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Enjoy a Glorious Fall Break Amid the Golden Cottonwoods and Red Chiles

By Jane Butel  October 24, 2018

Our falls in New Mexico in the Rio Grande valley are so beautiful--with the purply blue skies and moderate weather--it is a great time to unwind and cook up a storm with us.  Our November 9 to 11, 2018 weekend is on a great half price special of $525.00 for three fun days  of full participation cooking.

The weekend starts with an evening session where you will learn all about the health and cooking with chiles, both red and green.  You will learn how chiles can  help you  in all kinds of ways--all very good for you.   We will create 3 to 4 kinds of salsa--each with its own history...from the political first salsa to Pico de Gallo which is flavored with the smokey chipotle and is supposed to be so hot you will jump as high as the rooster's comb.  We will create Composed  Nachos, which are pretty as a picture and so much fun to munch on with Perfect Margaritas.  Then you will enjoy making and eating the award winning Bowl o Red served with Fixin's 'n Mixin's  and Blue Corn Parfait Bread that is so tasty and oozing with a center of Monterey Jack cheese.  And you will both learn the fun history of Fajitas and make them to enjoy with the Pico de Gallo.

On Saturday, you will learn how to make fail proof corn tortillas and how they are used to make the original Burrito, which you will enjoy for breakfast.  The rich and wonderful history of corn and how it has shaped world history in many different  ways will be unraveled and how blue corn's amazing quality of being the only food that is 100% nutrition will be explained.   You will participate in the making of some of the very popular regional favorites--Open-Faced Red Chile Beef Enchiladas and Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas plus Baja Shrimp Tacos topped with the yummy pickled Nine Day Cole Slaw.  Also  the signature specialty--Crispy Chicken Tostados with Creamy Salsa Verde, plus the very special original Sopaipilla and Flour Tortillas will be made.

Sunday starts with the creation of Quesadillas made with your choice of fillings and toppings which are  both  beautiful and blessed with tons of flavor.  The session will be devoted to sharing the hints and tips for making some of the very favorite and traditional specialties of the region, such as Red Chile Beef Tamales that are so fluffy you won't believe them; plus Blue Corn Crusted Chile Rellenos, and Carne Adobado , which is just packed with the right balance  of chiles to be totally memorable.  Also, you will learn the secrets for making the "Bowl of Blessedness" --Posole , which has a gorgeous mahogany colored sauce flavored with the chiles, herbs and caramelized pork cubes and is served with toppings.   And--baking techniques will be shared for making the historic Bizcochito, flaky pastry tucked with fruit filled Empanadas and the special Flan that garnered me a $50,000 wardrobe from the Southwest's most famous designers.

 And that is not all.  You will also receive a  specially designed diploma by Milton Glaser, an apron and  an autographed  copy of the "Southwest Kitchen" which backed up my PBS series and is rated as the "Bible of Southwestern Cooking" by Publishers Weekly.    

I am sure you will not want to pass this opportunity up--seldom at half price.

Here's a couple of  fall recipes to emjoy--

Texas-Style Tamale Pie

This typically Texas-style casserole dish is a favorite for entertaining because it can be made well ahead of time—two to three days—and then baked just before serving time. It combines the spicy, savory flavors of Southwestern cooking and highlights three popular Tex-Mex ingredients: chili, corn and cheese. You can vary the ingredients to suit your taste and to use what you have on hand. The ingredients can be varied to suit your taste and what you have on hand. Add a green salad such as a Spinach Mango Salad with Lemony Mustard Dressing, recipe found on page 112 for those of you who have my Chili Madness cookbook, 2nd edition and perhaps the Garlic Sticks, recipe page 146 and you have a very tasty meal.

Yield: Serves 4

1 cup white, yellow, or blue corn meal

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon butter

2 cups chili, preferably beef

1/2 cup whole kernel corn

1 tomato, stemmed and diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup thinly sliced pimiento stuffed green olives

1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese combination, or to taste

1. Place 3 cups of water and the salt in a large saucepan over high heat. In a medium bowl, combine 3 cups of water with the cornmeal. When the salted water boils, gradually pour in the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring often, until thick, about 30 minutes over low heat. Meanwhile, butter a 3-quart casserole.

2. While the cooked cornmeal is still warm, spread it over the bottom and sides of the casserole, smoothing it out to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 350 F or if delaying the baking, preheat before baking.

3. Spread the chili over the cornmeal on the bottom of the pan, then add the remaining ingredients in layers, ending with the cheese. Bake until the crust is crispy, and lightly browned, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from Chili Madness, 2nd edition.



Serve this dish with a tangy green salad or fruit salad for rave reviews.  This is a more innovative tamale pie that features a great way to use any leftover turkey. The black beans and green chiles pair well with the blander turkey and cheese flavors.

Yield:  4-6 servings

6 cups water
1 ½ cups white cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked black beans with broth
1 (4-oz.) can chopped green chiles (1/2 cup)
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons ground hot chile or to taste
½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder or 1 chipotle chile (reconstitute if dried, in water to cover and a small splash of cider or white vinegar) finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 pounds coarsely chopped cooked turkey
1 cup mixed shredded Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar cheese

1. Grease a 3-quart casserole dish. Heat 3 cups of the water to boiling in a large heavy saucepan. Mix cornmeal, salt, and remaining 2 cups of water together in a  bowl and pour into boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened into a mush, about 30 minutes. Before mush cools, line bottom and sides of prepared casserole with three-fourths of the mush, reserving remaining mush for the top. Preheat oven to 325F (165C).

2. Combine black beans, green chile, onion, garlic, ground chile, chipotle chile, and cumin in a large saucepan, Cook, stirring, over low heat to blend flavors. Add turkey and cook until hot. Spoon turkey mixture into the lined casserole and cover with reserved mush. Bake, uncovered, 2 hours or until filling is bubbly and topping is browned. Top with cheese and bake until cheese melts.








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