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Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’

Originally I came up with this recipe for New Year’s Day but I think it would be a great anytime appetizer. And well, there is a big appetizer “holiday” coming up, you know. It’s called the Super Bowl! And it’s only two weeks away.

We don’t “celebrate” the Super Bowl but I think this would be a great addition to anyone’s lineup this year. And of course this makes a great New Year’s Day “good luck” dish too, since it contains black-eyed peas. (Which is how this recipe originally came about, I was looking for a new way to eat our New Year’s Day black-eyed peas.) I think pinto beans would also be great and even more “New Mexican”!

New Mexican Bean Dip

Inspired by Pioneer Woman

1 – 14 oz can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed *

1 small onion, diced

1/4 cup roasted and diced green chile

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

chopped tomato and cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place beans in a mixing bowl and mash lightly with a fork. Stir in the onion and green chile. Add sour cream, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cheese. Mix well. Spread into 8″ square baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and beginning to brown on top. Top with chopped tomato and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.

Notes:

* Any kind of beans would work; pinto beans would be especially New Mexican!

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Looking for something to have ready for your little ghouls and goblins tomorrow night? Something hearty to soak up all that sugar?

And do you avoid making bean soups because of how long it takes to cook beans? I used to, or I would only make soups to which I added canned beans. But not anymore. I have become friends with my pressure cooker, thanks to cookbook author Lorna Sass. I’ve had one of her cookbooks now for a year or two and I am finally starting to feel comfortable improvising with my pressure cooker. Recently I had a pair of poblano peppers lingering in the crisper drawer and I had spotted the new crop of New Mexico pinto beans at the farmer’s markets. Thus a new recipe was formed.

The recipe does require pre-soaking the beans, but it isn’t hard. I typically will soak my beans during the day, while I am at work, when I am planning to prepare such a soup in the evening. I like to place the beans and water in my big batter bowl since it has a lid.

Pinto-Poblano Stew

Adapted from Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass

Serves 6

1-1/2 cups pinto beans (or Anasazi beans), soaked overnight or at least 8 hours

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped

2 cups frozen roasted corn*

1-1/2 tsp dried oregano

4 cups hot water

———————-

1-15oz. can diced tomatoes

Juice of one lime, about 2 tbsp

Salt and pepper, start with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, add more to taste

Place your tea kettle on to boil the 4 cups of water. Heat the oil in your pressure cooker over medium-high heat. When the oil is rippling and hot, add the cumin seeds. They will begin to pop and turn darker brown. Add the garlic and stir constantly until the garlic begins to become fragrant. Add the onion and pepper and stir well. Add the beans, corn, oregano and water.

Lock the cooker’s lid in place and bring it to high pressure. Then lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 6 minutes (more if you live at high altitude like myself). You can either allow the pressure to come down on its own, or if you’re impatient like me, use a quick-release method and remove the lid carefully. Taste your beans and make sure they are tender. If not, you can cook them a bit longer on the stove without the lid or bringing to pressure.

Stir in the diced tomatoes. Then use an immersion blender to puree a portion of the soup to your desired consistency. Stir in the lime juice, salt and pepper and taste. You’ll probably want more salt.

Top with chopped cilantro, chopped avocado, chopped tomatoes, cheese, whatever you fancy. Serve with warm corn tortillas or corn muffins.

Notes:

* I like to use Trader Joe’s frozen Roasted Corn for a little extra flavor.

This post is linked up to Gluten Free Wednesdays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. Check out the links for more inspiration!

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We’ve only lived in New Mexico for a few years now. And before we moved, I knew virtually nothing about the state. But now I know one thing, they are passionate about their food, in particular their chile. In fact, the official state ‘question’ is: Green or Red? This of course, refers to green or red chile sauce. And no, it’s not ‘Texas’ chili with an ‘i’, that’s a soup or stew (I’m not going there, Texans!); it’s chile with an ‘e’, as in chile peppers.

You’ve probably heard of Hatch green chile and you’ve probably seen little cans of chopped green chile in the Hispanic foods section of your grocery. And to be honest, I had never really used them much. After moving here, that had to change, as everyone asks you which is your favorite, red or green, and you had better have an answer!

