I had a grand idea of making breakfast sandwiches over the weekend but it didn’t start out very well. I picked up some English muffins from the store but they were so thin; they just fell apart when I attempted to separate them. At that moment I decided it was time to make my own muffins. I found a recipe that incorporated yogurt into the recipe and was so appealing that I gave it a try. After some adjustments this recipe turned out really good. As with many dough recipes, (even the ones I made in Kansas) I’m finding that I have to adjust the ratio of liquids and dry ingredients because of our high altitude and the dry desert air of New Mexico. If you are unsure of how to adjust your recipes you might try this guide: Cooking and Baking at High Altitudes by Betty Crocker. These muffins took about 2 hours from start to finish which was perfect for our weekend brunch. Our breakfast sandwiches turned out delicious with freshly made English muffins, lightly toasted with egg, cheese and bacon. They are also good with butter and jam too!
Posted at 8:52 am by NativeNM, on February 18, 2022
I have an admission to make, this is my first time making empanadas. They are traditional here in New Mexico that have evolved over time. Influenced by many cultures over the years you will find savory empanadas stuffed with beef, chicken or pork, sometimes with veggies and spices. And then there are the sweet empanadas filled with pumpkin, sweet potato or fruit like apples, cherries or raisins as well as other fresh or dried fruits. As I researched the history of empanadas, I discovered that there are many meat pies around the world by other names made in the tradition of their region. From our time in Kansas City we had Steak and Guiness pies at Irish Fest. Joe’s home state of Michigan is known for their Pasties. We found Peasant Pies in San Francisco while on vacation one year. Those are just a few of the meat pies that we’ve had a chance to taste, each having their own distinct flavor. I wanted my first homemade empanadas to reflect the taste of New Mexico with ground pork and green chile. They are easy to make ahead and freeze, pulling out a few to warm up and serve alongside a bowl of soup or beans. They are so tasty, I can’t wait to try a sweet version next!
Posted at 10:49 am by NativeNM, on January 4, 2022
It’s that time of year again when I get a craving for sweet rolls. It must be the holidays, the chill in the air and a hot drink that make me desire them so much. I like to make them up ahead and freeze individually so that I can pull one out every so often. I love them with my morning coffee, afternoon tea or generally anytime, which is why I have to put them out of sight in the freezer or I might be tempted to have one every day. This years flavor is lemon blueberry, it’s not overly sweet but has a wonderful blueberry flavor with a citrusy lemon glaze. These two flavors just belong together. And the brioche dough is so light and tender, it practically melts in your mouth.
Posted at 12:05 pm by NativeNM, on December 30, 2021
The first time I ever tasted a Cinnamon Brioche Cruffin was during our Wyoming vacation in September. Persephone’s Bakery in Jackson Hole serves up some of the best pastries you will find anywhere. On our Wyoming holiday we started each day at Persephone’s Westbank to have breakfast with Joe having a savory breakfast with eggs and I with a pastry and coffee. My favorite thing was the Cinnamon Brioche and I vowed that one day I would recreate it. I had no idea how much work goes into making this irresistible flaky dough but it was so worth it. The outside layer is crisp with buttery layers rolled up together with cinnamon sugar. It’s one of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever tasted and one of my biggest accomplishments if I do say so myself!
As I was making the Blueberry Lavender Jam, I couldn’t think of anything better than to pair them with crepes. It’s been awhile since I’ve made crepes and thought to myself “what better time than now”. These crepes are so versatile and can be filled with sweet jam, cream cheese, or sprinkled with sugar. But as good as sweet crepes are, they are equally delicious with savory fillings. Crepes are so easy to make, the batter is quickly made in a blender and then swirled in a non-stick skillet with melted butter. Crepes are light but hold their shape and appear as if they are lace doilies on a plate. The crisp edges are my favorite part especially when they are freshly made. I’m including a recipe for Chicken Enchilada Crepes for a savory filling that you might enjoy. The filling includes chicken, cheese and a green chile bechamel sauce. It’s topped with the remaining cheese and bechamel sauce and then heated until it’s bubbling hot. It was a delicious savory meal that Joe and I enjoyed immensely. Crepes are so versatile for sweet or savory fillings, or even to enjoy with a sprinkle of sugar.
There’s a debate among New Mexicans whether red chile sauce tastes better made with chile powder or pods. I follow a facebook page for New Mexico recipes and learned that families love their red chile and will fiercely defend their method of making it. I’ve only made red chile with powder once before and it was gritty and I didn’t really like the texture. I’ve always preferred making a batch with pods by soaking them and then pureeing them in the blender. With pods you can strain them to remove all that pulp and peel. But after some time has gone by I’ve decided it was time to try powder again. I’m trying Tia Rita’s Home Style Enchilada Sauce that comes from Las Cruces in Southern NM. The ingredients listed are red chile, paprika, constarch, salt garlic, baking soda and oregano. That’s pretty close to the spices I would normally use so I gave it a try. The mix was quite easy and less messy. Just add water and simmer for 4 – 6 minutes. The texture was not quite as smooth as using pods but it wasn’t nearly as gritty as the powder I had used previously. We found it flavorful with just the right amount of heat for our palate. I made a plate of cheese enchiladas with beans and potatoes on the side and sopaipillas. The sopaipillas were made from the Desert Gardens Sopaipilla and Fry Bread Mix. I made fry bread for my Indian tacos and saved the rest of the dough for sopaipillas. The remaining dough made 6 sopaipillas which was perfect alongside our enchiladas. They tasted so good with a drizzle of honey. So the debate goes on whether red chile is better with powder or pods. I’d advise anyone to try both methods and decide for yourself!
