Category Archives: Cooking

Cool Season Crops Outside class a success

illustration MG of middlesex countyWell, it looks like many of you are chomping at the bit like I am to get out and start our gardens! 48 people signed up for the class and 45 showed up! Biggest class ever and what a great day it was to get out in a garden and see how to prep the garden beds, go over what plants do well here in Santa Fe and we actually planted some cool season crops-lettuces, kale and chard in Duskin’s plot at Milagro Community Garden. Thanks to all for supporting the class, it was good to see our friends.

Here are the handouts if you missed the class:
Starting Cool Season Crops Outside
soil temperatures for veggie seeds
PRESPOUTING SEEDS Starting Cool Season Crops Outside
Mycorrhizal benefits

The next class of ours should be fantastic -Making Chevre and Feta cheese on April 19! Don’t wait too long to sign up as that class is limited to 25 lucky people who will learn how to make both cheeses and get to take home some of the cheese as well.

September Upcoming Events

HOME GROWN’s September Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 10th
Community Potluck
Time:6-8 pm
Home Grown’s Potluck will be at the Whole Foods Community Room (Cordova and St.Francis location). Come join fellow gardeners to talk about fruit and vegetable gardening in our area and eat good food. What’s going on in your garden? Come listen and share.


Sunday, September 21
Preserving Your Harvest Class
Learn how to can stewed tomatoes and pasta sauces
Time: 12 noon -2 pm
Instructors: Duskin Jasper/Jannine Cabossel
Location: Milagro Community Garden (Rodeo Road and Legacy behind church-2481 Legacy Court)
RSVP to 505-983-9706 or email:
(CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED SO YOU MUST RSVP) so we know how many jars to bring to the class.

What to do with all your tomatoes at the end of the season? Come join ‘The Tomato Lady’ from the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market and Duskin Jasper and learn how to can tomato pasta sauce for your pantry to enjoy in the winter months long after harvesting! This hands on class will cover how to make different pasta sauces. Students will take home a jar of tomato sauce. We will also discuss different canning methods for our high altitude.




Chèvre Cheesemaking Class-Yumm!

chevre cheese

Saturday, August 16
Chèvre Cheesemaking Class
How to make Chèvre goat cheese
Time: 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Instructor: Diane Pratt
Location: Whole Food’s Community Room (St. Francis location)
RSVP to 505-983-9706 or email:

Learn how to make Chèvre goat cheese
In France and Italy goat cheese goes back hundreds of years and it is no less popular today. In the New World, Laura Chenel introduced her version of fresh goat cheeses to Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Chèvre, the French term for goat, has come to mean mild, fresh goat cheese in the United States.

The American palette was quickly awakened to this new version of an ancient cheese and the rest was history. Thus was born a new era in cheese making in America and a very big reason in the rise of American Artisan Cheese Making.

Diane has been milking goats and making her own goat cheese for over 20 years.  She now belongs to a goat tending Co-op and milks her three goats once a week.  She uses the fresh raw goats milk to produce delicious chèvre, ricotta, feta and other artisan cheeses for her family and friends.I LOVE GOAT CHEESE

Participants in this cheesemaking class should bring a clean quart jar to take home their own bit of chèvre.

Suggested $10 donation or become a 2014 Member for $35 with free classes and potlucks.


Local Organic Meals on a Budget 2013

spicesinbowls2013 Local Organic Meals on a Budget is back with a 3rd season of wonderful classes. They are just $22 for a 90 minute class where you can enjoy tastings.

Kitchen Angels, the Santa Fe Farmers Market InstituteHome Grown New Mexico and The Santa Fe School of Cooking have teamed up to present educational cooking classes on how to cook local, organic meals on a budget.

Joining under the name of the Healthy Food Cooking Coalition of Santa Fe, this community enrichment program brings together the talents and resources of all four partners to put the focus on enjoying healthy, local food that is both delicious and affordable. See the planning committee online.

2013 Schedule of Cooking Classes

 Classes: Each 3rd Wednesday of the month
June through Dec. from 5:30 – 7:00 pm

Location: The Santa Fe School of Cooking
125 North Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe

You must register in advance for each class. Class fees are non-refundable. Please arrive before 5:30 to enjoy appetizers and so we can start the class on time. Due to unforeseen circumstances, presenters and topics may change without notice.

