This Thanksgiving, I'm attempting to cook a feast with only the natural mojo available near Albuquerque.
It's a modified 100 mile Thanksgiving, adjusting for life in the high desert so bear with me while I include ingredients like potatoes from Southern Colorado and pecans from Las Cruces. Honestly, I'm not sure the ambitious menu below will even be edible with all my modifications, but I'm not one to shy away from a challenge.
Here's my menu
This time of year, you can find pumpkin, turkey, apples, quince, garlic, quinoa, goat cheese, milk, cream, persimmons, pomegranates, sweet potatoes and more in the larders of Nuevo Mexico and Southern Colorado. Fortunately, New Mexico produces some quality wines as well as -- who'd have guessed it -- flour
grown by the Sangre de Cristo Growers Coop in Northern New Mexico.
Following is the menu I'm attempting this Thanksgiving based on these local ingredients with only a few exceptions (butter, salt, and spices).
[Links to the actual recipes further below]
Champagne by Gruet
- Red Chile Glazed Turkey
- Quinoa Stuffing
- Quince Compote
- Spiced Persimmon Chutney
- Dinner Rolls by La Quiche Bakery
- Roasted Delicata Squash Salad
- Goat Cheese Potato Gratin
"Serenade Blend" White Wine by Casa Rondena
, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque
- Apple Galette
- Pumpkin Pie Brulee
- Persimmon & Goat Cheese Tart
Plum Wine by Anasazi Fields
Where to shop
Your best bet for finding locally-sourced ingredients is the La Montanita Coop
(locations in Nob Hill and the North Valley).
Wild Oats is currently carrying local tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pecans, and pistachios. Steve, the produce manager showed me some of his wares this past week.
For local wine and beer, try Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Jubilation
, or Talin International Market
Recipes, ideas and tips
Beer from the Tractor Farmer Brewery in Los Lunas
Blanc de Blanc champagne from Gruet
Serenade blend white from Casa Rondena
Meritage red from Casa Rondena
Plum wine from Anasazi Fields in Placitas
Sorrel-Wrapped Goat Cheese
Skip the beets, they're not in season for us in New Mexico. Try substituting a slice of Fuyu persimmon instead.
Pumpkin Tarte Tatin
Not much to say here. This just looks amazing.
The Bird. Local Turkey.
Embudo Valley Organics delivers local turkeys to the La Montanita Coop
the Friday before Thanksgiving. I got my 16 pounder yesterday.
Dressing the Bird
Dried cranberries aren't local. And both zucchini and green onions are past their season. What you can find locally sourced in Albuquerque are: quinoa, butternut squash, mint, parsley, and maybe even dried local apricots.
Poblano and Pumpkin Seed Stuffing
Poblano? Whatever. To me, when I see "poblano" that really means New Mexico green chile and so that's what I'm using.
Cranberries Don't Grow in New Mexico
Substitute honey for sugar (lower the amount of water a bit to compensate for the liquidity of honey), use thyme or rosemary for vanilla, and use a local white such as Casa Rondena's Serenade Blend.
After chilling this yesterday, I added some fresh pomegranate seeds for color and crunch.
Spiced Persimmon Chutney
We've got apples and persimmons in season. Everything else requires some cheating.
Dandelion & Delicata Squash Salad
Sounds weird. Looks beautiful. I'm gonna try it. Not sure what I'll substitute for dandelions, but maybe I have some arugula in my back yard.
Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
Probably hard to find local celery, butter, vinegar and onions, but you can get local squash, cream, apples, garlic, and goat cheese. Maybe I'll try using Toasted Onion Goat Cheese from Sweetwoods Dairy for the blue cheese.
Goat Cheese Potato Gratin
Regional potatoes, garlic, cream, and goat cheese can all be had this time of year.
Quinoa Pecan Salad
Both quinoa and pecans grow in or near New Mexico. You can get mint and parsley grown in Rio Rancho.
Honey Red Chile Roasted Sweet Potatoes
So the recipe doesn't call for red chile, but add some powdered Chimayo Red to the mix for an extra layer of kick. Jake's sweet potatoes grow near Fort Sumner.
You could make your own fancy dinner rolls like this Pumpkin Nutmeg Dinner Rolls
, but I plan on buying mine from Sage Bakehouse or La Quiche Bakery
Persimmon & Goat Cheese Tart
Persimmons come from La Luz, NM down near Alamogordo. And goat cheese from several local sources including Sweetwoods Dairy in Peña Blanca.
All the herbs are growing right now at Aroma Fresca in Rio Rancho.
I still haven't found a source of local butter, but you can get flour from Northern New Mexico at the Coop. As for apples, both locally-grown granny smiths and winesaps are available right now in Albuquerque.
Pumpkin Pie Brulee
Just buy a local sugar or pie pumpkin from the Coop and follow these instructions
to get the pumpkin part of the pie filling
It'll be hard to live without chocolate in my pecan pie, but I'll try this recipe and see how I do.
Swapping honey for sugar in everything I'm making this holiday is a significant step in the right direction. Significant enough that I don't plan on confessing the following to my priest.
How to sub honey for sugar
- Lemon juice
My friend Spring's backyard
Heidi's Raspberry Farm
Aroma Fresca Herbs
White Mountain Farms
Sangre de Cristo Agricultural Producers
Jake "The Melon Man" West
Casa Rondena Winery
Anasazi Fields Winery
Embudo Valley Organics
B's Honey Farm
East Mountain Organics
Del Valle Pecans
South Mountain Dairy
A Map of My Meal
Here's where the ingredients I've purchased for Thanksgiving Dinner came from.
[View larger, interactive map
If you have Google Earth
installed, it's even more illustrative to view a map of your local food sources in that application. Here's the same map as a KML in Google Earth:
Download Eat Local: An Albuquerque Thanksgiving.kml
or view a screenshot below of Tomas with his garlic from just east of Albuquerque.