Unfortunately, the green and red chile sauces that are slathered over burgers and omelets and enchiladas and everything else, at the restaurants around here, are frequently made with flour. You should always ask. Sometimes the green chile sauce is made with cornstarch instead of flour. It’s even rarer to find a red chile sauce made with cornstarch. So for a couple of years, I had never eaten red chile sauce, not being adventurous to make my own. Last year though, a co-worker of mine mentioned she was making red chile enchiladas for another friend of hers with celiac disease and I mentioned that I had never eaten red chile before because of the flour issue. The next week, she brought me some for lunch as she had made the red chile with cornstarch and had decided that she preferred making it that way as compared to with flour. They were wonderful!

So, you’re probably asking, which is her favorite? I have to say that I like green better but maybe that is just because that is what I am most familiar with. And so recently, at our local Costco, they were selling huge jars of the 505 Roasted and Diced Green Chile (blue label). Of course I bought some, and every time I’ve been there since, and then I got to thinking about what I wanted to make with it (and all the other jars in the pantry now!). And since you all know I have been on an enchilada kick…here it is.

(Oh, and I forgot, pinto beans are big here in New Mexico too….)

New Mexican Green Chile and Pinto Bean Enchiladas

An original by Renee

1# potatoes, 1/4-1/2″ dice – I used yellow Dutch baby potatoes

1-1/2 cups of onions, diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups roasted and diced green chile (like 505), divided use

2-3 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

24 corn tortillas

sour cream

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add potatoes and cook potatoes until ‘al dente’ (Can you say that for potatoes?). Drain and reserve.

In a large skillet, saute the onions with a bit of oil. When they have softened, add the garlic and saute a minute or so longer. Stir in the spices and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring frequently. Then mix in beans, potatoes and 1/2-1 cup of green chile. Taste and add more chile if desired. (Some batches of chile are hotter than others. So depending on who you are feeding and their spice preferences…). I added 1 cup of chile to this batch. Heat through, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and stir in 1 + cups of cheese.

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a couple of large baking dishes. Spread some green chile in a shallow, wide plate or bowl. Heat a small skillet, with a little drizzle of oil. Heat the tortillas, one at a time, flipping them over, until pliable. (This is key! Otherwise your tortillas will break when you roll them!) Add more oil as needed during the process.

Immediately turn the tortilla into the green chile and rub the chile all over both sides of the tortilla. Place tortilla in baking dish. Add filling (not too much!) and roll up, placing the seam side down in the dish. Continue with remaining tortillas and filling. Spread additional green chile over top of enchiladas and sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or so. Serve with sour cream to cool your mouth!

Option:

You could also omit the green chile in the filling and make Karina’s quickie green chile sauce (and her enchilada recipe is wonderful too!) and pour over the top before baking, then top with cheese. This would be a more traditional style of enchiladas, baked with a sauce.

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This restaurant is now unfortunately CLOSED.

We have some friends that like to eat good food. And try new places. Last week he mentioned a new place that I had never heard of. It’s called The Outlook Cafe and it’s located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, specifically in the View Larger Map“>Mariposa community. For some this may be a hike, but not us!

After the initial suggestion by our friends, like always, I googled it to see how Renee and husband-friendly their menu might be. It looked like there were probably a couple of options for both of us, so I figured we’d try it. (I think my husband’s vegetarian-ism can be harder than my celiac/gluten free at times, since there are usually even fewer vegetarian items to choose from and most are low on protein.) Plus the beer, wine and hard cider(!) list looked enticing.

As usual, I figured I might as well try emailing and/or calling ahead of time to see how they might handle my needs. I shot off my standard email about what I can and cannot eat as well as direct inquiries about a couple of the dishes that I figured would be options. Within hours, I had a response from the lovely Linda. She asked about any additional allergies or intolerances and told me that they could modify just about anything for me! Woo-hoo! That always makes one feel good. She asked us to make reservations and note the need for gluten free at that time. And it so happened that when I called to make those reservations, Linda answered the phone and when I told her who I was she said that she was just thinking of me as she was making a soup, thinking more about the ingredients this time around. Rest assured though that pretty much everything is made in-house from fresh ingredients. Their bread (off-limits to celiacs, of course) is made locally as well as a couple of other things.

Upon our arrival, Linda greeted us and showed us to our cozy corner table. The atmosphere was wonderful and warm, even on a cold Friday night. There is a patio for the warmer months that looks nice as well. Periodically they have live music too, just check their Facebook page for updates. Of course, immediately we all were perusing the beverage list. I was interested in the variety of ciders they had, some of which I hadn’t had before. (There were only four ciders, but that’s three or four more than most places!) I went with a Fox Barrel Pear Cider. For the beer lovers accompanying you, there is a large selection of local beers with a few switching out seasonally. And local wines too.

