New Mexican cookbook and green chiles
My husband's birthday is coming up, and I wanted to get him a New Mexcian cookbook and frozen green chiles to celebrate. (We travelled to NM for our anniversary last year, and he loved the food!) I'm considering Mark Miller's Cayote Cafe, but am open to other suggestions. Also, I've found some online sources for the chiles, but welcome ideas. I live in the DC/Baltimore area.
Many thanks for your thoughts!
You might consider either of the two cookbooks from Santa Fe's Cafe Pasqual's. The author of both (and owner of the cafe) is Katherine Kagel. I have both and have yet to try recipes from them, but I do know the restaurant is wonderful.
Have a great day!
I recommend Rick Bayless's "Mexican Everyday". Great for the basics and wonderful recipes--I especially love his "riffs"--ways to customize the recipes for your tastes or what you have on hand. For the chilies, you could do an assortment of dried varieties from Penzey's. The are very high quality and come in pretty glass jars--would make a great gift!
While a great book, that's Mexican, rather than NEW Mexican, cooking. They're not equivalent. _Feast of Santa Fe_ is a good one, in addition to others mentioned. Same with the dried chiles from Penzeys. Great, and one or two of them, if I recall, are the right variety, but a far cry from the frozen roasted greens, and used in different ways than I think the poster was expecting. I'd look for the frozen Bueno brand in your area, as someone suggests below.
Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe is a lovely book to look at, but it is way too upscale, complicated and time consuming for most home cooks; it also has recipes that are NOT common to most NM cuisine. Check out cookbooks by Dave DeWitt (editor of The Whole Chile Pepper Magazine and spicy-food authority - lives in Albuquerque) and Nancy Gerlach. Or how about a years subscription to the magazine for your husband? Big chain bookstores usually have some of DeWitt's cookbooks on hand as well as the magazine. A safe bet is The Whole Chile Pepper Book cookbook, alot of NM and southwestern recipes but much, much more. Another favorite of mine is Just North of the Border also by DeWitt. As far as frozen chiles are concerned forget online - you have an abundance of Mexican grocery stores in the DC/B'more area, check them out for Bueno frozen or Hatch canned green chiles. In a pinch buy some fresh anaheims (sometimes called new mexicos or big jims)or poblanos and learn to roast them. I have been down this long road in search of real southwestern style food so I moved from Richmond, VA a year and a half ago to Las Cruces, NM just to eat green chiles when ever I wanted them. Hope you have fun looking for the gift of green love for your husband.
There are two that I use the most. One is The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook by Susan Curtis. The recipes are easy to follow, and everything I've tried from it has turned out excellent.
The other is called Cooking in the Land of Enchantment by Lynn Nusom. I actually got it at a cheesey touristy gift shop in Albuquerque, the Covered Wagon, I think. For the very few dollars I paid for it, it has a lot of information about chile varieties, and some of my favourite recipes for menudo, chile verde, and carne adovada.
As a lover of the southwest, I think you hit on a spot-on great idea for a birthday present.
One of my all-time favorite cookbooks is The Border Cookbook by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. Subtitled "Authentic Home Cooking of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico." Although it is not exclusively a New Mexico cookbook, it has a lot of NM recipes, and it pays for itself with the carne adobada recipe alone.
It has stories about the recipes, the restaurants or cooks they came from, substitutions, technique tips, and regional variations. It begins with an overview of the history and development of border cuisine. Recipes cover a range of "formality" levels and levels of complication. It also has a list of mail sources (probably a little out of date).
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
My number one favorite is Flora's Kitchen; Recipes from a New Mexico Family. It's by Regina Romero and includes family stories and photographs as well as amazing recipes. I've made everything from chile verde to carne adovada, and it has sections on sides, breads, and desserts, too. It's charming, educational, and interesting - with authentic recipes, too. I crave green chili cheese enchiladas, and these are amazing.
Ech. Cafe Pasqual's. I cooked there years ago, in the early-ish 90s. katherine is a cruel and exploitative woman, and her kitchen was the dirtiest I've ever seen.
My fave NM cookbook is la Cucina de la frontera: Mexican American Cooking From the Southwest. by James Peyton. It goes beyond NM to Texas, Arizona, and southern California. realistically, while NM might have one of the most delicious indigenous cuisines (I lived there for six years), its not the most extensive. Peyton gives you places to go after you've done everything you can with green and red chile.
Wow, thanks for all the excellent suggestions! My craving for SW food was so intensely triggered by this thread that I had to run out and buy a jar of green chili salsa for a quick fix. It wasn't quite on, but at least got me past the worst of the craving!
I will definitely check out some of these other books rather than the Cayote Cafe. We cook all the time, but with a family, and two working adults, we gravitate towards home cooking rather than high end restaurant stuff.
And I'll start browisng my local supermeracdo for the frozen chilies!
Thanks for everything, I'll be sure to post back once we start cooking from one of the books!
After looking into some of the cookbooks, I'm torn b/w la cocina de la frontera, and the Border Cookbook. (The others look great, but these look most like his style.)
Does anybody have any comparative knowledge of them? How they differ or overlap?
Many, many thanks!