the appetizer:

Travel to New Mexico with the Santa Fe School of Cooking: Flavors of the Southwest by Susan Curtis and Nicole Curtis Ammerman, with recipes like Sopaipillas; Nopales & Golden Beet Salad; and Lamb Adovada with Chipotle Chile Sauce & Caramelized Corn.

Cookbook Profile

Lamb Adovada
with Chipotle Chile Sauce & Caramelized Corn

Serves 10

Lamb Adovada with Chipotle Chile Sauce & Caramelized Corn


Spanish explorer Francisco Coronado brought sheep into the Southwest in 1540.

Lamb is the traditional meat of the area. Rumor has it there was a time when more lamb was shipped out of northern New Mexico yearly than anywhere else in the world. These days there are very few people raising sheep in the area. One family, Molly Manzanares and her husband, Antonio, has maintained their family tradition of sheep raising. They created a company called Shepherds Lamb, where they work to preserve traditions and stimulate economic development in northern New Mexico. They provide certified organic lamb to many of Santa Fe's restaurants and sell it at the Farmers Market.


Many people have never shown much enthusiasm for lamb. On average, Americans consume a pound of lamb per person annually, a fraction of our beef consumption. However, once you try this you will be converted! Guests at the school are surprised how much they like this lamb and confess to enjoying more lamb since their discovery. It works well for a dinner party because it is elegant, but you can get the rub on the lamb in the morning and there isn't a lot of last minute preparation. You can make the chipotle sauce ahead of time and freeze it if you like—careful—this sauce has a kick to it!

1. Toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns in a small, heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring until the spices are fragrant and begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer spices to a plate to cool. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the toasted spices with the garlic and salt to make a coarse paste. Mix in the chile powder, oregano, thyme and canela. Stir in the vinegar and oil until well blended. Rub the spice mixture over the lamb and allow to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight. (Remove meat from refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking.)

2. Preheat the oven to 450° F.

3. In a large roasting pan, roast the lamb for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375° F and cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the lamb (without touching the bone) reads 140° F (for medium-rare). Transfer the lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with Chipotle Chile Sauce and garnish with Caramelized Corn.


Chipotle Chile Sauce

1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon. Stir in the salt and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to 1-1/2 cups or less, about 5 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the chipotles and puree. Season with salt.


Caramelized Corn

1. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn and stir until the kernels begin to brown. Add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and continue to cook for 1 minute.


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This page created September 2008