Greetings from Santa Fe

By staff June 30, 2009

A Sarasota foodie discovers there’s something to be said for red hot chile peppers and bold new flavors.


By Judi Gallagher

                    A procession of cultures--and flavors--in Santa Fe.

Full disclosure: I am the complete opposite of what you might call a cowgirl. The closest I come is that I buy cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, somewhere in California- with green pastures and boutique stalls that sell the high butterfat goat cheese of the gods, wrapped in neat little expensive packages. My idea of a good pepper is the sweet version, sautéed with onions atop a grilled Italian sausage on wonderful Italian bread.

 So, what the heck am I doing in the dessert, with hanging red chiles everywhere? 

                    Chef Charles of  Encantado's duck breast presentation.

This cowgirl landed herself in Santa Fe and discovered a culinary mecca. I have learned that saying “I don’t like that” is completely unfair and warrants us all to take a look (well, not literally) at our taste buds. I claim to be a gringo, yet the creamy green chile sauce over mesquite grilled lobster tails at Coyote Café was nearly sinful, and I am yearning for another plate of elk tenderloin with chile demiglace with a bed on grilled spring onions. 


The owner of a gift store shared numerous recipes while I was purchasing a bag of Southwest seasoning, including taking a pint of sour cream and adding 1-2 tablespoons of the seasoning to make an instant dip. Look for an upcoming cooking segment using those useful tips.


What I have come to learn is that bold, wonderful flavors do not always have to be stereotyped as too spicy or loaded with beans and Tabasco. While this cowgirl may hang up the boots for a pair of strappy sandals from Nordstrom’s, the dinner table just got a whole lot more inspired back at the Gallagher ranch!



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