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Cooking School

 Weekend Classes-

July 21-23, 2017 

November 10-12, 2017

 For more information and to sign up, click on the specific dates you are interested in.

Day classes

The next day class is our Taco-Mania class set for 6 PM, May 18.  A fun class featuring many delicious and tasty ways to make this all time favorite snack and meal.  Register  NOW.

All of the 2017 Day Classes have been scheduled.  A very exciting offering for monthly classes is on our calendar .


"Where Women Cook" March issue just came out featuring a story about my cooking. Here's a photo from the story.

Where Women Cook

A good story about my newest cookbook, "Simply Southwestern" was printed in the March 8, 2017 issue. Click here to read it.

March 8, 2017 "Albuquerque Journal" publsihed a good article about my newest book.  Click here to read it.

Order my next 4 cookbooks from any of the 3 sources and really help our rating!

Hotter Than Hell,  our newest cookbook was just released April 18!

Hotter Than Hell Book Cover

Tex-Mex came out February 28,2017.

Tex-Mex cook book cover

Or, order from us if you would like an autographed copy for you or for any persons on your gift list. 

And we will drop ship each book if you like.


Barnes and Noble




Revisesd, 2nd edition of 'Jane Butel's Southwestern Kitchen" to be published October 4, 2016.

Southwestern Kitchen book cover 2016

Jane Butel's newest cookbook, "Simply Southwestern"  was published November 22, 2016.



Barnes and Noble



Simply Southwest book cover


 Blog Updates

Recent video recipe:


 What do you want to see featured on our new blog?

Email us to make suggestions about post features!

Blog link: Southwest Cooking with Jane Butel



Our wonderful pure, fresh chiles, spices, ingredients and kitchen essentials are in bountiful supply. Order, by selecting the Products key at the top of this page, or click here.

Best of Mexican Regional Recipes

The complete book of all the Mexican regional recipes taught in the award winning Fairmont-Princess Cooking School in Scottsdale. Has such favorites as Rellenos en Nogado, Pollo Cauchate, Mayan Chilaquiles and the luscious Tres Leches. cake. Ebook $2.99.

Softbound Printed Edition

for $2.99

Click here to buy now


Click here to see
a preview of the book




Jane Butel Cooking

Cooking facts, recipes and quick and easy hints

Blog Home | Blog Archives |   

Check Out Your Chiles

by Jane Butel

Did you know that if chiles are NOT kept cold, they can turn white in sunlight and at least fade quite a bit.  And, worst of all when the color goes, so does the nutrtition.  When green chiles turn red, the starches for the most part within the chiles turn to oils and the primary nutrition changes from being Vitamin C in green chiles to predominantly vitamin A in red chiles--an oil born vitamin.

With the oil content in the red chiles, when kept in a warm place, the oils will eventually rancidify.  This is especially so if the chiles are in a combined spice mix such as chili powder or any spice mix.  Salt is a dessicate, meaning that it dries out whatever is around it and then ushers in rancidification.

Also, another hint for storing chile powders--store them in glass for greatest keeping quality.  Glass does not "breathe" like plastic bags do.  Actually chiles eventually will weaken and cause the plastic to eventually have holes and break at the seams, so do transfer the chiles you get in bags, whether plastic or cellphane to glass jars.  The French preserving jars are particularly nice as they have the pop up lid mounted with wire and are easier to open and close.

Check your chile supply and if they are not absolutely fresh, it will be a good time to order from us next week.  Every order of $25.00 or more of our products will get a free 2 ounce sample of our mild or hot chile.  You must tell us which you prefer--mild or hot. 

 With barbecue season as well as chili cookoffs, it is a good time to stock up.  Also,  chiles and spices are a great taste treat after too much sweet Easter candies and foods.

Plan a great get away for the weekend of April 21-23.  We have had some last minute cancellations, so there is room for a few more students in our famous weekend cooking school where we feature full hands-on participation cooking of tradtional and innovative New Mexican and Southwestern dishes.  Instead of our full price of $1050 for the weekend or $350 for each of the three classes, we are offering the weekend at $300.00 for the entire weekend or $100 for each session.  This session will be taught in my Corrales, New Mexico kitchen.   Corrales is beautiful now with blossoms all over the trees and in the yards, making a great contrast against our rustic adobe homes and stores.  Corrales is ver historic, dating from the earliest of times--home to quite probably the very first culinary in all of the Americas.

