Saturday, November 24, 2007

Los Potrillos

Restaurant Review

Los Potrillos A superb Mexican meal served by sexy young women with great professionalism. Portions are huge and prices are small. The menu is extensive and full of authentic dishes which you don't find everywhere. I love this place!

Tres Leche Cake

The Altitude Adjustment Section
In honor of Pete’s orgasmic experience eating his first slice of Tres Leche cake at Los Potrillos the other night, I thought I would give you my version. I remove the junky over-sweet frosting and replace it with high-quality bourbon whipped cream. The cake is basically traditional.

Ingredients for cake
2 1/2 cups A.P. flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
7 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated Sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 can (12 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the egg whites till frothy and then sprinkle in the sugar and beat till soft peaks form. Then add the yolks one at a time on a slow speed. Next, add one third of the flour mixture and one third of the milk. Repeat till all the flour and milk are incorporated. Add the vanilla. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes till toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from pan. Let cool and cut into 3 layers. In a bowl, combine 2 milks and cream. Pour 1/3 of milk mixture over bottom layer. Then set 2nd layer on top and pour 1/3 more milk then top with third layer and pour the rest of liquid over cake. Frost with whipped cream.

Ingredients for Bourbon whipped cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup bourbon (Maker’s Mark)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip cream till thick, and then add bourbon, then sugar, and then vanilla. Cover cake with frosting.

Mark Miller's Cornbread

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Cornbread, it’s a classic and one of my favorite things to eat with a stew or nice homemade soup. So we were making food in the kitchen the other day (what a surprise), and Mark, my champion baker, reminded me of the cornbread recipe in Mark Miller’s southwestern classic Coyote Cafe Cookbook. It's super creamy and quite easy, so here it is...

3/4 cup melted butter
2 cups fine yellow corn meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 425. Grease an 8-inch square pan. Blend butter, cornmeal, and salt in a food processor for a few seconds. Pour in boiling water and blend again for a few seconds till a smooth batter is formed. Scrape down sides of bowl. Now add all remaining ingredients and blend another 5 seconds. Place mixture in prepared pan and bake 30 minutes or until center is firm and sides pull away from the edges of the pan. Do not overcook or it will be dry. Turn onto rack to cool and eat immediately with tons more butter, why not?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Tips 2007

Darlings! Rula is here for you! I know, I know, for some of you, cooking for Thanksgiving can be very stressful. That's why you should go check out my surefire hints to improve the evening's meal:

❯❯❯ Rula Gives Good Bird ❮❮❮

Yes, fellow Pilgrims, these are the same tips I post every year, but — like me — they never go out of style!

Also, don't forget to catch Stacy's Thanksgiving tips the day before Thanksgiving, on the Santa Fe Radio Café with that sweetheart Mary-Charlotte! That's at 8:00 am, Mountain time, on KSFR, 101.1 FM. And if you miss it (shame on you!), you can listen to the podcast on the Radio Café site!

Well, my little Giblets, it's back to Brooklyn for me — I have a bird to baste! Ciao!

Two Dried Fruit dessert options

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Who has time to bake when you're worrying about the bird? If baking is not your thing, this is where your guests come in. Have them bake at home, they have nothing else to do, you could even give them a good recipe, or check our website for some ideas. But here are a few things you could do at home if you wanted to make some end-of-meal sweets.

Good quality dried fruit — pear slices, dried peaches, dried pineapple, dried moist mango all taste even better dipped in dark chocolate. Strawberries are a classic dipping choice. How about fresh or dried figs, they dip very well and are so sexy! Dried fruit can also be used to make a fruit compote, which tastes great with some vanilla ice cream.

Dried Fruit Compote

mixed dried fruit
red wine, to taste
brandy, to taste
honey, to taste
lemon rind

In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients with some water till almost covered. Then put on a low flame and cook till the liquid starts to boil. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit 30 minutes so the flavors can all mix together. Put into jars and refrigerate. Or put directly into your mouth.

Four "No-Fail" Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Ah... food — like life — is all about the side dishes. Here are all my family secrets revealed in one show. My mother Bernice, who is currently unpacking, mastered one meal in her life and so every single holiday — from Purim to St. Patrick's Day — we always had the same meal, and we loved it. These side dishes are golden.

