recipes

A collection of New Mexico recipes from Local Flavor Magazine’s Still Hungry series, provided by New Mexico’s local chefs, growers, authors, bartenders and residents.

Each month, we ask the leaders of New Mexico’s culinary culture for recipes that reflect not just their own style, but the flavor of life in New Mexico as well.

Past contributors have included Chef Jonathan Perno of Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Chef Michael Giese of The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, Chef Novak
of The Hollar Restaurant in Madrid, Chef Marc Quinones of Bien Shur Restaurant,  Chef Patrick Gharrity of La Casa Sena in Santa Fe, and Cheryl & Bill Jamison, authors of Tasting New Mexico: 100 Years of Distinctive Home Cooking plus many more.


Still Hungry August 2019

(Story by Cullen Curtiss)

Tradition is a gorgeous revisiting. Be it a place, a food, a time, an event. You mark your age by it, your hopes, your dreams, your health and your emotional well-being. You may have one long-standing tradition that’s been preserved over decades and generations. Perhaps it hasn’t been easy to preserve because of cost or time or priority, and yet, you preserve it because it reminds you of who you are, of what and whom you love, and who loves you.

This month, in our issue that celebrates preserving tradition and Native voices, we asked two long-standing restaurants to share their thoughts on tradition, as well as a traditional recipe for a dish that’s been served since the early days, which is 1974 for High Noon Restaurant and Saloon, and 1965 for Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante. We are better for the passionate families who have continued these traditions—thank you.

High Noon Restaurant and Saloon

Carla Villa, managing partner and daughter of founders Charley and Shirley Villa, writes: “On the wall behind our bar, above a photo of my parents and me, hangs an old street sign that reads Madrid, as in New Mexico. It is a nod to my father’s birthplace, a reminder of who I am, where I come from, and the importance of honoring our traditions. In our kitchen, the recipes are signposts from many points in our 45-year journey, some with us since the beginning, some created along the way, all of them part of the story that is told here every day through food, drink and hospitality. Every day, in the dining room or at the bar, in an email, a note in the guest book or online comment, a guest will gift me a personal story, a bit of history, one that they created in this space. Stories of meeting their husband at the bar, Christmas Eve family dinners spent with us, the first restaurant they visited after moving to Albuquerque, their first job, and so many other moments they treasure. For a long time, I thought it was only the traditions we created that I was preserving, but I know I am holding a sacred space for all of the memories created here. I cherish the task of honoring all of the traditions that are High Noon.”

Green Chile Stew

Serves 4-5

2 pounds pork cushion meat

1 Tablespoon garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 pound green chile, diced

15 ounces canned diced tomatoes

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

1 ½ gallon water

6 diced baby red potatoes

2 teaspoons coarse black pepper

1 ½ Tablespoon salt

In a stock pot, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, brown pork with the garlic and onions. Add chile, tomatoes, cumin and oregano, and simmer. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Enjoy or cool and store properly.

High Noon Restaurant and Saloon is located at 425 San Felipe St. NW in Albuquerque, 505.765.1455, highnoonrestaurant.com.

Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante

Owner Florence Jaramillo writes, “There is reason we intentionally maintain and create traditional foods—it’s because they bring meaning to our celebrations and help bond us to those we love. They lend a certain spirit that nurtures the family connection, giving us a sense of belonging and helping us celebrate generations of family. Culture and its heritage reflect and shape values, beliefs and aspirations, thereby defining a people’s national identity. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage, because it keeps our integrity as a people.”

Carne Adovada

Recipe from The Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook: The Traditional Cooking of New Mexico, 50th Anniversary Edition

Serves 6 to 8

1 Tablespoon canola/vegetable oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

8 ounces (about 25) whole, dried New Mexico red chile pods

4 cups of water

2 Tablespoons yellow onion, diced

1 Tablespoon crushed chile pequin (dried, hot New Mexican chile flakes)

1 teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano

3 pounds thick, boneless, shoulder pork chops, trimmed of fat and cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes

Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until just golden. Immediately remove from heat.

