It’s the green chili stew and blue corn muffins at The Farm Bistro in Cortez, Colorado.
In a word: Yum. In two words? Organically grown.
Rusty and Laurie Hall, restaurateurs, established this popular Mesa Verde Country restaurant seven years ago; it was born of a love of raising food on their nearby 70-acre farm.
“The Farm Bistro started as an outgrowth of us actively growing vegetables and selling them at farmers markets and to restaurants,” says Laurie. “Now our daughter and son-in-law grow stuff for the restaurant.” The family farm, local independent growers, the Southwest Farm Fresh Coop and several others supply the eatery with salad greens, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, corn, onions, potatoes—and even edible flowers. The goal is to make the best use of whatever is seasonally fresh and available.
The Halls hail from New Mexico, and have lived in the Four Corners area for more than a decade. Not surprisingly, Rusty is a professional chef with training from the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Laurie has a marketing background. Since it opened its doors, the 55-seat bistro has been a smashing success.
“People love home cooking. Our flavor profiles, preparation and approach make things taste like something their grandma might’ve made. No cans or packages and everything is from scratch. We cook the kind of food that we like to eat,” says Laurie. “We support local agriculture one hundred percent. Supporting a local economy is critical to a healthy society and community.” In addition to regionally sourced food, The Farm Bistro also serves a large selection of wine, beer and spirits that are vinted, brewed and fermented in Colorado.
Diners regularly ask the Halls for their recipes, and they’re happy to comply. This is a recipe for gluten-free blue corn muffins. The blue corn meal is from Bow & Arrow Foods, and is grown and milled on the Ute Mountain Ute reservation.
Blue Corn Muffins
Mix together dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cups blue corn meal
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup milled flax flour
1/3 cup gluten free baking flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
Mix above ingredients, then add to mixed wet ingredients.
Whisk together wet ingredients:
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup honey (dissolved in hot water)
1/4 cup hot water
Bake at 350° for about 18 minutes in greased muffin pans. Option: put a pan of hot water in oven while baking to increase fluffiness.
Yield: about 12 muffins
If you go:
The Farm Bistro, 34 West Main, Cortez, Colorado
Serving lunch and dinner Monday through Friday
970-565-3834 (Reservations recommended for dinner)
Catering & private parties