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It's Balloon Week, Week long class discounted and Winning Recipes

  October 7, 2021

Balloons are abounding in our gorgeous weather--70's all week and little chance of rain.  One landed literally across the street this morning--what a gorgeous site.   Here's a photo I took of it.  Several years ago, I prepared a brunch on a burner which was great fun!  At the end of this post, I am reprinting the brunch I developed for the Today Show.

We had another fun, fun Green Chile Fiesta class last night.    The Red Chile Fiesta is next on October 21 at 5 PM.   We have quite a few openings, so  I am discounting it 20%.

And, next we have our week long class which I am discounting it also 20%.  The week long class is my most comprehensive class and features a number of favorite regional Mexican recipes in addition to traditional New Mexican Favorite.  Some of the Regional favorites are two moles, Chiles en Nogado, drepas Cajeta, and Tres Leches Cake.

Balloon Launch Brunch

balloon brunchYou really don’t have to be watching balloons to enjoy this brunch! You can stay right at home or use it as a tailgate party for any event.

Here in Albuquerque, we are known for having the world’s largest Balloon Fiesta, which is always the first two weekends in October and all the days in between. Albuquerque is an ideal ballooning event site as there is the Albuquerque Box, which is several square miles—enough to accommodate gracefully over one thousand balloons that are brought from all over the world to fly in special events.

To make the most of the occasion, it is best to go to the Balloon Park very early—before sunrise. Since this event is always conducted in early October, the mornings are chilly and brisk, making the Sunrise Sippers quite a welcome treat.

While everyone is sipping away, serve the New Mexican Crab-Cannellini Bruschettas. Then you can take your time getting the rest of the menu ready for serving. I’d recommend serving tailgate style if in a crowd setting. If serving picnic style on the ground, bring a warm, colorful blanket for a serving and seating background.

The type of table covering or cloth will be dictated by the space where you plan to serve. Blankets or quilts are quite appropriate for this type of menu.

Use practical dishes and glasses. Bright plastic or tinware is perfect because breakage is not a problem and packing is much easier. Or you may wish to select attractive paper plates, glasses, or cups.

 **Plan of Action—

Day before (or several days before)--

  • If desired, the Pear Cake can be made and frozen several days ahead. Or bake just the day before.
  • Prepare the crepes and separate each with waxed paper
  • Prepare the crab and toast the bread
  • Prepare the Bleu Cheese-Chile Sauce and place in a heat-proof container.
  • Rinse the salad greens, spin, place in a covered container, and chill
  • Prepare the honey dressing and place in a transportable jar with a tight-fitting lid.

One hour before—

  • Heat the oven to 200F and place the pear cake in it, as well as the container of bleu cheese sauce and the crepes.
  • Make the coffee
  • Scramble the eggs and roll in the crepes. Wrap in foil and place in the oven on a tray until departure.
  • When ready to go, wrap heavy newspaper around all the warm foods and place in a box or carrying container. Place the food in a thermal insulated picnic hamper, if you have one.

At serving time—

  • Mix and serve the Sunrise Sippers; serve the New Mexican Crab-Cannellini Bruschettas.
  • Prepare the serving area, on the tailgate, table, or blanket.
  • Serve the burritos with the sauce.
  • Toss the salad with the dressing and serve with the burritos.
  • Cut and serve the Pear Breakfast Cake.



Sunrise Sippers
New Mexican Crab-Cannellini Bruschettas
Blue Horizon Blue Breakfast Burritos with

Blue Corn Crepes

Bleu-Cheese-Chile Sauce
Baby Greens Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette
Pear Breakfast Cake



Just before sunup, these not only taste great, but the medley of liquors supplies just the right “kick” to give the day a bright beginning. Carry the coffee in a thermos and the liquors in their own bottles or you can premix the liquors.

Yield: 6 drinks

6 cups of good quality French roast type coffee
3 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
3 Tablespoons Kahlua
2 Tablespoons Amaretto
3 Tablespoons brandy or cognac
Whipped cream in aerosol can
Freshly ground cinnamon

1. Place the coffee in 6 mugs, then top each with 1 ½ teaspoons each of the 4 liqueurs (or combine them and then measure 2 Tablespoons of the liqueur mixture on top of each mug.) Add the whipped cream and serve with a dash of cinnamon on top, if desired.



The flavorful crab and bean salsa is absolutely delicious and will keep a few days in the refrigerator—perfect as an appetizer any time of day! Served on crisp toasts of Italian or French bread, it’s a hearty snack

Yield: 6 servings

6 red radishes, rinsed and thinly sliced
8 to 10 small green onions, thinly sliced
1 ½ cup red bell pepper; diced
½ cup green peppers; diced
½ cup jicama, peeled and diced
¼ cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1 16 ounce can white or cannellini beans, drained
1 Tablespoon caribe, crushed northern New Mexico chile
2 limes, juiced
½ pound crab flakes, any kind—even Serimi artificial crab is good
1 medium-sized loaf (about a pound) Italian or French bread, unsliced

1. Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the bread. Taste and adjust seasoning. Make at least the night before serving.

2. Preheat the oven to 450F. Slice the bread into ¾ inch slices and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast the bread about 5 minutes to a golden brown, watching carefully, and remove to a cooling rack. (This can be done a day or so ahead.)

3. To serve, place the toasts on a tray or platter and serve with the salsa. Do not “plate up” ahead of time, as the toast will get soggy.