The Mediterranean Table: 
One chicken, many healthy meals

with Tracy Pikhart Ritter

Executive Chef and Culinary Director, The Santa Fe School of Cooking

June 19th  •  $22 

Register Now! 

Includes tastings, recipes, Whole Foods give-away

Stretch one organic chicken into several spectacular meals with Chef Tracy’s innovative recipes and ideas. She’ll be showing us how to divide up the chicken and make a soup and pasta dish, among others, incorporating the flavors of the Mediterranean!

Chef Tracy is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in NYC and the International Pastry Arts Academy in Katonah, NY. She is considered an expert in nutritional cuisine with an emphasis on Southwestern flavors. Tracy opened the first “Tex Mex” restaurant in NYC in addition to working at Arizona 206, The River Cafe and Gotham Bar & Grill before heading west to become the Executive Chef at the prestigious Golden Door Spa and consultant to Rancho La Puerto in Tecate, Mexico.

Tracy’s Southwestern cuisine was featured on the cover of Bon Appetit Magazine’s Guide to the Best Restaurants in America and in a six page feature in Art Culinaire magazine. She has appeared on Good Morning America and the Food Network numerous times, cooked at the James Beard House as a Rising Chef, trained chefs in Malaysia, debated Julia Child on the merits of healthy cuisine, owned two restaurants in Santa Fe and helped write the curriculum for the New York Restaurant School.

Classes each month:

Please register online for one or all the classes!

July Class: Handmade Pizza with Garden Fresh Veggies, Local & Squisita! with Roland & Sheila Richter the Chef & Restaurant Owners
of Joe’s Dining

August Class: Vegan? Gluten free? 
How about just plain delicious! with Ryan Gabel the Chef, The Palace Restaurant

September Class: Local Organic Cooking Class with Erin Wade the Chef and Restaurant Owner of

October Class: It’s the Great Pumpkin Fest with Harry Shapiro & Peyton Young the Chefs, Cookbook Authors & Restaurant Owners of
Harry’s Roadhouse

November Class: A New Twist on Holiday Favorites
, Turkey Day Timesavers, Tips & Treats with Andrew Cooper, Executive Chef
Terra, Four Seasons Resort Rancho

December Class: Saucy & Raw: Guys in the Kitchen! 
Soups, sauces & tasty holiday treats with Danny Rhodes & Matthew Sherrill

How to Make Jerky

Making jerky is and easy process and fun to do. You can create it out of beef, turkey or other meat that was hunted like deer or elk. Jennifer and her father David Fresquez from Monte Vista Organic Farm provided a class to Home Grown New Mexico to 25 students in February.  Here are some of the highlights if you want to make jerky.

IMG_3233• The process of making jerky will reduce the meat to 1/4 of the original size.
• Select meat with a low fat content to reduce the fat in the finished product. Fat tends to spoil and oxidize more quickly than pure muscle
which will keep for a VERY long time.
• Slice the meat along the grain and in thin pieces. Roll the meat to get it to be smaller.  If you are having the butcher do the slicing for you remind them to do it on a slicer if possible and to slice with the grain of the meat. Also, when determining the slicing thickness remember that thickness will reduce to 1/4 of the original size.
• Season with a mix in a recycled spice bottle with a shaker top. This can include salt, onion, garlic, pepper, brown sugar and chile to add to each side of the meat
• A dehydrator at 145 degrees is the best for your jerky. This temperature kills disease in turkey.
• Another option is to roast in the oven for 10 hours on 200 degrees
• Store in a paper bag or container to let air in and out for summer.

Enjoy your jerky!

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Butternut squashCold winter days are a great time to use squash to make soup.  Butternut squash has a nice flavor and tastes wonderful when roasted. This is an easy recipe to create a vegetarian soup. You can also roast the squash and then freeze to use within a year.

If you have squash bugs, butternut is the best winter squash to grow.  These squash came from my community garden where we have lots of squash bugs. They did not come to my plot or invade the squash plants. Six were grown on the fence in 2012. You can also purchase organic squash at the Farmers Market or local grocery stores like Whole Foods or the Coop. They will last all winter if stored in a cool place.

