New Mex-Giving

New Mex-Giving. Here in New Mexico, we love Thanksgiving as much as anyone! But we tend to do a few things differently. Where most of the country is dishing up brown or white gravy, we roll out the red.  And for dessert, expect to find a green chile apple pie and some pumpkin empanadas!

Here are a few of our favorite, time-tested New Mex-giving delicacies to add a little spice to your menu this year.

New Mex-Giving Red Chile

Red Chile Gravy

3 tbsp Olive Oil or Shortening
1/2 cup Chile Powder
2 tbsp flour
2 cups Water
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt


  1. In a medium saucepan or skillet, melt shortening or warm the olive oil over low to medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the flour and cook until a light brown (approximately 4 minutes) making a roux as a base for the Red Chile Sauce.
  3. Once the roux has turned a golden brown, over medium heat, whisk in the Red Chile Powder.
  4. When the roux and chile powder have been blended completely, add water and cook to desired consistency. Add in salt, pepper, cumin, garlic salt, whisk, and serve.


New Mex-Giving Pumpkin Empanadas

Pumpkin Empanadas

3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄3 cup white sugar
1 1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp baking powder
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup warm water
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
2 egg
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1⁄2 tsp ground cloves
1 egg, beaten


Prep 40 min Cook 20 min Ready 60 min

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and baking powder. Cut shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water about 2 tablespoons at a time, just until the dough comes together. Knead a few times in the bowl, then scrape out onto a floured surface. Cut dough in quarters and cut each quarter into thirds to make 12 equal portions. Roll each piece of dough into a ball. Cover with a cloth and allow to rest while preparing the filling.
  3. Mix pumpkin, 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together until smooth. On a floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a thin circle about 6 inches across. Spoon about 1/3 cup of filling into the center, fold dough over the filling to make a half-moon shape, and crimp the edges together with a fork. Carefully transfer empanadas to prepared baking sheets. Brush the top of each with beaten egg.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until crusts are shiny and golden brown.

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Ungelbah Davila is American West Jewelry’s blogger, lifestyle photographer and social media contributor. She is Navajo of the ‘Áshįįhi Clan, as well as a native New Mexican of Spanish, Irish, and Sephardic ancestry. Her name, which in English means a woman who has been to war and lived to fight again, was passed to her from her maternal great-grandmother and is a source of personal power that influences the unique narrative she brings to her many art forms.

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