Calabacitas Con Carne

AutumnSquash

By Photo by M.Rehemtulla [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

From Arlene Wagner of Wagner Farms

1 1/2 pounds beef steak, cubed
2 Tablespoons shortening1/2 cup water
2 cups fresh corn cut from cob
3 medium zuchini, diced
2 medium summer squash, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green chile
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese

Brown beef in shortening in a large skillet at medium-high heat. Lower heat and add water to beef. Cover and simmer at low heat until tender. Add more water if needed. Add remaining ingredients, except cheese, to beef and cook at medium heat until squash is tender. Add cheese, stir lightly and enjoy!

Wagner Farms is located at 5000 Corrales Road in Corrales. 505.459.0719, wagnerfarmscorrales.com.

Summer Sweet Corn Soup

As seen in August 2014 Still Hungry?

Chef Mark Kiffin

Chef Mark Kiffin of The Compound Restaurant

July has come and gone—the monsoons have graced us with their delicious rains and our parched desert sighs with relief as it exhales the most intoxicating earthen scents. What a rich, romantic time of year here in the high desert! And what better way to payculinary homage to the climax of summertime than with the words and recipes of one of our most esteemed chefs? This month, Mark Kiffin, chef and owner of one of Santa Fe’s historic landmarks, The Compound Restaurant, shares with us some of his favorite “summer fun” recipes—from sweet corn soup to lobster salad and diver scallops to glazed peaches with cream cheese icecream.

Chef Mark Kiffin’s skill and reputation, along with his restaurant’s historic Canyon Road setting, are among the reasons Santa Fe is a renowned culinary destination. Chef Mark explains that chefs outside of New Mexico “know Santa Fe from the work I and Mark Miller have done in town for the last 25 years. Plus, just like the tourists from Texas, Colorado and California, they come for all the things Santa Fe is known for: art and culture and the great outdoors.” Continue reading

Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Spiced Crème Fraîche

asparagus, Douglas Merriam

Douglas Merriam

In honor of our Farm and Ranch Issue, we sought out a chef who has been at the forefront of the Santa Fe farm-to-table movement. Chef Matt Yohalem, owner of Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen, stands out for his longstanding dedication to local farm-grown produce.“I’ve been doing this since the ’80s,” Chef Matt says. In the four-star New York City kitchens where he was trained, “farm to table wasn’t a movement, it was the way people cooked.” Chefs simply wanted the best produce, and the best produce happened to come directly from the farm. “I thought that was how you were supposed to cook,” the chef says with a laugh. “It was the best quality, and you picked out exactly what you wanted.”

Today, over two decades into his Santa Fe restaurant tenure, Chef Matt remains true to his roots. He shops for his produce directly from the farmer—be it at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, from the farm or delivered by the farmer to Il Piatto. This is, he finds, “a more economical way to go. There’s no warehouse, no administration or bureaucracy—I talk directly to farmers, who deal directly with me.” Chef Matt mentions Lorenzo Candelaria, a farmer down in Albuquerque’s South Valley. “With the crazy weather here [in Santa Fe], I’ve been so lucky to have him down there,” he says. “I buy everything he grows.” Part of the beauty of buying directly from the farmer is that the menu becomes subject to the season, to the yield and even to the farmer’s suggestions. Recently, Chef Matt has been cooking with bok choy, herbs, turnips, beets and spinach from Albuquerque—including all 54 pounds of Lorenzo’s asparagus.

“When I first got here from New York, there was something that hit me—the sun, the type of soil, what’s in the water….” There’s something special, Chef Matt says, about New Mexico produce. Then he laughs and in his New York accent shares a joke he tells to his students at the cooking school: “Vegetables the size of a basketball? Only in New Mexico. [Here in Santa Fe,] we’re just south of Los Alamos—that’s why we have super vegetables.” Continue reading