So I spent a decent amount of my childhood in Texas, and I didn’t know that New Mexico had its own style of Mexican food until just a few years ago. It’s kind of a crime that it’s not more widely known, because it’s seriously, seriously delicious.
Disclaimer: I have never been to New Mexico. Well, I think my family drove through the northwest corner of it once on a road trip, but that hardly counts. Niles’s parents live in Arizona, though, and introduced me to New Mexican food when we were on a trip there once. Having had plenty of Mexican-American cuisine in Texas, Chicago, California, New York, and lots of other places, I wasn’t really prepared for how different New Mexican food is. I’ve been told that it borrows heavily from Navajo and Mescalero tribes, I’ve been told that it’s closest to the style of food cooked in Mexico – it’s hard to untangle what’s true and what’s been written by tourist boards, but beyond what I’ve drawn above, here are my impressions of it: New Mexican cuisine is more rustic and earthy. There’s a lot more smoking of things, and grilling on mesquite and cedar planks. There’s usually (counterintuitively, but I’m not arguing) seafood. And of course there’s the ever-present New Mexican Chile – which I’ll get into in more detail in a later comic – chosen for its balance of flavor and heat, instead of peppers like habanero, which are pretty much just there to kick your ass.
There are actually a few New Mexican restaurants here in Chicago. Last night we went to Masa Azul, here in Logan Square. It was outstanding, but it’s more of a modern, fusion-y take on New Mexican food. I’m told that there’s one in Ukrainian Village that’s more traditional and also cheaper, but its name escapes me at the moment, and it’s actually kind of difficult to google “New Mexican Restaurant” and get what you’re looking for, instead of just new restaurants that are Mexican.
Ok. Of course you can do the part two way and cook it in the slow cooker. It’s certainly tender and most definitely edible. But I think it would have been more flavorful to roast it and really get a nice golden cider-infused crisp on the outside. The slow cooker seems like it would be a better tool for recipes with thicker sauces, barbecue, pulled chicken, things like that.
Now of course I can’t really vouch for the exciting conclusion to cider chicken. But there’s another (how did that happen?) whole chicken in my freezer for some reason, so if we ever finish off the slow-cooker chicken, maybe I’ll give this recipe another shot.
Hey, in other news, what are you doing next weekend? I’m going to be at the Minneapolis Indie Xpo with a lot of other wonderful, talented people! I’ll have books and a bunch of original paintings and not one but TWO Sauceome prints (the second one arrived the other day, and I’ll have it on the site once Mix is over). So much is going on next weekend! I’ll be at the Drink and Draw party on Friday night, I’ll be the special guest on The Geek Report podcast on Saturday morning, and I’ve got multiple pieces in this gallery show at MCAD! It is a whole thing, you guys. A WHOLE THING.
Ok, look, you can do this if you want to. This is what I did, and it was tasty enough. It was unbelievably tender and juicy, but it just wasn’t as flavorful as I wanted it to be.
So if you can wait a few more days, I think I have an improvement on this recipe that will be worth the wait.
Caveat: this is a recipe I improvised from 1) a few different recipes I found online and 2) things that were already in my fridge. And although I think I have some changes to implement the next time I try this, it turned out pretty well.
So Corinne Mucha came over for dinner tonight, and I made her plateloads of sushi, and we drank hot apple cider spiked with Scottish whisky, and we talked and talked and talked, and then she threatened to leave and go back to her house. And I said, you don’t have to go so soon, but I do have to draw a comic tonight, and she said, just give me your sketchbook and I’ll draw it for you, and that is the story of how this comic came to be. A good story, but it’s not nearly as involved or as entertaining as Corinne’s story of what happened to her in Amsterdam when she was backpacking through Europe.
She totally nailed my outfit tonight, as I am wearing not only stripey socks but also a stripey sweatshirt. And that’s one of our kitties, Dr. Wily, in the last panel, sitting on a chair like he thinks he’s a person. But she is too kind, I do not make anywhere near the best sushi.
Corinne is awesome, and you need to go read all of her comics and then probably buy some of them. She’ll be at the Minneapolis Indie Expo at the table next to me! We often get tables next to each other at conventions, and then we spend the whole time talking to each other instead of selling things. If you do see her, you should ask her to sing her zombie song, it is pretty much the best.
It’s okay! I’m better! so please let me make some food for you.
I have no idea how I got pinkeye, except the Wikipedia page (don’t click on that, it’s gross) says that it can be viral, bacterial, or allergy-related, and my allergies have been crazypants off the wall lately.
