Authentic Southwestern Cuisine; New Mexico Style

New Mexican cuisine has its own particular style. It is not Mexican. It is not Mexican-American. And it is most definitely not Tex-Mex. It is true to the Southwestern Spirit of New Mexico’s rich cultural heritage: American Cowboy, Native American, Spanish Colonial, and post-Columbian Mexican.

The Chiricahua, Comanche, Mescalero, and Navajo influence on New Mexican food is expressed through the use of piΓ±ones, corn, chile, beans, and squash.

The use of wheat, rice, and lamb were introduced to the Southwestern Cuisine by the Spaniards. Arroz con leche, atole, bizcochitos, calabacitas, and flan are some of the Spanish dishes that have come to enrich New Mexican traditions.

Another example of cultural influence in New Mexican cooking is the Puebloan Horno; a mud adobe-built outdoor oven. Originally introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors, it was quickly adopted and carried to all Spanish-occupied lands. The Puebloan Horno was used by Native Americans and early settlers of North America, and became an authentic tradition in the Southwest.

The most iconic characteristic of true New Mexican Cuisine is the use of Hatch Chile, which is not the same as the serrano chile used in Mexican Cuisine. Β Within our local food landscape you will find green chile cheeseburgers, green chile cornbread, and even more creative dishes like green chile sundaes.

So, what should you be looking for when you are in search of a true, authentic experience of the southwest?

  • Bizcochitos (The Official New Mexican Cookie)
  • Carne adovada (slow-cooked cubes of pork marinated in red chile sauce, oregano, and garlic)
  • Green chile stew (stew of meat and green chile)
  • Navajo Tacos (a taco made with fry bread instead of a tortilla)
  • Sopapillas (fried pastry dough typically used as an edible scoop for salsas and sauces)
  • Albondigas (meatball soup)
  • Chiles Rellenos (whole green chiles stuffed with cheese, dipped in egg batter and fried)
  • Enchiladas (corn tortillas filled with chicken, meat or cheese, rolled or stacked and covered with chile sauce and cheese)
  • Flan (caramel custard)
  • Tamales (meat rolled in cornmeal dough and wrapped in corn husks)
  • Indian fry bread (a traditional thick flatbread of deep-fried dough)

Where to stay in Ruidoso, NM? A Guide from a Local Explorer

So, you have done your research and realized that Ruidoso, New Mexico is the-place-to-go this winter.

You are planning to visit Ski Apache, take awesome pictures at Sierra Blanca Peak (weather and health permitting), shop for souvenirs at Tanner Tradition and have lunch at Rachel’s; one of the best restaurants in Ruidoso.

Awesome, but… where are you staying?

Noisy Water Lodge is an option. These are pet-friendly rental cabins, surrounded by the amazing Lincoln National Forest and overlooking the world-famous Rio Ruidoso. Only 2 miles from downtown (and 20 miles from Sky Apache), these cabins are accessible to all Ruidoso attractions and activities.

They do not have a Google Virtual Tour, but here is a Street View image where you are able to view them from the street:

Their ratings are phenomenal and their reviews are stellar:

If the cabin experience is not for you, a vacation rental will probably interest you. Two Ruidoso Redheads have some amazing vacation options in different locations.

How does a vacation townhome rental sound to you? … I know!!!

Sorry, no Google Virtual Tours. But you can check out their photos, rating and reviews here!

If you are traveling with kids, don’t forget about the best local attractions to enjoy:

What to do In Carrizozo, NM? You won’t find these on TripAdvisor…

Easy and Fun, with kids or without, romantic or not, these are four things you must do when you visit Carrizozo, NM.

Valley of Fires

This attraction (is actually on TripAdvisor…) and is awesome for everyone.

Kids, adults, grandparents and wheelchair-accessible, THIS IS IT!

What you won’t find on TripAdvisor:

  1. The Burro Challenge. Not on TripAdvisor (though I wonder why not?!) this was such a fun thing to do. We did walk around town a bit, but did not notice how far we traveled or for how long. One cannot visit Carrizozo without doing this, as this is the area of donkeys (“burro” means donkey) and the art is fun and beautiful. And if you are in Carrizozo, you must be into nature and art…and if you are not, you are missing out.

2.  MoMaZoZo’s Gallery. 12th Historic Street in Carrizozo is awesome. Stop at all the spots, including the Malkerson Gallery!

3. Chamber of Commerce. The El Paso and Northeastern Railroad built a depot on Carrizozo Flats, and the town was born.

This is a video we took on our last visit:

How to Find Fossils in New Mexico…

This is a question I had to ask! Leonard Witter came out of his Fossil Works lab at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

I was watching him through the glass, working on a fossil with a couple of sharp tools, and  a magnifying glass. He was focused, but noticed me staring. I smiled. He also smiled and then came out to see me.

He explained a bit about what he was doing, then I asked a couple of short questions and interrupted his answers by asking the one I really, really wanted to know.

Natural History Museums are a family favorite wherever we go. And the last time we visited Albuquerque, we just had to stop by.

Dad and the kids were almost done looking at the exhibition right next to Fossil Works, and before they came back, I really had to ask how could our family find fossils in the area where we live. I recorded his answer because I thought you would also like to know.