Quail en Nogada for two

 quail recipe - romantic recipesQuail en Nogada for two

This recipe is part of a collection of romantic recipes, A Dash of Passion. See the full list of recipes here.

Two Wild quail stuffed with green chile, feta cheese and quinoa, served with a creamy nogada (walnut~crème fraîche) sauce, cilantro Sprouts and pomegranate seeds

Nogada Sauce

In Cuisinart or blender, mix half-cup each creme fraiche and walnuts; puree until smooth.

Add 1 cup cream and 3T brandy

Adjust with salt.

Quail Stuffing

¼ pound butter
1 large onion
3 cups apple, peeled and chopped
2T Garic
1T Cumin
1 tsp coriander

Remove from heat, in a mixing bowl combine sauté with:
6 cups cooked quinoa
¾ cup green Chile
2 cups feta cheese
1 cup cilantro
1 tsp salt

Fill each quail cavity with stuffing, grill for 5 minutes on each side. Finish in 400 degree oven for 8 minutes with half a cup of extra quail stuffing. Meanwhile, gently heat Nogada sauce on low heat, be careful not to overheat.

To plate, place extra stuffing in bowl, top with quail, nogada sauce and finish with pomegranate seeds and cilantro sprouts. Serve in bowl garnished with 1 T pomegranate seeds and sprinkling of fresh cilantro.


This recipe is from Jennifer Hart, owner of Taos’ The Love Apple. What Jennifer appreciates most about Valentine’s Day is its sweetness. It’s the opportunity it gives us all, she explains, to “share a dish for two with your partner, enjoy each other’s company and savor the sensual. A time to be together.

“Valentine’s Day is one of our most popular days,” she goes on. And no wonder! The restaurant’s home is an intimate, 17th century northern New Mexico chapel. “It’s extraordinarily romantic!” With the open clean space of the hearth, the large twinkling chandelier, candlelight reflecting in the big handcarved mirror and the chapel’s thick, protective adobe walls, a couple can sit amidst all the other guests and yet feel held in privacy, in the intimacy of the sanctuary’s play of shadow and light.

The Love Apple features regional, organic homecooking. “We always do a different special menu every year for Valentine’s Day, based on sensual foods,” Jen says. “One year we served these wonderful warm chocolate crepes made to order. Every year we feature oysters, chocolate, bacon, romantic things you can share. And we play old bluesy, jazzy music, like Ain’t No Sunshine When You’re Gone.”

Warning: It’s the kind of place it’s easy to imagine someone being so impassioned by, so turned on to the ambiance, the food, the company, that suddenly he (or she!) would find themselves down on one knee, in the classic marriage proposal pose.

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