Have a fun filled weekend and check out your chile supply and your calendar for the weekend of April 21-23, 2017.



Chiles and Lilies

by Jane Butel

My good friend, Donna Peck, invited me to give a joint demonstration of cooking with Chiles and Lilies.  Of course I said "Yes" and was very enthusiastic about working to combine the two.  Never did I imagine that both chiles and lilies have a very long tradition in China of being a healing agent possessing lots of curative properties.

The Chinese food markets sell dried day lilies to be reconstituted by adding boiling water to be added to most any dish to increase it's healthful properties.  And of Course red or green chile can be added to most any food to enhance both its flavor as well as its health.

Chiles were not allowed to be consumed as a food in main-land China until after the Communism take-ove and then chiles were released from being a pharmacuetical to being available to everyone to eat as they wished.  (You may be thinking how come the Szechuan, Mongolian and Hunan cuisines  had chiles?  They were always allowed to eat them as they were nomadic cultures adjacent to the Bering strait and the first to get them from the Americas eons ago.  ALso, the areas where they inhabited were part of the Gobi dessert and very sparsely settled--impossible to police for chiles.  Hence we have those peoples to thank for their yummy hot and spicy dishes.)

In testing the recipe yesterday that I am going to prepare for the April 8 demonstration for the Albuquerque Day Lily society--I discovered much to my surprise how well they enhanced the Grilled Corn and Spinach Enchilada dish.  I decided to share the dish with friends and made two recipes the Grilled Corn and Spinach Enchiladas with Day Lilies and Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas--both of them rolled.  They turned out bequtifully.  I wish I had taken a picture of them.  I made each in a round pottery quiche baking dish, encircling the Grilled Corn ones with the spinach.






These are best made with grilled fresh corn on the cob, caramelizing the tips of the kernels. The day lilies add an exciting new dimension, making for a yummy and very pretty dish.

Yield: 4 servings

½ cup dried day lilies reconstituted*

2 ears corn grilled Mexican style or 1, 10 oz. package frozen corn kernels**

1 cup evaporated skim milk

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 corn tortillas, heated on a comal or griddle

1, 16 oz. frozen package of spinach or 1, 15 oz. can spinach, without salt, well drained

1 cup grated low-fat Monterey Jack cheese

2/3 cup green chiles, parched, peeled and chopped

Nonstick oil spray

  1. Place the dried day lilies in a 1 quart bowl and add 1 cup boiling water. Allow to set, stirring a bit, until they have reconstituted and are cooled to lukewarm. Meanwhile grill the shucked and de-silked fresh corn until the tips of the kernels are browned. Cut the grilled corn from the cob. If using frozen corn, see note.
  1. In a blender, combine the milk, garlic, salt and corn. Process until smooth. Spray non-stick oil into the pan you will be baking them in. Then, pour a thin layer of the corn mixture into the 10 inch round deep quiche pan or an 8 x 8 baking pan.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Preheat using a medium high heat, a cast iron comal or griddle and bake each tortilla on both sides until warmed and pliable, with a few browned spots on each side.
  1. Dip each warm tortilla in the corn mixture and sprinkle with one-eighth of the spinach, day lilies,  cheese, green chiles,  reserving some cheese and spinach for garnish. Roll, then place seam side down in the baking dish. If using a round dish, place 6 in a row down the center and place one on each side Cover with the rest of the corn mixture, making sure that you pour it evenly over each enchilada. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese and tuck the rest of the spinach around the edges of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve hot.

*Substitute ½ cup chopped onion for the day lilies if desired.

**If using frozen corn, place it in a heavy, seasoned skillet over medium-high heat to brown or lightly brown under the broiler.


Per Serving: Calories 330, Protein 21 g., Carbohydrates 47 g., Fiber 7 g., Fat 9 g.,Saturated Fat 4 g., Cholesterol 23 mg., Sodium 413 mg.

