Dinner with Zozobra!

Spruce up your Zozobra meal with this cool centerpiece.
Get one or get the fun and easy DIY kit for kids here

Did you kick off Labor Day weekend on Friday, September 4, 2020, with something extra-special? Santa Fe, New Mexico did! The 96th Official Burning of Zozobra took place as a no-crowd event and the historic event was broadcast live for free and streamed on the web at https://www.koat.com/

This year's event may be over, but you can still have a great meal thanks to the recipes below from our amazing restaurant partners!

The Santa Fe Kiwanis want to make it easy for you to enjoy a tasty night at home with your loved ones, and that's why we asked some of our favorite restaurants to share the secrets of their favorite recipes so you can celebrate Zozobra Night with a restaurant-quality meal!

Just watch the videos, read the recipes, give each member of the family an apron and a memorable meal will be done lickety-split!


COWGIRL NACHOS: We know they're yummy, so be nice and share!

There's no better way to start than with a big plate of nachos, right? The Cowgirl Santa Fe and Chef Patrick Lambert have a recipe that takes you all the way through to the last jalapeno you drop on top!

  • Tortilla chips
  • Jack and Cheddar Cheeses
  • Black Beans
  • Shredded Chicken
  • Pickled Jalapenos
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced Black Olives
  • Red Onions
  • Salsa Diablo (see recipe or purchase from the Cowgirl!!!)

Heat Beans and Chicken. Place chips on a plate. Smother with beans, chicken and cheeses. Let cheese melt and top with remaining toppings as desired.


  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 tomatoes, cut in ¼
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 habanero peppers
  • 4 Chipotle en adobo peppers
  • 1 C. ketchup
  • ¼ C. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Roast garlic, tomatoes, jalapenos and habaneros with salt and pepper and a touch of olive oil. Puree with remaining ingredients.

TOMASITA'S FLAUTAS: Some people call 'em taquitos - either way, they're delicious!

You know a restaurant is successful when locals fervently claim it as their own! And Tomasita's is that place! People who ate there as kids bring their own kids now, and any visitor to Santa Fe who has ever read a travel guide can be found standing in line with a margarita patiently waiting for a table.

TOMASITA'S FLAUTAS: Recipe makes 50 flautas - perfect for Zozobra-sized appetites or hungry families!

  • 3 lbs roasted or boiled chicken, boneless and skinless
  • 1 lb Monterey Jack cheese - grated
  • 3 pints Tomasita's green chile - drained 
  • 50 thin corn tortillas

Roast or boil chicken, then shred and cut it into very small pieces. Grate cheese (if necessary). Thoroughly drain green chile so there is no water. Mix ingredients and salt to taste. Either heat tortillas on a griddle or pan, or lightly coat them in oil by dunking them in the oil you will be using to fry them for just a minute. Roll flautas and hold each flauta closed with a toothpick. Fry flautas until they are cooked but not too hard. They should be softer than a tortilla chip. Enjoy with salsa and guacamole!



Any self-respecting New Mexican has an overwhelming desire to taste-test every green chile cheeseburger around and choose the reigning chomp. Bonnie and John Eckre have been serving up a winner at the Santa Fe Bite for decades!

  • 10 oz. of freshly ground chuck and sirloin blend, 85% - 15% fat content.
  • Season each patty with the seasoning blend: 1 C. sea salt crystals, 1/2 C. garlic salt, 1/2 C. onion salt, 1 T. ground black pepper. Mix until combined. Just these four ingredients complement meat just perfectly.
  • Chopped Hatch fire-roasted green chile. We mix the medium and the hot together to get a combination that is not overwhelming in heat.
  • American Swiss Cheese
  • Toppings: Onion, pickle, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, bacon...whatever toppings the individual can conjure up.
  • A good bun: The Bite's buns are artisan-made by Fano Bread.  They're a cross between a hamburger bun and a brioche, with just the right chewiness.

