Gourmet Girl: January Cuisine Scene - SantaFe.com
Gourmet Girl Santa Fe New Mexico

Welcome to 2020, not just a new year but a brand new decade. This year, our New Year’s resolutions seem to hold more import than usual due to the changing of the decade as well as the uneasy state of our country, our planet and our collective nerves.

Many of us have resolved to eat more healthfully, for instance. That’s not just a commitment to individual health. It’s also a move that will help the environment, especially if you’ve vowed to eat less meat, or none at all, which aids in reducing gases that contribute to climate change. Maybe you’ve decided to buy food differently, eliminating plastic packaging in all forms. This will have a positive effect on your health—plastic bottles and tubs leach toxic chemicals—and also will help to ease the pollution of the planet’s oceans and waterways.

What did you make for your New Year’s resolutions? Did you join the dietary trend of intermittent fasting, or giving your body a break from alcohol for 30 days? Maybe you’ve joined a growing group of people who’ve made a commitment to functional foods (fermented foods, ancient grains and other beneficial fare), mood foods (made with CBD and plants that can lower stress) or heirloom flours (easier to digest than modern flours because they produce a different gluten quality).

Whatever food-related resolutions you’ve made this year, it’s a sure bet that you’ll still find plenty of culinary fun in 2020, because that’s always on tap in Santa Fe, in so many ways. So let’s begin this first month of the new year with a look at some exciting culinary events happening across the city, to whet your appetite. Then get out and enjoy some good eating in this Happy New Year!

New Year Bonuses

Dive in to new fare during the Santa Fe School of Cooking’s annual bonus classes, held in January and February. It’s a delicious, discounted opportunity to sample new recipes and menus developed by the cooking school’s chefs that could end up as part of the school’s regular repertoire. Your feedback from these three-hour demo classes will help to determine the fate of the dishes, which makes the experience extra tasty. In the Bonus I-Winter Cooking Santa Fe class, for instance, you’ll taste hearty fare such as cheesy cauliflower with green chile; short rib roulade with New Mexican style gremolata (a blend of cilantro, garlic and lime zest in oil); braised kale in sweet onion and bacon; fig mole; and chocolate, coffee and nut bread pudding.

The Bonus II class, devoted to New Mexican Snacks and Appetizers, includes an enticing sampling of beef empanadas with serrano-tequila BBQ sauce; chicken tamale pie; pinwheels with chipotle cream; roasted mushroom and greens. You’ll also taste New Mexico style hummus and fried flour tortilla chips; artichoke and poblano dip; and smoked trout on blue corn cakes. You’ll leave with recipes you can make for your party guests all year long.

If your New Year’s resolution involves wholesome eating, then the Bonus III—Techniques of Healthy Southwest Cuisine class is the one for you. You’ll learn how to make tequila marinated shrimp tostadas with avocado-serrano salsa and de-constructed grilled gazpacho veggie salad with charred tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper and pickled cucumber on a bed of spinach. The menu also includes pork loin chops with apple and green chile salsa, poblano chile stuffed with wild rice and veggie pilaf and banana-chocolate layered parfait.

Don’t wait too long to sign up for these classes because they’re popular with locals, who return year after year to try our new fare. If the classes you’re interested in are filled up, be sure to check the February schedule, as they’re also offered next month.

Craft Beer Central

The Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s new Beer Hall at HQ debuted over the holidays, and what a gift it is for craft brew-lovers. The sleek, multi-story space—built out of brick, wood and lots of glass—comes with some 30 taps of beer, cider and wine and a kitchen that provides food that perfectly pairs with foamy beverages. Drink in the mountain views as you sip Pepe Loco, a Mexican-style lager, or the bestselling 7K IPA, the signature Happy Camper or Chicken Killer Barley Wine, a British-style barley wine that’s off the charts at a 10% ABV. Don’t miss the seasonal Adobe Igloo, paired perhaps with Frito pie or chile cheese fries., shrimp tacos or elote, grilled Mexican-style street corn with spicy mayo, cojita cheese, red chile and crunchy corn garnish. The sandwich special changes weekly. Santa Fe’s newest hot spot is a fantastic addition to the region’s burgeoning craft brewing scene.

Winter Wind-Down

Resolved to relax more in 2020? Head over to Hotel Santa Fe for Happy Hour in the Amaya Lounge, held Sundays through Thursdays, 4:30-6:30 pm. Ronald Roybal’s lilting Native flute music and Spanish guitar sounds will soothe your spirit, and the fabulous foods of the hotel’s Amaya restaurant will please your palate. A blend of Pueblo and northern New Mexico culinary traditions, Amaya’s acclaimed cuisine includes small plates perfect for sharing. And they’re discounted during Happy Hour. Try the tempura relleno, filled with roasted corn, squash, tomatoes and asadero, topped with a green chile cream sauce. For a hearty winter dish, get the green chile French dip, a sandwich of prime rib topped with New Mexico roasted green chile and provolone. It’s not on the Happy Hour discounted menu, but you won’t mind at all once you’ve sunk your teeth into this sandwich. If sweets are on your mind, try the spiced red wine poached pear with whipped cream and candied walnuts, or the Native American bread pudding, studded with raisins and walnuts and topped with vanilla cinammon.

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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