Adapted from “Jane Butel’s Quick and Easy Southwestern Cookbook “ and “Real Women Eat Chiles” 

What We Can Learn from London’s Freshest Restaurant: A Guide for Budding Chefs and Owners

by Jane Butel™

While Londoners often fancy roasted meals and an abundance of fish and chips in their diet, the new restaurant in the East End’s Shoreditch impresses not only the English stomach, but also delights the tastes of different nationalities as well. See, even in its early stages, the 100 Hoxton restaurant is already among the most talked about and celebrated restaurants in London’s culinary industry. If you hope to someday own a restaurant or perhaps learn to master the epicurean arts, then here are just some of the restaurant’s most noteworthy facets that all chefs, gourmet hunters, and owners should incorporate into their own system.

Diversity is key
If there is one prominent thing you can learn about the restaurant’s success, it should be that having a diverse set of meals and choices are a great advantage. In fact, their main chefs have different backgrounds. Their group executive chief, Tim Yates is well-trained in Thai cuisine while head chef Francis Puyat is well-versed with the Mediterranean way of cooking. Their tandem just proves how well the assortment works. Boasting a cooking know-how of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern food, the chefs and their masterful compilation of the menu covers as much as the spectrum can go wild. If you have already caught a glimpse of their menu, you would find it very well classified into different sorts, ranging from veggie options, meat lovers, and even for those who favour seafood.

Complete sensory package
A good meal does not only tickle your taste buds but also transcends craftily to all the other senses. A well prepared meal invigorates through its sumptuous aroma. A simple yet aesthetically pleasing food arrangement and presentation invites hunger and helps trigger a good appetite. The same thing goes with the way a food is carefully cooked to melt smoothly in your mouth. And similarly, it takes careful planning to match the right drinks suitable for a certain flavour. See, the 100 Hoxton restaurant clearly delved on the little details, which of course helped them with their huge success. It is even manifested in the internal decors. With a simple yet elegant ambience, 100 Hoxton spikes up an inviting atmosphere. If you are enticed with the brand new restaurant, you can have a more in depth look on their website, http://100hoxton.com. It’s a good thing too that despite the rich festival of flavours, the restaurant offers reasonable pricing and affordability, which others in the district could not closely match.

For more information, go to these links:

Mediterranean - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/content/recipes/cuisines/mediterranean/
Middle Eastern food - http://mideastfood.about.com/

Video Recipes on New Blog Site

by Jane Butel™

blog screenshot without whiteDelicious News!!!    We have started a new blog with videos and recipes which will feature your favorite Southwestern and Mexican regional dishes.   Check out our most recent posts about Green Chile Roasting, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas and Pollo Rellenos, with many more to come on a regular basis.  

We are sharing with you these videos (through YouTube) of well tested recipes from our award winning Cooking classes.  Each blog post will feature a recipe with hints and tips, along with a video that will show you step by step how to easily create mouth watering Southwestern and Mexican Regional specialties. 

We would love for you to take a look at our new blog and subscribe to our YouTube Channel--"janebutelcooking".  The link for our "Chiles and Chilis" blog is http://www.janebutelcooking.blogspot.com.   

What would you like featured on the blog?  Let us know what you want to learn to make!  Your suggestions are welcome.  Just email us at info@janebutelcooking.com

Having Fun with Bargain Chicken Prices

by Jane Butel™

With chicken prices at tremendous savings--I got to thinking that it is a terrific time to prepare some of those delicious classic chicken recipes. 

I was able at our local Smith's Grocery chain (a division of Kroger) to get boneless skinless thighs and bone-in, skin on chicken breast at 99 cents a pound.  Whippee--I bought some breasts on last Thursday and they were so good Saturday night in an India Masala grilled recipe, theat I decided to invest more and get the thighs too--because most everyone prefers the thighs in dishes like Coq au Vin and the two following Mexican chicken recipes I just love.

m-mchickenI am sharing my very, very favorite Coq recipe, that I spent years testing and have included it in my best-selling Hotter Than Hell book.  (Don't worry--it is not too hot, just has that luscious caribe in the flour dusting mixture--which is so much tastier and better for you than black pepper.  In fact, I have gotten so carried away, I am having 5 people over Saturday night for just that recipe.  Two of the guests will be wine experts--a Master Sommelier and a wine writer and with whom I do the Blog Talk Radio Show with--Bold Foods for Bold Wines.  The others like to cook and eat--so should be fabulous fun.  I thought I would serve Buttered Egg Noodles, Asparagus with Bearnaise Sauce and an Arugula Salad with the Arugula coming from my garden with spiced pecans and gorgonzola with a simple vinaigrette dressing.  