  1. Break stems off chile pods and discard seeds. (It isn’t necessary to remove every seed, but most should be removed.) Place chiles in a sink or large bowl, rinse carefully and drain.
  2. Place damp pods in one layer on a baking sheet and toast in oven for about 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Chiles can have a little remaining moisture. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Break each chile into 2 or 3 pieces. In a blender, purée half of pods with 2 cups water. (You will still be able to see tiny pieces of chile pulp.) Pour into saucepan with garlic. Repeat with remaining pods and water.
  4. Stir remaining sauce ingredients into chile sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce will thicken, but should remain a little soupy. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Stir pork into chile sauce and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Oil a large, covered baking dish. Spoon carne adovada into baking dish. Cover dish and bake until meat is completely tender and sauce has cooked down, about 3 hours. Stir once about halfway through. If sauce remains watery after 3 hours, stir well again and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more. Serve hot.

Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante is located at 300 Juan Medina Road in Chimayó, 505.351.4444, ranchodechimayo.com.

Still Hungry June 2019

(Story by Cullen Curtiss)

You can taste the sunshine, the rain, the just-plucked snap and even the hard-earned truth in local, farm-fresh ingredients. And if you’ve tasted that goodness once, you’ll likely always seek that flavor, that ethos and that commitment to strong relationships with the earth and your farming neighbors.

Fortunately, more and more restaurants and culinary organizations have recognized that their customers desire that goodness and therefore share your pledge to buy from local farmers, which is effectively improving communities, building trust and creating healthier families. This month, at the beginning of the season of plenty, we’re highlighting a few catering businesses that stand out for their commitment to sourcing from neighboring growers. Thank you, Dig & Serve, The Acre Restaurant, and Brigita’s Kitchen, for generously sharing your thoughts, recipes and images. It feels so good to be likeminded on this topic.

Dig & Serve

“We are passionate about sourcing the majority of our ingredients from local farms and producers—the other half of the Dig & Serve equation. Our dishes are of the highest quality because of their top-notch inputs. And if you’ve ever wondered if it’s really worth the difference to buy local vs. conventional, just do the taste test on this very recipe. We’ve had several guests go “pro turnip” once they tried our Turnip the Heat dish, a crowd favorite that also happens to be vegan and gluten free,” says Brandon Gregoire, founder and owner.

Turnip the Heat

Ingredients for wrap and turnip:

A few bunches of Hakurei turnips (Whole Heart Farm)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Butter leaf lettuce (Silver Leaf Farms)

Ingredients for Thai chili sauce:

4-6 Thai chilis (add more for more heat and consider substituting any hot pepper here)
3 garlic cloves
3/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch parsley (Ironwood Farm)
1 bunch cilantro (Ironwood Farm)
1/2 cup lemon juice

Salt to taste

Ingredients for garnish:

Amaranth micro greens and edible flowers (Urban Rebel Farms)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and trim turnips, leaving about ¾-inch of the greens. Toss them in a Tablespoon of olive oil. Place them whole in a roasting pan for about 12 to 15 minutes. Shake pan around the 4- and 8-minute mark. You want the turnips to still be al dente and not soft, as they taste better with a little crunch. As soon as you pull the turnips from the oven, cut in half down the middle and then into thirds. Let cool.

Now on to the sauce: Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Toss cooled turnips with sauce. Pull the large butter leaf leaves from the stem and put about 3 to 4 turnip pieces in each. Garnish with amaranth micro greens, edible flowers and a little salt.

Dig & Serve is available for travel to your location in Northern New Mexico. Visit digandserve.com for more information.

The Acre Restaurant

“The Acre works with both local farms, like Sol Harvest [Farm] and Loose Leaf [Farm], and local purveyors, such as Just The Best Produce, to source fresh, seasonal, organic, high-quality ingredients. Our relationships are very important. Our customers can’t help but smile when they see the farmers and their crates come through the door—and we do, too. To know we’re putting something wholesome, fresh and delicious into our bodies that supports our community’s economy is a beautiful thing,” says Shawn Weed, owner and chef at The Acre Restaurant.

This summery watermelon salad is the perfect dish to cool down at a summer picnic. The lemon thyme and the Lime Habanero Vinaigrette are the secrets that gives this salad a special pop and make it unique.

