Cafe Pasqual

Cafe Pasqual


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We woke up this morning to the sound of rain.  Wonderous.  When Texans get tired of Texas we go to New Mexico.  Our neighboring state to the west is our respite from heat, drought, winds, prairie, and politics.  We go for the mountains and the cool breezes and equally for the cuisine and the culture. Sometimes we stay and we don’t come back.

My favorite restaurant is Cafe Pasqual in Santa Fe.  It is a mecca to many and very tiny so you must make a reservation in advance. The owner or chef is Katharine Kagel and she is known for using old world ingredients. Since I can’t get to Pasqual’s enough, I bought her pretty cookbook the last time we visited and yesterday for breakfast I whipped up RM’s favorite of huevos rancheros.  Here is the link to the restaurant:  http://pasquals.com/Tales_from_the_Luddite_Chef/index.html

While RM didn’t work the cattle ranch yesterday, he did hit 100 golf balls in anticipation of a golf tournament later this week and mowed the yard.

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Inside of the tiny and colorful Cafe Pasqual

The recipe is simple but takes some work to get all the parts assembled correctly.  You need to make black beans, new mexico style, to start.  I used canned black beans (rinsed) and heated in a pan.  I add to one can of beans, 1/2 cup minced onion, two small minced sweet peppers, one minced jalapeno (you can use canned if you must), 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 small bay leaf, two cups of water, and salt to taste.  I add one cup of water and let it cook down, then add another cup and cook it again until the beans are thickened.  Last year, we purchased a bay plant and it is producing beautiful bay leaves this spring which is very handy.  I wish I could get cilantro to grow just as well.

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Thickened black beans – excuse the dirty stove top.

The next step is to make the red chili sauce.  Yesterday, I had leftover fresh tomato sauce so I used that and added some green chili sauce (from a jar) to the tomato sauce and then added mexican oregano and cumin to the mixture and let it cook until thick.  The tomato sauce recipe I use is from Mario Batali:   http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/basic-tomato-sauce-recipe12.html.  You can make a big batch and then store it is a glass container in your refrigerator for a week or longer.  Freezes well too.

Time to cook the eggs.  We like ours sunny side up which I think is traditional in this dish but I guess you could make ’em any way you preferred.

Then, toast the tortillas over the gas flame on your stove.  My friend Babs showed me how to hold them gently over the flame with a pair of tongs until they start to puff up and brown just a little.  They smell toasty.  Make some extras so you can roll them and dunk them in the chili sauce.  Or spread them with butter and roll them up and eat plain.

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Toasting Tortilla

It is time to assemble.  Take one toasted (don’t skip the toasting step or you will regret it) tortilla and place it on a plate, spread it with a thick layer of black beans, place the egg on top, spoon the red chili sauce around the edges of the egg, and sprinkle with cheese.  If you have fresh cilantro, add a few touches of the herb on top.  We didn’t have cilantro yesterday so we skipped that step (I did miss it).  The heat was just right for this wimpy, former Kansan,  so if you want it spicier just add more jalapeno to the beans or you can give your chili head friend, a jar of hot sauce to sprinkle on top.

I think it is time to plan a trip to Bandalier…and to make a reservation at Pasqual’s.

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Huevos Rancheros
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