The other 2 Mexican recipes are totally delicious too.  Pollo Borrachio, a Sonarran dish, is what my friend Linda Brown said is the "best thing I have ever cooked for her"--so that kind of puts it in a special class.  The sauce on the chicken is just outrageous--it is rich with flavor--but not with calories--kind of hard to pull off--don't you think?

I like to serve it with Peppered (as in red, yellow and green bell peppers) Cumin Basmati Rice, Buttered Green Beans with Lemon and a simple garden salad.

The Pollo Cachuate is Asian inspired, which is not too surprising when you realize that the earliest settlers in the western areas of the Americas were from Asia. The dish is a regional favorite from Mexico City.   The sauce on this chicken specialty is thickened with peanuts in a richly spiced sauce (not hot spice--but spices like cloves and cinnamon).  The sauce is unbelievably delicious with the pureed tomato-sherry-spices.  However, you would never know a tomatoe got close to the sauce--quite a trip--try it as soon as you can!

If you are not already a member of my mailing list for my e-newsletter, sign up now at my website--www.janebutel.com under Butel's Bytes.

Here's the recipes--





This is my all-time favorite coq recipe, developed during my early New Mexico years. Fired with caribe and flamed with cognac, it’s a fabulous dish with a perfect marriage of flavors, certain to be a hit with family and guests—though you may want to hoard it all for yourself! Since this stew is so robust, accompany it with a soothing side dish. And, never, ever waste a drop of the savory sauce; if you have any leftover, freeze it for later use. It’s wonderful in all kinds of stews.

Yield: 6 servings

Cooking Time:

 ½ cup all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons caribe (crushed Northern New Mexico red chile)

1 teaspoon salt

1 (3 ½ to 4 pound) broiler-fryer chicken, cut for frying

½ cup unsalted butter

6 Tablespoons cognac

1 clove garlic, minced

1 fresh bay leaf

4 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley

6 small white boiling onions, peeled

½ pound fresh mushrooms, any kind, sliced

6 slices thick bacon, heavily smoked country style sliced into ½ inch pieces

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup Burgundy or other good quality dry red wine

Fried Croutons--

     French bread, cut in 1 inch cubes

     Olive oil

     Unsalted butter

 1. In a paper bag or large shallow bowl, mix flour, caribe and salt. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large deep, heavy skillet (or in a chicken fryer) over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides, turning as needed; adjust heat as necessary to prevent over-browning.

 2. Add cognac to hot skillet and flame carefully, keeping a lid nearby to extinguish flames should they rise too high. When flames die, stir in garlic, bay leaf, thyme, 3 Tablespoons of the parsley, onions, mushrooms, bacon, and a generous grinding of black pepper. Pour wine over all. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender and sauce is thickened.

 3.Meanwhile, prepare Fried Croutons. In a skillet, toast French bread cubes in a mixture of half oil and half melted butter until light golden on all sides, stirring as needed. Cool.

 4. To serve, place chicken on a large warmed platter and cover with sauce, arranging onions decoratively around chicken. Sprinkle croutons over the top, and then sprinkle with remaining 1 Tablespoon parsley.

 Reprinted from the book “Hotter Then Hell”


 (Drunken Chicken)

 This is a very yummy Sonoran chicken dish that you don’t see too often. It is somewhat reminiscent of picadillo, a cinnamon scented ground pork or beef dish accented with nuts and raisins. It is delicious served over rice, particularly peppered cumin rice. For an attractive presentation, mold the rice into a dome shape and arrange the chicken around the rice.

