Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

In the Kitchen with the Executive Chef

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

In the Kitchen with the Executive Chef

Article excerpt

Name: Cheryl Mayfield Hudak

Company: CMH Communications Inc.

Title: President

Cooking Style: "Enlightened Southern."

Who taught you to cook? I come from a long line of good cooks, especially my dad, Tex Stamman, who could really mess up a kitchen.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of cooking? I love to bake -- making someone a birthday cake is truly a labor of love.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget? My 30-year-old Kitchen Aid mixer.

Specialties: Low-fat entrees thoughtfully offset with decadent desserts.

Culinary pet peeve: Every recipe calls for one item you don't have and you can't locate at any known store.

Do you favor a particular ingredient? New Mexico chiles -- also Mexican vanilla.

This is green chile time in New Mexico. It seems that every corner parking lot in the state has a cluster of round drums with propane burners, roasting beautiful Hatch chiles. Their aroma is wonderful, and they add a unique taste to every dish. If you love hot foods but don't know Green Chile protocol, here's all you have to do: go west in the next few weeks and buy a big burlap bag of chiles on the night before you leave New Mexico. Have them roasted, then open the bag slightly and let the peppers sit outside your motel room overnight. They will soften and reduce in size. Early the next morning, put the bag in a Styrofoam cooler with no ice and haul the chiles home, keeping the cooler out of the sun (otherwise they will steam and get mushy.) Drive like a banshee. When you get home, put the chiles in plastic bags and freeze them. To use the chiles, defrost, peel, seed and stem them. Then enjoy that distinctive New Mexico aroma and taste all over again.

Hatch chiles vary considerably in heat; from mild (forget it) to extra hot (requiring considerable cerveza). The Big Jim Medium variety is actually not medium at all, but a mixture of hot and mild peppers in one bag. If you can't find Hatch chiles, you can substitute roasted Anaheim chiles and throw in a couple of roasted jalapenos, but don't expect them to taste the same!

Favorite Cookbook/ TV Cooking Show: I enjoy almost all cookbooks.

When I eat out, I like to order: Fried chicken, because it's too messy to cook at home.

If you could prepare a fantasy meal for anybody, for whom would it be and what would you cook? …

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