Friday, December 25, 2015

I woke up with a dish developing in my head and can't post it where my customers will see it, so I'm sharing it here. We're closing our restaurant in the upcoming months and I want to go out on a bang. Here's the text from a card I'll give our customers on their last course on New Years Eve.

How does one end such an blessed run?! The Curious Kumquat morphed into a restaurant from our gourmet grocery in the fall of 2009. Dinners started in March of 2010 to empty tables of skeptical neighbors. But through the enthusiasm of numerous food writers and bloggers such as Zora O’Neill (Moon Guides, New York Times, Saveur), Ari Levaux (Outside, Slate) and Andrea Feucht (ABQ Journal, Food Lovers Guide), our culinary voice was heard and diners traveled from all over the country. This spurred us on even more to create even better food. And our food has always had the goal of being amazingly tasty, beautiful to look at, and sourced with local products that most people couldn’t even dream of making into a meal. Finding those ingredients has been a passion of mine through thousands of miles of hiking and relationships with the most eccentric band of farmers, ranchers and weirdos.
 So it is with this that I offer you my most perfect dish ever. My last New Year’s dish ever at the Kumquat. The end of your meal. The pinnacle of my Gila Wilderness foraging experience. The most perfect Curious Kumquat dish ever created.
 Gila Opulence  (photo)72-hour roasted mesquite bean mousse (Ben Lilly pond approach)
16-year Traditional, organic Balsamico (Monticello, NM)
Consommé of aspen bark (Railroad Trailhead, Black Range)
Gold leaf (Kingston, NM)
Gila Trout roe (Hatchery raised, Willow Creek)*
 Like all of my creations it will be gone in moments, but I hope this special dish, created only for tonight, will live in your memories for many, many years.
  *The Gila Trout is an endangered species on its way to a comeback. This roe was obtained by staff at the hatchery who assured me that they had released 10,000 Gila Trout into Willow Creek in October of 2015.

Friday, November 20, 2015


5-6 C Flour
1 Tbsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 lb Lard
1 C Sugar
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp Anise, ground
1/2 C Orange juice
2 Tbsp Whiskey

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.

Whip lard in mixer for about 5 minutes on high.

Add eggs, one at a time.

Add dry ingredients in 3 additions.

Add ground anise, juice and whiskey. Add flour if its tacky.

Roll out to 1/4" or less. Cut, handling as little as possible.

Bake at 425ºF til very lightly brown - don't over bake! For me that's 7 minutes.

As soon as they come out of the oven, while still hot sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. I find it better to dredge the cookies in a large bowl of cinnamon sugar.

*Not traditional, but I added some orange zest.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Southwest Burger

Cuz people always ask me for this recipe; Our vegetarian Southwest Burger

1 Tbsp Oil
1 Onion, small, diced
2 Garlic, cloves
1 Jalepeno
1/2 Red bell pepper, chopped
1 Ear corn, fresh, kernels removed
12 oz Black beans (we use our day old from the burritos which are from dry beans, but canned should work fine)
1 Tbsp Cilantro
1/2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Cumin powder
Salt to taste
1/2 C Bread crumbs (we use panko)

Heat skillet with oil, sauté onion til translucent; add garlic and jalepeno, red bell and corn. Sauté 5 min. Add beans into center and mash with the back of a spoon. Add cilantro through salt and cook about 5 more minutes til any remaining moisture is gone. Add the bread crumbs a little bit at a time smooshing in with the spoon. Add just enough til the crumbs won't absorb anymore - if you add too much the patties won't hold when you try to form them. Chill mix for 1 hour.

Form patties, toss if flour, dredge in egg wash, toss in panko. Chill for 1 hour. Fry at 350º. We have and sometimes do cook in a skillet, and it works okay but you have to watch very closely to make sure the center cooks. For a gluten free variation, replace flour with rice flour and the panko with chopped rice crackers.

*With acknowledgement to @Grumpys

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Boxed Wines

Boxed wines that are really worth it - not just what Oprah says we should buy:

1. From the Tank