Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Southwest Cookbooks

Last Wednesday I wrote about Southwestern US cooking, concentrating on Native American cuisines. Besides those I mentioned, I also own some cookbooks from about urban, non-Indian cuisines of the Southwest -- very distinct from Mexican cuisines south of the border.

First -- a gorgeously illustrated volume titled Coyote Cafe, written by Mark Miller, the former owner of the Coyote Cafe restaurant in Santa Fe, NM:

From the famous Coyote Cafe.
Mark Miller became a star chef in the 1980s. Before Santa Fe, he cooked for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and various other places. His creative cooking at Coyote Cafe was very influential, and the book, published 1989, presents a number of his innovative fusion recipes. I ate there on at least two occasions, and found the food, the style of presentation, and the decor of the restaurant extremely enjoyable. Unfortunately I don't seem to have taken any photos of my fascinating meals!

My second Southwest cookbook is more conventional:

Classic Southwest Cooking by
Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger, 1994.
A less flamboyant volume!
Experiencing Southwest foods: pumpkins, gourds, and chili ristras on a winter day at the Los Alamos NM market, 2004.
I recall purchasing pozole (with a recipe) and hand-made chili powder to take home.
A number of years ago, I subscribed and tried many recipes from Chili Pepper magazine -- though I didn't save any of the issues of the magazine. Founded in 1987 by Albuquerque food writers Dave Dewitt and Nancy Gerlach, the magazine is still published around 6 times a year, and covers the uses of the many types of chili peppers that grow in the Southwest, as well as hot pepper recipes from all parts of the globe. I especially remember two recipes from the magazine: one for corn and chili pancakes, one for chili cornbread!

Classic Southwest Cooking includes descriptions of many
types of chili peppers. I've tried several of the recipes.
Cheese and Jalapeño Stuffed Potatoes
adapted from Classic Southwest Cooking
6 baking potatoes (about 1/2 pound each)
1 and 1/2 cups sour cream (I used less)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 and 1/2 tsp toasted and ground cumin seed
3 tsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 
Scrub, pierce, and bake potatoes at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes. Cool around 10 minutes, cut around 1/3 of top from potatoes and scoop out flesh leaving around 1/4 inch shell. Mash the insides of the potatoes (including the tops) with the sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir in jalapeños, cumin, and coriander. Fill the shells with the mixture 
Bake the filled potatoes for around 20 more minutes at 350 degrees. Remove potatoes from oven, sprinkle with the cheddar, and broil the potatoes around 5 inches from broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is bubbling and slightly browned, watching carefully so they don't burn. Serve hot! 
Note: I have used this twice-baked potato method with a variety of fillings for potatoes.
My experiences with Southwest cuisines include several trips to New Mexico, Arizona, and southern Utah. Besides the Coyote Cafe, I've eaten at other memorable restaurants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, visited markets, and also done quite a bit of sightseeing in the fabulous mountain and desert landscapes. The various dishes of Southwest cuisine, using many New World foods, make a marvelous cuisine, and I should experiment with it more.

Cookbook Wednesday is inspired by
Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations.


~~louise~~ said...

Hi Mae!
Now, you are really to tantalize me, lol...I don't have either of these books but I do so want them especially that Coyote Cafe book!

I too use to subscribel to Chili Pepper magazine. I think I have only one back issue though.

I love the recipe that you chose to share today also. Yummy!

Hope you are still enjoying that sunshine. "See" you when you return and thanks for joining Cookbook Wednesday. You're all linked up!!!

Mae Travels said...

Leaving Florida today -- internet in airport does work intermittently!

Marjie said...

Yet another wonderful specialty cookbook you have, Mae. Your collection is impressive.

Geraldine Saucier said...

I have the Coyote Cafe cookbook. It is one of my favorites.

Debra Eliotseats said...

You know your singing my song here with the NM slant. I am dying to try those stuffed potatoes, Mae.

Shaheen said...

I've come on over from the linky, intrigued by your cookbooks that will probably never appear in the U.K, thank you for sharing.