Windmill Dairy.)
Small baguette
Garlic oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Form chèvre into a 3½-ounce ball, place the chutney in a small mixing bowl and roll the chèvre around in the chutney until evenly covered on all sides, using your hands to help pack the chutney on. Refrigerate until ready to bake. Slice 5 pieces from a baguette at about ½-inch thickness and spray with garlic oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast the baguette slices until crispy and brown. Place the goat cheese in a 350-degree oven until warm (approximately 4-6 minutes) but still firm enough to keep its shape. Remove and place on serving dish. Position the baguette slices around the goat cheese and poke the crisp prosciutto into the top of the ball so it sticks up vertically.

Savoy Wine Bar & Grill is located at 10601 Montgomery Blvd. NE in Albuquerque, 505.294.9463,