The double combination of the blue corn crepes surrounding a green chile-egg scramble with bleu cheese sauce makes these truly unique and delicious! They are just perfect for watching a balloon launch or for any tailgate type party. They are wonderful served right from your dining room, kitchen or patio. Depending on the hour you are serving this brunch, you can make the crepes ahead of time and have the eggs ready to scramble.

Yield: 6 servings

1 recipe Blue Corn Crepes (recipe follows)
12 eggs
½ cup milk—can be skim
6 fresh green chiles or about 2/3 cup, chopped
1 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons butter
1 recipe Bleu Cheese-Chile Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Preheat the crepes, using the recipe below. Just before serving, whisk the eggs with ½ cup milk. Add the green chiles, Mexican oregano, and salt.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy skillet with the butter using medium heat. Add the egg mixture, stirring constantly, and turn down the heat to low. Cook and stir until the eggs are of desired doneness and still medium soft.

3. Allowing two burritos per person, lay out 12 warm crepes flat. (If the crepes were made ahead, warm slightly in the microwave in a plastic bag for about 1 minute, or heat in foil in a moderate oven.) Place the eggs in a strip down the center of the crepe, leaving a 1- to 1 ½ inch margin at the bottom and then fold in the two sides and press together. They should hold together—if not, secure briefly with a toothpick pierced in vertically. To transport the burritos, wrap each in heavy foil, sealing well.

4. Serve napped (or ribboned) with the Bleu Cheese-Chile Sauce.



These light, delicate crepes are wonderful for burritos and other fillings. The batter is best if allowed to rest for at least an hour before baking.

Yield: 12 crepes

3/4 cup flour
¼ cup blue corn flour or meal
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cumin
¾ cup water
2/3 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten with a whisk
2 Tablespoons melted sweet (unsalted) butter
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1. Measure the dry ingredients, taking care to spoon the flour gently into the measuring cup before leveling. Place in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the liquid ingredients and stir into the flours until mixed. Do not beat. Add the butter and set aside.

2. Heat a 6- to 8-inch heavy skillet over medium heat. Brush with the oil. A drop of batter should sizzle when hot enough. Using a ¼-cup measure or 4-ounce ladle, place a scant ladleful of batter in the hot skillet, adding oil to skillet only when needed.

3. Keep the crepes warm by placing in a cloth or crock until serving.


This simple béchamel or white sauce can be used with numerous dishes—over soufflés, poached eggs, burritos, and so on. Just omit the bleu cheese and flavor as desired.

3 Tablespoons sweet (unsalted) butter
3 Tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1/3 to ½ cup bleu cheese or to taste
A few drops liquid hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco

1. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When slightly browned, stir in the flour. Stirring constantly, allow the roux to tan lightly. Add a bit of chicken stock, stirring continuously.

2. Continue to add more stock, stirring constantly until all the stock is added. Season with the cheese and allow to melt. Taste and add more cheese if desired. Add the hot pepper sauce. Serve warm. To transport to the park, place in a thermal bowl or wide-mouthed thermos.



Use any combination of lettuces and edible blossoms for this salad.

1 ½ quarts mixed baby lettuces or mesclun mix
12 to 18 pansy or nasturtium blossoms
1 recipe Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette.

1. Rinse the greens and spin or blot dry. Place in a chilled salad bowl.

2. To serve, grind a few grates of fresh pepper over the top, then add the dressing and lightly toss. Serve on chilled plates if possible.

Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

This delightfully tart dressing is wonderful on any assortment of greens or fruit—it is my all time favorite Honey Mustard dressing! So keep this recipe handy.

Yield: 6 Servings

1/3 cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon aromatic honey, such as sage or mesquite
1 Tablespoon Dijon style mustard

1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine all the ingredients and whisk. Chill and reserve until ready to serve over chilled greens.



Pears always seem like fall. However, I like them any time of the year. Their mellow, earthy sweet taste isPear Breakfast Cake wonderful in salads, a wide range of desserts, and just simply fresh, eaten out of the hand. This cake is best if allowed to set after baking and served either warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 6 servings

1 ½ cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar, divided (2 Tablespoons for batter, 1/3 cup for topping, 2 teaspoons to sprinkle over the top)
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon ( ½ teaspoon reserved to mix with 2 teaspoons sugar, above)
¼ cup (1/2 stick) sweet (unsalted) butter, cut into ½ inch squares
½ cup milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla, Mexican if possible
¾ cup sour cream
3 firm, ripe pears
A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Confectioners’ sugar
Paper doily

1. Preheat the oven to 375F, making sure the rack is in the upper third of the oven. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan. Combine the dry ingredients, reserving 2 Tablespoons of flour and 1/3 cup of sugar in a bowl and reserving 2 teaspoons of the granulated sugar in a separate small bowl. Stir in the salt, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

2. Using your hands, a pastry blender, or the beater blade of the mixer, cut in the butter. Mix until uniform and no large particles of butter remain. In a separate small bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla and stir into the above dry ingredients. Spread the batter evenly into the buttered pan.

3. Combine the reserved 2 Tablespoons of flour, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and sour cream and carefully smooth over the batter.

4. Peel, quarter, and core the pears. Then cut into long medium thick slices and arrange overlapping in a large circle just inside the edge of the pan. (An apple corer, slicer is a great gadget to use.) Place the remaining pears in a circle inside that one. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

5. Remove the foil and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and cinnamon. Bake for another 30 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean and the pears are tender and lightly browned.

6. To serve, place a paper doily on the cake and sieve some powdered sugar over it using the holes in the doily to make a pattern. Remove the doily and place foil over the top if you are transporting the cake. Otherwise serve it warm right from the oven or serving tray.





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