Going Out With a Bang!

Even though The Fork's least favorite thing about the vegans we know—not counting our pal Aaron who we didn't even realize was vegan for the first several years we knew him—is how they've always gotta be talking about it. So, with that in mind, accept our apologies and the promise that we'll try to move on from this topic next week. We say this because this week we're talkin' about cheese in all of its glory. After all, if The Fork is gonna go vegan (still a work in progress), we're going out in a cheese-propelled coma the likes of which children shall sing of in the town square. Here's what our ideal final cheese day might look like:

Crepes with sweet ricotta @Home
Using this simple recipe from the inimitable Alton Brown, we'd kick off with basic crepes, only we have our own plan for the insides. Now, this isn't a recipe per se so much as a suggestion: Throw a bunch of ricotta in a bowl, add sugar to taste (you do you), mix it all up and then stuff it in them crepes. One thing we love about cooking is evolving recipes or, in this case, ignoring them altogether because we know how much sugar should go in that cheese. As a side note, we know that sweet ricotta sounds weird, but trust us—The Fork would never knowingly hurt you.

Mozzarella with tomato, basil and balsamic glaze @Whole Foods
753 Cerrillos Road, 992-1700

Despite being owned by Amazon now, a company that insists on populating your home with smart-alecky robots, Whole Foods here in Santa Fe really kills it with the fresh moz. Grab whichever size of ball you like (if we're on the road, we like the little ones; if we're going home we get the big balls) along with a little bit of basil, a couple heirloom tomatoes and whichever balsamic glaze in a bottle you can find. Smash everything inside a dinner roll or a pretzel roll or even a freaking baguette and go to town on that bad boy. The best part is that you'll feel marginally healthy. We don't have an exact price for you because there are so many options here, but we've been known to put this whole thing together for about $10. The first person to point out the word "caprese" to us is out of The Fork's will (just kidding—the real treasure was inside you this whole time).

Basically anything @Macalicious
226 N Guadalupe St., 557-6495

Assuming we're really going for it all, we'd take a friend and split a couple things here, starting with the classic grilled cheese ($10.50 and loaded with cheddar, jack and American cheeses), jumping into the four cheese mac ($8-$27 and so full of smoked gouda, fontina, cheddar and parmesan) and close out with the mac waffle ($15 and literally mac and cheese all up in a waffle with a Jack Daniels sauce). Sure, we'd probably feel so awful afterward, but this is about making a point, not feeling good.

New Mexican Madness @Anyplace Possible
We've been known to haunt the halls of La Choza and The Shed, but places like Atrisco and Tomasita's do the job as well. Cheese is obviously a hallmark of our local cuisine and a hard thing to imagine life without. If you were giving it up, which New Mexican spot would you fade away with? Go ahead now … tell The Fork your deepest desires.

Also

The Everywhereist (which is a thing we just learned about) made those pizza cinnamon rolls found in celeb chef Mario Batali's sexual misconduct "apology," and even though the writer totally ate them, the recipe is problematic for so many reasons. It's worth a read, for sure.

-Since The Fork promised ourselves we'd bring up The Great British Bake Off as often as possible, we're glad to report that the Americanized version (aptly titled The Great American Bake Off) may reunite judges Paul "The Hair" Hollywood and Mary "No Nickname" Berry at some future date. Fingers crossed. Post-script: Those are probably not their actual nicknames.

-The National Food Agency in Georgia fined 56 dairies for things like labeling violations. The Fork finds it weird when people just drink straight milk, but also understand that it's used in recipes (we prefer flax milk, no joke). We're aware this isn't particularly valuable for Santa Feans, but if your'e hitting up Georgia soon, be aware!

-While we're talking about national bodies, the National Restaurant Association released its annual What's Hot culinary forecast highlighting trends like sustainable seafood, ethnic breakfasts, new cuts of meat (whatever that means) and more. What we're gleaning is that people want to try new things and responsibly. Huzzah!

-The Fork's partner made these cookies with, like, four kinds of chocolate and we're gonna try to get you that recipe ASAP. We mention this to build suspense so you'll come back next time, and because, damn, we want those cookies again, y'all!

More Tidbits

-The Visit New Mexico Facebook page released a video from NM True TV about the noble brekkie b with commentary from the owner of Sadie's in Albuquerque. Maybe we'll take our cheese quest on the road? We'd also like a super in-depth doc on the brekkie b, so somebody do that. Thanks.

-New-ish coffee haüs/eatery Opuntia (922 Shoofly St.) received city council approval for a beer and wine license. No word yet on when that'll go into effect.

-While we might usually try to time our tidbits for the same week, we felt it important to let you in on La Casa Sena's upcoming Speakeasy event on Thursday Jan. 25 in the Cantina (125 E Palace Ave., 988-9232). They'll be mixing up drinks with cool names like French 75 and Corpse Reviver #2. There's a $45 price tag, but it might just be worth it to tell people the names of the drinks you had alone.

-The Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute is on the lookout for a few good volunteers. Email volunteers@farmersmaketinstitute.org or call 983-7226 to apply. The way we hear it, milennials are all about farming these days, so this is a good place to start. Also, you'll probably get first crack at the real good produce.

Finally

We’re still getting super-nice emails from people who think our vegan plan is a good idea, and we’re still really appreciative. Keep the recipes coming. As we speak, too, there’s an Amazon box inbound with a cookbook that we’re hoping to actually use instead of flipping through then re-gifting to someone we hate.
Otherwise, Fork reader Gloria reached out to let us know she still keeps in touch with Chris of the mysteriously silent Chris’ Cafe, and that she’ll for sure write back to let us know if and when it’ll reopen. Gloria is also curious about what happened to El Tesoro (Spanish for THE Tesoro), the brekkie/lunch spot in the old Sanbusco Center. Anyone have an answer? We really liked that place, too, and hope to get good news.
And, lastly, Fork reader Charles wanted us to know that the best salad in Santa Fe comes from Rio Chama (414 Old Santa Fe Trail, 955-0765) and is called the Chama Chop. Setting aside how much that sounds like a pro wrestler move, we sleuthed out its ingredients (which include bacon, egg, chicken and grilled corn) plus its cost ($14, but it’s presumably huge). Thanks for that tip, Charles, it sounds like a fine salad.
As for the rest of you, we’re out of here—keep on a-forkin’ till next time.