Strainer smallButternut Squash Soup Recipe
3 lbs Butternut squash (multiple squash can be roasted)
1 Can of Lite Coconut Milk
2 tsps of Garlic Pepper
2 tsps of Italian Spice (or dried basil, oregano and marjoram)

Cover the squash with olive oil and roast in the oven for an hour on 400 degrees. You will not need to cut the squash to roast it. Let the squash cool and then remove the inside into a pot. Add the coconut milk and spices and cook for 20 minutes. Let the soup cool enough to strain. Use a strainer to remove the large pieces of squash. See photo above for the type that I use.  You can use many types of strainers. Use a ladle to add the soup and push it through the strainer. Enjoy the soup!

Amy Hetager, Blogger for Home Grown New Mexico

Green Tomato Recipes

We received many emails and calls from people who had their tomato plants freeze over the weekend.  Many of you removed the tomatoes before the freeze.  If your tomatoes did freeze, they can be cooked and eaten but not re-frozen. If you got them before the freeze, they can be on the counter in the sun or my great-grandmother wrapped them in newspaper to have them ripen. They will not taste like the summer tomato, but will be tastier than buying them from the grocery store. Many think about fried green tomatoes as a recipe, but there are many salsas, chutneys, pies and other dishes that you can make with them.  Here are a few.

Green Tomato Chutney
From Simply Recipes
This is a great blog to follow and I have cooked several of her recipes.  This one is a good way to make a large batch of chutney and share with friends.
Click here for recipe

Pickled Green Tomatoes
From Food in Jars Cookbook
This is a great blog to teach people how to can and preserve food.  Good recipes for jams, salsas and these pickled tomatoes. The cookbook came out earlier this year.
Click here for recipe

Fried Green Tomatoes with Vinegar Sauce
From Bon Appetit
Here is one of the classic recipes updated with a great sauce.
Click here for recipe

Green Tomato Cake
From Beneficial Farms CSA
Here is a recipe that I have made many times and is sweet with the bitterness of green tomatoes.  I picked my tomatoes about a month ago for our first freeze and they have all turned to a ripe red color.
Click here for the recipe

Make Your Own Spice Mix

Spices are one of the easiest things to add flavor to a dish. They can take you to different parts of the world like Asia, Northern Africa, the Mediterranean and India but use the same vegetables and meat ingredients.

Buying spices is easy in Santa Fe.  There are a few speciality shops like Ziggy’s International Market on Cerrillos or The Spice Lady on Cordova that offer spices and ingredients.  The Spice Lady also sells dried spices in bulk so that you can try a smaller amount.  The Coop and Whole Foods Grocery Stores sell spices in bulk as well. Buying in bulk allows you to buy a small amount for a recipe or try a spice with your family. One of the best deals for spices is at Natural Grocers on Cerrillos. They have a huge selection and some of the more difficult whole spices to find.

Store spices in a sealed container.  Small glass canning jars work the best. Try to buy the seed or whole spice so that it will last longer than the dried powder. If the spice is whole, it can also be toasted in a dry pan for a few minutes to bring out the aroma and flavor in your kitchen.

Once you have the whole spices that you enjoy, you can make spice mixes with a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Many cookbooks will list spice blends for their recipe.  Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything devotes a chapter to spices and sauces. It has everything from a pickling spice to curries. Curry is a useful spice mix for vegetables.  Simple ingredients like lentils, potatoes, carrots and spinach can be transformed.  Cut the vegetables into the same size pieces and saute in olive oil with the spice mix.  Add crushed tomatoes and coconut milk for a nice dinner over rice. Visit the Local Organic Meals on a Budget blog for the hot curry spice mix recipe.

Another spice mix to make in advance and store for recipes is Chinese five-spice powder. This is available in a pre-mixed jar at most grocery stores, but you can make it, customize it and save money if you make it yourself. It can be used in place of other spice mixes in baking recipes for nut breads, muffins and cookies. This spice mixture has a warm character and can be in savory dishes like stir-fry, vegetable side dishes and even home made veggie burgers. Here is an adaptation.