For my entrée, I was wavering between the Pan-Seared Stuffed Salmon and the Southwest Broiled Shrimp. (Check their Facebook page for their up-to-date menus.) After talking with Linda and her husband, the chef, who also came out to speak to me about my selection, I chose the Pan-Seared Stuffed Salmon. The crab meat in the stuffing is real crab meat, not the fake-gluten-containing kind, so no worries there.

Before our meals came out, she brought us “Let Them Eat Bread” which consisted of fresh baguette, herbed butters and an eggplant spread. And they didn’t forget me! They brought me out a plate of gluten free crackers – they looked like Crunchmaster brand – to enjoy with the butters and spreads. My companions allowed me to scoop out a bit of each butter and spread first so that I could enjoy them as well, prior to any contamination. Despite generally not liking eggplant all that much, I think that spread was my favorite.

Now, on to the entrees! Below is my Pan Seared Stuffed Salmon. It was absolutely delightful!

The others at the table enjoyed the Hungarian Goulash, Southwest Broiled Shrimp and Portobello Stroganoff. No pictures, sorry, I was only interested in mine! Ha! Everyone enjoyed their meals thoroughly.

After that, Linda twisted our arms and made us order dessert. The rest of the group had some heavenly looking Blondies with caramel syrup, chocolate and butterscotch chips and whipped cream on the side. There was one item on the dessert menu that looked like it could be made gluten free and that was the Stuffed Apple. Except, it usually came with butterscotch chips too and often times butterscotch chips contain barley by way of their flavorings. Instead they asked me if I could have brandy – yep, sure enough! So I ended up with a baked apple stuffed with caramel, nuts and ice cream bathing in a warm brandy sauce. Heavenly!

We also enjoyed an after dinner glass of port, of which she has a couple of reasonably priced selections. My husband and I shared a local New Mexico port which was nice.

All in all, a wonderful meal with wonderfully attentive service! So, if you’re gluten free, be sure to make the drive out to see Linda and her husband for a great meal at The Outlook Cafe. Just be sure to call and let her know you’re coming, I’m sure she’ll treat you well.

And here’s a local restaurant critic and his review to check out as well.

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Last month when my family was in town we took a weekend road trip down to the southern part of the state to visit White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns. I knew we would be hitting up some small towns and wasn’t sure what I would be able to eat. As well, we were headed to – and through – some less-populated areas so I knew I couldn’t count on having many food choices, let alone nutritious, gluten free food available. Sure, you can always stop at a gas station for a Snickers and some chips but nutritious gluten free road-trip foods are not always easy to find.

So, like I always do, I packed us a cooler full of yummy stuff. For this trip I packed rice crackers, hummus, carrots, cherry tomatoes, smoked gouda and pepper jack cheeses, apples, nectarines, trail mix, Kettle Korn, and Chex Mix for the gluten eaters. I also always pack multiple, reusable water bottles filled with either water or iced tea, a knife for cutting fruit and/or cheese and cloth napkins (or paper towels).

On our way down south we stopped at the Valley of Fires Recreation Area near Carrizozo to eat some lunch and check out the black volcanic rock formations. We had a nice little picnic of our packed goodies overlooking the park and a short walk along the trail as well to stretch our limbs after sitting in the car for a  while.

We continued on down the road to White Sands National Monument and checked out some of the park trails and took a Sunset Stroll with Ranger Julie. The cool, white gypsum sand felt wonderful on my bare feet – and we even got to see some wildlife!

We were on the road for a total of three days and two nights. When I have a choice, and the price is right, my preferred hotel is Hampton Inn as they have good breakfast for both my husband and I can scrounge enough off of it for me. The first hotel we stayed at had a decent, free continental breakfast. Yes, it still had all the sugar-laden, gluten-filled items but there were individual containers of gluten free yogurt. I had two (!) along with the Udi’s Vanilla granola (my favorite flavor!) and a nectarine I had brought along just for this occasion. The only fruit available were some oranges and those highly waxed Red Delicious apples that are always flavorless and mealy. So I was glad I brought some fruit of my own. They also had hard-boiled eggs, which my husband likes, since we both know we need protein to start our day.

These days, in addition to the gluten, I can not eat eggs (except in baked goods) and so eating a gluten free breakfast out is very difficult. We are usually quite happy to grab what we can from the free breakfasts and supplement with our own items.