 Yield: 6 servings

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 Tablespoons butter or margarine

2, 2 ½ lb. chickens, cut into serving pieces, or 8 chicken legs with thighs

¼ lb. cooked ham, coarsely chopped

1 cup raisins

2 cups beer (see Note, below)

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

2 garlic cloves, minced

¾ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup piñon nuts

½ cup pimiento-stuffed olives, halved

1 Tablespoon capers, drained (optional)

 1. In a heavy, flameproof casserole dish with a lid, heat oil and butter. Add chicken pieces and sauté until golden. Add ham, raisins, beer, spices, garlic, salt and pepper.

 2. Cover and simmer until the chicken is tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Add the piñon nuts, olives, and capers and heat through, uncovered, about 5 minutes.

 Note: You can use flat beer, or even frozen beer that’s been left from a keg.

POLLO EN CACHUATE (pictured above)

(Chicken with Peanut Sauce)


This richly flavored sauce is somewhat reminiscent of Indian curry. The dish is wonderful served with any kind of rice dish. I particularly like the Arroz con Platanos or rice with plantains or rice with any kind of beans added. Any leftovers make wonderful soft tacos. Just roll the filling in warm, fresh corn tortillas.

 Yield: 6 servings

 1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, cut into chunks

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 chicken fryer, about 3 to 4 pounds, cut into serving pieces, or 6 chicken breasts or 12 thighs

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1, 1-inch cinnamon stick (Mexican canella is best)

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1, 15 ounce can diced tomatoes or 3 tomatoes, peeled and quartered

1/2 cup shelled peanuts, plus more for garnishing, optional

1/2 cup dry sherry

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 fresh jalapeno, minced

1. Heat the oil, about 1/8 cup in a skillet, sauté the onion and garlic until clear and slightly brown; then add cinnamon and allspice. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a blender.

2. Heat the rest of the oil in the same skillet and add the chicken. Sauté until golden brown on both sides. Add the stock and cook until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the stock.

3. To the blender, add the tomatoes, peanuts and ½ cup or more of the reserved stock. Blend until the sauce is very smooth, add the sherry and the jalapeno.

4.  Pour into the skillet containing the chicken. Cook, covered over low heat, until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with a rice mold.





Notes: This dish can be served with rice or small new potatoes that have been steamed. You may also want to add some of the peanuts—sprinkle some on top of the sauce over the chicken, as you are serving.


Can You Believe It?

by Jane Butel™

flowering fruit trees, 4/04/2011Spring is finally making a grand appearance in my yard.  I just love spring blossoms.  I am sharing a photo of my apple and pear trees.  We had a very, very cold spell in February that wiped out the peach blossoms, but the rest are gorgeous!

Around here, March was truly mad--amazingly busy, almost frantic.  We hardly had time to catch our breath between events and just plain busy-ness.  So sorry I never got one blog out.  I am going to try to blog at least once a week, and on Mondays if at all possible.

We went to Santa Fe to open the new gourmet appliance store, Builders Source, which is just plain gorgeous.  The store is arranged in little vignette kitchens, each with different color schemes and brands of appliances.  Some of the vignettes are used to show different appliances...such as the new steam oven.  Having worked in appliances for 17 years, I am always interested in seeing the latest features.  With the new steam ovens--you can get them either with convection or just steam.  Somehow having convection with steam doesn't make sense--I guess it is just blowing air into the steam--not sure how this would speed things up.

Then we were just running around thither and yon in Albuquerque. One Saturday, I conducted a fifth anniversary cooking class for a young couple.  They wanted to master Beef Wellington. so we did Beef Wellington, Gingered Carrots, Herbed Italian Potatoes and Bananas Foster.

With such busy times, I did a lot of quick and easy recipes--in fact we just got out our April e-newsletter with 5 of the recipes I made for dinners during the month.  If you are not on my newsletter list, go to the home page of my website at www.janebutel.com and register for the subscription newsletter, on the right panel.

pollo rellenosA recipe that is featured in my newsletter is a stuffed chicken breast with green chiles and cheddar with a crispy crust and blanketed in Salsa.  The dish is from my Quick and Easy Southwestern Cookbook and can be done in less than 20 inutes with 5 ingredients for the recipe and only 205 calories!  A picture of the recipe is featured on my website and I am including it here--so you can see it!

Here's the recipe--


Relleno in Spanish means stuffed. Here, I have stuffed the chicken breasts with cheese and green chile, then coated them with a crispy coating. The traditional Salsa Fresca is wonderful as an accompaniment.

