Pentecost Brunch

The following Pentecost Brunch menu and recipes were submitted by Kathryn Zamudio, and the photos were taken by her husband Miguel.

Pentecost is the end of the Easter season. It is also the birthday of the church. This is a good opportunity to share the Easter season with our friends who could not make it to Easter due to family obligations.

This time of the year, wild fires in New Mexico bring heat and wind, reminding us of the symbols of Pentecost. This brunch menu is hot, fiery and windswept, just like Pentecost and New Mexico.

Pentecost Pork Stew
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Stuffed Sweet Peppers
Cream Cheese & Radish Sandwiches
Smoked Tongue Sandwiches
Red Chili Tamales
Verde Tamales
Chili Colorado
Tomato & Watercress Salad
Cactus, Zucchini and Red Pepper Salad
Virgin Mary Cocktails


  • 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.

Pentecost Pork Stew

  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper
  • 1 lb pork loin, fat removed, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2lb bulk chorizo sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp ground red chiles
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 small butterntu squash, pared and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 can (2 ¼ oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • Corn Bread Topping
  • 1½ cups yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dairy sour cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg

Cut 6 thin slices from each bell pepper; reserve slices. Chop remaining bell peppers. Cook pork, sausage, onion and garlic in 4 quart Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pork is no longer pink. Stir in chopped bell peppers broth, basil, cilantro and ground red chiles. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir tomato, squash and olives into meat mixture; cook 15 minutes longer.

Heat oven to 425º. Prepare Corn Bread Topping by mixing all ingredients; beat vigorously. Pour meat mixture into ungreased rectangular baking dish, 13 x 9 x 2 inches. Pour Corn Bread topping over meat mixture; carefully spread to cover, sealing to edge of dish. Arrange reserved bell pepper slices on top to resemble tongues of fire. Bake until topping is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Chorizo Sausage

If you cannot find bulk chorizo sausage in your local grocery store, you can make your own. Substituting ground turkey will give you a chorizo with less saturated fat.

  • 2 lbs. ground pork or turkey
  • 3 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients except vinegar in a large bowl and chill for about 1 hour.

Add vinegar to the meat and mix thoroughtly until it has a uniform appearance and stickiness.

Test for seasoning by sautéing a small sausage patty until cooked through. Taste and adjust flavorings as necessary.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 to 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped jalapeno chile
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients.

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

  • 8 Small sweet peppers, yellow, orange and red
  • 4 strips turkey bacon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 12 tsp cumin
  • 8 oz Cotija cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Put chiles directly on stove burner and cook until charred, turning as necessary. Let cool, then slit open.

Microwave bacon until crispy. Chop bacon and set aside.

Add olive oil to pan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add onion and cook until sot ( about 5 minutes). Add oregano and cumin and cook 1 minute more. Let cool. Add cheese, pecans and chopped bacon to mixture and mix well. Fill prepared chiles.

Place stuffed chiles on oven proof dish and bake for 10 minutes.

Cream Cheese & Radish Sandwiches

  • 6 slices white bread
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 12 radishes
  • Parsley sprigs for garnish
  • Salt

Chop half the radishes finely. Mix with cream cheese and salt. Spread on 6 slices of bread. Cut remaining radishes in half and put half a radish on each sandwich with the red skin on top. Garnish with a twig of parsley.

Yield: Makes 6 sandwiches

Smoked Tongue Sandwiches

  • 6 slices bread
  • butter
  • 1/2 lb smoked tongue, boiled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. horseradish
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt

Butter slices of bread, garnish with thin slices of smoked tongue. Mix mayonnaise, horseradish, sugar and salt. Spread on slices of tongue.

Yield: Serves 6

Czech Coleslaw

  • 1 med. head cabbage, cored and sliced into thin strips approx. 1-2" long
  • 2-4 cups very hot water
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 can (8 oz.) sliced mushrooms, drained

Core and roughly slice cabbage into thin strips an inch or two long. Place strips in colander nested in larger bowl and pour enough very hot water over to cover. Soak 7 minutes.

Using more vinegar than water, mix the two to taste creating a total of 1 cup liquid. Dissolve in sugar and salt (again, to taste whether you like it sweeter or more sour) Add a grinding of pepper, then whisk in the oil.

Remove colander from bowl; allow cabbage to drain well and cool.

While cooling, dice onion, green and yellow peppers. Toss together peppers, cabbage, and drained mushrooms in a nonmetallic salad bowl.

