Originally posted by bill voss
hey ditz, I wanna' know what your dishes for "New Mexicanized soul food" are. Can you share?
Oh, sure, I can tell yah some dishes ... but it's more the spirit of the thing I'm thinking about. You take near about any kind of comforting soul food -- greens cooked down to nubbin with lots of pot likker (oh, chile), black-eyed peas, potatoes in all their glorious variations, buttermilk cornbread, hush puppies, grits ... whooeee... you get the idea -- and you marry their deep comfort to some rousing fire of chiles of choice (nah, not just those from New Mexico, but any heat from mild nip to blow-out-your-brains, according to tolerance) and hot sauces and salsas. There you go! New-Mexicanized Soul Food (I suppose you could also call it Tex-Mex Soul Food, but I think the end result is usually closer to New Mexico cuisine style myself.)
At the time I wrote that post, I was thinking of mac n cheese and mashed potatoes mostly. Mac and cheese -- soul food, if ever there was any -- liberally laced with New Mexican green chiles, assorted pepper powders, and the like, is awfully satisfying. My southern cornbread dressing (no sugar, please) has been similarly invaded at times. Cornbread may get not only chiles, but cheeses. And might even be eaten with salsa or green chile pork stew instead of with great northern beans or with milk, as my Dad liked his cornbread. I tried using blue corn meal, too, but found I prefer my good old southern yellow cornmeal in my cornbread -- even if I do decide to add chiles and cheese and such to it. Take your favorite southern fried-chicken batter, and add chile powder (from the wide variety available, such as New Mexican, pasilla, guajillo, jalapeno, aji, even hab if so inclined) or perhaps some fine chopped chiles. Puts a nice bite into that southern fried batter. Creamy mashed potatoes, served with fried chicken cream gravy was a frequent and much loved food when I was growing up. Then one day, I tried those taters with flavorful green chile verde sauce ladled over them. Equally lip-smacking. If there's no cream gravy or chile verde at hand, there's always a bottle of hot sauce of choice to make that creamy potato goodness sit up and talk! When it comes to hot sauce, though, I leave New Mexico & Texas & Lousiana (no tobasco for me) behind and look to Jamaica --- I prefer scotch bonnet habanero most of the time.
Mind, I'm not advocating these chilified dishes OVER the plain soul food. Ohhh no. That's sublime stuff in its own right. I eat both.
So, what do you think? Actually, you can find some forms of these dishes in some restaurants now, but they don't credit the soul food origin of the dishes. That's just wrong. <grin>