Watermelon and Lemon Thyme Salad with Lime and Habanero Vinaigrette

8 ounces of your favorite greens

1 3- to 4-pound watermelon

16 sprigs of lemon thyme

4 ounces crumbed goat or feta cheese

Sea salt to taste

White pepper to taste

Lime and Habanero Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

To make the salad:

In a large bowl, place the rinsed mixed greens evenly on the bottom. Cut the skin off of your watermelon, then cut into bite-sized cubes. Pull the small leaves off of the lemon thyme and discard stem. Top the greens with your watermelon, feta or goat cheese crumbles and thyme, layering. After the salad is complete, sprinkle the sea salt and white pepper over the top and serve with the dressing on the side.

Ingredients for Lime and Habanero Vinaigrette:

1 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 habanero pepper, seeded and stem removed

1 Tablespoon sea salt

4 Tablespoons agave syrup

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 cup olive oil

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except the olive oil. Run the food processor for 45 seconds or until all ingredients are combined and habanero is in tiny pieces. Next, slowly pour in the olive oil while the food processor is going, allowing the mixture to emulsify. Chill in refrigerator until ready for use.

The Acre Restaurant is located at 4410 Wyoming Blvd. NE in Albuquerque, 505.299.6973, theacrerestaurant.com.

Brigita’s Kitchen

“There is nothing like living with the seasons—their flavor, beauty, nutrition and most important, our connection to the earth and life! I am overjoyed to talk with farmers about what they’re growing this year, what they are excited about. This love comes through what they grow and expands into what I cook. It’s about connection and reciprocity. An exchange between myself and my local growers and farmers is ultimately about the gift of relationship. It is something more than an exchange of goods and money. To understand how something was grown, and by whom, gives us more awareness about the interdependence necessary just for us to eat! And then, gratitude. Always Gratitude!” says Brigita Lacovara, owner and chef.

Lilac Flower Ice Cream

by Brigita Lacovara

3 ounces lilac flowers in bloom, pulled from stem (pick a few extra to fold into mixture and for garnish)

8 ounces whole milk

16 ounces heavy cream

1/8 cup water

1 Tablespoon local honey (Taos Honey Co.)

2 Tablespoons sugar

1-inch piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin

2 local egg yolks (from your preferred farmer)

Starting Note: Put your ice-cream-maker bowl into the freezer and make sure that it has chilled the appropriate duration per the manufacturer.

In medium-sized saucepan, combine lilac, milk, heavy cream, water, honey, sugar and vanilla. Let steep for 20 minutes on very low heat, tasting intermittently for lilac flavor. Buds will begin to brown. Take off heat when lilac aroma comes through.

Strain mixture into a second saucepan, squeezing flowers to extrude liquid and flavor. Mixture should be warm to touch. Whisk in gelatin and egg yolks. Turn flame up to medium and stir attentively. Do not boil, but remove when mixture thickens or coats the back of a spoon. Strain again, back into the first (clean) saucepan.

Allow mixture to come down to room temperature, and then place into fridge for about 20 minutes; the mixture will just start to gel and thicken. Prepare ice-cream maker, pour mixture in and follow maker’s instructions.

Serve ice cream with a few fresh blossoms on top.

Chefs note: You can use any edible blossoms in this recipe, so check your garden for what’s blooming! Lavender and rose would be a delight, but you may need to adjust the amount of flowers in ratio to the potency of flavor. Lilac flowers are delicate, while lavender can be quite strong. Enjoy!

Brigitas Kitchen is based out of Taos and Santa Fe, but is available for travel to your location. Visit brigitaskitchen.com for more information.

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 May 19

(Story by Cullen Curtiss)

You’ve positioned the old, but reliable cook stove for an exquisite view of the warm, orange horizon. The minced onions and garlic are sautéing in your dad’s cast-iron skillet, and the water boils in a pot that will serve as a drum around the campfire later that night. The kids are within earshot on an errand to find firewood, though it sounds as if they’re playing tag. Your friends are pulling out extra layers, cued by the chill coming off the river. A pinyon jay caws, a tent zipper whizzes, the tin bowls are stacked, a cooler lid whines, a beer is cracked, the rolling current crescendos. You are cooking dinner in the outdoors, and it’s going to be delicious.

