It’s late July as I write this, and my goodness is it hot. The apricot tree in our yard rains down big, juicy apricots, but the water that usually blesses our parched earth at this time of year has yet to roll in on the billowing back of dark clouds and thunder. And our sunflowers droop their wilty golden heads come late afternoon. Yet somehow, come drought or downpour, our local chefs are endowed with the gift of creating the delicious out of even the most dire. Such is the magic of desert-inspired cooking.
This month, Still Hungry? brings you two of our very talented chefs, who are also intimately familiar with this local soil and all it yields—or doesn’t—as their dishes are brought straight from the earth to the plate. Chef Carrie Eagle of Farm and Table tells us that this year, in this heat and drought, produce is struggling in the dry earth, but the onions are prolific. And inspired by that bounty, she’s shared with us her Sol Harvest Farm French onion soup.
Chef Jonathan Perno of La Merienda at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm brings us a decadent breakfast to be enjoyed in the cool of the early desert-morning air. His blue-corn yogurt pancakes are rich and delicious—and especially delightful when topped with local stone fruit, which has been so bountiful this summer. We hope you enjoy these farm-created dishes as much as we do, for their ingredients reveal our earth’s local gifts.
Los Poblanos Blue Corn Yogurt Pancakes
Chef Jonathan Perno, La Merienda at Los Poblanos
1 cup blue cornmeal
1 pinch of salt
1 cup boiling water
2 whole eggs
¼ cup olive oil
1 to 1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 to 1 ½ cups yogurt
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal and the salt and pour the water over it. Stir to combine and set aside to allow the cornmeal to bloom.
Once the cornmeal has absorbed the water, mix the eggs and the olive oil into the cornmeal until it resembles a smooth paste. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add half of the dry mix to the cornmeal and mix until fully incorporated. Next, mix half of the yogurt into to the batter. Repeat with the remaining flour and yogurt. Adjust with either the flour or the yogurt if the batter is too wet or too dry.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot with stone fruit, organic butter, and a drizzle of honey.
Los Poblanos Blue Corn Pancakes are one of Chef’s favorite recipes—and he keeps going back to it year after year. Chef Jonathan wanted to share a recipe that would be relatable to everyone, but that would also let us explore the flavors of New Mexico.
Herbs should be picked the day you intend to use them. They start to lose their vitality the moment they leave the earth. To me, the magic of a dish is always in the herbs, they change it, enhance it, make it extraordinary. I see the energy of the universe contained in those herbs.
Blue corn has a deeper, more complex flavor than its yellow and white counterparts. Not only does it taste wonderful, but it is native to the area and reminds us to always appreciate the history of our regional foods.
Stone fruit like cherries and apricots embody the essence of summer in New Mexico. In years when there isn’t a late spring freeze, New Mexico produces what I consider some of the best stone fruit in the country.
La Merienda is located at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, 4803 Rio Grande Blvd. NW in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. 505.344.9297. lospoblanos.com.
Sol Harvest Onion Soup au Gratin
Chef Carrie Eagle, Farm and Table
2 Tablespoon butter
1 gallon julienned yellow or white onion
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 quart sherry
1 gallon beef or veal stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 day-old baguette
12 ounces sliced gruyere
Melt butter in soup pot, add onions and fresh thyme, simmer until onions are slightly caramelized and light brown in color. Deglaze with sherry. Reduce sherry by half, add stock. Season and simmer for 30 minutes.
Slice baguette into ¼-inch pieces, leave exposed or bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, bread should be hard but not stale. Ladle individual portions of soup into oven-safe bowls or crocks. Sprinkle 1-ounce Gruyere on top of each soup. Bake at 425 degrees, until cheese is melted and slightly golden brown. Top with minced chive and parsley.
We use all local beef and/or veal bones to make our stock every week. The bones are roasted, painted with tomato paste and roasted again, then boiled with Farmer Ric’s beautiful leek tops and other veggie scrap in water for 24 hours. This also serves as the base for our steak demi glace.
Local farms are struggling to produce greens, tomatoes and some root vegetables with the heat and drought this summer, however, local onions are prolific this year!
Look for the new lamb set at Farm and Table rolling out this month, featuring local potatoes, Tucumcari feta, Silver Leaf cucumbers and tomatoes and Sol Harvest Farm mint!
Farm and Table is located at 8917 Fourth St. NW in Albuquerque. 505.503.7124. farmandtablenm.com.
by Mia Rose Poris