Raton Range Considers New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions

New Mexico One Taste at a Time
By Pat Veltri, Sharon Niederman photos
Reprinted by permission of the Raton Range
Story appeared Tues., Jan. 25, 2011

It’s been said by a daily customer at Yum-Yum’s, a “mom and pop” restaurant, in Tularosa, that the brisket served there is so tender she has to take her teeth out to eat it! This is one example of the many culinary anecdotes, experiences, and traditions gathered throughout New Mexico by author, journalist, and photographer Sharon Niederman  while organizing and writing her latest book, New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions: recollections, recipes and photos.

Niederman’s tenth book is comprised of sixteen essays, each illustrated with colorful photos and each focusing on food legacies, histories, traditions, and recipes representative of New Mexico. New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions treats the reader to “an armchair tour of cafes, ranches, festivals, home kitchens and farmers markets through the eyes of a veteran food-travel writer” according to the back cover of the book. The book concludes with a special section providing readers with a ready-made schedule outlining the state’s fairs, festivals, and other food events for the coming year. Continue reading

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Five Places to Find Great Green Chile Stew

Baby, it’s snowing outside! Whether you’re out playing in the snow or sitting by the window watching those beautiful flakes drift down – just admit it – you’re craving green chile stew. If you don’t have an abuelita cooking some up for you in the kitchen, here are five places in New Mexico to enjoy some of the best:

1. Maria’s, Cordova and St. Francis, Santa Fe: Margaritas on the rocks are fine in summer, but right now we want to sit by the fire and get warm inside and out. While Maria’s, our old SF favorite,  has been a bit disappointing lately, one place she never falters is in her savory green chile stew, a spicy bowl of all that is good in life.

2. Garcia’s Kitchen, Central near Old Town or North 4th St. NW, Albuquerque: With the flavor and sustenance to cure a cold or comfort a broken heart, a big bowl of green is a must-do to take the chill off a wintry afternoon.

3. Martin’s Capitol Cafe, downtown Roswell: Big booths, dim and homey, with old-time downright friendly service,  it’s a tossup between red and green at this lunchtime stop for locals. Remember, the UFO’s landed here for a reason, and this could be it.

4. Charlie’s Spic ‘n Span, Downtown Las Vegas: Watch the tortillas being made by hand while you dip into a big bowl of deliciousness in this local hangout with the big cream puff sign. A must-stop for me en route between Raton and points south.

5. Tia Sofia’s, San Francisco St., Santa Fe: OK, if you’re gonna make me pick a favorite, T.S. has perfected the balance of flavors in its filling and fulfilling green chile stew. No doubt the best.

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“Tasty Traditions” Both Cookbook and Travlogue

Recipes Bring Out the Flavor of New Mexico’s History

By Kathaleen Roberts
Journal Staff Writer, Albuquerque Journal North
Both cookbook and travelogue, “New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions” transports readers through ranches, festivals and markets across the state in a culinary cultural tour of New Mexico.
Author Sharon Niederman hopes to capture the flavor of the landscape and its people as well as its culinary adventures. Niederman will be at Collected Works, 202 Galisteo St., at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“My specific idea was to get a sense of New Mexico’s food traditions — to go beyond red and green,” she said.
“I really wanted to be a food cultural historian. I wanted to discover the food traditions that for me express the soul and the place.”
Niederman’s journey took her from Chimayó to Springer, from the Navajo Reservation to Pie Town. Continue reading

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Albuquerque Journal Finds “Traditions” Tasty

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Little History, Travel, and It All Tastes Good

Copyright 2010 Albuquerque Journal–> By David Steinberg
Journal Staff Writer
“New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions — Recollections, Recipes and Photos” by Sharon Niederman
New Mexico Magazine, $27.95, 136 pp.
Sharon Niederman’s long-standing interest in food and travel converge in this engaging quilt of a book that is part travelogue, part cookbook and part cultural history. Continue reading

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Chile Rellenos for a Chilly Monday Night

Working at my computer all day, bundled in flannel and fleece, with a scarf wrapped around my neck, waiting for the snow to fly in northeast New Mexico, wondering: how can I really warm up tonight? It’s too cold to go out for any reason at all. The refrigerator held four plump emerald poblano peppers, half a loaf of spicy Velveeta cheese, a carton of eggs, some half-and-half, a good chunk of colby-jack cheese. In the pantry I found a can of organic black beans, a can of diced tomatoes, and a packet of Mexican-style rice. OK. I’m ready. If I start now (it’s 5:15 pm), I can have a yummy chile rellenos dinner on the table in an hour or less. I can sip a nice glass of Malbec as I work. Continue reading

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Five Fave New Mexico Cafes

Looking for authentic, savory, New Mexico chile? Get out the map and head for these beloved cafes around the state.

Five of Sharon’s Favorite Chile Cafes

*El Farolito, El Rito – Eight picnic tables. That’s all there are at this tiny cafe on El Rito’s main street. The green chile is worth the drive from just about anywhere. El Rito is open Sunday afternoons, making it the perfect stop en route to Ghost Ranch or Abiquiu Lake.

*Teofilo’s, Las Lunas – This charming historic adobe with patio sits across from the imposing Luna Mansion. A lovely spot to enjoy Sunday brunch, with perfect red chile and fluffy sopaipillas and honey.

* Yum Yum’s, Tularosa – You could easily miss this little mom ‘n pop as you drive across town. Go for the barbecue brisket – green chile burrito. Mrs. Alvarez says it’s so tender she takes her teeth out to eat it!

*Chope’s, La Mesa – Twelve miles south of Mesilla venerable Chope’s Cafe serves mouth-watering chile rellenos plus delectable homemade red and green chile to many generations of Las Cruces families.

*Estella’s, Las Vegas – You can’t find more delicious green chile anywhere than at this Bridge Street local gathering spot. Now in the third generation.

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New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions

Come along with veteran food-travel writer and photographer Sharon Niederman on an armchair tour of cafes, ranches, festivals, home kitchens and farmers markets  throughout New Mexico. In NEW MEXICO’S TASTY TRADITIONS: RECOLLECTIONS, RECIPES AND PHOTOS, published by New Mexico Magazine in Dec., 2010, you will discover:
*The annual cakewalk at the Colfax County Fair;
*Foraging for chokecherries along the Cimarron River;
*Cooking Dutch-oven stew and biscuits with ranch hands on the open range;
*Making enchiladas with Chimayo chile and baking oven bread in a Pueblo horn;
*Sampling tasty pastries in Pie Town and spicing up your life at the Hatch Chile Fiesta;
*How to prepare latkes, potica bread and other ethnic specialties that make New Mexico cuisine so diverse.

Niederman’s colorful photographs and lively tales showcase the people and places that reveal the state’s varied and venerable culinary roots. NEW MEXICO’S TASTY TRADITIONS is a gift to treasure for your own kitchen bookshelf or for anyone you know who loves New Mexico.
137 pages, more than 100 color photographs. $27.50 quality paperback.  ISBN: 978-1-934480-05-2
Order at: www.nmmagazine.com; 1-800-711-9525

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