Posted by: bunnyterry | July 8, 2010

Simply Simpatico

My last post was all about cooking calabacitas for the California nieces, and it dawned on me that the easiest way for everyone out there is cyber land, especially the non-New Mexico natives, to prepare traditional New Mexican dishes is to own one of my favorite cookbooks – Simply Simpatico, from the Junior League of Albuquerque (find at http://www.jlabq.org/ – $17.95). 

My copy was given to me by my pal Patty Williams, back in 1988, and the pages are, quite appropriately, smeared with evidence of red chile sauce, avocado, batter from chile rellenos.  I’ve USED this cookbook. 

Especially during the years that I was exiled to Kansas and North Carolina, I tried almost every recipe in the “Comida Simpatica” section, which is introduced as the section which will “. . .introduce the novice cook and the newcomer to the basics of New Mexican cookery.”  At the time I didn’t necessarily consider myself a novice cook, but without a Sadie’s or Frontier around the corner where I could order rellenos smothered in green chile, I knew I had to learn very quickly how to make my own.

Sopaipillas

So I learned to make red chile sauce and rellenos and bizcochitos and sopaipillas and quelitas and fry bread and tamales and carne adovada and albondigas and empanaditas.  I improvised with local ingredients – once my mother sent an extra suitcase home with Johanna, full of fresh green chiles.  I even made tortillas from Simply Simpatico, and in the process impressed the folks where I was living with what they considered very interesting cooking.  I took green chile stew to a potluck in Greensboro, North Carolina, handed out the recipe, and still hear from the girls in that office every time one of them makes the dish.  They taught me to make grits in exchange (wonder how grits with green chile would taste?) for my bizcochito recipe.

Simply Simpatico is a great gift – especially for yourself.   It’s essential in my kitchen, still.  It’s full of recipes that use fresh, local ingredients – Michael Pollan would be proud.  It’s an easy way to follow his Food Rules.

Even if I can go to the Annex today for lunch for a green chile smothered burrito, sometimes you just want to try you hand at something authentic.  Ever tried Capirotada or Natillas?  They’re in there. . .

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Some trivia about this cookbook: a good friend of mine was editor – Lynn Villella.

    A great cookbook!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: