Before the holidays arrive, have some Santa Fe food fun
Now that we've turned back the clocks and the days are growing ever shorter, we undeniably are deep into autumn. You still can see some gorgeous fall foliage but we've already welcomed a few early snowfalls, the harbinger of a great ski season. It's clear that the holidays are coming...in fact they're just around the corner. Before they arrive with bells on, however, take a little time to enjoy some fun food events happening around Santa Fe this month. Below you'll find a few suggestions.
Head on over to Joe's Dining for breakfast, lunch or dinner tomorrow, November 8, and 20% of your bill will be donated to Listening Horse Therapeutic Riding, a Santa Fe group that provides equine-assisted therapy to active military, veterans and their families as well as anyone facing challenges. Horses can change lives, helping those who ride them to not only build strength but overcome fear, pain and other challenges. You can learn more after a breakfast of blue corn piñon pancakes, a green chile buffalo cheeseburger for lunch or a blue plate special dinner (Thursdays feature BBQ beef brisket with mashed potatoes and vegetable) because the group will have a volunteer on hand all day to field questions.
If you're mad about margaritas, get on over to Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino for the 4th Annual Margarita Festival, happening November 17 from noon to 4:30 pm. The afternoon offers tequila tastings and samples of some of the best margaritas in New Mexico. You can also pair your drinks with an array of delicious food from local restaurants and enjoy a busy schedule of live entertainment. To top things off, a portion of the festival proceeds benefit Santa Fe's Food Depot. Purchase tickets here.
(Note that this event is for ages 21 and older.)
Flamenco at El Farol
Have you caught a Flamenco Dinner Show at El Farol? They are one hot ticket. Due to popular demand, they'll be taking place all month long, on Wednesday from 6:30 to 9 pm. Enjoy a lively performance by the National Institute of Flamenco as you feast on tapas, paella, Catalan seafood stew and other delectable Spanish dishes. The music and dance before you will transport you to the beautiful region of Andalusia in southern Spain, where flamenco originated centuries ago. Don't wait to make your reservation, as these shows frequently sell out.
Bluegrass & Burgers
Bluegrass and burgers go together like five strings and a banjo, and you can find them both at Social Kitchen + Bar, the new hangout at Santa Fe Sage Inn & Suites. Every Tuesday from 6 to 8 pm, the Santa Fe Bluegrass Jam brings local musicians together to play. Bring your own instrument and join the band or grab a seat and take in the music as you enjoy South by Southwest comfort cuisine. Feast on Gulf crab gratinée, burgers and sandwiches, bison and beef meatloaf, bowls of salad and sweet corn chowder, nachos with pulled pork or chicken, green chile chicken and cheese blue corn enchiladas and much more. For dessert, skillet cakes are perfect for sharing. Choose from double chocolate with vanilla bean ice cream, dark chocolate sauce and toasted pecans, or apple brown butter with apples, dulce de leche caramel and vanilla bean ice cream.
Holiday Party Prep
While there's no denying that the holiday hoopla is about to begin, you can get the edge over the season with a little prep work. The Santa Fe School of Cooking stands ready to help, offering a flurry of classes that will show you how to make festive fare that's perfect for your holiday parties.
Start this Friday, November 8 at 10 am with a three-hour class devoted to Spanish tapas. Part of the cooking school's Spanish classes exploring the foods of Spain before they merged with Native foods and New Mexico fare, this event focuses on finger foods that will impress your holiday guests. The menu includes baked spinach with goat cheese and onion compote; warm toast with Serrano ham and tomato spread; grilled beef with smoked sea salt caramel; Mediterranean salad; shrimp with almond and pine nut sauce; and magdalenas, or lemony cupcakes. After you've learned how to make these tempting tapas, you'll sit down and eat them for lunch, as part of the class.
You could, instead learn to make tapas with a Southwestern flair in a three-hour class on Tuesday, November 20, starting at 10 am. Here, the menu includes roasted pepper quesadillas with goat cheese; sautéed shrimp with orange-chipotle honey mustard sauce; meatballs with Romesco sauce; Spanish tortilla; and apricot empanaditas.
Roll your sleeves up and get ready to make your own salsa in a hands-on class devoted to America's most popular condiment. You'll learn to prepare four different salsa—pico de gallo; chayote orange salsa; pineapple, red chile and ginger salsa; and apple, raisin and pine nut salsa. This class takes place on Saturday, November 10 from 2 to 4 pm.
For satisfying starters that reflect the region, sign up for the Southwest Appetizers class on Saturday, November 17 at 10. The menu for these perfect party openers includes avocado soup; chipotle marinated shrimp with bacon skewers; duck confit; mango and brie quesadillas; mini chicken tacos; and churro bites
Don't forget you can pick up specialty ingredients at the Santa Fe Cooking School's market to spice up your holiday parties and feasts, including New Mexico chile, gourmet salsa, cooking herbs—such as juniper berry, spice blends with lavendar—apple prickly pear jam, red chile honey, jalapeño raspberry preserve mole and more.