Grilled Asparagus with Hatch Green Chile Ricotta

American author Thomas Wolfe suggested, wistfully, that you can never go home again––that the experiences that serve as brick and mortar to our memories are sometimes best left in the past.

Think then about the faces and lives in a restaurant kitchen. About a chef who came alive to the food world through endless prep work, marathon doubles, and an avalanche of brunch rushes. Consider that those repetitive acts led to jobs in esteemed restaurants across the country, appearances in national cooking shows, ownership of a restaurant empire across California, and accolades too numerous to count.

Think about Dakota Weiss, executive chef at Coyote Café, the storied Santa Fe restaurant where she staged after culinary school and now leads through its latest iteration of Southwestern cuisine? Just this once, Thomas Wolfe may have gotten it wrong. She’s come home again––with fresh, imaginative and palate-tingling results.

Because Dakota’s signature voice brings worldly nuance to our local food scene, we asked her to choose local ingredients and present us with three recipes. On one recent early morning, we watched her in the calm and quiet of Coyote’s kitchen as she brought these ingredients to life in ways that are as grounded in memories (does anyone remember the youthful thrill of 1970s Pop Rocks candy?) as they are alive and relevant in the present. coyotecafe.com

Grilled Asparagus, Hatch Green Chile Ricotta, Bitter Greens, Truffled Mustard Vinaigrette, Brioche Croutons

Serves 4

For the asparagus:

  • 1 bunch extra-large asparagus

  • Pinch sea salt

  • Pinch black pepper

  • 2 tbsp EVOO

Instructions

  1. Cut the bottoms of the asparagus to get rid of the woody stems.

  2. Toss the asparagus with the salt, pepper, and olive oil

  3. Grill on high heat until lightly charred. The asparagus should still be crunchy.

For the Hatch Green Chile Ricotta Cheese:

  • 1 gal whole milk

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • ½ cup lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp distilled vinegar

  • 2 cups hatch green chile, roasted, peeled, and diced

  • ½ tbsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Add the milk and cream into a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil.

  2. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and vinegar.

  3. Stir a few times until you see the milk start to curdle.

  4. Slowly pour the contents of the pot into a bowl that is lined with cheesecloth. Let the whey completely drain out of the curds.

  5. Gently scrape the curds off the cheese cloth and put into a bowl.

  6. Chop the green chile finely and stir into the curds.

  7. Season the cheese with salt to taste.

For the Truffled Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 2 shallots

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard

  • ½ cup lemon juice

  • ½ cup rice vinegar

  • 1 cup EVOO

  • ½ cup white truffle oil

  • Kosher salt to taste

Instructions

Using a hand blender, add the shallots, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, and rice vinegar into a large jar and mix well. Slowly add the two oils to emulsify and then season with salt.

For the Brioche Croutons:

  • 1 cup brioche, cut into micro-small dices

  • ¼ cup EVOO

  • Kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Sauté the brioche in the oil until golden brown and season with salt. Pour onto a sheet tray lined with paper towels to soak up extra oil.

For the salad:

2 red endives

2 yellow endives

2 tbsp chives, chopped

Kosher salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Toss the endives with the truffled vinaigrette, chives, salt, and pepper.

Building the plate:

Pipe the Hatch Green Chile Ricotta Cheese into a long rectangular shape. Carefully place the endive, alternating the red and yellow, into the ricotta at an angle. Place about 5 grilled asparagus lying next to the endive. Sprinkle the croutons all over. Drizzle a little of the truffled vinaigrette over the whole dish.

 Story by Gabe Gomez/ Styling by Keith Recker / Photography Gabriella Marks

Try Chef Weiss’s other locavore recipes:

Grilled Quail

Buttermilk Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberry Pop Rocks

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