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 9:37 am by NativeNM, on February 11, 2022
If you are looking for the perfect snack for the big game this weekend, look no further that Red and/or Green Chile Chex Mix. Chex mix has always been a family favorite at our house and this year I decided to spice it up by adding some ground red and green chile. I got the idea when I picked up some red and green chile peanuts at our local Sprouts Market. The peanuts were roasted, salted and dusted in red and green chile spices which had a bold and spicy flavor. Using ground red and green chile seemed like the perfect solution to spicing up our traditional chex mix. I made one pan with red chile spices and one pan with green but it would be easy to make a Christmas chex mix by mixing equal parts red and green chile. A big bowl of each would be a crowd pleasing snack while watching the Superbowl this weekend. Enjoy the game!
Posted at 12:43 pm by NativeNM, on February 4, 2022
You might think it’s not the right time of year for limeade but I think limeade should be enjoyed all year long. If I can’t find limes on sale I’ll settle for a frozen concentrate but freshly squeezed always tastes best. Our local grocery store has a bargain bin with fruit and veggies that are slightly bruised or been there too long to sell as fresh. Every week I check to see what’s available and this week I scored 2 bags of limes. They were small but juicy. I had enough to make a pitcher of limeade with plenty leftover to freeze for another time. Once I had enough lime juice the only thing I needed was some water and sugar to make a refreshing pitcher of limeade. Limeade isn’t just for a hot summer day, it should be enjoyed any day you please!
Posted at 10:00 am by NativeNM, on January 21, 2022
Atole is a masa based hot drink that is mixed with milk, water and cinnamon that is pure comfort. The texture resembles Malt-O-Meal or Cream of Wheat with more liquid that you can drink for a quick breakfast. You can add berries, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup to add a little sweetness and flavor. atole also has many health benefits such as providing good digestion, antioxidants, anti inflammatory properties and is gluten free. I like it with brown sugar and a sprinkling of toasted pinon nuts which gives it an earthy nutty flavor. If you eat healthy grains for breakfast, give atole a try. It’s delicious and good for you!
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!
Posted at 10:08 am by NativeNM, on December 17, 2021
A couple years ago Joe and I drove through Pie Town, NM; you might remember me mentioning it from our travels to the Gila Cliff Dwellings and the Catwalk Recreational Trail. It’s an enchanting little town who’s claim to fame is three pie restaurants with a long history of selling pies since the 1920’s. They are Pi-O-Neer, Pie Town Cafe, and The Gathering Place. On our visit we stopped at the Pie Town Cafe and had a slice of Apple Cranberry Pie and a slice of Pecan Pinon Pie. Talk about WOW, that slice of Pecan Pinon Pie was something I had never tasted before, the filling was similar to the texture of a pecan pie but the taste indicated there was honey or possibly maple syrup along with or in place of corn syrup. That pie has never left my memory and today I finally made the Pinon pie of my dreams. I set out to test the different versions that might taste similar to Pie Town’s pie. I mixed a teaspoon of corn syrup with honey and another teaspoon with maple syrup. I set it in front of Joe and had him taste to find out his thoughts on what tasted best to him and I did the same. We both agreed that the honey combined with corn syrup was the one. From there I decided to give it a little kick by adding some red chile flakes to the filling. After all I’ve already made an Apple Green Chile Pie with Pine Nut Streusel and that turned out amazing. I am happy to say my Honey Pinon Pie tasted way better than I ever imagined. You never know what will inspire you when you travel off the beaten path. Pie Town is one of those places!
Posted at 10:05 am by NativeNM, on December 3, 2021
For many years Apple Cranberry Pie has been one of our favorite holiday pies. Regardless of whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, this pie nearly always ends up on the menu. It’s a recipe that I’ve been using since I picked up the 1988 edition of Southern Living’s Annual Cookbook. The original recipe included apples, cranberries and blackberries, however over the years after trying different berry combinations, my family preferred the apple and cranberry filling best. In October during apple season I tend to pick up a variety of apples to make pie filling to put up in the freezer. I also keep frozen cranberries on hand to use just in case I can’t find fresh. I’ve found that pie filling maintains best when vacuum sealed and will keep in the freezer for up to 2 month’s which makes pie making so much easier. This year I made enough filling for 2 pies. Whenever I bite into a slice of pie it becomes my favorite at that moment. I’m a pie fanatic and although no one would ever say my pies are pretty, I’ve never had a complaint about how they taste.
Posted at 7:05 am by NativeNM, on November 23, 2021
It’s almost time to celebrate Thanksgiving. There was a time when we enjoyed turkey and dressing with all the trimmings. In those days there were a lot more people gathered around our table but in the last few years it’s been just Joe and I. We’ve been trying new things, mixing a little of the traditional with some new twists. This year we settled on smoking a pork butt with red chile spices and will add some different sides to the table. One of the sides I’ve planned is Green Chile and Cheese Hominy Casserole which would be a welcome dish on any New Mexican table. It can only be described as creamy, savory and spicy. I used a soft fontina cheese along with sour cream to bind the casserole together and then topped it with cheddar cheese and bacon bits. All the ingredients are prepared in a small dutch oven and baked to perfection which makes this dish easy from start to finish. I hope you all have a festive day making new memories around your kitchen table. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Posted at 10:39 am by NativeNM, on October 14, 2021
When I woke up this morning it was 34 degrees! There’s a cold spell rolling through NM with snowfall in the northern mountains. But even though it was near freezing this morning, the sun is out and it feels warmer with every passing hour. With the cooler weather upon us I had a craving for a bowl of soothing pasta. I made a grocery run and picked up fresh ingredients to make tomato sauce with spinach and basil. That combined with Italian sausage and cooked tortellini made a pasta dish that was made for comfort. We had a leafy green salad with toasted bread, olive oil and dipping spices on the side. Simple yet tasty!