My Grandma is incredibly resourceful. I do believe it’s a requirement of her generation. She manages to complete any given task with whatever she can find around the house, kind of like MacGyver. She’s been known to use scraps of cheddar cheese in her famous orange jello, where they’re nestled against canned mandarin oranges suspended in free-fall. As a member of a flourishing food loving era I pride myself for taking days to seek out the proper ingredients for a single meal, scouring dozens of specialty food stores to find the perfect peppercorns to season my Cacio e Pepe. But Grandma just gets the job done.
sundance channel series
Watch LUDO BITES AMERICA every Tuesday at 9P
I’m going to come right out and say it.
I know nothing about Omaha, Nebraska or anything related to the state that is below the Dakotas. The only reason I even know that – its location underneath South Dakota (incidentally, the state where my mother grew up) – is because I was required to take a timed geography test of the United States in fifth grade.
Nebraska was never much discussed beyond that. Apparently Southern California youths don’t have any use for other pertinent details about the Cornhusker state or its largest city and former capital, Omaha. I grew up associating Omaha with one thing – steaks – and envisioned that all the locals strutted around chewing straw in those cowboy boots with the little spurs on them.
Today, I still carry the association that Omaha = steaks = cowboys = people who think vegetarians make good speed bumps (I may have stolen that last one from the motto affixed to a recently spotted Fatburger truck). What I didn’t realize, and what others who grew up in California, going to the beach and taking timed geography tests probably don’t realize either, is that Omaha’s got more than steaks and cowboys and vegetarian-haters. Omaha’s got soul. And, incidentally, soul food.
Watch LUDO BITES AMERICA Tuesdays at 9P
I’m Justin. My wife Lori and I write The Gastronomic Duo, a blog dedicated to couples cooking together in the kitchen and enjoying food with one another in their home.
It was over a steaming French-pressed cup of coffee that I first read the joyous news that Sundance wanted our little blog to write about a recipe to coincide with their new show, Ludo Bites America. Ludo seems like a man after my own heart. I love the pop-up restaurant trend, his food style speaks to me and I, too, freak out and occasionally break shit in the kitchen.
An epic green chili-slathered burrito from The Shed in Santa Fe, NM
LUDO BITES AMERICA premieres Tuesday, July 19, 9P.
When I first moved to Santa Fe, NM for college I thought a big city kid like me would have the diminutive Southwestern hamlet under my thumb and virtually at my command. In fact, the day I rolled into town a tumbleweed blew lazily across my path. What hot, dry sleepy hollow had I just signed away the next four years of my life to, I thought. I was from LA – what could these small town hicks possibly have that I hadn’t seen already in my long, nineteen years? But my cockiness soon evaporated. Not only did no one give a hoot how happening I thought my hometown was, but they had their own thing going on. For starters, Santa Fe is the second largest art market in the country, right after NYC, but I’m not talking about art. I’m certainly not referring to the fashion. The abundance of “leather cowboy hats, designer buckskin jackets and turquoise and conch belts clanking like cheap radiators down the Whole Foods aisles” just put Santa Fe at #16 on GQ’s “Worst Dressed Cities” list. No, I’m talking about the food. After living in LA, NY and even Paris for a spell, the food I ate in Santa Fe still ranks at the top of my list of best things I ever ate.
Hi, I’m Zach. Some genius, wildly attractive, nice smelling person from Sundance thought me talking about making some recipe from “Ludo Bites America” was a good idea, and I have a firm policy of not arguing with geniuses who are wildly attractive and smell fantastic. So let’s go on a journey where we test the boundaries of our newly found friendship, meet some wonderful mythical beasts, and most of all make Atole Piñon Hotcakes from Tecolote Café in Santa Fe, New Mexico.