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
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
“When did ginger beer become indispensable?” I turned on the TV just in time to hear a fictional bartender utter these words. When, indeed? There was a time when mixers came out of a gun and the most exciting fresh fruit behind a bar was an orange. Mixologists are more than mere bartenders, they are passionate about their craft and take time to create cocktails that use fresh, seasonal ingredients, usually sourced locally, which enhance the flavors of the spirit rather than mask them. These drinks are fabulous on their own, but when paired with the right food the combinations complement each other the way a Chianti complements pasta with tomato sauce.
Apothecary Lounge at Hotel Parq Central
Katixa Mercier, Apothecary Lounge Manager, and Frank Sanchez, Chef
When Katixa Mercier came to the Apothecary Lounge three months ago she had the opportunity not only to develop the cocktail program but to work with Chef Frank Sanchez to create a bar menu of small plates that would work with the cocktails. On mixology Katixa says, “It’s important to honor the classics,” but she also likes to “push the envelope a bit and get to play.” Katixa focuses on local ingredients for her cocktails as much as possible. “Hotel Parq Central is a local business and we feel a social responsibility to give back to the community.” A restaurant and bar can’t stand out there on their own—they need to “be involved with the whole industry. People want to know where things come from.” Continue reading
Image via Wikimedia Commons
From Chef Novak of The Hollar Restaurant in Madrid Continue reading
with Cream Cheese Ice Cream and Toasted Pecans
As seen in the August 2014 Still Hungry? featuring Chef Mark Kiffin of The Compound Restaurant
Yield 4 servings
4-8 peaches approximately 1 pound
¼ cup wildflower or other good honey
1 pint cream cheese ice cream, or vanilla bean
¼ cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted Continue reading
Cover photo by Kate Russell
from Martín Rios of Restaurant Martín
1 shallot (minced)
2 cloves roasted garlic
1 green apple (peeled and chopped)
1/2 cup Champagne
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon white peppercorns
2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grain mustard
salt and pepper
In a saucepan combine the first eight ingredients and reduce to half over low heat. Strain and chill. When cold, transfer to a blender and purée by adding both oils slowly to emulsify. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the mustard. Season well. Makes 1 quart.