Pour salad dressing over slaw and marinate in fridge, covered, overnight or for at least four hours.

Yield: Serves 6

Red-Chile Tamales

Since we live in the Southwest, we just buy our tamales. Making them is too much effort, and we can get many different varieties. If you live in a tamale deprived part of the country, here are the recipes.


  • 2 cups masa harina

  • 1½ cups chicken stock, hot

  • 1½ teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Place masa harina in a large bowl. Pour in hot chicken stock and combine well with a rubber spatula. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, mix until thoroughly combined and adjust consistency with warm water.

1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
2½ pounds pork roast, cut in ¾ inch cubes
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1 cup red-chile powder
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon sherry vinegar 
salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F..

Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown pork in batches. Set the pork aside. Add the onion to the skillet and sauté until golden. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Deglaze the skillet with one cup of the chicken broth, loosening the browned bits with a spoon.
 Add the coriander, cumin, oregano, red-chile powder, honey, vinegar, and salt to the pan. Add the cooked onions, garlic, and broth.
 Place the browned pork, chile marinade in an ovenproof pot or dish, stir to combine and bake for 1 hour or until pork is tender.
 Shred pork with two forks until desired consistency is achieved.

Pre-soak your corn husks in water until pliable. Layer a tablespoon of masa and filling inside. Fold each side of the husk over the filling so the filling is covered. Fold bottom ends of the husk over

Tamales Verdes

  • Masa
 - 2½ cups high-quality masa harina 

  • 1½ to 2 cups water, then additional as needed

  • 1 cup fresh spinach

  • 1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon epazote (a Mexican spice)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 8 ounces lard, vegetable shortening, or butter
 (all at room temperature)

Place masa harina in a large bowl. Combine water, spinach, onions, and espazote in a blender; purée for 1 minute. Add this blend, baking powder, and salt to masa harina. Combine well. Add fat and combine well. Add warm water until light, sticky dough is achieved. Cover and reserve.
Spinach and Goat-Cheese Filling
1 pound chèvre cheese 
(such as South Mountain brand)
1 cup spinach, chopped
½ teaspoon salt

Place ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined. Place mixture in a pastry bag with a large, round tip. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Pipe cheese mixture onto the lined baking sheet and freeze mixture for 1 to 2 hours. Remove cheese from freezer and cut into 1½-inch pieces. Place pieces in a plastic bag and store in freezer until needed.

Pre-soak your corn husks in water until pliable. Layer a tablespoon of masa and filling inside. Fold each side of the hust over the filling so the filling is covered. Fold both ends of the husk over. Fold them in the same direction so all the flaps face down.

Using narrow strings pulled form a husk, tie a bow around the package to keep it closed.

Chili Colorado

Again, we can buy this premade in any of our local Latin stores.

  • 2 ounces whole dried New Mexico chiles (6)
  • 1 ounce whole dried guajillo chiles (6)
  • 4 cups boiling-hot water
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

Rinse chiles and split open, discarding stems, seeds, and ribs.

Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over moderate heat, then toast chiles, skin sides up, in batches, about 30 seconds (be careful not to burn them, or sauce will be bitter). Transfer chiles as toasted to a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover bowl and soak chiles, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes.

Purée chiles with three fourths of soaking liquid, reserving remainder, in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Pour purée through a coarse sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids, and discard solids. Whisk reserved soaking liquid into chile mixture.

Cook onion, garlic, cumin, and oregano in oil in a large heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in chile mixture and simmer, partially covered, whisking occasionally, until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, about 30 minutes. Season with salt, vinegar, and sugar.

Cactus, Zucchini and Red Pepper Salad

  • 1 jar nopalitas (prickly pear cactus pads)
  • 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch strips
  • Cilantro vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • generous dash of freshly groud pepper

Mix nopalitos, zucchini and bell pepper. Set aside.

Mix ingredients for cilantro vinaigrette. shake all ingredients in tightly covered container. Pour vinegarette over salad and serve.

Tomato and Watercress Salad

  • 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1 pint yellow teardrop tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 4 small bunches fresh watercress, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the red and yellow tomatoes, watercress, and 3 tablespoons of the chives. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the salad and toss to coat well.

Virgin Mary Cocktail

  • 3 oz tomato juice
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • celery salt
  • ground pepper
  • hot pepper or Tabasco sauce

Build the liquid ingredients into a highball glass. Mix well. Add the seasonings to taste.

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  1. That looks really fun! Thanks for sharing!

  2. How colorful! I love how the meal highlights the color red for Pentecost.