Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm craving Santa Fe Flavors!

It has been a while since I just dealt with recipes. Today is the day. I’ve been craving some southwestern food, big time! I had some delicious, spicy tortilla soup last week at Molly’s Table in Paola. Since then, I have been thinking about all of those wonderful flavors! Since it has been so hot and muggy, I think a nice cold Avocado Gazpacho would be perfect. I got this recipe years ago when Arch and I went to Santa Fe for the first time. It is so good and refreshing!

Avocado Gazpacho Soup

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 large avocado, diced, plus more for garnish
1 large tomato, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 cup diced celery
¼ cup sliced green onions
¼ cup Somerset Ridge Chardonnay
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 cups beef broth
4 cups crushed tomatoes, canned
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon salt, or to your taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to your taste
1 dash Tabasco, or to your taste
11lime, juice only

In a large glass or porcelain bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
When serving, you may wish to serve it with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and a few pieces of diced avocado.
In many restaurants now, serving a “shot” of cold soup as an appetizer is the in thing.
There isn’t much room for garnish with the shot glass, so use a tiny bit of any or all garnishes.
Serves 6 to 8 regular size servings

Do you love smoked fish? It was one of Arch’s favorites. When ever we found good smoked trout, I’d make these crepes for him. In the beginning he balked a little, they weren’t prepared the “German way”. After a few bites, he was sold.

Smoked Trout in Cornmeal Crepes with Broiled Tomato Salsa

For the crepes:
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoons flour, sifted
1 medium eggs
½ cup milk
1 tablespoons melted butter
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, place the cornmeal and the flour, blend well. Add the eggs and mix . Slowly add the milk, whisking as you go. Next, whisk in the salt and the butter.
Set batter aside for approximately 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the Salsa

For the Broiled Tomato Salsa:
3 large ripe tomatoes
1 small onion, quartered
1 clove garlic
2 serrano chiles, seeded
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to broil. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for approximately 15 minutes, until they are brownish black and the juices are beginning to caramelize.
Using a food processor, blend the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chiles and salt.
Pour the vegetable oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat. When hot, add the salsa and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Back to the crepes….
In a seasoned crepe pan, place the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Pour out the oil and wipe the pan with a paper towel, so there is just a light film of oil remaining.
Pour in 2 tablespoons of the batter and roll it around so that it coats the entire bottom surface of the pan.
Cook the crepe for 1 minute over low heat and then turn them over. Cook for 45 seconds and place on serving plates. Rewipe the pan with oiled paper towel and prepare next crepe, until all 4 crepes are prepared. I must admit, my first crepes never come out right, sometimes takes 2 or 3 to get into the swing of things..

For the Trout:
16 ounces boneless smoked trout, broken up into bite size pieces.

Assembly directions:
Divide the trout among the 4 crepes,, placing it in the center of each warm cornmeal crepe. Fold the crepes over and cover them with the Broiled Tomato Salsa.
Serves 4

Both chocolate and pecans are important in Southwestern cooking. I think they should be important in every country….they are meant to be together!

Santa Fe Chocolate Tart

2 cups pecan pieces
¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
16 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 cups whipping cream
1 large egg yolk

In a food processor, place the pecans, sugar and butter. Pulverize the mixture, then press into a 10” tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven, until golden brown.
In a double boiler, place the chocolate and melt over simmering water.
In another double broiler, place the cream and heat it until it is scalding hot.
Beat the egg yolk into the melted chocolate, then beat in the hot cream.
Pour the mixture into the tart shell.
Chill for a minimum of 2 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream to which you have added a dash of cinnamon with the sugar.

I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you. Santa Fe is such a great place to go for food, art, history, music….I need to get back there! Until then, I’ll have to have another piece of tart!

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