Our next stop was Carlsbad Caverns, which was amazing. We took the natural entry trail down into the cave and walked a couple of miles within the caves.

After all that walking, we were quite hungry and had some time before the evening Bat program began, so we had another picnic from our cooler of goodies.


If you visit Carlsbad, be sure to stick around for the Bat Program. Wow. Just incredible. Massive amounts of bats leaving the cave in a big swirl every evening. They don’t allow you take pictures during the action because it disturbs the bats but I took one while walking back to the parking lot and you can see them waaay off in the distance, over on the left side in the picture below, between the farthest left  two stalks of yucca.

After this awesome experience we headed back to the town of Carlsbad to check into our hotel and find something for dinner. We found a Chili’s and since my mom had her laptop, we were able to look up their gluten free menu, which they update every month. So I had a safe dinner there that evening. The next morning though, the free breakfast was not as gluten free friendly. They had the usual bagels, sugar, muffins, sugar, cereals, sugar, but no yogurt or eggs. They did have some pre-packaged cereals that I checked out just for the heck of it, hoping for some gluten free rice Chex or something. There were bowls of Trix which apparently does not contain gluten ingredients. I don’t eat a lot of cereal, besides my Udi’s granola, so I am not sure about Trix’s true gluten free status, but it looked like it was safe, with no “May Contain Wheat” statement. So, again, I was lucky to have my granola and fruit as well as our other snacks.

We had a lovely trip exploring part of the big state of New Mexico, with no apparent, accidental glutenings!

Coming up we are headed to the Phoenix area to visit Taliesin West. I am almost more excited for all the gluten free food options in that area, than for the tour, so I will be sure to take some pictures and let you know what we find. Although, I am tempted to eat at Picazzo’s the whole weekend since they have so many gluten free options!

Of course, on this trip we will be packing a cooler again, full of necessities – and goodies! What do you like to pack for your road trips?

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For a couple of months now, one of our friends kept mentioning that we needed to go check out Casa Vieja in Corrales, NM since they indicate gluten free selections on their menu. We had never been there but our friends had and they enjoyed it. So we finally made a date of it with two other couples.

Of course we also had to stop by the Corrales Bistro Brewery for a barley apertif (beer, not gluten free) before our meal. They do not serve gluten free beer, but I enjoyed a nice glass of sangria while we discussed beer, hops, bonds and zombie movies – yes, an odd conversation, but considering the company… (kidding!). Unfortunately they did not have any of their own beers on tap that day but they were serving up other New Mexican brews. It was our first time there and the bar seemed like a local hang-out, but in a good way. They also had a nice deck out back but since the weather was still quite steamy, we stayed inside.

After the barley imbibing, we drove down the road a short distance to Casa Vieja. The restaurant is located in an old adobe building that was once a family home, originally built in the 1700′s. It has a nice patio fronting the main street and our reservations were for the patio. Luckily it was quite shady and the sun was starting to sink behind the restaurant and trees. The flies did get a bit bothersome at one point in the evening because there was no breeze but I don’t think they ate much! Unfortunately flies are part of the rural Rio Grande valley. Just drink some more wine and you won’t notice them!

We enjoyed some sparkling wine (1/2 off on bottles on Saturday nights!) and part of our group enjoyed appetizers, although I did not. The sangria and sparkling wine was enough of an appetizer! As usual, I notified our waiter of my need for a gluten free meal as soon as he took our drink order. Of course I had browsed through the menu online (click on ‘From The Kitchen’) already. (The gluten free items are notated online as well as on the menu they hand you at the restaurant.) I had a few items in mind and asked a few more questions about my two preferred entrees, either the Grilled Hangar Steak or the Cast Iron Seared Scallops. (Again, I eat meat when dining out although my husband does not.) The scallops came with potato croquettes that our waiter told me they would leave off the plate, since they were not gluten free. That left me with two sides of cauliflower ‘stuff’ and since I am not a huge fan of cauliflower, I decided to go with the steak. It came with a vegetable-stuffed, roasted poblano and a potato gratin. When I asked, the waiter did double-check that the gratin was indeed gluten free – no bread crumbs or flour in a roux. Our waiter answered all my questions and I felt confident with his answers. And my meal was wonderful!

We were all so stuffed that we did not partake in dessert although there were a couple that sounded wonderful, like the Red Chile Buttermilk Flan (without the funnel cake, of course) or the Black Cherry-Port Chocolate Souffle OR the always delicious Vanilla Creme Brulee. (Speaking of Creme Brulee, have you seen Shirley’s Creme Brulee ice cream? Bookmarked!) There are also some other menu items that I would like to try, like the Duck Confit Tamale appetizer, so we’ll have to go back some time soon. Maybe I’ll just order appetizers and dessert! Oh, and some wine too! Who’s in?