We know you’re as excited about the upcoming camping season as we are, and we want you to be nourished out there, so we reached out to three veterans of the wild for their tried-and-true recipes. Enjoy!

Photo by Matt Jackson

Santa Fe-based environmentalist, outdoor enthusiast, and author of Grizzly West: A Failed Attempt to Reintroduce Grizzly Bears in the Mountain West Michael

Photo by Sullivan Peraino

Dax writes: “For me, the biggest hassle about making intricate meals while away from hot, running water is having to do dishes and then properly dispose of the dirty water. This recipe allows you to precook and prepare most of the meal, so that the majority of the work is behind you when you get to camp. And if you are like I am, and prone to forgoing fresh vegetables while camping (space constraints, damage control), you’ve no excuse with this recipe—you can pre-chop and pre-marinate.”

 

 

Asian Beef Bowls

Serves 3-4 people

1 pound ground beef (or bison or elk)

¼ cup Korean barbeque sauce (approximate)

4-6 scallions

2 sweet bell peppers

½ pound carrots

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup sweet chili sauce

¼ cup fish sauce

½ cup cider vinegar

1 ½ cups rice

Sesame seeds

At Home:

Sauté the ground beef. When the meat is mostly cooked, add the barbeque sauce. When the beef is fully cooked, set it aside to cool and package in either Tupperware or a Ziploc bag.

Chop the scallions and cut the peppers and carrots into thin, julienne-type strips. In a Ziploc bag, mix the soy sauce, sweet chili pepper sauce, fish sauce and vinegar, then add the sliced vegetables. Before storing to marinate, double bag the mixture just to be sure. Let marinate for 24 hours.

At Camp:

The only thing you’ll have to cook is the rice. Reheat the ground beef mixture in a sauté pan while the rice is cooking. To assemble, put rice on the bottom, then beef, then vegetables, which should be tender from the marinade.

If you’re feeling extra fancy, add sesame seeds as a garnish.

Photo by Amanda Powell

Angelisa Murray, founder and guide of Heritage Inspirations (heritageinspirations.com), writes, “Glamping in Chaco Canyon’s wild, hard-to-reach environs warms the soul,

Photo by Angelisa Murray

creates space, and celebrates the senses. Thus, my hope is to spark the palate with something unforgettable and worthy of a nostalgic taste memory! This Chimayo Chile Pumpkin Soup is a favorite starter of mine because it is easy to prep before hitting the road. My secret ingredient—garlic olive oil—gives it that savory pow flavor. And of course, Heirloom Chimayó red chile powder infuses the color of New Mexico earth!”

Chimayo Chile Pumpkin Soup

Serves up to 12 people

One 4-pound sugar pie pumpkin

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped (pulse and mince this before leaving to make it easy to add)

4 large or 6 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced before leaving

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon cloves

3 Tablespoons garlic olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 Tablespoons (or to your heart’s delight!) Chimayó Heirloom red chile

Freshly ground black pepper

4 cups of vegetable broth

½ cup full-fat coconut milk

2 Tablespoons local Taos honey

Croutons for topping (we use leftover Sage Bakehouse bread sautéed in garlic olive oil and sea salt)

¼ cup toasted pepitas

At Home:

Heat oven 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds, halve again, and then again to make quarters. Brush or rub 1 Tablespoon of olive oil all over the flesh of the pumpkin. Place the quarters, cut sides down, onto the baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes or longer, until the orange flesh is easily pierced through with a fork. Set aside to cool.

Peel the pumpkin skin off and discard. Place in a glass container and pack in cooler along with the container of mixed spices and the container holding the minced onions and garlic.

Note: Pulse the cooked pumpkin in the blender to achieve the consistency you like.

At Camp:

Heat 3 Tablespoons garlic olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add onion, garlic and salt. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin flesh, spice mix, Chimayó chile and a touch of black pepper and stir to combine. Pour in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, to give the flavors time to blend. Stir in the coconut milk, and local Taos honey. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

Note: While cooking, you can sauté your leftover Sage bread in garlic oil until crispy and set aside on paper-towel-lined plate.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with croutons and toasted pepitas.

