Chocolate and Piñon Torte

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Serves 12

Says Lois Ellen Frank: “The feast day is one of the biggest celebrations of the year among the Indian pueblos of New Mexico. To honor their patron saints, the people of each pueblo gather together. They attend mass in the morning and hold a procession into the plaza, where an altar houses their patron saint. After mass, dressed in ceremonial clothing, ancient traditional dances begin and are offered at various times throughout the day…

“After mass, many of the women return home to set up for the day’s feast—which they have been preparing for, in most cases, for days—and set the special dishes up on their tables with chairs crowded around them. On each table is a variety of salads, stews, meats, homemade breads and, of course, desserts—both traditional as well as modern dishes.

“During the afternoon, as the dances are going on in the plaza, relatives and visitors drop in and enjoy what foods each household has to offer, express their thanks and leave to go back to the dances. People drop in throughout the day to taste the fine foods at many different houses. It is a festive day filled with warmth and friendliness. Continue reading

Lemon-Basil Ice Cream

Lemon Basil Ice Creamfrom Cherie Austin, Farm and Table

4 oz fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 quart half-and-half
10 egg yolks
5 oz granulated sugar
5 oz honey
the zest and juice from 1 lemon

Combine the basil, lemon zest and half-and-half in a pan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Let steep for 15 minutes. Combine the egg yolks, sugar and honey in a mixing bowl; whip on high speed until the mixture has doubled in size and is a pale yellow (about 2 minutes). Temper the half-and-half into the whipped egg yolks. Place the custard over a double boiler and stir constantly until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). Strain the custard into a clean bowl and place in an ice bath until cold. Chill overnight in the refrigerator and process in an ice cream machine the next day.

Farm and Table, 8917 4th St NW, Albuquerque, 505.503.7124,

Cucumber-Mint Sorbet

mintfrom Cherie Austin, Farm and Table

3 cups fresh cucumber juice
1 cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
2 oz fresh mint, roughly chopped

Combine water, sugar and mint in small saucepan. Bring to a full boil and let steep for 15 minutes. Stir the mint syrup and the cucumber juice together and put into the refrigerator overnight. Strain and process in an ice cream machine.

Farm and Table, 8917 4th St NW, Albuquerque, 505.503.7124,