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Please note that the name of this restaurant has changed to La Cueva Cafe. Same location, same owners, same ability to accommodate gluten free!

I will apologize now, I did not take any pictures of our wonderful food. Last week we drove up to Taos for the day with my in-laws and my mother-in-law brought a tour book with her. She was reading it as we traveled and she discovered that Rellenos Cafe could do gluten free and vegan food! Woo-hoo! Perfect for us! So it was our first stop to refuel before heading to the Pueblo and the plaza.

Rellenos Cafe is located at 135 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, right on a corner. But be careful because you can easily pass it by as you go up the hill traveling north on Paseo into the central part of town. It is in a fairly nondescript building on the right just before you pass the old traditional plaza and it says “Wheat Free and Gluten Free” in big yellow letters on the front window. It is a very small place that looks almost “dive-y” with only a couple of parking spaces in the asphalt lot out front. But be sure to go in, you’ll be happy you did.

Despite the looming possibility of a summer thunderstorm, we chose to sit out on the cute little patio surrounded by coyote fence and gardens beyond. Partly because it is very small inside the restaurant, we’re talking like 4 tables and they were mostly full, but also because it was still nice outside and we had been in the car for a couple of hours. The patio was a little loud at times with big trucks clambering up the hill on the main road just beyond but it wasn’t too bad. I’ll definitely chose to sit on the patio again.

Right off, I mentioned to the waiter that I required a gluten free meal and he said that it was no problem, he would help me out. And right after he got our drink order taken care of, he did just that. He was very familiar with the entire menu and what was safe and what was not. He even stated that they would make things in a separate pan for me, without being prompted. He answered all my questions to my satisfaction and I felt totally taken care of.

There are many options, but it is typical New Mexican food, just with a sophisticated twist. So there are tacos, enchiladas, tamales and even the namesake chile rellenos are a gluten free option as they don’t batter and deep fry theirs. For me it was toss-up between the Seafood Enchiladas in Chipotle Cream Sauce or their signature Chile Rellenos en Nogada (stuffed with beef, raisins and walnuts and served in a walnut-brandy cream sauce). I ended up choosing the Seafood Enchiladas, which were wonderful! (Remember, I eat meat, but my husband does not. And I typically will choose meat, especially seafood, when eating out since I don’t make it. I apologize to the hard-core vegetarians for discussing meat.)

My husband ordered the Cheese Chile Rellenos and I asked the waiter to make that dish gluten free as well (separate pan) so that I could taste them. Both dishes were delicious. Enchiladas are typically stacked (layered) here in New Mexico, instead of rolled, and these were no exception. They were filled with shrimp, lobster and crab meat and smothered in a wonderful chipotle cream sauce and cilantro. On the side was pico de gallo, rice and pinto beans. The pinto beans were perfectly cooked too, they were nice and firm and not at all mushy. No refried beans here! (Although I do like refried beans.) The beans were wonderful with the extra cream sauce. Also, both their red chile and green chile sauces are gluten free, which is rare, typically they are made with flour. Our server was kind enough to bring some additional chile out and I enjoyed some of the green chile on my beans also. Yum!

Just as we were finishing our meal, the sky finally opened up and we escaped into the restaurant to wait out the gully-washer of a storm. While waiting, my family ordered some sopaipillas, which are not gluten free. Apparently they were delicious too.

While we waited in the now empty restaurant, we talked to our friendly waiter. We asked why they decided to provide gluten free meals and he told us that the owner’s wife had discovered she had issues with gluten when she was trying to become pregnant. When she removed gluten from her diet, she finally became pregnant after a lot of trying. This is a common refrain among celiacs and those with gluten intolerance, even though the Ob/Gyn community still does not embrace it as a possibility despite the studies showing that it is common. (Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom recently posted about this very topic. While you’re there, be sure to watch the video of Alice Bast from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness discussing her infertility problems and her battle to get diagnosed with celiac disease.)

Back to the food. The entrees are reasonably priced. We were there for a late lunch but I believe the same menu is in effect for both lunch and dinner. Full entrees ranged between $7-$13. So, if you happen to be visiting Taos, be sure to stop by Rellenos Cafe. I know we’ll be back!

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