Photo courtesy of Wild Earth Llama Adventures

Local wilderness guide, naturalist and outdoor educator Stuart Wilde spends most of his year with a team of rescued trail llamas (llamadventures.com), leading hiking and camping trips in New Mexico. He writes, “Wild Mushroom Crostini is my absolute favorite thing to make in the backcountry. This dish can easily be made on the trail, with readily available foraged and/or purchased ingredients, with just a single-burner camp stove and a skillet. We are very fortunate to have some of the tastiest choice edible mushrooms, as well as some delicious herbs and seasonings, right in our backyard, but also at any store!”

NOTE/DISCLAIMER: Foraging for wild mushrooms and herbs should only be done by experienced and knowledgeable local experts.

Wild Mushroom Crostini

Serves 4

1 pound store-bought or wild porcini mushrooms (king bolete/boletus edulis), ¼-inch slices

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 Tablespoons chopped chives or 4 whole wild onions (bulb to flower) (nodding or Geyer’s onion/allium cernuum or geyeri), diced

½ cup white wine

1-2 teaspoons fresh oregano or 6 leaves (and flowers if in season) wild oregano (oregano de la sierra/monarda odoratissima), cut in ribbons

1/8 cup chopped parsley or a small handful (8-10 plants and flowers if in season) wild parsley (mountain parsley/cymopterus lemmonii), chopped leaves

Salt and pepper (to taste)

A few dollops goat (or cream) cheese

Fresh baguette

¼ cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese

For foraged/wild mushrooms, first remove the yellow tubules on the underside of mature mushrooms. (If they are younger and white, you can leave them on.) Slice mushrooms in ¼-inch slices. For more mature wild mushrooms, you may have to wait for the worms to come out (yup, I said worms.)

Heat the olive oil and add the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, and then the onions. Cook until the mushrooms are soft (about 10 minutes). Add wine, simmer on low heat, until wine is reduced by about half (about 10 minutes). Add oregano and parsley and continue to simmer for a few more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in goat cheese until it dissolves. Remove from heat. Turn stove way down. Slice baguette in half. Then slice each half lengthwise. Toast each quarter for a couple minutes on your camp stove. Top toasted baguette quarters with mushroom sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan or Romano cheese on top.

Still Hungry April 2019

Story by Cullen Curtiss

Cleaning the chicken coop weekly, turning the compost, raising seedlings indoors on a warm, sunny sill while the frost still threatens outdoors, tending the crops as they grow through the seasons, keeping the hive happy, foraging for wild fungi, scheduling and outfitting your wild game hunt, catching and preserving rainwater, raising cows for milk and sheep for wool—some think these acts represent the ‘simple’ life. You need food, you grow or kill it, you need water, you capture the stuff the sky yields. Simple, right? Well, the logic is straightforward, but the practice is tough. Living independently from modern conveniences is hard work, however simple and rewarding the goal. In praise of simple and rewarding, we asked some local foodies for their take in the form of philosophy and food, and now we share it with you.

Black Bird Saloon restaurateurs Kelly and Patrick Torres write, “Truth be told, simplicity gives us the most pleasure. We often say, ‘It’s the simply things in life.’ Perhaps this means watching the birds in our backyard or watching our garden grow. We did, in fact, relocate to Los Cerrillos for the very reason of keeping it simple. This is also true with food. We’ve eaten our most memorable meals during European travels where fresh, local, simple plates are the everyday normal and may be all you’ll find. That is what we are trying to create here at the Black Bird, an authentic place where the key is fresh, high-quality ingredients. Deliciousness is showing off the flavors of a simple offering.”

Black Bird Saloon’s “Spaghetti Western” Pesto & Rustic Grilled Cheese
Makes approximately 1 quart and can be used for a variety of delicious snacks.

This recipe uses nopales as a pesto base, rather than traditional basil.

Ingredients for pesto:
4 large nopales (paddles from prickly pear cactus), cleaned and rinsed
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
7 cloves garlic
2 cups roasted cashew nuts
4 cups grated Pecorino cheese
2 handfuls of Italian parsley
1 Tablespoon crushed red chile

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place nopales on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil and salt and roast for about 25 minutes. Then cool and chill in the refrigerator.