But man, there is nothing like a little pinkeye to make you realize how many things you touch every single day. And how many people don’t want to touch those things, or have you prepare food for them. And rightfully so, I promise, I don’t resent anyone here, they were right to not want me near their foodstuffs, I didn’t want anyone else to get pinkeye. But it left me feeling very lonely, all the things that I normally do, like making lunch or dinner, talking on the phone, opening doors, handing things to people… Suddenly I had to have this weird, self-imposed barrier which meant that I wasn’t allowed to touch anyone, and it was very frustrating. It’s nice to be able to touch things (and people) again.
Still, wash your hands, you guys! Wash ‘em! Also, don’t have allergies.
But I’m better now! and I’m making sushi for Corinne this week, and that will make me happy.
I will pretty much fall in love with any manner of eggs Benedict, you guys. I love a poached egg, a runny yolk, a well made hollandaise with spongey bread to sop it up. But I especially love seafood-based eggs Benedicts, crab cakes, smoked salmon, things like that. This was my first lobster Benedict, and while the lobster was probably subpar, even subpar lobster is pretty great to eat, especially when combined with pancetta.
It’s been a pretty great food weekend all around. I made some unagi sushi, we filled up giant bags with delicious looking produce at the farmer’s market (purple carrots! butternut squash! raspberries! shallots! cherry tomatoes!), I got a lobster Benedict, and we managed to get seated at Kuma’s tonight with NO WAITING. I haven’t been there since the blizzard (that was FEBRUARY; there was 3 feet of snow on the ground and we STILL waited 20 minutes for a table) so it had been several months since I had my favorite ever burger: the Lair of the Minotaur, topped with melty brie, sweet caramelized onions, pancetta and delicious bourbon-poached pears. So good!
Hey guys, in other news, my Ouija Interviews totally got called out on Rookie! I have such a crush on this publication, and the awesome girls who make it. If you watch the video on that page, Tavi has a few of the original Ouija Interview zines! I only have a handful of those left now that the collection is out. Anyway, I’m geeking out big time. If you don’t read Rookie, you totally should. But if you know any smart, industrious, clever and kickass teen girls and they’re not reading Rookie, that’s just a crime. Sit them down in front of the computer. Now.
Once, I told Niles I had to go to the store because I had run out of sushi rice. “Who runs out of sushi rice,” he asked, “that’s not also a sushi restaurant?” I go through a lot of sushi rice.
There are certain things that I always keep in the house now – rice, nori sheets, sushi vinegar – in case the impulse to make sushi strikes. There’s also usually SOMETHING in the freezer like sashimi-grade tuna or unagi to put in the middle of a maki roll. But we are stocked now, as if we are prepared for a hypothetical sushi drought.
This comic is a bit of a lie because I totally just cooked and ate most of the scallops in an attempt to recreate a scallop rice recipe I found in Oishinbo. But everything else is there! If you are local to Chicago, I get 99% of my sushi supplies at Joong Boo. The unagi (it’s already cooked and seasoned!) is the only thing I haven’t been able to find there. I’ve only seen it at H Mart in Niles, and I have no idea when I’m going to be able to get there again. Oh! I bet it’d be at Mitsuwa too, but that’s even harder to get to without a car.
I was reading this article the other day about how people with fair skin (ie, me) might not be able to make as much vitamin D as we need, even in the best conditions. I am of the opinion that this is entirely unfair. Pout.
Anyway, I know it’s pretty dumb. I really do. I have known this for about three years now, that it is dumb that my instinct is to refrain from purchasing a light therapy lamp because of the cost. Somehow, my brain translates this as me being responsible, as if somehow it is more responsible to spend entire weeks in January beating myself up because I’m convinced that no one really likes me, and that even my closest friends are just barely tolerating me out of politeness. So if any of you have any recommendations for a therapy lamp, or know of a place to start looking, I’ll take them. One year I looked into buying a lamp, and then realized that hydroponic gardens had sort of the same kind of lamp, and they were only $60, and I could grow basil in them, so I got that instead, but I seriously doubt it’s the same thing.
I should add that I am in no way recommending that anyone self-medicate with vitamin D or any other supplements, or if you do and you don’t like them please don’t sue me. I am skeptical and withholding opinion on the 5-HTP for now.
I should also have added making comics about seasonal depression to the list, because that’s what I ended up doing last year. But I’m going to be plenty busy this winter anyway, with all of my grand plans.
Anyway. Anyone use a light therapy lamp and wanna talk about it? Michèle?