Still Hungry?

Green Chile Corn Chowder_terraThe etymological confluence of the word soup and the word restaurant offers a satisfying story for chilly November days of waning light—and our Still Hungry? column. Apparently, in 16th century France, what we know of as soups were called “restaurants” (from the French verb restaurer, meaning to restore). “Restaurants” were advertised and the soups sold cheaply by street vendors as wellness remedies. A couple centuries later, a French businessman opened a shop that specialized in “restaurants” (essentially, consommés or soups!). His enticing call to action? Some Latin words inspired by and riffing on the well-known Gospel of Matthew narrative, “Venite ad me vos qui stomacho laboratis et ego restaurabo vos,” or, “Come to me you who are weary and I will restore you in the stomach.”

Fast-forward to today’s “shops that sell soup” in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and it’s not only the dine-in customer, but scores of hungry families, who benefit from the modern confluence of restaurant and soup. We’re talking about Souper Bowl, of course, that delicious January fundraising event presented by Albuquerque’s Roadrunner Food Bank and Santa Fe’s The Food Depot. For the last 20-plus years, participating restaurants have concocted soups in promising categories to be tasted by discerning soup-lovers, who pay to vote for their faves. Proceeds help both food banks to distribute food and manage food programs that assist hungry people and communities across New Mexico, which has been ranked among the hungriest states in the nation.

This Thanksgiving season—just in time for soup and gratitude, that delightful duo—we asked four of the recent Souper Bowl winners for a home-cook soup recipe, so that our readers could try their hand at restoring tummies. Thank you very much to Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen, Terra Restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado and Dinner for Two in Santa Fe, and to Bocadillo’s Slow Roasted in Albuquerque—congratulations on your fine food and philanthropic spirit, arguably one of the greatest approaches to restoration there is. Continue reading

Still Hungry? – November 2016

It’s the season for giving thanks, and in the fading light of autumn we—like the sky, which opens in the void left by fallen leaves—begin to turn inward, finding more space in ourselves. Of course, for some, what this really means is making more space in our bellies for Thanksgiving dinner… So this month at Local Flavor, we’re making room at our table (and in our stomachs) for the rich cornucopia of local tradition, culture, and this high-desert earth’s vast yield. From traditional Pueblo fare, straight from the land, to New Mexico’s Spanish heritage, to a beloved local chef’s native Swahili cuisine, to food that even, and especially, children can concoct, there’s a place at our table for everyone—and we hope you’ll join us.

Green Chile Stew

Excerpted from The Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook: The Traditional Cooking of New Mexico 50th Anniversary Edition by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison Continue reading

Still Hungry? August 2016

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. Continue reading

Still Hungry? December 2015

Plucked from the pages of the local cookbooks we are featuring this month in “Gifts for the Home Cook,” here are four great recipes that will bring a little local flavor to your holiday table.

For the holidays, I have a few traditions I share with my family. We always have breakfast together after everyone gets in, and this year, I’m making everyone these Southwestern-style pancakes from Sharon Niederman’s gem, The New Mexico Farm Table Cookbook.

Toasted Pinon-Dusted Blue Corn Pancakes

Serves 4

This is a Sunday morning brunch treat that my family serves with bacon and chokecherry syrup that we make from chokecherries we forage in Cimarron Canyon each August. This recipe is good with honey butter.

1 ½ cups finely ground atole (toasted blue cornmeal) preferably horno roasted
¼ cup all purpose or whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup toasted ground piñon nuts, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups buttermilk or a combination of whole milk, yogurt, or unsweetened soy or coconut milk
¼ cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)
Honey butter, for serving (optional)
Chokeberry syrup, local honey, or pure maple syrup, for serving

Heat a griddle, preferably cast iron

Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl, including ¼ cup of the piñons. In another bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir quickly, just enough to mix. Spoon the pancakes onto the hot griddle, using 2 large tablespoons of batter per pancake. When the edges start to bubble, flip once with a spatula. Serve hot with honey butter, if desired, and chokecherry syrup, local honey, or real maple syrup, sprinkled with the reserved ¼ cup of toasted piñons.

Niederman, Sharon. The New Mexico Farm Table Cookbook: 100 Homegrown Recipes from the Land of Enchantment (The Farm Table Cookbook). The Countryman Press, 2015.

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Still Hungry? Tradition, Passion, Love – November 2015

The holiday season, of course, is centered largely around food. November through January often mean full bellies and lots of travel, and that heaping combination often means hotels, hot meals and hospitality. For this month of gratitude and lots of food, Still Hungry? talks with the local chefs who work in some of Santa Fe’s best hotel restaurants and dedicate themselves year-round to feeding people who are away from home—and locals, too!

Whether you’re on the road for business, vacationing for the holidays, or you live in Santa Fe and don’t feel up to cooking, these chefs are there to feed and nurture you with a meal that tastes of his own traditions. And whether you’re staying in the hotel, or you’re just out for a local bite, you won’t even have to do the dishes. Continue reading

Summer Sweet Corn Soup

As seen in August 2014 Still Hungry?

Chef Mark Kiffin

Chef Mark Kiffin of The Compound Restaurant

July has come and gone—the monsoons have graced us with their delicious rains and our parched desert sighs with relief as it exhales the most intoxicating earthen scents. What a rich, romantic time of year here in the high desert! And what better way to payculinary homage to the climax of summertime than with the words and recipes of one of our most esteemed chefs? This month, Mark Kiffin, chef and owner of one of Santa Fe’s historic landmarks, The Compound Restaurant, shares with us some of his favorite “summer fun” recipes—from sweet corn soup to lobster salad and diver scallops to glazed peaches with cream cheese icecream.

Chef Mark Kiffin’s skill and reputation, along with his restaurant’s historic Canyon Road setting, are among the reasons Santa Fe is a renowned culinary destination. Chef Mark explains that chefs outside of New Mexico “know Santa Fe from the work I and Mark Miller have done in town for the last 25 years. Plus, just like the tourists from Texas, Colorado and California, they come for all the things Santa Fe is known for: art and culture and the great outdoors.” Continue reading