Method for the pesto:

In a food processor or blender, first blend garlic cloves. Then add nopales and blend with a pinch of salt. Next add cashews, cheese and salt, blending/pulsing while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. Then add in the Italian parsley, crushed red pepper and blend until a creamy consistency. Adjust the amount of salt, chile and olive oil to your palate.

Ingredients for sandwich:
Extra virgin olive oil
Sliced Fano Bread Company Rustic Loaf bread
Black Bird Saloon’s “Spaghetti Western” Pesto
Thickly sliced garden tomato
Sliced or shredded Tucumcari gouda

Make the Sandwich:
Brush or drizzle olive oil on one side of sliced Rustic bread and lightly toast on a grill. You can also grill tomato slices with a little salt and olive oil to give them a nice warm, grilled flavor. Next, slather the pesto on one side of the bread, add the grilled garden tomatoes and the gouda. Then grill sandwich (oiled sides down) in a cast-iron pan or griddle, flipping until cheese is melted and sandwich is hot. Serve immediately.

Black Bird Saloon is located at 28 Main St. in Los Cerrillos, blackbirdsaloon.com, 505.438.1821.

Photographer of Farm Fresh Journey, The Santa Fe Farmers Market Cookbook, Douglas Merriam, writes, “Simple to me means using fresh, local food (especially from a farmers’ market) that is grown in the season you’re shopping. Fresh local food is packed with flavor, so you don’t need to embellish it with special spices or sauces. Simple doesn’t have to mean lackluster or boring—it can mean fast and flavorful. A lot of us are already stressed for time, so simple recipes can save us time and take a little bit of the stress out of preparing a delicious and flavorful dish.”

Sautéed Asparagus, Peas, Radish and Bok Choy
Serves 4-6 servings

2 Tablespoons butter
2 pounds asparagus, tough ends removed
1 cup fresh shelled young peas (about 1 pound of pea pods)
1 bok choy, bottom bulb removed, leafs cut into thin strips
1 bunch radishes (1/2 to 3/4 pounds), greens removed, sliced thin
Salt and pepper to taste

Method for Sauté
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus, turn to coat with butter, cover and cook until asparagus turns bright green, about 2 minutes.
Add the peas and stir, cook another 5 minutes until everything is tender. Turn off the heat, add the bok choy, stir once and cover, the residual heat will wilt the bok choy after several minutes.
Place the sautéed asparagus, peas and bok choy in a bowl, add the radishes, salt and pepper to taste, toss and serve.

This recipe and others can be found in Farm Fresh Journey, Santa Fe Farmers Market Cookbook by Douglas Merriam with seasonal narratives by Lesley S. King, or visit farmfreshjourney.com.

Sunrise Springs Spa Resort’s Blue Heron Chef Rocky Durham says, “I like to let the ingredients speak for themselves. Simplicity allows the flavors of the ingredients to shine rather than becoming muddy and nondescript.”

“Sir Hotcha” Fermented Chile Sauce

Ingredients and method for first step:
1 pound fresh chile peppers, stemmed and rough chopped (any kind can be used, however, bear in mind that some are much hotter than others)
6 to 8 cloves fresh garlic
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon sugar
Water as needed

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree. Add enough water to achieve a thick puree. Place in a non-reactive container (glass works) and cover with cheesecloth. Place container in a cool, dark place in your kitchen. Allow sauce to ferment for 72 hours, stirring once a day.

Ingredients and method for second step:
1 cup rice wine vinegar
Salt as needed

Place sauce in a sauce pan, add vinegar and salt (to taste) and bring mixture to a simmer. Allow mixture to cool, return to the blender and puree. Reserve sauce in Mason jars. Use as you would store-bought hot sauces.

Blue Heron Restaurant is located at 242 Los Pinos Road in Santa Fe, sunrisesprings.ojospa.com/dining/blue-heron-restaurant, 800.704.0531.

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, jambocafe.net, 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, sweetwatersf.com, 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, loliviersantafe.com, 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, mata-g.com, 505.266.6374.