Spectacular Dining on the Santa Ana Pueblo
First visit: May 18, 2013
Named for the honored symbol of the Santa Ana Pueblo, Corn Maiden is a delightful setting for a special dinner or celebration. A strong regional influence along with hints of global flavors creates a treat for your palate. The ingredients are as fresh as can be, and New Mexico Heritage Beef is used throughout the menus. Read Mina Yamashita’s writings about heritage Beef,
The Signature dishes are their brilliant Rotisseries — there were three on the menu when we arrived with our gastronome friends Bob and Linda Chase. Just a few of the creative selections include the Corn Maiden Classic with Chorizo Sausage, Fresno Chile Rubbed Chicken and Red and Green Chile Rubbed Beef Rib Eye, The Range featuring Herb Rubbed Buffalo Tenderloin, Soy Orange Marinated Duck Breast and Cinnamon Peppercorn Pork Loin, or The Earth and Water (tyini kaisrpitra ku tsitsi) containing Sweet Chile Glazed Ahi Tuna, Chipotle-Orange Marinated Duck Breast, and Citrus Jumbo Shrimp. They are accompanied by three great extras: Mole Demi, Cactus Chutney, and Grilled Peach Salsa.
Chef de Cuisine Eric Stumpf has been there for about a month. He is CIA-trained, and hails from Connecticut, where, among other things, owned and ran a gourmet sports bar. Not your ordinary bar food, but dishes befitting the most picky of gastronomes. That’s me — I would have loved it.
The former Chef de Cuisine, Sara Reed, is now the Executive Chef, and while Eric is learning the old meny, he tells me that he is developing a new menu that should be availabl maybe by July. And he assures me that the signature rotisseries will still be available. Good choice, Eric.
Eric has already beem interviewed by Nikki Stanzione of KASA TV’s NM Style segement. Watch him make Beef Medallions on the show.
Tableside Chopped Salad
Romaine Hearts, Arugula, Jicama, Avocado, Black Beans, Roasted Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Shaved Red Onion, Chile Lime Vinaigrette
In many places, side salads are an afterthought, predictable and boring.
One of our servers rolled the salad carh up to our table, asked what ingredients we wanted, and proceeded to create our salad before our eyes.
The Chile Lime Vinaigrette had a tang that New mexico palates will adore. Tangy with that all-important chile aftertaste. Great mouth feel. One of the freshest and most delicious side salads I have run across. My Friend, Andrea Lin, an avowed salad freak, would love this.
The Corn Maiden Classic
NM Chorizo Sausage, Fresno Chile Chicken, Red & Green Chile Rubbed NM Heritage Beef Rib Eye, served with vegetables and Green Chile Potatoes Au Gratin
This is Crn Maiden’s signature dish, and I cannot think of a way to make it any better. The chorizo casing has that perfect pop, and the spicy, juicy interior explodes onto the palate. The NM Heritage ribeye was perfect: juicy and hauntingly tasty. The chile-rubbed chicken was exemplary. Best rotisserie meal I have encountered anyplace. In a word, perfect.
The white cube contains a delicious version of scalloped potatos with green chile. Great fusion.
This superb dish has made its way onto my Best Dishes of 2013 List. Already.
Herb Rubbed Buffalo Rib Eye, Chipotle-Orange Marinated Duck Breast Cinnamon Peppercorn Rubbed Kurobuta Pork Loin
Bob had this dish, and after finishing it, exclaimed that Corn Maiden has risen to the top of his fine dining list. Fine praise; Bob doesn’t wow easily. Everything tastes better here. Perfectly cooked.
10 oz. NM Heritage Beef Tenderloin
Wwith a Whiskey Demi
This was Linda’s choice. And she exclaimed that it is the best steak she has ever had. No lie. I believe her, too. NM Heritage Beef is top-drawer stuff. Tender, juicy, and delicious.
NM Raspberry and Jalapeño Glazed Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin
Berkshire pigs are a rare breed of pig originating from the English county of Berkshire. In the United States, the American Berkshire Association, established in 1875, gives pedigrees only to pigs directly imported from established English herds or to those tracing directly back to such imported animals. The pig is also bred in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, under the trademarked name Kagoshima Kurobuta
This delectable pork loin was Jane’s choice. Beautifully glazed and perfectly cooked, it remains juicy and explodes onto the palate with a rush of tastes. Jane had the Sweet Potatos with it.
Sweet Potatoes, Poblano,
Honey, and Rosemary
Complemented the pork quite well.
After all that, how could we possibly have room left for desserts? Easy. I crave Panna Cptta.
Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries
Panna cotta (from Italian cooked cream) is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. It is generally from the Northern Italian region of Piedmont, although it is eaten all over Italy, where it is served with wild berries, caramel, chocolate sauce or fruit coulis. It is not known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazelnuts. Earlier recipes for the dish did not directly mention gelatin, but instead included a step in which fish bones were boiled; this is now known to extract collagen from the bones, which turns to gelatin. Sugar, later a main ingredient, would not have been widely available as it was an expensive imported commodity. After years this treat evolved into what is now a gelatin dessert, flavoured with vanilla and topped with fruit or spices, and served chilled. Somewhat similar versions of this dish are found in Greece, France and Finland.
The Corn Maiden Panna Cotts is served in a large glass and covered with fresh berries and orange slices. The tertness of the berries and thwe zestiness of the orange pieces complemented the custard in a way that I have never discovered before. Outstanding.
We are not done yet. The house provided us with an anniversary gift to celebrate my thirty-six lovely years with my beloved Jane.
Frangelico Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut Ice Cream
I am not a hazelnut fan. Frangelico is a hazelnut liqueur and I suspected that the liqueur and ice cream would ruin a perfectly fine chocolate cake for me.
These flavors blended with those of the rich and moist chocolate cake in ways that I would not have believed. I have been converted. The chocolate did the trick. And how.
The ambiance and service at Corn Maiden leave nothing to be desired. What a fine way to spend an anniversary with good friends. We shall certainly be back before our next anniversary. I’m hooked. I can’t wait to see what Eric will be cooking up for us on his nwe menu.
(In the Hyatt Regency Tamaya)
Corn Maiden ranks #4 on my Albuquerque Top Ten Restaurant List