Raw Cranberry sauce

1 bag cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 –1 1/2 cups sugar
1 whole orange or Tangerine, seedless if possible

This is so ridiculously simple. All you do is throw the cranberries in the food processor, add sugar, cut the orange — skin and all — into eighths and add to processor. Pulse a few times till everything is chopped up. Done. This is best made the day ahead.

Potato Nick

5 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 large onions, diced
Peanut oil or canola oil
Salt, pepper, garlic, and Hungarian sweet Paprika

Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water till soft. In the meantime, sauté the onions in oil, don’t be cheap on the oil. Cook them on a medium to low flame so they get all soft and sweet and brown. Then add enough paprika to make them a nice red-brown color. Now add a splash (it's all about the oil) of extra oil to the onions. Drain the potatoes well and then put them back into the dry, hot pot you used to boil them. Mash by hand with potato masher, then add the onions. If it is not smooth-looking, add some more oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Now take a 9-inch round or square Pyrex baking dish and drizzle a little oil in the bottom — this will make the bottom crust — and spread the potatoes into the pan. Flatten on top and drizzle a little oil on top. Sprinkle with Paprika and put into 350 degree oven and bake 40 minutes, or until top has a nice brown crust. Serve immediately.

My famous Cole Slaw

1 small green cabbage
1/2 small red cabbage
3 carrots
1 Granny Smith apple
1 Macintosh apple
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dry Coleman’s mustard
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cut by hand, or use the food processor, to shred the cabbage into small, thin pieces. Peel and grate the carrots and add to cabbage. Dice the apples, leaving skin on for color. Add the raisins. Everything else is the dressing. Combine in a bowl with a whisk and add to cabbage. Best made the day before. This recipe makes enough for 8-10 people, so you can cut it in half.

Baked peaches and pineapple

In our house, we used to do this with canned fruit — after all it was the1960’s, and modern methods were all the rage.

All you do is open and drain a can of peach halves, and a can of pineapple rings. Place the pineapple into the baking dish (spray with a little non-stick coating first) and then in the center of each one add a peach scooped side up. Now drizzle with honey and crumble some brown sugar into the center of each peach. Put under the broiler for 5 minutes or until you smell the sugar starting to burn or caramelize. Now this year, I canned some Tesuque organic peaches and I am going to try this dish using those and some fresh Hawaiian pineapple. It’s got to be great!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Del Charros, Osaka Sushi Bar, and The New York Deli

Restaurant Reviews of three cheap local joints I go to when I have little time

Del Charros Still the best $5.00 burger in town in a friendly bar near the plaza. Are you sure you are in Santa Fe?

Osaka Sushi Bar A great inexpensive sushi experience in a not completely tidy setting. Don't look down. But the quality of the fish is first rate. Go figure!

The New York Deli I am never going here again. Not only is it poor quality, but it's much too expensive for what they serve. They should not be allowed to use "New York" in their name. The burgers are soggy, the tea is weak, the salads are bland, and the bagels are inedible.

Maple Mousse

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Sometimes you can make, and need to make, a great desert without baking. Everyone should be able to make a mousse. All you need is a bucket of heavy cream, some high quality flavorings and an electric mixer. So here is a recipe for maple mousse. Now this can be the whole dessert, or you can layer it into champagne glasses and alternate in Armagnac-soaked prunes or rum-soaked apricots and really knock their socks off. Top with whipped cream with brandy? Why not. Do not operate heavy machinery after eating this dessert!

5 teaspoons (2 envelopes) powdered gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
4 eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 cups whipped heavy cream

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let sit for 3 to 4 minutes until it softens. Place in the top of a double boiler with the 4 egg yolks and Maple syrup. Over medium heat, cook and whisk till smooth. Add brown sugar and whisk and cook till thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. While this is cooking, whip the egg whites till stiff but not dry with a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, whip the cream till thick and it mounds softly. Fold the whites into the gelatin mixture then fold in the whipped cream. Spoon into goblets and chill till ready to serve.

Rosey Red Snapper

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
My friend and fellow chef Cole Chabon, turned me on to this recipe for red snapper in a sauce of saffron and tomato and cream and I went nuts! So I thought we should do it on today’s show. It’s from The Silver Palate Cookbook. Now you could use a variety of fish, from red snapper to Dover sole, it’s all about the sauce. When John cooked it, he rolled the fillets and stood them up and stuffed them with julienne vegetables. John also suggested you could make the sauce a day ahead of time.

