Lee MathisINSANELEE DECADENTGrand Junction Free Press Food Columnist

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October 11, 2012
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FOOD: A foodventure with Lee Mathis in New Mexico - Part 1

As I have alluded to, probably more than a few times, one needs to hit the road every once in awhile, clear the head, get out of Dodge, etc.After wrapping up our fairs/festivals/farmers' market season, the time was right and much needed for another roadie - this time a "Pepper Run" through New Mexico. I had been researching destinations for a few months through "Diner, Drive-Ins & Dives," "Man v. Food," and Roadtrip.com, so I gassed up the truck early Tuesday morning, tuned on some tunes, turned off the cell phone and hit the road, windows down, tunes up!I headed down Highway 50, down through Ouray and across Red Mountain Pass; I figured I would find a place in Durango for lunch. After checking out the old downtown, I saw a place, Nini's Taqueria, on Main Street. Definitely was not a "chain" as their menu says - funky, casual, Mexican. I looked over the menu and picked the chicken tacos with two of their sauces, one being their chipotle puree and the other, their mango habanero. Definitely tasty, maybe a little over-stuffed as the tortillas fell apart a little, but definitely a good choice.I pulled into Albuquerque, N.M., a little after dinner time. I had a place recommended for dinner, Sandie's on N. 4th. I got there around 8; the place was packed with locals. I found a seat at the bar and had their stuffed sopapillas. I had a little bit of a wait, again the place was packed. Bottom line: huge portion, good but could have used a little more heat! When I asked for a to-go container, bartender gave me a clamshell as they expected me to fill it. Not a bad place, little too pedestrian for my tastes!Breakfast brought around one of the gems of the trip - Cecelia's Cafe on 6th Street! I had read about this little place on Triple D (If you are a Food Network fan, you know what that is, hint is earlier!) and had to stop by. Got there around 9 a.m. and grabbed a booth. Saw the Fireman's Burrito on the breakfast menu, loaded with carne adovada, eggs, hash browns, chicharrons, sausage, beans and spicy red chili... oh yeah! The dish may have had just a tad too much smoked paprika, but still very, very good! The owner, Cecelia, actually came out and we talked about peppers - peppers in cooking and what it means to still have the passion for cooking rather than just doing it for a living; I really liked this place! (There are pictures of Cecelia's and the other places I stopped on my Facebook Page!) They actually have a 10-pound Fireman's Burrito challenge and, no, I did not try it! I could barely finish the regular one.After breakfast, I headed down the road; Destination... Hatch, N.M.! Had to stop by, get some peppers, cookbooks, souvenirs and the like!Next column: Read about my foodventure to Roswell, Santa Fe and Taos, N.M.-------------------Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. Reach him at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, via the website at www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688. Follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook and on Twitter.

Migas is a Tex-Mex breakfast dish in which eggs are scrambled with tortillas and usually some breakfast meat and cheese. The tortillas soften when they cook with the eggs, creating a wonderful texture to the dish. Be creative and add whatever ingredients you might think of putting in an omelet. This recipe makes one serving. Double or quadruple it for more.Prep time: 2 minutesCook time: 5 minutesServings: 1Ingredients:3 eggs2 tablespoons milk1 tablespoon butter2/3 cup crisp corn tortilla chips (unsalted), broken into bite-size piecesOptional:1/2 cup cooked, crumbled chorizo sausage1/2 cup grated sharp cheese1/4 cup sauteed onions1/2 cup diced fried potatoes Directions:Thoroughly mix the eggs with the milk. Melt the butter in an omelet pan over medium heat. Pour in the eggs. Stir almost constantly. As the eggs begin to set (within just a few seconds), stir in the tortilla pieces and any other optional ingredients. (Or, you may add the cheese on top when the eggs are almost finished to make a mantle. Continue stirring until eggs set as desired. Salt to taste. 3. Serve with warm flour tortillas and refried beans or folded inside a soft flour tortilla as a breakfast sandwich.

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The Post Independent Updated Oct 11, 2012 05:27PM Published Oct 11, 2012 04:28PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.