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
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
Image via Wikimedia Commons
From Chef Novak of The Hollar Restaurant in Madrid Continue reading
As seen in the September 2014 Still Hungry? featuring Chef Martín Rios of Restaurant Martín
Butternut Squash Soup with Maple and Red Chile Whipped Mascarpone Garnish
Yield 4 servings
As seen in August 2014 Still Hungry?
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