To food—and especially vegetable—lovers, kitchen dwellers, cookbook collectors, New Mexico locals and beyond, Deborah Madison needs no introduction. The veteran food writer and chef is, for many of us, a household name, and her recent cookbook, In My Kitchen : A collection of new and favorite vegetarian recipes, is bound to become another kitchen staple. It’s a beautiful homage to, and revisiting of, Deborah’s favorites, recipes that have survived, thrived and evolved over the decades—among many new additions.
“I started cooking for others decades ago,” Deborah—who has cooked in the kitchens of the San Francisco Zen Center, Chez Panisse and Santa Fe’s Café Escalera—writes in the book’s introduction. “I began cooking when vegetarian food was weird.” These days, of course, “vegetarian food is part of a great mash-up of taste, values, and experiences.” Much has changed in the decades since she began cooking—“from values to ingredients” to ourselves, and Deborah’s dishes, like time, culture and individuals, are the result of a fluid, organic evolution. In My Kitchen shares over 100 recipes “that have settled happily into my kitchen and my life,” she writes. “So in a sense, these are all new albeit familiar dishes. Sometimes they’re recipes that have been forgotten or overlooked but that deserve to be revisited and brought to light.”
This month, we share three recipes from In My Kitchen that exemplify Deborah’s gift for simple yet creative dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients that we might pluck right out of our own gardens, or purchase from our local farmers. As Deborah puts it in the book’s introduction, “I hope you find these—some of my favorite recipes and approaches—delicious and that they enhance your life as they do mine.” Continue reading
Whether you’re tucking in under a broad umbrella for a midday respite from the sun, or chasing the last rays as the sky turns pink and the temperature drops, summer makes for prime patio season. We’re not the only ones charmed by the outdoor tables at The Teahouse—the patio was part of what drew Owner Richard Freedman to buy the place four-and-a-half years ago. Located on Canyon Road, and nestled beneath the bustle of summertime art-district traffic, The Teahouse is perfectly situated for a relaxing pause between gallery visits. And its beautiful outdoor dining space, nestled among the shade of 70-year-old apricot, apple and pear trees, is reminiscent of plein-air settings in Provence and Tuscany.
As it happened, Richard lined the menu with favorites he learned to cook in Italy: lasagna Bolognese and an Italian chicken pot pie with polenta and parmesan, even affogato, a classic Italian dessert of espresso poured over vanilla ice cream. What his dishes share is an affinity for simple food. “The Italians have such a gift for combinations of flavors,” Richard says. “Classic Italian combinations really work, and you don’t want to do a lot to them because the basic ingredients are so good.” The dishes, of course, are also perfect companions to an al fresco dining experience on the patio. Continue reading
Harsh and frigid, scalding and cracked, ancient with fossils of the inland sea that once was, and fresh with shoots that somehow rise from the earth’s snow-quenched crevices. The sky is huge and open enough to cradle both the bright, searing sun and the drenching monsoons and billows of snow that stumble in, early or late, never apologetic, each summer and winter season. Soft from afar, jagged up close; seemingly dead as a fossil, crystalized—but, just there, a fragile shoot. Part of the magic, the miracle of this place, the high desert, is the paradox of, the contrast between, the aliveness that bursts through what seems to be the uncaring, solid stillness of earth.
And then there are the people who cultivate this earth’s soil. All year at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, these men and women from their various plots of Northern New Mexico land sell the creations they’ve nurtured with their own hands. “Life for such a creation in northern New Mexico is unlike anywhere in the world,” writes Lesley S. King in photographer Douglas Merriam’s 2016 cookbook—a book born of, inspired by and in ode to the Santa Fe Farmers Market. The book, A Farm Fresh Journey Santa Fe Farmers Market Cookbook, is a gorgeous testament to the stark beauty of New Mexico as well as to Doug’s artistic talent, his ability to capture the earth, its fruit, its people. It’s the portrait of the contrast to and relationship between the New Mexico landscape, the plants that grow from it, and the people who cultivate and make these delicacies thrive. Ultimately, it’s a taste of our local earth. Continue reading
At my follow-up doctor’s appointment following my annual physical, I got good news and bad news. “Get more exercise, cut back on wine, lose 20 pounds, and eat healthier,” my doc said. He sent me home with a nifty packet of dietary recommendations, tips, hints and menus for eating healthier. Perusing the info, I noticed the menus pretty much resembled the ones you already know: lots of whole grains, lean meats, legumes and low-fat cottage cheese (yuck, that ain’t gonna happen)! In the regimen, fats were kept to a minimum, and carbs cut.
Since I work in a beautiful kitchen shop that sells myriad gadgets designed to make cooking easier and more fun, and since I teach cooking classes that often include ideas for healthier eating, I thought I would pass along some of my favorite kitchen tools that can help one live a healthier lifestyle, along with a few recipes for this health-and-fitness issue. Continue reading
Type “uses for beer” into a search engine and you’ll get plenty of hits—for instance: “9 Surprising Uses for Beer!” or “14 Household Uses for Beer!” But let’s be serious here for a moment, put down the mouse and say to yourself (in a stern voice), “Why do we need 14 uses for beer?” Isn’t it enough just for beer to be beer? So I did what any intrepid reporter would do: I opened a beer and called an expert. In this instance, my expert was Chef Allen Smith of the Santa Fe School of Cooking, and he told me I’m wrong,; beer does have another purpose in life, and that purpose is to transform food, not as an accompaniment, but as an ingredient. “I cook with beer pretty often,” Chef Allen says. He likes to take advantage of the many flavors available in a brew. “They can really enhance a recipe,” he says, adding that cooking with beer can be a challenge for the novice: “You have to know the flavor of the beer and be careful not to overpower the food.” Hoppy, darker beers have a nice nut-like flavor, and hold up in heavier dishes. “Sometimes,” for instance, “a soup or a stew needs a kick.” Add beer, which livens up dishes like carne adovada, since it adds such richness that “you can cut down the amount of butter you might use.”
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