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Three Day Special on February 23-25 Weekend

By Jane Butel  February 6, 2024

Our weekend and week-long classes have been rated "The Best in the US" for  non-vocational cooking classes by Gayot.com and Bon Appetit magazine.  I love presenting these classes and sharing the insider tips and hints for successful cooking and baking as well as insider tips and benefits  of cooking with chiles.  Also, I review  the rich history of New Mexico's culinary, which is noted as being the very first culinary in all of the Americas.  Until Thursday, February 8 at midnight, our regular weekend rate for the three day full participation class will only be  $750.00 instead of  $1050.00.

What I love about New Mexico's  historical cuisine is that it is basted and brushed with tons of history. The culinary started out humbly with the earliest  of settlers crossing the Bering strait.  The basic cuisine started with less than 10 major ingredient groups and to this day still features these main, healthy ingredients.

One of the centerpieces of the cuisine is chile, the pod which happens to be a fruit.  Chiles have unbelievable  amounts of properties.  One of the most interesting is that they are the world's best natural preservative and possess phenomenal health qualities.  First discovered by a University of the Philippines study a few decades ago, chiles uniquely possess the healthful property of curtailing heart disease and cancer when at the minimum of  1/2 teaspoon is ingested two-thirds of the time or at least 20 days out of every 30.

And, just a year ago, Harvard University's Medical Group  made the same endorsement along with the University of Nottingham in England, among others.

So, you might ask, "isn't it difficult to like such a spicey flavor"?  Not really. You see, chiles are habit forming.  The more you eat them, the hotter you desire them. WHAT A WAY TO GO!!

Besides the health aspect, they also impart a "joy d vie".  

With the Big Game coming up this Sunday, you might  want to prepare your favorite chili recipe along with some blue cornbread...recipe follows.  Did you know that blue corn is the only food in the world with complete nutrition, possessing all the essential vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids for a healthy life.  That is how the Ancients in the North (New Mexico) thrived.  It was on a diet mainly comprised of blue corn, which is still sacred in the Pueblos of New Mexico.  If you would like to try some blue corn, I am placing it on a two day $1.00 off or $5.00 a pound special.  Our blue corn is  Pueblo Indian grown and 100% pure and is pinon smoked for greater flavor and keeping quality. 

Our next day class is a favorite, Bread Baking and is on Leap Day, February 29 at 5 PM.  I was the lucky kid, whose Mother had been the Bread Baking Champion of Kansas 4-H Clubs in her youth.  Quite naturally, she shared lots of hints and tips with me.  There is no bread better than freshly baked bread in your own kitchen.  We will be making a few different types of fun to know and delicious breads.

Next on March 7 is our creative and fun Taco class, also at 5 PM. And just in time for Easter, we are offering our very special Perfect Pie Baking class which features a number of favorite pies and my Aunt's never-fail pastry she cleared at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, France.

And---many of you have been asking for our ever popular Barbecue cooking class.  Just in time for Daylight Savings, I am offering this class just in time for the beginning of longer days on Thursday, April 4, with more to come.

More yet--we have started taking Oaxaca reservations.  We have just booked a great new boutique hotel well placed near the Zocolo and Sant Domingo!  Sign up soon to be sure and get a place in this exceptional culinary tour.

Here is another chili recipe and my favorite Blue Corn Parfait Bread--a perfect companion to go along with the chili.

Chipotle Chili

This chili is for serious hot chili lovers, who like the smokiness of Chipotles. Chipotles always add a smokey richness that is truly habit forming! I much prefer to reconstitute the dried traditional chipotles (not the moritas) or use chipotle powder ground from the traditional chipotles as they are much smokier and authentic tasting. (Traditional chipotles are made by long, slow smoking in banana leaves.)

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 Tablespoon bacon drippings
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds beef chuck, cut in ½ inch cubes with some fat left in
½ cup ground pure, hot chile
4 dried chipotle pods reconstituted by simmering in water with a splash of vinegar for 30 minutes or 5 minutes in a quart liquid measuring cup, covered in the microwave. Or, substitute 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
2 Tablespoons ground cumin, divided
¼ cup dry red wine

1. In a large pot, melt the bacon drippings. When hot, add the onion and cook until they are clear and starting to brown. Remove from heat and stir in garlic and meat. Then add the chiles, half the cumin and water to cover by one inch.

2. Bring to a high heat and when just starting to bubble, reduce to a low heat and simmer for two to three hours. Simmer until very tender and the flavors are blended. Add remaining cumin and wine and cook briefly. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with fixin’s ‘n mixin’s of sour cream with lime wedges, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and chopped onion.

Blue Corn Parfait Bread

bluecornbread.jpgThe best blue cornmeal is smoked in adobe ovens and then lava-wheel ground to a fine flour consistency. With the popularity of blue corn, a lot of blue corn on the market is “filled,” or blended with white or yellow corn. For the best flavor, buy pure blue cornmeal, if it is available. The moist quality of this bread has long made it a favorite with campers and picnickers.

Yield: 9-12 servings

1 cup blue cornmeal

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoons salt

2 eggs

2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 cup dairy sour cream

2 cups cooked or canned whole-kernel corn, drained

¼ pound Monterey Jack cheese or Cheddar cheese, or a combination of the two, sliced ¼ inch thick

¼ cup sliced jalapeno chiles, either pickled or fresh

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch round or square cake pan. Mix the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center. Add eggs, butter and sour cream and blend thoroughly. Fold in corn kernels.

2. Pour almost half the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with the sliced cheese and chiles. Pour the remaining batter over cheese and chiles and smooth to cover the filling. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes our clean. Serve warm.

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