Santa Fe New Mexico Blue Corn Muffins

By Sally Cameron on April 23, 2010

Baked Goods, Travel, Vegetarian

Red or green? When you travel to New Mexico it’s all about the chiles. We arrived in Santa Fe just in time for dinner. My taste buds were clamoring for a plate of real New Mexican food and a great margarita. And those delicious Santa Fe New Mexico blue corn muffins? I’ll tell you about those soon. First, a few tips on what to do when visiting fantastic Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Blue Corn Muffins | AFoodCentricLife.com

New Mexican Cuisine

New Mexican cuisine is influenced by the cuisines of Spain as well as Mexican and American Indian cultures and relies heavily on their wonderful chiles. They are generally red or green with the green chiles being the same chile as the red before it ripens on the vine.

Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen

The first night we headed to Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen, famous for traditional New Mexican food and margaritas since 1950.  I ordered chicken enchiladas with both red and green chile sauces. It definitely took care of my chile craving. Deep, rich flavor and a heat that sneaks up on you rather than hits you in the face. By the end of dinner I was smiling and breathing very clearly!

Historic Santa Fe – Since 1610

Santa Fe is a renowned destination for fine food and dining, art, culture, shopping, and history. Founded in 1610, the city over 400 years old. At 7000 feet the air is cold, dry and crisp and the skies a remarkable blue. It snowed earlier in the week and there was still a dusting of snow on the mountain tops.

Exploring Santa Fe

The first day I was on my own exploring the city on foot. I headed to historic Santa Fe Plaza in the heart of the city, walking along old streets that were a part of the famed Route 66, enjoying the distinctive pueblo architecture and warm colors at every turn. I managed to stay out of trouble while browsing in and out of the many art galleries, jewelry stores and quaint shops but losing track of time my stomach reminded my I had skipped lunch.

La Fonda on The Plaza

Cold and hungry, I walked into La Fonda on the Plaza. La Fonda means “The Inn” and this historic place has been hosting travelers since 1607. A step off the Santa Fe Trail, La Fonda is steeped in history. You feel transported back through time when you step through the doors of this national treasure. A big bowl of hot, brothy chicken tortilla soup with crisp tortilla strips on top and a glass of wine warmed me up.

Basilica St Francis of Assisi Santa Fe

Santa Fe Cathedrals

With a happy stomach, I spent the afternoon touring the Cathedral Basilica St. Francis of Assisi, and the little jewel called Loretto Chapel. It’s reminiscent of St. Chapelle in Paris and famed for its mysterious spiral staircase. I had a terrific afternoon exploring and walking the streets, discovering the charm of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Farmers Market

I always look for farmers markets when we travel.  It’s a great way to learn about what is grown in the area and discover wonderful products produced by local artisans. Santa Fe’s Farmers Market is in the train rail yard. My treasure hunt netted me lots of fun things to carry home to play with in my own kitchen.

Historic La Casa Sena Restaurant

After the farmers market we walked to La Casa Sena. If you get to Santa Fe, be sure to go. Restaurant La Casa Sena is in an old hacienda style adobe originally built in 1868 and restored to its former grandeur in 1983. The main dining room stands where stables once stood. The restaurant is rustic and elegant inside with dark wood beamed ceilings and white tablecloths, a quiet and warm respite from the busy Saturday streets of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe New Mexico Blue Corn Muffins

With a contemporary Southwestern menu, lunch began with a basket of warm blue corn muffins studded with yellow corn kernels. They were hard to resist devouring smeared with soft butter before we took a picture.  I emailed La Casa Sena and asked if they would share the recipe and they happily agreed, saying that it’s the most requested of their recipes. More than their famous muffins, the food was fantastic.

I hope our visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico entices you to go explore this wonderful city. In the mean time, try these delicious Santa Fe New Mexico blue corn muffins, courtesy of La Casa Sena.

Santa Fe New Mexico Blue Corn Muffins

Recipe Courtesy La Casa Sena, Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is one of their most requested recipes. If you get to Santa Fe, be sure to enjoy this lovely restaurant. 
Course Breakfast
Cuisine New Mexican, Southerwestern
Keyword Blue corn, Muffins, Santa Fe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 222kcal

Equipment

  • Standard muffin pan

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter allow to sit at room temp for 2 hours
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 New Mexico or Anaheim green chile about ½ cup, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • ½ cup fresh corn kernels from 1 ear, or frozen works, steamed until just tender
  • ½ cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour or all-purpose gluten-free blend substitute
  • ¾ cup blue cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and chopped green chile. Add the corn, cheeses, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and milk, and mix just until blended.
  • Divide the muffin dough into 12 pieces and place in a well-greased, 12-muffin pan.  Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out dry. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.

Notes

Get your butter out about 2 hours before hand to allow it to come to room temperature. You will usually see this note in baking recipes as room temperature butter creams better with sugar. To roast chiles, place over a low gas flame directly on the grate and turn as it blackens and chars.
If you have an electric stovetop, broil the chile in the oven instead on a foil covered sheet pan. When it is evenly charred all over, wrap the chile up in the foil and let it stand until cool enough to handle. This allows the charred skin to steam off for easy removal. Remove the stem, spit open the chile and remove seeds. Do not rinse or you’ll lose some of the wonderful flavor

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg
2 Comments
  1. Shannon - April 24th, 2010

    Wow Sally…looks like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Andre' - April 27th, 2010

    Not only do the pictures make your mouth water but your beautifully descriptive writing really keeps a person so interested that you don’t want to stop reading and drooling. Sally I really enjoyed your Santa Fe article…10 thumbs up. Sounds like you could be our next Julia! Way to go!

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