Yield: 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of any fat or sinew (see note)

2 Tablespoons low-fat Cheddar Cheese or more to suit taste

2 Tablespoons chopped green chile (canned or frozen) or more to suit taste

¼ cup skim milk or buttermilk

½ cup cornflake crumbs (see note)

Salsa Fresca, optional

1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Pound with a tenderizer mallet or the flat side of a heavy knife. Lay the chicken breasts out flat and divide the cheese and chiles among them.

Roll the chicken and fasten with toothpicks or skewers, tucking in the sides to hold the cheese mixture. Dip in the milk to coat uniformly then dip into the cornflake crumbs.

2. Place in a microwave-safe baking dish, cover with wax paper, and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the Salsa Fresca, if using. Spoon a ribbon of salsa over each serving.

Note: You may need more corn flake crumbs for larger breasts. Boneless, skinless thighs can be substituted, if preferred. Cheese-cracker crumbs can be substituted for the cornflake crumbs, but they contain more fat.

Salsa Garnish

½ cup chopped tomato

½ cup chopped onion

½ chopped green chiles

Combine the tomato, onion, and chiles; mix well.

Per serving: Calories 205, Protein 29 g, Carbohydrates 13 g, Fiber 1 g, Fat 3 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 74 mg, Sodium 242 mg.

February Fun with our Weekend Class and a Stint on Fox TV

by Jane Butel™

Fox TV Appearance, January 28, 2011February is really starting out to be a chock-a-block full month, kicked off with  a New Mexico Style TV show on our local Fox affiliate. I demonstrated my favorite recipe for Classic Chile Con Queso as a perfect snacking recipe for Super Bowl watching. I am sharing it here--



Literally translated, this is chile with cheese and is the Southwest’s most popular hot dip. Serve warm with tortilla chips. Chile con queso may be poured into a rigid container or freezer bags and frozen for up to four months.

Yield: 2 cups

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup finely chopped onions or 3 green onions with the tender white green tops, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

3/4 cup evaporated milk (1/2 large can)

1 pound processed cheese food, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 cup mixed shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese

1 medium-size tomato, chopped

3 Tablespoons finely minced fresh jalapeno chile

Corn tortilla chips or tostados

1. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are softened. Stir in flour until well mixed.

2. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens slightly.

3. Add cheeses and cook and stir over very low heat, until the mixture becomes smooth. Then add tomato and chile. Cook, stirring to prevent sticking for about a minute or two and serve. You can serve directly from the pan on the range for a party or serve from a chafing dish or fondue pot. Leftover chile con queso is excellent spooned over crisp tortillas for instant nachos, or over hamburgers, under steak or in omelets.

February 2011 Class PhotoWe had a very fun group attend our February weekend, for the first time ever, I think; we had an all local crowd. They were all very careful cooks--producing yummy foods and had lots of fun cooking together.  It was bitter cold, so we actually did all of our cooking inside--except for deep frying the sopaipillas...and Making Sopaipillasroasting the fresh green chiles.

Here's  the class photo and Katie (left) and Mary frying sopaipillas.

Our Holidays in New Mexico

by Jane Butel™

Early each December or immediately after Thanksgiving, I always sort through my family recipes and review cookbooks for new ideas for the cookies and candies I will make for the holidays.  Since I just love to cook, it is great fun baking and candy making sometimes alone, and often with friends or my daughter and grand daughter.

This year I didn't have a Grand Holiday Party, but instead had lots of smaller dinner and cocktail parties.  I made my favorite cookies--the Lemon Bars which I put in the new Chili Madness cookbook, the Sinful Brownies I am including, and the Adobe Bars.  The Brownies went so quickly, I had to make them twice.  Then for candies, I made my favorite Marshmallow Creme Fudge with pecans and Red Chle Peanut Brittle, both of which are really popular.   

StollenThe other traditional recipe I made, which I started making in the 60's (really dates me) is Stollen, which is a recipe I worked on until I got it just right for my taste--it is rich, dense and buttery just loaded with tons of candied fruit and nuts.  I took a picture this year of how it looks right out of the oven for you to see. To serve, you brush it with melted butter and then dust with powdered sugar.  It is amazingly delicious with champagne, which we always serve with it Christmas morning.  I had a small group of 7 close friends over Christmas morning to enjoy it and all the cookies and candies I had made.  My daughter, husband and grand daughter then came to have some before sharing our presents. 

