Chef Jonathan in Los Poblanos field
With autumn in full swing and its chile-scented chill in the air, our palates welcome the warmth of spices just as our bellies make room for heartier dishes. And as the days grow shorter—even while the workday does not!—we hunt for good reasons to toast and sip a fine glass of wine at the end of the day. So this month, we have indeed not just one good reason to toast, but three great excuses to say three cheers—and three delicious recipes, to boot. These three Duke City staples hold the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. This particular award, in the words of winespectator.com, is given to those establishments that “offer at least 90 selections, feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Whether compact or extensive, focused or diverse, these lists deliver sufficient choice to satisfy discerning wine lovers.”
We asked each of them to share a recipe and wine pairing of their choice…and in return we received three excellent wines to enjoy alongside delicious dishes that incorporate the warmth and spice of autumn. Thank you, Ranchers Club of New Mexico, Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm (Campo, their new restaurant, opens this month!), and Bien Shur at Sandia Resort and Casino for giving us a reason to eat out—and now, cook in—drink up and say cheers. We know you’ll enjoy Campo Chef Jonathan Perno’s squash soup with spicy pepitas, and two different takes on Moroccan lamb—Ranchers Club Chef Christopher Galle’s chops with gremolata sauce, and Bien Shur Chef Martin Torrez’s spiced rack with mint chimichurri—and of course, three very different, very excellent wines.
So smack dab in the middle of the shortest month of the seemingly longest season of the year is a day that you either love or hate. Valentine’s Day. Ideally, on such a day, one dines deliciously and decadently—a late-night dinner, fine wines, a lavish dessert, a lit fire and perhaps a box of chocolate and rose petals… But let’s face it. So in the face of the month of love, this February, we asked three of our favorite, talented Albuquerque pastry chefs to share with us a romantic dessert creation. Because truly, a day spent in the kitchen baking an indulgent, sweet and delicious treat is inevitably and wonderfully romantic, no matter how you look at it…or who you share it with (or don’t).
Chef Lilly Quiroz of Hotel Andaluz keeps it “Spanish, romantic and fancy” with her Leche Frita; Chef Willem Blom of Flying Star Café generously shares his Chocolate Crème Brulee with Grand Marnier and Raspberries; and from Heather Guay at Los Poblanos, a “subtle, sophisticated and sexy” Hazelnut Cake with Elderberry Poached Pear.
Sometimes cupid’s darts simply strike us in the guise of a spoon. Continue reading
Chef Jonathan Perno grew up in New Mexico in a household that had a “lot of traditional New Mexico food, especially around the holidays.” Meals were always at the table and the food was the focal point. “We were always excited when she made cakes,” Chef Jonathan says of his mother. He and his brothers would crowd into the kitchen to see who got the beaters, the spoon and the bowl to lick clean. Continue reading
By Hansueli Krapf This file was uploaded with Commonist. [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
From Chef Jonathan Perno of Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm
4 Arkansas Black apples*, cored
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 to 1/2 cup green chile, finely chopped1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash and core the apples. Set them aside. In a mixing bowl, add the water, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and maple syrup. Mix until combined. Place the apples in a basking dish with room to spare. Pour the liquid mixture over the apples. In a separate bowl, mix together the green chile, the pecans and half the butter. Stuff the apples with this mixture. Divide the remaining butter into small pieces and place them around the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 to 60 minutes.
Check the apples with a skewer; if the skewer is removed easily, then remove the apples from the oven and allow them to cool.
*The Arkansas Black is a medium-size apple good for long storage (up to six months). It has thick dark skin and flesh that is tart, sweet and very juicy. Can’t find Arkansas Black apples? You can substitute Rome, Pink Lady, Jonathan or Granny Smith.
Los Poblanos is located at 4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. 505.344.9297, lospoblanos.com