New Mexican Cuisine - Bringing Spice Back to the Midwest

This summer, the ladies of Pop Fizz Clink went on a girls’ getaway to the hot springs of New Mexico. In addition to some well-deserved spa-time and hot springs soaking, we enjoyed the many flavors and variations that New Mexican cuisine has to offer.

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New Mexican food is a fusion of Spanish & Mediterranean, Mexican, Pueblo Native American and Cowboy Chuckwagon influences. The most important question when eating New Mexican food is “red or green?” – referring to the choice of red or green chiles. Or you can combine both for “Christmas” style.

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Researching local ingredients and recipes is a great way to bring the tastes you experience in your travels home with you and into your kitchen. When traveling, take note of your favorite dishes and ingredients, and think of ways you can put your own unique spin on them.

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From green chile enchiladas to a side dish featuring Piñon nuts (a delicious pine nut native to New Mexico), we recreated our favorites with local ingredients purchased at a flea market in New Mexico, as well as ingredients found in our own grocery stores back home.

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Chicken Verde Enchiladas

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

¾ cup chopped onion

¾ cup chicken stock

½ cup homemade salsa verde (recipe below)

1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro stems

2 tablespoons sliced jalapenos

5 teaspoons all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon ground cumin

2 sliced garlic cloves

8 oz shredded chicken breast

¾ cup chopped tomato

3 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

1 ripe peeled avocado, coarsely mashed

8 6-inch corn tortillas

4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shaved

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

1. Place oven rack in lower third of oven. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Combine onion, chicken stock, salsa verde, cilantro stems, jalapeno, flour, cumin and garlic cloves in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes.

3. Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until heated. Remove from heat. Stir in tomato, sour cream and avocado.

4. Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels and warm in microwave for 45 seconds. Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture in center of reach tortilla and roll up. Arrange tortillas, seam sides down, in baking dish. Top with cheese and remaining chicken mixture.

5. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Homemade Salsa Verde

Green Chile sauce

3 tomatillos

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Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce

Recipe from Los Angeles Times http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-23894219/

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Piñon-Cabbage Slaw

3 cups shredded cabbage

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup Piñon Nuts

Combine rice vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add to shredded cabbage and cilantro, and top with Piñon Nuts.

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Zucchini & Jalapeno Cookies with Sweet Lime Glaze

Recipe from Baker Bettie http://bakerbettie.com/zucchini-and-jalapeno-cookies-with-sweet-lime-glaze/

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