Southwest cooking fans will love this _lowres

 

“Dishing Up New Mexico: 145 Recipes From the Land of Enchantment” by Dave DeWitt

Storey Publishing, $19.95

287-page paperback

Whenever I’ve visited northern New Mexico — and that’s not as often as I’d like — I’ve enjoyed sampling dishes that reflect the Southwestern state’s unique food culture.

Now, by using the latest cookbook from New Mexico-based author Dave DeWitt, I can at least enjoy some of the state’s delicious dishes.

DeWitt, well known in the world of fiery foods, offers a look at his state’s growing farm-to-table movement in the colorful “Dishing Up New Mexico: 145 Recipes From the Land of Enchantment.”

The book — the seventh installment in Storey Publishing’s Dishing Up series — opens, naturally, with information about the chili pepper and plenty of recipes using the ingredient. The chili pepper is “the heart and soul of the state,” DeWitt says.

It also includes profiles and interviews of farmers, artisan food and beverage makers, and sprinkles historical information throughout the book.

Among its recipes are Prickly Pear Margarita, Red Chile-Pecan Pie, Rio Grande Rainbow Salsa, Spiced-Up Squash, Roasted Tomato Bisque, Chicken and Chèvre Enchiladas With Black Bean Sauce, Turkey and Porter Chili, Spatchcocked Game Hens With Heidi’s Jam Glaze, Braised Leg of Lamb, and Nin’s Peach and Blueberry Crisp.

Anyone who loves Southwestern cooking will want to check out this book.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s food editor. Her email address is csonnier@theadvocate.com.

Chile con Queso de Cabro

(Chèvre Chili Dip)

2Makes about 31/2 cups. Heat scale: Medium. Recipe is from “Dishing Up New Mexico: 145 Recipes From the Land of Enchantment” by Dave DeWitt, who writes, “Of all the chile con queso recipes I’ve tried, this one — made by my wife, Mary Jane, — is, in my admittedly prejudiced opinion, by far the best. It is tastiest when served with homemade corn tortilla chips. It can also be used as a sauce with baked potatoes, refried beans, freshly cooked vegetables, and grilled vegetables. If you like a spicier dip, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce to the recipe. This dip doesn’t freeze well, but you can refrigerate any leftovers for up to five days. In fact, it tastes even better if it’s made a day in advance.”

1 tbl. olive oil

1 medium tomato, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 scallions, finely chopped

2 New Mexican green chilies, roasted, peeled and chopped

8 ozs. sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 ozs. New Mexican chèvre, crumbled

1/4 cup light cream or half-and-half

21. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the tomato, garlic, scallions and chilies. Sauté, stirring often, until the scallions are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the skillet using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

2. Melt the cheddar cheese and chèvre in a heavy saucepan or a double boiler over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the cream, stirring constantly to incorporate. Add the chili mixture and stir thoroughly. Add more cream if the mixture looks too thick. Continue heating the mixture, stirring constantly until it is hot, about 5 minutes.

3. Serve immediately or let the mixture cool slightly and refrigerate to serve the next day. In that case, bring the mixture to room temperature, and then heat slowly over low heat, stirring constantly.