While in Tampa, FL try the Apalachicola Bay warm-water Oysters
(if you can find them), very different than any I’ve tried up to now.
I grew up outside Albuquerque and I love seafood especially Oysters. I had heard Nantucket Shoals Seafood Market carried oysters but found out last year it was going to close. After a visit several months ago a new owner came forward to continue seafood market. Since then it has become my place to stop when I wanted a oyster to shuck myself. I have enjoyed a variety of different oysters up to now and hope to try many more in the future. Here is a sampling of what I tried:
Sol Azul Oysters (left) from Baja Mexico, Calm Cove Oysters from Washington (upper right), and Shigoku Oysters from Washington (lower right).
Blue Point Oysters from New York (left), Netarts Bay Oysters from Oregon (middle), and Willapa Bay Oysters from Washington (right).
Half way between I-25 and the Rio Grande River there is a new vegetable market on the north side of the road. Some local entrepreneur converted a old liquor store into a fresh veggie stand that caters to the local hispanic market.
One day, we decided to stop by and take a quick look at the new market. I was surprised to find many fresh produce items, as well as, dried items that the local pueblo indians would find useful, like dried corn, corn husks, and melons.
Anyway, I’m glad to see things like this popping up locally.
At all of the Pueblos in New Mexico you will find the women make some of the most wonderful food using local ingredients, in particular red & green chile. One type of dish found at almost every house is chile stew. Stews in their various forms are a very common occurrence, and as a kid I remember my grandmother’s kitchen always cooking some kind of red or green chile stew.
There is one stew in particular that I loved, and it was from my late aunt Liz. I loved it so much that I asked her how to make it one day. I wanted to be able to re-create her stew since I lived away from New Mexico either going to school or having a career.
It’s a simple dish and I want to share it with you.
- 1 to 1.5 lbs of some stew meat (I like using pork & made it with chicken once, tofu would be interesting)
- One 28oz container of Bueno Chopped Green Chile (found in most NM supermarkets) or Two 13oz containers … using the 13oz allows one to mix chile heat levels (mild & mild, mild & hot, hot & hot, also throw autumn roast in there).
- Two 14.5oz cans of Stewed tomatoes (I’ve used the Del Monte Original Recipe)
- Two 11oz cans of White Shoepeg Corn (I’ve used the Green Giant brand)
- 2 to 3 Yellow Squash
- 2 to 3 Green Squash
- Optional, can add a diced onion & cilantro for different flavors.
- I like to cut the stew meat down to smaller bite size pieces, so I prep the meat.
- In a large stew pot (mine is 20qts), brown the meat using a little oil (here is where the onion can be added)
- Once the meat is thoroughly cooked, I add the stewed tomatoes (an additional step one can take is to break up the tomatoes into smaller chunks)
- Add the shoepeg corn
- Add the chopped green chile
- Add one to two 28oz chile containers full of water to the pot (2 to 4 of the 13oz), enough to create a thick stew, or more water if you like a thinner stew (be sure you leave room for the squash)
- Bring to a rolling boil, then lower the heat and cook for about 2 hours
- Cut up the yellow & green squash (I like thick cuts like the pic above)
- Add the squash to the pot about 1.5 hours in or earlier if you like softer squash or later if you want firmer squash (can add cilantro at this time also).
- Done, finished stew for about 6-8 people.
Add some Pueblo oven bread and you have a wonderful New Mexico meal.