1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup fish stock or bottled clam juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
Black pepper to taste
Pinch of saffron threads
1 small ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon fresh chervil or parsley, chopped
2 red snapper fillets, 6 ounces each
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

To make sauce: in a small saucepan, heat cream, tomato paste, fish stock, anchovy paste, and pepper just till simmering. Cook until reduced to 3/4 of a cup. Do not let boil. Stir in saffron and set aside and keep warm. Preheat the broiler. Oil a shallow pan and set aside. Toss the chervil and tomato together and set aside. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and lemon juice and place in one layer in the prepared oiled pan. Broil for 5 minutes. Pour a pool of sauce on each plate (warm plates) and then top with a broiled fillet. Top with tomato chervil mixture and serve.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Yummy Cafe

Restaurant Review

Yummy Cafe This Chinese-American restaurant in the Saint Mike's shopping center does little to distinguish itself. Okay the portions are large, but big isn't always better. They seem to forget that Szechwan and Hunan cusine is supposed to be tasty and complex.

Perfect Apple Pie

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Susan Purdy — super author and my personal baking mentor — who wrote Pie in the Sky, has a great, foolproof recipe for Apple pie which is perfect for this time of year. Nothing tastes or smells better then a warm piece of pie on a chilly afternoon. And a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top never hurt.

Ingredients for crust
3 cups A.P. flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening Crisco
1 egg yolk at room temp.
2 tablespoons lemon juice of vinegar
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water

Procedure for crust
Prepare the pastry in the food processor. Pulse together the flour, sugar and salt to blend. Next add the butter and shortening and pulse 8 or 9 times till mixture resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas. Add yolk and lemon juice or vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the water through the feed tube and pulse a few times. The mixture should start to get clumpy. Add more water 1 tablespoon at a time till dough holds its shape when you squeeze it together with your hand. Don’t let it get sticky and gummy — it will be tough. Now take your perfect dough, shape it like a flat disc for easy rolling later, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will make 2 crusts. After the dough is chilled, roll out bottom crust into 9 inch pie plate and chill till ready to use.

Ingredients for filling
8-9 cups of golden delicious applespeeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablesppons fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 tablespoons A.P. Flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons Graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar

Procedure to complete pie
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, sugar, lemon, flour, and spices. Brush some egg glaze (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water) on bottom of rolled-out crust to prevent sogginess. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of crust. Now add apple mixture, mounding to the center of the crust. This makes a very big pie. Roll out remaining dough to be 2 inches larger then pie plate. Fold dough into quarters and place over apples and unfold. Brush edges with egg wash and pinch and crimp closed. With sharp knife, cut 5 long air vents. Brush top of pie with egg wash and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake on a sheet pan at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake 40-45 minutes more, or until pastry is a rich golden brown and the apples feel tender when poked with a knife through the slits in the pastry. If edges start to get too brown, cover with a ring of tin foil. Cool slightly on wire rack and serve warm. This can also be done with ripe pears.

Celery Root and Wild Rice Soup

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Santa Fe is known for many things... Deborah Madison and the Farmer's Market are just two of them. This recipe is from Debra’s Local Flavors cookbook, and it's for a nice autumnal soup made with celery root and wild rice.

1/2 cup wild rice
1 celery root, about 1 pound
2 large leeks, white part only
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 piece of celery diced
1 cup thinly sliced Russet potatoes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1 fresh Thyme sprig
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
drizzle of truffle oil (optional)

Cover the wild rice with 5 cups water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover for 45 minutes, or until rice is tender. Set aside till the end. Thickly cut and trim celery root to remove nasty outside, then cube into bite-size pieces. You should get 3 cups. Chop the leek, rinse well, and drain. Melt the butter in a soup pot and add vegetables, parsley, thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and bay leaf. Cook 5 minutes. Now add stock, bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add half-and-half and simmer till everything feels tender. Take out 1 cup of vegetables and soup, puree, then add back to soup pot. This will thicken the soup! Adjust salt and pepper. Divide into 4 warmed soup bowls, fill with soup, and add a mound of wild rice to the center of each bowl. Drizzle with truffle oil before serving. Top with a little extra chopped parsley.


Please help Bernice — Mother of Rula — find Mallomars! If any of you fabulous listeners know of anyplace in Santa Fe (or Albuquerque) where she could buy these, please email or leave a comment on this post!