Pack and shape each patty as John shows in the video. The Bite cooks on cast iron flat grills, but a large heavy cast-iron skillet will work nicely too. Heat until very hot and place patties.  Cook to desired doneness, flipping the patties appropriately making sure not to burn either side.  Weights do help.  Just don’t press the juices out!

SANTA FE BAR & GRILL FISH TACOS: Can you hear the ocean calling?

Some places become instant standbys in a local's restaurant routine and the Santa Fe Bar & Grill has all the tasty treats that locals love. New Mexico may be land-locked but you'd never know it from the signature fish tacos at the Bar & Grill!

  • Fresh Mahi-Mahi
  • Freshly-made soft corn tortillas, ideally from Alicia's
  • Garnish: shredded cabbage, chopped radishes and cilantro marinated in rice vinegar
  • Tapatio salsa (ask for it at your favorite specialty store)
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole - just use your favorite recipe!

Grill your Mahi Mahi until the fish becomes opaque and don't overcook. Tuck each portion inside a corn tortilla, add garnish, salsa, sour cream and guacamole to taste and dig in!


The menu at Harry's Roadhouse is epic and maybe that's why the parking lot is packed all day every day. This choice spot takes good care of Santa Fe's many vegetarians and Chef Mario shared the ingredients for making the dish that New Mexico claims as its own!

  • 4 yellow onions chopped
  • 1/4 C. chopped garlic
  • 1 T. Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 gallon each of diced zucchini and yellow squash
  • 1 gallon of cooked pinto beans
  • 1/2 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 quart fresh corn kernels
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Note the recipe's restaurant-sized quantities and scale down accordingly if you're not feeding a crowd! Saute onion and garlic in olive until they just start to carmelize. Add squash and spices and saute for several minutes. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and cook for 8-10 minutes until well-blended but squash is still crunchy. Serve over Fritos and dig in!

THE PAJARIITO PUB BURGER: Based on the Juicy Lucy - great minds think alike!

Burger chefs are always looking to see what other burger pros are doing, and one chef's inspiration often leads to another chef's great invention!

  • 8 oz. New Mexico ground beef stuffed with Tucumcari NM green chile cheddar cheese
  • Fresh tomatoes from your favorite Farmers' Market
  • Sweet and Spicy Pickles from Barrio Brinery
  • Fresh-baked hamburger bun from the Chocolate Maven
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For each burger, encase cheese inside the burger and grill to desired doneness. Top with fresh tomatoes and pickles and get that baby on the bun fast so you don't lose any of the delectable juices!


TRES LECHES CAKE: Who doesn't want to end with a sweet finish?

If there's a line forming out the door for a restaurant, you just can't ask for a better recommendation.

And when that local spot serves three squares a day plus luscious desserts, you know you're going for it!

Ingredients to Make Two Cakes:

  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 1 ¼ C. flour
  • 1  ¼ C. Buttermilk Pancake Mix
  • 1 ¼ C. Sugar
  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 2/3 C. Heavy Cream


  • Mix 1 C. heavy cream with 1 T. sugar and whip until firm.
  • Fold in ½ C. sour cream

Whip egg whites until stiff. Set aside and save. Beat egg yolks with sugar till light and lemony. Add the flour/pancake mix to the egg yolks and mix together till incorporated. Add whipped egg whites and mix till just combined.

Bake in two 9-inch buttered and floured round pans at 350 degrees for about 23 minutes or till done at your altitude. Let the cakes rise to a crown and brown slightly.

When room temperature, slice the very top off of both cakes to reveal the sponge interior.

Mix the 3 milk products (that's what Tres Leches means!) together with 1 tsp. of vanilla and slowly drizzle over both cakes.

Layer cakes with Chantilly Cream between each layer, and frost with Chantilly Cream.


OKAY, we did our job! It's time to head to your local market and stock up on the ingredients you need to have the best DINNER WITH ZOZOBRA ever! Don't forget to share your dinner photos with hashtags #zozobra #burnmygloom #dinnerwithzozobra to be featured on Zozobra's social media!