For Christmas dinner, I prepared Beef en Wellington, for the first time in years.  To keep the Christmas Day cooking to a minimum, I  prepared  the Mushroom Duxelle a day ahead and used prepared puff pastry.  Also, I made the Swedish  Scalloped Potatoes and Grandma's Date Pudding the day before.  Lemon Buttered Green Beans completed our Dinner.  I served the Date Pudding with freshly made Vanilla Laced Whipped Cream for dessert.  Yummy.  And, I served a 2005 Chiripada Cabernet Sauvignon with the dinner--long to be remembered.

 Following are the Brownie and Stollen recipes.


The best of all stollens—I worked on this recipe for years and feel it is well worth the extra effort. For years I’ve been making a recipe every other year for serving on Christmas morning with champagne.

Temperature: 325 F

Baking time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 large loaves

¾ cup unsalted butter

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon mace (if you do not have mace, substitute more nutmeg)

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Grated rind of ½ orange

2 eggs

¼ cup dark rum, brandy or sherry

1 cup milk 1 package active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water

6 cups all-purpose flour, approximately

1 cup raisins

1 cup currants (if unavailable, substitute more raisins)

¼ pound each candied orange peel, lemon peel, and citron

1 slice candied pineapple

1 cup toasted almonds1 ½ pound candied whole red and green cherries

¼ cup melted butter

Powdered sugar

  1. 1. Cream butter, add sugar gradually and cream until fluffy. Blend in salt, nutmeg, mace, lemon and orange rind.
  2. 2. Add eggs. One at a time, beating well after each addition. Add liquor and milk.
  3. 3. Soften yeast in water and stir into mixture. Add flour until dough is easy to handle. Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until the dough is satin smooth and the gluten is well developed.
  4. 4. Do not add more than ½ cup flour into the dough while kneading as too much flour will make the bread dry and coarse.
  5. 5. Mix together all fruit except cherries, then dredge with ¼ cup flour, making sure each piece is covered.
  6. 6. When the dough is smooth, add the fruit and almonds, a small amount at a time, until the fruit is spread throughout the dough and all is used.
  7. 7. Poke holes in the dough with your forefinger and place a cherry in each hole. This prevents mashing the cherries.
  8. 8. Divide the dough in half and place in large well-greased bowls; brush generously with melted butter and set a warm place to rise. Since the dough is heavy with fruit, it will require about 8 hours to rise.
  9. 9. 9. To form, turn out on a lightly floured board, punch down and divide in half. To make typical stollen or crescent shaped loaves, first pat the dough into an oblong shape, then fold in half lengthwise.

10. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet; brush with butter and let rise until doubled.

11. Preheat oven to 325F during last 10 minutes of rising.

12. 12. Bake for 1 hour, brush several times with melted butter as the loaves are baking. When baked, dust generously with powdered sugar just before serving. Serve warm.

Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Freezer Cookbook.


These are moist, rich and almost sinful. They are truly delicious!

Oven Temperature: 375°F Baking Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 1, 9” square pan

1½ cups (or 3 sticks) butter or margarine

2 cups sugar

3 squares bitter chocolate, melted

2 teaspoons Mexican Vanilla

Pinch of salt

1 cup flour

4 eggs, separated – beat yolks till lemon yellow – whites till stiff

1 cup chopped walnuts

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. 2. Cream butter using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add sugar, egg yolks, chocolate and vanilla. Mix on low to combine, then mix well on medium. With mixer turned off, add flour and nuts, then switch to low and mix well. Fold in egg whites using lowest speed for the shortest time possible or fold in by hand.
  3. 3. Butter well, then flour a 9-inch square pan. Bake until firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Do not overbake.

Variation: Sprinkle with 1 or more Tablespoons chile caribe on the batter before baking for a nice spicy touch!


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Jane Butel Cooking School • Pecos Valley Spice Co. • Corrales, NM 87048  • Office: 505-243-2622  • info@janebutelcooking.com

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