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? October 2017

Chef Jonathan in Los Poblanos field

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.

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 – July 2016

What is summer? What does it taste like? Here in Northern New Mexico, summer means local patios and portals; fresh, cool (local!) cucumbers and peaches, corn and tomatoes—enjoyed outside, of course. It’s dips in the Rio Grande and Abiquiu Lake; the sweet-smelling relief of that damp high-mountain earth; the shade of a venerable old apricot tree…and it’s apricots, too. Come to think of it…Summer isn’t easily defined or reduced to one feeling or flavor. Still, we were curious this month about what our local connoisseurs of flavor had to say. So we asked two of our our favorite patio restaurants to tell us what the heat of summer tastes like to them. And sure enough, both Vinaigrette’s Erin Wade and Midtown Bistro Chef Angel Estrada shared with us recipes that exemplify the bright, cooling and refreshing tastes of the hottest season of the year. Continue reading

Still Hungry? April 2016 – A Look Back

Still hungry? Yes, indeed! Twenty years old, and here we are, still savoring the flavor of Norther New Mexico. After all these years, Local Flavor’s readers, writers, featured chefs, artists and locals of all trades still savor the flavors of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos and beyond. In honor of the celebration of our 20th Anniversary, we’re featuring three of our favorite Albuquerque restaurants, all which were a part of our very first issue…and beyond! Each restaurant is a local classic in its own right, and we are honored to feature a few signature recipes in the April issue. We hope you enjoy these dishes as much as we do—after all, one’s never too old, never too young, to enjoy the flavors of our Northern New Mexico treasures. Here’s to many more! Continue reading