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Red Chile Fiesta Day Class Now on Sale

By Jane Butel  October 1, 2019

Next Monday, October 7, we will be cooking up lots of red chiles for our "Red Chile Fiesta" full participation class which has a few openings--now at 20% off.  The Balloon Week classes start at 11 AM just after the mass ascension.   Balloon Week is a huge and magical event here in Albuquerque, where our Balloon Fiesta is listed as the largest in the world and the most photographed event in the world.  The brilliantly colored balloons against our clear purply blue skies is just amazingly gorgeous!  And, the special shapes are totally a sight to behold--the likes of a huge Holstein cow, a stage coach with horses or sometimes a yellow submarine.

And.....red chile season is in full swing, with lots of colorful red chile strings everywhere.  In our red chile class, we will be cooking Red Chile Beef Enchiladas with Poached Eggs, Carne Adovado made into Burritos, Chimichangos and Tacos with Nine Day Cole Slaw, Spicey Chocolate Chile Cup Cakes and  Salsa  Rojo with Tostados.   

Later in the week,  we are featuring our famous Tamale Roll class and have a very few openings available.  In this class we prepare 4 different types of tamales! 

Susan Whitfield with Tres Leches cakeWe just finished a week long class which was huge fun and everyone cooked so well!  They made everything that much larger classes generally prepared.  They even wanted to make the Jalapeno Jelly which is so fabulous on the freshly baked Indian Bear Paw Bread and later on roasted or grilled Pork , Lamb, Salmon or Poultry. It has been two or three years since a class has wanted to make it.  It is just so yummy!!!  I am going to give you the recipe today!   And the fun, Isleta Bear Paw Bread recipe!


At least three groups of women entrepreneurs developed successful businesses selling this jelly to specialty food markets. You can capture this same terrific flavor yourself. Great served with any simply prepared meat dish such as roast leg of lamb, beef, pork or chicken.

Yield: 5 jars, 1 cup each

3 large red bell peppers, cored, seeded and finely chopped

3 medium-size jalapeno chiles for mild jelly, cored, seeded and finely chopped

6 chiles for hot jelly

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

6 1/2 cups sugar

6 ounces bottled liquid pectin

  1. Scrub out five 1-cup jelly jars with resealable lids. Boil jars in water while preparing jelly.
  1. Chop, blend or process the peppers and chiles. Combine with the vinegar and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan.
  1. Bring to a boil and boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes transparent, about 30 minutes.
  1. Remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes, then stir in the pectin.
  1. Return to heat and boil, stirring constantly for 2 more minutes.
  1. Remove from heat, skim, and ladle into the hot sterilized jars; seal at once.
  1. In a large pan that will hold all the jars with space for water to circulate, place jars on a trivet. Add water to reach 1 inch over the tops of the lids. Boil for 15 minutes. Remove and cool


For a Christmas look that is great for gifts, prepare some recipes with red bell and chile peppers, and some with green bell peppers and chiles.


The Indian women living in pueblos dotting the Rio Grande in New Mexico bake a marvelous bread that is crusty and reminiscent of good French bread.  The traditional Indian way to make the bread is to start the afternoon before planning to bake.  The yeast, water and flour are stirred together and allowed to ferment overnight.  They use only ½ package of yeast to each 12 ½ pounds of flour.  The next morning, the rest of the ingredients are added to the dough. 

Mrs. Carolyn Olguin of Isleta kindly shared her recipe with me.  This yields marvelous bread.  I adapted the recipe so that it does not require a day and a half to prepare.  (I must admit that when she gave me the recipe, it was a shock to learn that it started with a 50-pound bag of flour!)  On baking day, shortly after kneading the bread, she goes outside to her horno (an adobe oven) and builds a large piñon wood fire. In the afternoon, when the bread is ready for baking, she scrapes the coals out of the oven.  With a large paddle, she places the loaves in the oven to bake for about 1 ½ hours.  And it is worth the trouble! 

Yield:  2 loaves 

1 package active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water (105° to 115° F>)

½ teaspoon lard

¼ teaspoon honey

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup hot water

4 cups all-purpose flour or more 

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water; set aside. Measure the lard, honey and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Add the hot water and stir to dissolve well. 
  1. When the lard mixture has cooled to room temperature, combine it with the yeast mixture. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  1. When 4 cups flour have been added to the dough, spread a light dusting of flour on a board or counter and on it knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. 
  1. Let dough rise in a bowl in a warm place until doubled; be sure you have covered the dough with a sheet of wax paper and a towel. When dough is doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead again. 
  1. Divide dough into 2 equal parts and shape each into a flat circle about 8 inches in diameter. Fold each circle almost in half, allowing the bottom half to extend about 1 inch beyond the top.
  2. Using a sharp knife, slash the dough twice, cutting through both parts of the dough, about halfway back to the fold. This will create 3 separated sections, or the bear’s claw.  Transfer the dough to a greased 9-inch pie plate, curving the folded portion to create a crescent effect.  Separate the slashes, forming the claw or paw effect.    Allow to double in a warm place. 
  1. Preheat the over to 350° and place a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 1 hour, or until lightly browned.  Serve hot or cold.



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