Cowboy Cuisine – Road Trip!

By Steve Stevens

Last week my family and I had the chance to take a road trip in search of relaxation, open skies and great cowboy cuisine. So we headed off to Santa Fe, N.M. The land of enchantment beckoned us with its Native American, Spanish and western culture.

Before I get to the really good stuff, we had stopped at a restaurant in Santa Fe worth mentioning. I would not consider pizza cowboy food unless you are just talking about rodeo cowboys filling their bellies between road stops, but at Rooftop Pizza on the outskirts of the Santa Fe Plaza, they serve one of the best pizzas I have ever had. Now close your eyes and ears and get ready for this—a blue corn, green chili, chicken pizza with pinion nuts.

I have never tasted a pizza like this, and it has probably ruined me for pizzas elsewhere forever. The blue corn and green chili really added a unique flavor for pizza, but adding the pinion nuts made it something special. The pinyon or piñon pine group grows in the southwestern United States, especially in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The trees yield edible nuts, which are a staple of the Native Americans and are still widely eaten as a snack and as an ingredient in New Mexican cuisine. They blew my Mahan cowboy boots right off my feet.

The next day we took the short trip to the beautiful town of Chimayo. We started off visiting “El Santuario De Chimayo,” a beautiful Catholic church in the mountains. It was a spiritual experience filled with history and an overwhelming energy regardless of faith and beliefs. We sat and hung out with the kids next to a cobblestoned creek and watched the cows graze.

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