Outsider Tart Blog

NEW MEXICO

Posted in News

NEW MEXICO

Land of Enchantment

One of the last babies in the bunch, Number 47 is a culinary treasure.  That is if you like Mexican-style cuisine, which we do.  When we did a blog for FoodNetwork, we drove from Amarillo in the north Texas panhandle in a wide southwestern arc through New Mexico into El Paso which sits on the Mexican border as does half of southern New Mexico.  We drove through Roswell and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, past lots of dry land dotted with missions (think church) and cactus.  And yes, we actually saw Roadrunners, the state bird.  FYI, they’re not big at all, but they can run.  Roswell was as you’d expect, a bit kooky, a bit touristy, a bit odd.  But the eeriest part was the 747 cemetery of sorts, where the big birds went to rest for eternity.  It wasn’t marked and you couldn’t find the entrance but against the road was a runway filled with decommissioned 747s.  Was this Area 57?  Were we about to be abducted?  No such luck.  Even a map doesn’t reveal much.  Perhaps we were thirsty and seeing things in the desert?  Either way we did find it enchanting.  Nuevo Mexico got its name in 1563 from Spanish explorers who believed the area was home to wealthy Indian cultures similar to those in the Aztec Empire.  Mexico, once called New Spain, took its modern name in 1821 upon winning independence from Spain.  Not that anyone asked.

This time around we had some help from a regular customer, @Danivoodo.  She not only shared some great family recipes, but popped by for a talk on food and family in New Mexico.  Without further ado, we offer up some spirited grub full of spirit and spice.

But for now think about slaking your thirst with one (or more) of these...       

Wile E. Coyote

Roadrunner

Cactus Juice

Enchantment

Missionary’s Downfall

Alien Slime

UFO

Chihuahua

The New Mexican

Aztec

Indian Water

A Tipple for Tonto

 

And filling your pie hole with these...

 

STARTERS

Spirals

flour tortilla, cream cheese, jalapeño, avocado and salsa

Empanadas

beef and cheese or spicy migas onions and pork, mojo on the side

Taquitos

deep fried corn tortillas, spicy pulled pork, sour cream

 

MAINS

Sonoran Hot Dog

chili dog on steroids...a bacon wrapped dog, chili, cheese, mustard, ketchup, migas onions, salsa

Indian (American, that is) Burger

deep fried onion strips, beef patty and cheddar on flat fry bread

Chimichangas

pan-fried flour tortilla, beef, cheese, greens and house-made ancho chili sauce

Carne Adovada

slow-roasted pork on house-made ancho chili sauce, traditional Spanish rice,

refried beans and cheese

Enchiladas

stacked crispy corn tortillas, chicken or refried beans, chili sauce, cheese, salsa,

greens and even more fixins

 

SIDES

Calabacitas

butternut squash and courgette, cheese and tortilla chips

Green Chili Spoonbread

fluffy polenta, green chilies and cheese

Well I’ll be gosh darned!  I’ve just learned Texas is not the largest state.  Alaska is.  Sure it’s the largest in the lower 48 but we need to include Alaska even though we’d rather not and let it drift into the ocean with Sarah Palin.  Besides, the flag looks prettier with 50 stars.  Then again, Texas gave us The Bushes George and it is right on the Gulf of Mexico.

Even so, we’ve hit a mother lode.  Much larger than Alaska in terms of culinary treasures and, dare we say, brainpower.  In between oil rigs and cattle and sagebrush and air conditioners, Texas is rife with flavor.  Its vast open space and diverse terrain has five areas with distinct culinary tradition.  The Northeast (1) has been influenced by the Old South.  East and Southeast (2) take cues from Creole and Cajun cooking, Central Texas (3), known also as Hill Country, draws from original Anglo and German settlers (it’s true, we’ve been there)  who may or may not be responsible for plying their wiener schnitzel skills at creating a true Texan staple, CFS, or Chicken Fried Steak.  South Texas (4) gives us border recipes and the beloved Tex-Mex cuisine while West Texas (5) sticks to ranch basics of meat and BBQ.  Texas politics can be a bit too red for some so with closed minds come closed recipes that stick to the rules.  Still delicious but sorta stuck in tradition.  Austin, however, is a beacon of blue light not to mention a breath of fresh air.  If you’ve ever heard of South By Southwest (SXSW), the annual music festival, then you’ve heard of Austin by association.  They get a little crazy in Austin.  A little bit wilder.  A little bit looser.  A bit more creative.  And it shows in their kitchens. 

Any compendium of American cooking will dedicate an entire chapter to Lone Star cooking.  Sometimes several.  Most US bookstores devote large sections to nothing but Texan cuisine.  And, in some cases, home libraries include an entire shelf (or shelves) of Texan cookbooks although we would categorically deny this if asked.  Truth be told, ours is in such disarray that we’ve no idea at this point what we have or don’t have.  Call it plausible deniability... 

We’ve found ourselves in a bit of a tizzy this month with Valentine’s Day amongst all the Texas possibility.  Relax, people.  No matter what the dish or when it gets served Texan recipes, like its people, are full of warmth and flavour.  So we decided this menu would be perfect for Valentine’s Day too.         

TONSIL PAINT

Sangrita Caliente

Just What the Dr. (Pepper) Ordered

Side Saddle

Fish Shack Punch

Ruby Margarita

Suffering Baptist (how could we not?)