I usually stay away from fried foods but when it comes to fry bread I will always make an exception. Lets face it, you just can’t make that crispy airy bread any other way. And one of the best ways to eat fry bread is to make Indian tacos aka Navajo tacos. This past year with Covid we’ve been ordering takeout instead of eating inside and I haven’t had an Indian taco from a restaurant in over a year. It tastes so much better when it’s fresh and comes out to the table warm and crisp. So I decided to make them at home and I have to say they tasted pretty darn good! The fry bread was a simple prep courtesy of Desert Gardens Fry Bread mix. Just add water, stir and let sit for 10 minutes. I used half the dough and placed the rest in the fridge to make sopaipillas the next day. For the toppings I browned ground beef and added beans and green chile. It tasted so good along with lettuce, cheese, tomato and onion. The one thing I would do is make smaller portions next time. These turned out huge and way more than we could eat but every bite was delicious!
Posted at 12:41 pm by NativeNM, on September 18, 2020
Some of the best gyros I’ve ever tasted were from our time in Detroit and Kansas City. We moved to from Albuquerque to Detroit in 1990 where I got to see where Joe grew up in the great state of Michigan. At that time we had two little boys under the age of 3 years old and didn’t get to eat out much. One time Joe surprised me with tickets to go see the Detroit Red Wings play hockey. Growing up in New Mexico I knew nothing about hockey but the experience was thrilling and I immediately became a fan. Joe Louis Arena was located downtown and we would park and ride the people mover transportations rails to get to the arena. Greektown which had some amazing food was located on one of the people mover stops so we would park there and grab a bite to eat before heading over to the game. If you are ever in Detroit and need a great place to eat, visit Olga’s Kitchen or any one of the great restaurants in Greektown. We also had some great Greek food in Kansas City. I loved the gyros at Mr. Gyros which was one of our frequent haunts in KC. One thing about Mr. Gyros is that the servings are huge and everything tastes fresh. This year has been challenging at best to find those those “little known” restaurants here in Albuquerque, especially not being able to sit down and experience a meal indoors. We rarely go out except for takeout and I haven’t found a great Greek restaurant yet to recommend here in ABQ. I’m sure it’s out there, I just haven’t found it! Sorry for the long story but I have been craving a gyro which always brings back memories. I went with grilled chicken gyros which tasted so good with homemade warm flat breads wrapped around Greek and lemon seasoned chicken. The marinade made the chicken tender and juicy. With some tzatziki sauce and freshly sliced tomato and red onion it was one of the tastiest wraps I’ve ever had. I’m a tough critic when it comes to gyros and this one is one of the best! Continue reading →
One of my fondest memories of my Mother is her teaching me the techniques of making homemade rolls. She gave me her old Fleischmann’s Yeast Bread book which she used as her guide for making rolls. I can’t find a date on it but based on the pictures it must be from the 1950’s or 60’s. It’s a wonderful time capsule of bread making that we don’t often see these days. Although I’ve made wheat bread in the past I had not tried whole wheat rolls. I always thought they would have a dense texture but these are so light and taste so good, especially with some melted butter and honey glazed over top and dripping down the sides. No need for a special occasion to make these rolls, they are good any day with a meal or just by themselves. Continue reading →
Hi all, I hope every one of you are safe and well! It’s been surreal these last couple of weeks to say the least as our lives have changed as we know it. No more living in the moment, it’s all about planning. Planning for how long we will have to stay at home, planning when to go out and get groceries plus planning for how much we really need or how long it will be before we can safely go visit family and friends. We take so much for granted and it’s going to be a sacrifice but we are all in this together. We have communicated by phone with our kids, family and friends more than we have in years. It’s not about the texting or emails, it’s just more reassuring to hear their voices to know that they are all okay! I’m sure you all have similar feelings. I’m also trying to be frugal and not waste anything, especially food. I don’t always have fresh vegetables and fruit on hand but I have a pantry full of goods that I can make due with. I went through my dry goods and found a package of blue cornmeal. What a perfect time for some cornbread! I had planned on making some black bean soup and cornbread would make it last a bit longer. Looking through my cookbooks I found an old recipe in “The Progressive Farmer” cookbook that sounded a lot like how my Mom used to make hers, so I gave it a try. It turned out so good! And I found a bottle of “Monroe’s Red Chile Honey” in the pantry which was perfect to drizzle over top. Continue reading →