October Cuisine Scene

Santafe.com - October 11, 2017

Slow Cooking with Cheryl Jamison, Celebrating Fred Harvey & more

Slow Cooking with Cheryl Jamison

You've heard Cheryl Alters Jamison explore the world's hottest food topics on her weekly radio show “Heating It Up!” on Hutton Broadcasting's KTRC 1260/103.7. Now, you can explore the art of slow cooking with this multiple James Beard award-winning author's newest cookbook, “Texas Slow Cooker.”

If you've never been motivated to use your vintage burnt-orange Crock-Pot or your nifty new slow cooker model with all the bells and whistles (including a Wi-Fi-enabled version that allows you to adjust the settings from afar to fit your schedule), this book is for you. Even Jamison admits, in her book's intro, that she wasn't “the most likely person to write a book on Texas slow cooking...I work at home, so I have the luxury of whipping up lunch or dinner when I wish, easily keeping an eye on a saucepan bubbling away on the stove.” Yet she was drawn to the topic, “in awe of a device that encourages and helps families to get a great hot meal on the table with little hassle.” And, she points out, slow-cooker cooking has “never been more popular than it is right now. Heck, people reportedly own more slow cookers than coffee makers.”

“Texas Slow Cooker” is one heckuva cookbook and if you don't own a slow cooker, you will want to go out and get one as soon as you peruse the 125 recipes. No less than Stephan Pyles, cookbook author and the Dallas restaurateur behind Flora Street Cafe and Stampede 66, calls it a “glorious new cookbook” and that says a lot coming from a fifth-generation West Texan. “While she updates classic Texas dishes such as King Ranch Chicken Casserole and creates brilliant new ones like Rio Star Grapefruit Pudding Cake, her adaptation and simplification for the slow cooker of the Yucatan dish, Cochinita Pibil, much loved in Texas, is nothing short of brilliant,” he writes in his book blurb.

You can watch Jamison make Cochinita Pibil—the most popular pulled pork in Texas—in a tacos version during a demo “Taking it Slow and Low: Southwestern Slow Cooker Cooking” class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking on Saturday, October 21 at 10 am.She'll also show you how to use the slow cooker to make Black Bean Soup with Pico de Gallo, Chicken Tinga Tacos and Smoky Salsa and Margarita Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust.

If you can't make it to the class, you can still learn everything you need to know about cooking with a slow cooker in “Texas Slow Cooker.” Jamison details various models she tested, recommends her favorites and provides tips on using them, too. Her recipes include helpful notes and fun facts about the origins of dishes as well. If you're like me, after you've read about Jalapeño Cornbread with Sorghum Butter, Braised Ham with Jalapeño Jelly Glaze—“salty and sweet, with a little heat:—and Jambalaya, one of Jamison's favorite savory recipes in the book, you'll be rooting around in your kitchen looking for your long-idle Crock-Pot or heading out the door buy a shiny new slow cooker.

Celebrating Fred Harvey

Fred Harvey pioneered America's hospitality industry while building an empire—the first chain of restaurants and hotels to service railroad and its passengers at the end of the 19th century. Harvey “was Ray Kroc before Mcdonald's, J.W. Marriott before Marriott Hotels, Howard Johnson before Hojo's, Joe Horn AND Frank Hardart before Horn & Hardart's, Howard Schultz before Starbucks,” writes Stephen Fried in “Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West—One Meal at a Time.” In Santa Fe, La Fonda on the Plaza, one of the few remaining Harvey Houses today, was a jewel of the Fred Harvey Company, which in its heyday operated 84 Harvey House hotels and 30 dining cars on the Santa Fe Railway.

Learn more about this remarkable man and his business during the annual Fred Harvey Weekend, held in Santa Fe on Friday October 21 and Saturday, October 22 and in Las Vegas on Sunday, October 23. The schedule is filled with fascinating talks held in the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors auditorium that explore Harvey's contribution to New Mexico history and culture. The talks are free but you must register online.

The weekend kicks off Friday in the museum auditorium with a welcome address at 1 pm by Meredith Davidson, curator of 19th & 20th Century Southwest Collections at New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. Events include a lecture by Charles Harvey, a descendent of Fred Harvey, on “Harvey Health and Hospitality: How Health Tourism, and my Family’s Own Health, Impacted the Harvey/ATSF Story” from 2:30 to 4 pm.

Friday evening features a unique dinner at La Terraza at La Fonda at 5:30 pm that starts with a tasting of a special Harvey Girl IPA from the award-winning Mother Road Brewing Company in Flagstaff, Ariz. A multi-course meal follows, prepared by La Fonda on the Plaza's Lane Warner, 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar's Louis Moskow and chef Johnny Vee as well as dessert from Dolina Bakery and Café. The event is hosted by Vee and Fried, whose bestselling book has helped bring Harvey back into the spotlight.. Guests will go home with a keepsake— a gravy boat from the Fred Harvey Company's famous dinnerware, Mimbreno China, originally designed by Harvey architect and interior designer Mary Colter. Replicated by the HF Coors company of Tucson, the gravy boat is available to dinner guests only until it's released publicly next year. Make your reservations here.

Don't miss the panel discussion “La Fonda Then and Now” held Saturday from 1 to 2 pm, based on La Fonda on the Plaza's recent book of the same name, a comprehensive look at the hotel's history. The panel includes Jennifer Kimball, the hotel's co-owner, as well as the book's contributors and designer and project manager Alex Hanna. Also on Saturday, Fried will give a talk, “My Day with Mary Colter’s Collection, and other tales of the future of the past of Fred Harvey” from 3 to 4 pm.

On Sunday head to Las Vegas for a tour of Montezuma Castle, a former Harvey House, led by Southwest Detours and the Las Vegas Harvey Girls tours from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by a screening of “The Harvey Girls” starring Judy Garland at The Indigo Theater. To register for tours, contact Kathy Hendrickson at: www.southwestdetours.com

Mighty Mezcal

Acclaimed chef John River Sedlar likes to quote a well-known Oaxacan saying: "Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también" or "For every ill, mezcal, and for every good as well." If you haven't yet discovered the mighty power of mezcal, head on over to Eloisa at the Drury Hotel on the Plaza for Sedlar's Second Annual International Mezcal Festival Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21. The celebration begins on Friday at 6 pm with a reception at the Eloisa Bar, followed by a 7 pm dinner at Eloisa, featuring a four-course tasting menu with mezcal pairings. The Saturday schedule offers classes and guest speakers from 2 to 4:30 pm at Eloisa, including The Liquid Muse Natalie Bovis, Ron Cooper of Del Maguey Mezcal, Sazón Restaurant's Fernando Olea and Sedlar representing his Jalisco Aromatics. A closing reception at 5 pm offers tastings of micheladas, tequila, mezcal and craft Mexican beers.