Will Roger’s Cooler

Totem Pole

Texas Tea

DOUBLE C R GRUB

CFS = Chicken-Fried Steak

King Ranch Chicken

Expat Hominy w/ Achiote

Gorditas w/ Piccadillo

Tomatillo Braised Short Ribs

Pork Tacos

Chalupas w/ Blue Corn tortilla and UK Fava Beans (we had to toss in a bone)

Mrs. Lambert’s Stacked Enchiladas

Uncle Earl’s Texas Chili

Texas Turkey Meat Loaf

Goat Cheese Sliders

Stuffed Jalapenos w/ our homemade Chorizo

Black Bean Dip

Mexican Corn

Mamacita’s Macaroni con Queso

Fried Tomatoes w/ Crab Relish

Caliente Chocolate Cake

midwest

Posted in News

MIDWEST

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Michigan

Minnesota

Missouri

Ohio

Wisconsin (how’s our favorite Cheesehead, Heather, doing?)

So, yeah.  Thanksgiving snuck in there.  And we’re all still stumbling around in a bit of a tryptophan coma.  We’ve almost shaken it but there are still a few bits left to finish off both in the fridge and in the laundry.  Then it’s back in the cupboard until next year.  Thanks to all who joined us for three sold-out nights of stuffing.  And wine.  And, from what we hear, hangovers.  Who knew Pilgrims could pack such a punch?

Now.  We’re back at it this week in another neck of our woods.  The Midwest, land of the church supper if ever there was one.  Being from the Northeast, I had to adjust a bit to college in the Midwest.  When I arrived for the start of the school year, I would always moan and groan (huge surprise, that) standing in line at the grocery “why is everyone so slow here?”  Then I’d head back home for Thanksgiving and complain “why is everyone in such a rush?”  Granted it was a holiday, but that was a poor excuse for such a hurried, harried existence.  So after two weeks of prepping for turkey and dressing, and dressing and turkey, and pie and wine and more veg than any one colon should see, we take a cue from our Midwestern brethren and slow it down a notch.  We went with pure, easy comfort just right for the new chill in the air.  And if anyone wants a bit of cranberry compote, it just so happens we have some of that, too. 

Oh, and we apologize on behalf of our people for the idiocy that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Of all the stupidity to cross the ocean...

MIDWEST WHISTLE WHETTERS

 

Chicago Cocktail

Hoosier Hiccup

Autumn in Dubuque

Firebomb

Setroit Athletic Club

Pink Cadillac

The F. Scott Fitzgerald

Upper Lousiana

Uncle Bill’s

Lima Sour

Sandusky Pop

Death’s Door

MIDWEST SUPPER

Asiago Leek Mac n Cheese

Pulled Pork Mac n Cheese

 

Beef Spiedini

White Clam Artichoke Pizza

Lemon Parmesan Chicken

Fried Pork Sandwich

 

Temptation Potatoes

Broccoli Salad

Corn Pudding

MIDWEST DESSERT

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Shut up Lee – devoted entirely to someone who shall remain nameless and won’t shut up about cornbread w/ ice cream.  So we went one better, made concrete (aka frozen custard) and grilled the cornbread.  To really fix his wagon, we might even serve it with jam.

Beeramisu

 

Mid Atlantic

Posted in News

MID-ATLANTIC

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Whew.  Been a long time.  Just needed to make sure the keyboard still worked.

So far, so good.  Sorry for the delay, but we were busy with our Washington Wine Tasting Dinner and then...well...admittedly...we got a little lazy so we coasted for a week.  But we’ve limbered up, stretched, re-organized, re-booted.

Still waiting for fall, but at the very least we can offer up some fall flavor including, but not limited to, Spiced Apple Cider Soda which gets a full round of upturned thumbs.  And to all who know the difference, yes, it tastes like cider from home not the British stuff.

Now, the Mid-Atlantic region.  Being from said region, I’ve never understood what constitutes the area or doesn’t.  It seems no two resources can agree.  Apologies to all who may disagree, but we’ve opted for this combo:  New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.  Some would include New York but we just did that (in part) and when consulting  a map you’d think Virginia should get lumped in there.  Too southern.  Sort of.  You can’t even use our Mason Dixon line for reference since that lies between Pennsylvania and Maryland.  So who really knows?  And, perhaps, who really gives a shit?  No doubt you just want to know what we’re serving for the next few weeks.

A quick note to all who are thinking ahead to turkey and cornbread stuffing...we’ve added a third night this year since sadly many folks missed out last year.  Seats for Thanksgiving Day are already nearly gone with Friday and Saturday moving apace. 

MID-ATLANTIC LIBATIONS

Delaware Craft Beers

(if the supplier can get them from Hounslow to us in less than 10 days - his usual lead time)

1776

Liberty Bell

Lightning Bolt

Penn’s Pleasure

New Jersey Devil

Born in the USA

The Minuteman

Baltimore Bang

Preakness Cocktail

Army & Navy

MID-ATLANTIC

Braunschweiger Canape

Crab and Shrimp Chowder

Head Bangers w/ Root Mash

Jonny Mazette

Philly Cheese Steak

Shaker Brisket

Butternut Lasagna

Roast Cauliflower

Shaved Sprouts

Loubia

MID-ATLANTIC TREATS

Grasshopper Pie

Smith Island Cake (Maryland)

 

 

 

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