Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cooking in Dirt! :)

You're probably wondering what the heck I'm talking about. But seriously, clay pot cooking really is like cooking in dirt, don't ya think? The 2 pots that I am keeping from the last post were made from the natural mica clay from the mountains of Northern New Mexico- no additives, no fillers... just clay, dirt & mica... all natural elements from the earth... and yes! You can cook in them. The pots I've made in previous classes I've largely given away, but this time, after all that work, I had to keep a couple & test them out & see what this clay pot cooking is all about. Vegetarians close your eyes on this first one.
(Though this is free range, organic chicken from the farmer's market!)

I don't think I needed to add the oil, but I did & check it out, you can saute in these pots, too! I actually got all my ingredients on Saturday from our local farmer's market... check out the goodies below~

If I was going to make some good, wholesome food, in my own clay pots, I wanted to know where my veggies & meat were coming from... and know that they weren't shipped in from some other part of the world, thus likely cold stored & tasteless, or tainted with pesticides. (Not to mention the fossil fuels used along the path from farmer to store.) Uh-uh- no way!
I know you're eyeing those chiles above.. they come from Romero Farms. I swear Matt grows & roasts the best chiles around. Have you guessed what I'm making yet??

Yes! My first ever Green Chile Chicken Stew... and I have to admit it was one of the best I ever tasted! (Note here my stove... I believe it's from the late 60's- just like me and my apt- and it is funky! I call it my easy bake oven because it totally reminds me of a hand-me-down used easy bake I had when I was just a wee lassie.)

The finished product! Have I mentioned it was delicioso? I brought it in to share w/ a co-worker and she concurred whole heartedly! The next night after work, I made Red & green chile Bolita Beans.
I kinda made up my own recipe on this one... I wanted them to have a little kick, so I added various hot dried red chile powders & fresh roasted green chile. Despite having soaked them all day when I was at work, these beans took forever to cook!  

But the final result again, was very yummy! Yup, I took these in to work to share as well... but still had quite a bit left from both meals to freeze. 

For my next meal (yes, I cooked 3 nights out of 4... what has gotten into me?!)
I made red chile chicken enchiladas, because I wanted to test out that casserole dish. (Despite receiving a hairline crack during the final pit fire- the casserole made it out of the oven just fine.) Another first was making my own red chile sauce. I do love that red chile! We're lucky in NM, because you can find the ground red chile powder just about anywhere. I got some mild red chile from the farmers market last weekend, but also had a stash of extra hot, and sun dried that I picked up last time I was in Hatch. Looks pretty good, eh?

I think I did add a bit too much sauce to my enchiladas, though I do tend to like things saucy, and I have to admit, they were excellent as well.

My thoughts on all this cooking? Well, I have to tell you, to cook out of something you have made from hand is just about one of the coolest things ever! (My poor co-workers had to hear about it constantly... it's all I could talk about!) Secondly~ Yum-O! Definitely worth all the effort, though I probably won't be cooking that much again soon. Partly because now I've got a lot of yummy leftovers in the freezer, but also because of the time involved. Seriously, I do not know how families that work full time have the time to come home & cook a good healthy meal! In between work & chores, all the time spent shopping, prepping, cooking & cleaning... it seriously leaves little time for anything else! And my soul has been longing for a little mountain time (my forays into the mountains have been placed on the back burner... no pun intended,) plus I just started a wheel throwing class that is only a few short weeks long... so I need to spend as much time in there as possible!
So, until next time~ Bon Appetit!


Helmka Family said...

Oh Becky, your pots are beautiful and your creations look so yummy! Can you share what you put in your creations? I am jut learning to cook the foods here. If you want to share, email me.
Thanks so much!

Erin K. Nolan said...

Whoa! The bowls look fantastic, but right now I'm hungry for dinner and the Green Chili Chicken Stew looks so yummy boiling away on the stove top! Feel free to share the recipe! ♥

Ms. Becky said...

I'm still drooling over that horse-hair pot, and now you tell us it's divine to cook in too? get outta here!!! that food looks so delicious. I wanna live with you. happy day to you Becky.

Wanda..... said...

Well Becky, you certainly have given those pots a workout, haven't you? The meals look just as good as the pots they're in. Weren't you just a bit nervous though, when cooking in them the first time? Now I want some Mexican food, maybe tomorrow!

clairz said...

Beautiful pots, beautiful food, lovely post, Becky!

Barb said...

Ah, Senora - I wish I was a guest at your table! I really hadn't thought about using your pots on top of the stove - i thought they would just be oven-safe. I bet the food did taste extra- good after cooking in your self-made pots! (PS Becky, I had a green stove just like yours at one time...)

DirtKicker Pottery said...

How awesome! Pottery on the stove top! Your food looks so good :)

Kate said...

Becky, terrific post! Love the pots...so jealous of your creative talent, both in art and cuisine!

Matt Romero's chili made me drool as well as the photos of your culinary delights.

We're definitely going to be in our rented casa in Eldorado; we'll have a party of us and one potluck so you can bring your creations!! What fun we'll have. You can even sleep over for some real peace and quiet!!

Anonymous said...

Those pots even look better working!
Good looks wonderfull, too.

Annie said...

Oh My! All that food looks so yummy (I skipped the first photo :-). So fun seeing it all after hearing you tell me what you were cooking. That stove is as old as mine except I am lucky and have gas. I am glad that the cracked pot made it okay! Yay! Thank you for sharing all this, you must feel very proud! Beautiful and useful pots, what could be better?xoxo

Randy said...

Hi Becky! We didn't get a chance to go to Dixon. I know Siddiq he was my very first Ceramics teacher at Santa Fe Clay. I hope your enjoying your new class and I hope you have a great week.

clairz said...

I could never forget the sight of your beautiful clay pot on the stove, Becky, so I just pinned it on Pinterest for all to see.