Five-Spice Powder Recipe
1/2 Cinnamon Stick
6 Whole Cloves
1 Tblsp Corriander Seeds
2 Tblsp Fennel Seeds
2 Tsp Ground Ginger

Place the whole spices in a dry pan and heat on low for a few minutes. They will become fragrant quickly. Remove from the stove and transfer to a spice grinder (or coffee grinder) or mortar and pestle.  Allow to cool. Grind the spices. Store in a sealed container for up to three months. This makes about a 1/2 cup of spice mix.

Make Chile Oil

The holiday season is here. Making gifts for friends and family creates a great experience to go with your good thoughts. It can also add some creativity with the type of bottle or the way that you present it. If you canned jams or sauces this fall, those can make a gift basket.  Dried chile and olive oil can be transformed into a good gift from New Mexico.

The oil can be used to spice up dishes, make salad dressings and add a beautiful red color to the tops of dips and dishes. Make an egg scramble with it for breakfast, roast potatoes and vegetables in it for lunch, top hummus with it for a snack and serve it with bread for dinner.

Here are a few simple steps:

1. Select a bottle- Find one with a lid. It can be a recycled bottle from a vinegar or oil.  There are bottles in kitchen stores or online. Find an interesting shape that will be enjoyed on the person’s counter this winter.

2. Sterilize the bottle- Wash the bottle.  Boil hot water. Insert the bottle in the hot water for at least two minutes and remove with tongs.  Let the bottle dry completely before filling with chile oil.

3. Prepare oil- Dried red chile is available now or you may have grown it and dried it yourself this fall.  Use three dried chiles per 1/2 cup of olive oil.  It will depend on the bottle size for how much you make.  Crush the chile with a mortar and pestal (using your fingers can leave you with spicy fingers).  Add a little water to rehydrate the chile.  Simmer the chile and oil for 15 minutes. Let cool

4. Fill Bottle- Strain through cheese cloth and into the bottle.  A funnel is helpful.  Collapsable funnels are available at Las Cosas and kitchen shops in Santa Fe.

5. Enjoy!- Tie a big red bow around the bottle as wrapping for the present. This can be stored on the counter or in the refrigerator for a month.

First Freeze

The first freeze is heading to Santa Fe this weekend.  It will be cold for three days and then warm up to the low 40’s at night.  I visited Mike and Molly’s mini-farm today to see some preparation strategies.  They were harvesting green tomatoes and looking at their recycled shower door cold frames to keep hearty greens going.  Watch for more tips on their projects on the blog in the next few weeks.  Here are a few tips for gardeners.

1. Cover your plants with a blanket or tarp to keep them from freezing.  Use rocks or bricks to keep the blanket around the plants.  Sticks, small rebar or dowels could be placed into the dirt around the plants to keep the blanket from crushing the plants.

2. Frost tolerant plants like kale, swiss chard, broccoli and root vegetables should be fine through this first frost.

3. Plants like tomato, cucumber and summer squash may need extra cover to prevent damage.

4. Pick all of the fruits and vegetables to have a good harvest.  Tomatoes especially can be frozen in the weather.  Green tomatoes can be picked as well and stored on the counter in newspaper or a paper bag to ripen.

5. Find some green tomato recipes.  Here is one that I made last year with my neighbor and Home Grown New Mexico volunteer Zahira.

Green Tomato/Green Chile Jam

Adapted from Closet Cooking

4 green chiles, chopped

1/2 cup of mint and cilantro mixed

4 cloves garlic , crushed

1 inch piece ginger

1/2 cup cider vinegar (Bragg’s is a great choice)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 pound green tomatoes

2 cups sugar


1. Blanch the green tomatoes to remove the skin.  Cut an “X” into the bottom of each tomato and place in boiling water for three to five minutes.  The skin should start to peel.  Let them cool and remove as much skin as possible.

2. Puree the chile, herbs, garlic, ginger vinegar and soy sauce in a food processor.

3. Place the mixture into a sauce pan and add the tomatoes and sugar.

4. Bring to a boil and simmer until it thickens, about 45 minutes.

Amy Hetager, Home Grown New Mexico Blogger