You Snooze, You Lose

October 28th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, you’ve got to get to Mr. G’s stand in the Santa Fe Farmers Market early. Dawdle, and it’s too late. Eager buyers line up as soon as it’s open and greedily snap up all of Gary Gunderson’s incomparable organic produce. Multiple varieties of lettuce. The best frisee. Arugula. Scallions. Escarole. Radishes. Carrots. And, more. Much more. Gary and his lovely wife, Natasha, are HG/BSK’s neighbors and as HG enjoys a leisurely breakfast HG often spies Gary and Natasha (plus some farmhands) busily tending their meticulously organized farm. Always nice to lounge as others work hard. Recently, HG had some health tests and the geezer seems to be in reasonable shape (knock wood). Daughter Lesley R. claims that BSK’s insistence that HG eat plenty of fresh vegetables is making a difference. So, thanks Gary and Natasha. Your good stuff (plus plenty of extra virgin Sicilian oil) is a deposit in the bank of good health.


Why We Stay…

November 1st, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

The election is a nail biter. Sandy has assaulted New York (wiped out the Rockaway boardwalk among other landmarks). Silver lining is that HG and BSK’s Brooklyn, Manhattan and Rhode Island family is safe (though facing some economic damage). Here in New Mexico the days are sunny, bright and clear with temperatures in the 60’s. Cools off at night so a blaze in the fireplace is welcome. Fortunate HG lunched with beautiful Sarah N., the multi-talented and adventurous woman who directs the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. Lunch was at Shohko Cafe in Santa Fe. Excellent array of sushi. Highlights were delectable unagi (eel) and remarkable salmon eggs. This was followed by a platter of shrimp and vegetable sushi. Good food in a pretty room. Sarah gave HG a gift — a big bag of red New Mexico chile peppers. It is common in these Southwestern parts to see wreaths of dried red chiles tied together in clusters called ristras. Very colorful. When reconstituted they are the basis for fabulous sauces and moles. HG’s gift came from Matt Romero — known in the Farmers’ Market as “the chile guy.” Matt is very visible during the fall as he roasts green chiles, filling the market with their fragrance. His Romero Farms in Alcalde and Dixon grow many varieties of peppers as well as eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. All are extraordinary’ Check Matt Romero out on Youtube and get his recipe for a great eggplant sandwich on . Discussing his red chile peppers, Romero says: “We come to New Mexico for green chile. We stay because of red.” Sarah sent over Romero’s red chile sauce recipe. Generous HG shares it with you: Here’s what Matt has to say:

MATT ROMERO’S RED CHILE SAUCE (for Frito Pies, Eggs, Etc.)

What you need:
6 dried red chiles, a blender or food processor, 4 or 5 cloves of garlic (diced), salt, 1 1/2 pounds of ground chicken, pork or beef, a little flour for a roux

Boil 5 cups water. Rinse the dried chiles and break open one end and shake the seeds out.Rehydrate the Chile pods in the boiling water for about 15-20 minutes. Put the softened pods into a food processor or blender. Add some fresh water (not the water used for rehydrating the pods, as it will be bitter) and blend until it makes a thick sauce. Depending on how finely you process it, you may want to strain it to get the skins out of the sauce.

For meat eaters: In a cast iron skillet (my fave) brown the meat of your choice. Add your diced garlic in while browning the meat. Drain off the fat. a In a separate pan make a roux using some oil and flour. Add it to the ground meat with some water to make a “gravy.” Add the chile sauce. Cook it all together for a bit (30 mins) on very low heat and stirring a lot so the chile won’t burn. Add salt, which will bring out the flavor of the chile.

Non meat version:

Put olive oil in the pan. Add a bunch of garlic, but don’t brown it, just get it translucent. Make a roux with olive oil and flour. Add water to make it gravy-ish. Add the chile . Cook it for about 30 mins. Salt.

To make a frito pie follow the order of this recipe to keep the chips crispy (important!): First make a layer of pinto or black beans, then Fritos, then add your red chile, then grated cheddar cheese, top it with diced tomatoes, diced onions or scallions and chopped lettuce.

Drink a lot of Margaritas and enjoy!!!

The Joys Of Fresh Garlic

June 6th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

There’s fresh garlic, just pulled from the earth, at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. This is the way garlic should taste. Subtle, savory, vaguely sweet and with a higher water content which drowns out all burn or bitterness. For most of the year HG and BSK (like most of the world) make do with dry (mostly over the hill) garlic from the grocers. So now is the time for spaghetti with very good olive oil, sauteed fresh garlic, some hot pepper and chopped Italian parsley, And, time to sup on Spanish garlic soup accompanied by grilled bread rubbed with fresh garlic and ripe tomato. The Farmers Market also has delicious small turnips and lovely radishes. BSK likes to fill her metal barbecue basket with spears of zucchini. thick slices of sweet onion, red peppers, turnips, radishes — and a few head of fresh garlic. When roasted over the barbecue, this melange is the perfect accompaniment to grilled spatchcocked chicken previously marinated in lemon juice and herbs. Oh yes, I’ll have another glass of that chilled Coppola Rosso.

Fast And Good.

October 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

HG doesn’t want to sound like a press agent for Whole Foods a.k.a. Whole Paycheck but the pricey grocer does deliver with some quality items. Namely the chicken, feta and spinach sausages. They are healthy and good. HG/BSK will enjoy them tonight over a mixed green salad. Accompaniment will be fast fried Santa Fe Farmers Market shishito peppers. Preceding will be sliced turnips and radishes (also from SF Farmers Market), feta cheese, olives and eggplant caviar (check out the David Lebovitz recipe on the Internet).

Home Sweet Home

October 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Back to the sun drenched HG/BSK New Mexico paradise. Adding to the splendor of mesas and cliffs are the trees in all their Fall glory — a resplendent golden shimmer. The Santa Fe Farmers Market remains lively, colorful, eccentric. The air is filled with the smell of roasting chilies. The best little chilies in the world — Shishitos and Patrons — sizzle in pans so customers can sample. Shisitos are skinny (and can back some heat). Patrons are plump, succulent and mild. HG and BSK sampled Patrons in Madrid (where they are a staple at bars and bistros) and became instant converts. Also at the market: ripe tomatoes; tiny fingerling potatoes; green onions; leeks and other good things.

No corn. Few apples. These autumn glories seem to have been knocked out by the destructive forest fires that plagued New Mexico this summer. Lots of music at the market including a guitar and bass fiddle duo that played and sang the best version of an HG country favorite — “Dixie Cannonball.”

And, the people crowding the market? As diverse and outrageous as ever. A reasonable sampling of former movie stars — now properly matured. As a sage Hollywood observer once reported: “At a certain age there is a choice. Santa Fe or Forest Lawn.”

Sante Fe Bliss

May 1st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Just back from sunny morning at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Bought lots of baby lettuce and field greens. Some nice Daikon radish. Healthy sprouts. Semolina pasta. Got some very mild, roasted green chiles for a pork stew. HG has become wary of native grown chile. What folks from Chimayo call “medium” can set a gringo on fire. But, the Santa Fe market isn’t just about food. There’s very good music ranging from bluegrass to classical cello. And, to understate, a very colorful crowd. Retired movie stars. Ex-hippies. Texas plutocrats. Followers of various gurus and spiritual guides. You name it, Santa Fe’s got it.


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