Notes From the Field

Gourmet Girl - May 12, 2015

Crawdads, Cooking with O'Keeffe, South American Street Food, and More

Cookin' Cajun Style

This weekend marks the return of the annual Crawdaddy Blues Fest at the Madrid Railyard. If you love crawfish, you don't want to miss this. The crawdads are trucked in directly from southeast Texas and cooked right in front of your eyes! The menu also includes gumbo, shrimp, brisket, hamburgers and more, as well as performances by top musicians including Felicia Ford and the Chevrolets, Hillary Smith, Felix y Los Gatos, The Sticky, Jelly Bread, Cactus Slim and the Goatheads and others. The 8th Annual Crawdaddy Blues Fest is free for kids under 12 and includes a full bar and plenty of shade. See ya there!

May 16 & 17 12 to 8 pm

If you can't get to Madrid for the food this year, sign up for chef Trey Corkern's Cajun & Creole Seafood Fest at Las Cosas Cooking School. Corkern, who ran a popular food truck serving Creole and Cajun food in Portland and also cooked at New Orleans Galatoire's Restaurant, knows this cuisine well. You'll learn to make stuffed artichokes with oysters and crab; brie and crab soup; red snapper with Creole hollandaise and Bananas Foster with homemade ice cream. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Saturday, May 23 10 am to 1 pm

Coffee Culture

If you've often wondered why the coffee you brew at home never tastes as good as the coffee you purchase at your favorite local cafe, sign up for the Santa Fe Culinary Academy's one-day workshop, Coffee Fundamentals, led by a team from Iconik Coffee Roasters who will help demystify this problem. You'll also learn about varietals, tasting, roasting and blending and learn to pair food with coffee. You'll even discover which cup of coffee is a perfect match for your taste buds.

May 18, 9 am to 3 pm

The Guesthouse

Have you had a chance to dine at The Guesthouse, the Santa Fe Culinary academy's student-run restaurant? There's still time to visit! The restaurant is open through June 5, featuring a brand new menu created by academy students as part of their final project. Feast on a roasted vegetable and goat cheese terrine; minted pea soup with lemon crème fraiche and smoked lardons; pork belly with Carolina barbeque glaze; pastry-wrapped salmon; and strawberry mousse. Reservations are recommended.

Native American Feast

Santa Fe's famous cuisine is deeply rooted in the foods of the ancient Native Americans, skilled farmers who included indigenous plants in their diet, making them America's first great cooks. James Beard award-winning author Lois Ellen Frank, who holds a PhD in culinary culture, will show you how to make a Native American feast during her demo cooking class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. You'll also learn about Native American culture, beliefs and more. The menu includes blue corn gnocchi arrowheads with guajillo chile sauce; seasonal greens with jalapeno dressing; lamb-stuffed rellenos with tomato sauce; and sweet frybread with seasonal berries and prickly pear syrup. After learning how to prepare this feast, you will have the chance to savor every dish!

May 22 at 10 am
This class is also offered on July 14 and August 21

In the Kitchen with Georgia

The Santa Fe School of Cooking also hosts Cooking Inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe, a demo cooking class featuring some of the recipes that Georgia O'Keeffe once made at her Abiquiu home using the incredible array of ingredients she grew there in her garden.

The class includes a visit with Margaret Wood, author of A Painters Kitchen: Recipes from the Kitchen of Georgia O'Keeffe. Wood, who worked as an assistant to the iconic artist for many years, learned first-hand abut O'Keeffe's unique perspective on food for her, time, which focused on simple and delicious seasonal foods. She will share her personal stories and insights into O'Keeffe's life,

The menu includes O'Keeffe's own recipes, from arugula salad with herb dressing and corn soup to baked chicken with lemon, fried potatoes and Norwegian apple pie cake.

Patio Plates

Foodies will be happy to hear that the Santa Fe School Cooking has launched a new series of Summer Patio classes focused on creating delicious dishes on a grill, a smoker and an outdoor pizza oven. These hands-on classes are devoted to some inventive fare, from bacon-wrapped chipotle-marinated shrimp and masa-encrusted pork chops with green chile and raisin chutney to garlic flat breads and grilled sweet potato salad.

South American Folk Fair

Come on out this Sunday to La Posada and savor traditional South American street food during the first-ever South American Folk Fair in Santa Fe, celebrating the art, dance, music and traditional flavors of this colorful continent and organized by two women from South America who now live in Albuquerque.

"We wanted to hold a festival that resembles the kind of celebrations we have back home,” says Giuliana Diamond, who teamed up with Jackie Zamora to present the event. “We have many friends from South America who live here and as much as we see a lot of culture in New Mexico there is no event like this. It's called different things in different countries. In Peru, it's held on Sundays, with music, dancing, food, and performances. It's an ongoing party. And this festival is a little snapshot of how we party back home.”

The women searched high and low for the perfect venue, and when Albert Bilotti of La Posada heard about their idea, he stepped in because he's a big fan of Latin culture. “He was able to see our vision and he wanted to do this,” Diamond says.

Bilotti's menu includes pasteis, crispy shells filled with curried beef and hearts of palm; camarão tempura, shrimp in a coconut tempura batter with minted meatballs and bulgur wheat; pao de queijo, cheese puffs filled with chorizo sausage; caju chicken, chicken brochettes marinated in cashew paste; and squares pastelaria, empanadas with a variety of stuffing including leeks, caramelized onions, goat cheese, black beans, caramelized shallots and roasted garlic with a chile lime aioli.

Desserts also will be provided by Guava Tree, an Albuquerque restaurant whose co-owner is from Puerto Rico and Colombia, and chef David Diaz.

Festival-goers also will be treated to live music from Amauta, which plays Andean folk music; Baracutanga, offering Afro-Peruvian, Samba, Batucada and Cumbia music; Mala Maña and Calle 66, performing South American salsa-style music. You'll also see dancers performing in the traditional styles from Argentina, Colombia , Chile and Peru.