Thursday evening potluck. Salads requested. What to bring? Slaw, but not any old slaw. One with a bit of zing. I found a Bobby Flay recipe online and tinkered with it a bit to match the “flavorating” ingredients that I happened to have on hand. This slaw was so well received that I tinkered with the ingredients a bit more a couple of nights later when I wanted something a little more Middle Eastern for a meeting of the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project committee.
Below is the first version I made, and below that, the modifications:
1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons Asian chili rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sweet Asian wine
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 to 4 drops of liquid hot pepper (or to taste)
3 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, wine chili oil, mayonnaise, soy sauce hot pepper in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, peppers, snow peas and scallions and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
This time, I used the juice of one lemon rather than one lime. I left out the sweet wine, snow peas and scallions. And I substituted finely chopped parsley and mint for the scallions.
Beaver Creek selects this season’s official chocolate chip cookie.
Beaver Creek Resort opened on November 26 with 589 acres of terrain, six feet of snow in November and the new Centennial Express combination gondola/chairlift. But for chocolate chip cookie addicts, perhaps the best part was the afternoon taste-testing of 5,000 cookies at the 11th annual World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition.
Cookie bakers submitted their entries to Beaver Creek Resort Company back in October, and the five finalists were chosen by local judges. Entries came from all over Colorado plus Texas, California, Wisconsin, Georgia, Oregon and elsewhere. Conveniently, the finalists all came from Colorado, because each one had to bake 1,000 cookies to be judged. Finalists were Lori Lavicka of Avon, Cassie Sewell of Eagle, Kristen Gorrell of Gypsum, Hannah Bailey of Lone Tree, and Julianna Kopec of Avon. After sampling all of the cookies, guests had the opportunity to vote on their favorite recipe. Kristen Gorrell and her “baker’s Dozen” recipe took home the top honors and $1,000.
Her recipe is the new “official” Beaver Creek cookie for the season. Second place winner, Hannah Bailey won third place and $750 for “Hannah’s Mile High Chocolate Morsels,” and third place winner, Julianna Kopec took home $500 for “Cookies of Prey.” Fourth place recipient, Lori Lavicka’s “2015 Champion Chip Cookie” earned her two tickets to Dancing Like Pros Live performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, and fifth place netted Cassie Sewell two tickets to the Cirque Mechanics Pedal Punk at the Vila for her “Cassie’s World Class Chocolate Chip Cookies.”
Cookie Time is Beaver Creek’s guest service program daily at 3 p.m. when Cookie Time chefs in chef whites serve warm, fresh, chocolate chip cookies on silver trays. The tradition started in 1985 and evolved into the cookie competition in 2004 providing opening day guests with a village celebration. More than 500,000 cookies are served annually and the new Beaver Creek Cookie & Crepe Company, located by Beaver Creek Lodge, now allows guests to purchase their favorite Beaver Creek cookies to take home or to their resort accommodations.
Kristen Gorrell’s Baker’s Dozen Cookies
Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, partially melted
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons additional brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Beaver Creek did not provide baking instructions, but typically all ingredients are combined (I’m guessing first dry ingredients, then butter, then sugars followed by eggs and finally chips). The dough is dropped in balls about two inches apart on cookie sheets often lined with parchment. Without instructions, I’m mystified by the divided brown sugar, but perhaps you will figure that out and post a comment. Bake at 350 to 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges begin to brown and crisp. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Devour.
Coming right up on October 1 is the second annual National Kale Day, and I am going to celebrate by harvesting and doing “something” with the kale in my garden that has continued to grow even as I’ve been traveling. That “something” will probably be kale pesto, thanks to a recipe from the country’s kale promoters, who remind us of the benefits of this leafy green superfood. National Kale Day was spearheaded by Dr. Drew Ramsey and Chef Jennifer Iserloh, authors of the bestselling book 50 Shades of Kale. The recipe that follows is from the book.
Kale Pesto with Toasted Walnuts
2 cups packed torn kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the kale leaves, basil leaves and salt. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until the kale leaves are finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor. Add the walnuts and garlic and process again, then add the cheese and pulse to combine. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve immediately.
Makes 8 servings. Nutritional Information: Per serving (about 1/4 cup): 139 calories, 4 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 4 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 279 mg sodium.
New York food company updates Julia Child classics.
I generally only post recipes that I made and really liked– or have developed on the fly by modifying or combining others that I have found. Today would be Julia Child’s 102nd birthday, and for the occasion, Maria Zoitas, creator of the Made by Maria Homemade line of prepared food sold exclusively at Westside Market NYC, has shared her twist on several of the renowned chef’s beloved recipes. One is roast rack of lamb (carré d’agneau), an easy-to-prepare dish that is a tribute to the late, great Julia Child. (WordPress occasionally insists on crossing out a word or phrase with a link in it. Clicking still takes you to the site. I apologize, but I’ve tried to fix it — without success.)
Gigot de Pré-Salé Rôti (translated as Roast Leg of Lamb) appears on page 332 of my ancient copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia never shied away from fat, so it includes pork or beef fat, or a melted butter/cooking oil mix, as well as a carrot, an onion and stock that Maria pared down.
Roasted Leg of Lamb
1 Semi Boneless Leg of Lamb (6-7 lbs.)
2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
¼ Cup Olive Oil
¼ Cup Fresh Chopped Rosemary Leaves
2 Cups Water
1 Roll of Butcher Twine
Preheat oven at 400⁰F.
Open side of the meat and season with 1 tbsp. of minced garlic, 1 tbsp. of kosher salt, 1 tsp. of ground black pepper, and kindly close up the two sides of the meat and tie it with a butcher twine.
Season the outside of the meat with 1 tbsp. of minced garlic, 1 tbsp. of kosher salt, 1 tsp. of ground black pepper, the olive oil and rosemary.
Place the meat into a 16 X 11 X 4 roasting pan, add the 2 cups of water and place into a wire rack.
Roast the seasoned leg of lamb in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours or until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 140⁰F.
Yields 8 – 10 Servings
This evening, we broke out the Don Julio Añejo 70, a fine reposado that we save for such special occasions as National Tequila Day, which happens to be today. To sip a nip or mix it? That was the question, and the answer was, as if often is, a margarita. But such an important holiday merits an important marg.
We checked online, and the Don Julio site provided a recipe. Though other possibilities were also enticing, we happened to have agave nectar, lime and nutmeg on hand, so Don Julio’s Reposado Margarita it was. It turned out to be very interesting and confirmed that nutmeg is good for more than eggnog and cappuccino:
1 .5 oz. Tequila Don Julio Reposado
0.75 oz. agave nectar
0.75 oz. fresh lime juice
Mix Tequila Don Julio Reposado, agave nectar and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and add a pinch of nutmeg over the top.
Rooting for a sweet Broncos victory with orange sugar cookies
For a Super Bowl watch party tomorrow, I was assigned a sweet ending to an evening that promises gluttony. I tinkered with orange cookie recipes to make them Bronco-esque. No one will mistake them for store-bought, because they are uneven. But I am pleased with the way they taste, and I hope my fellow fans will like them too.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 egg at room temperature
1 tablespoon freshly granted orange zest
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
red, yellow and blue food coloring
4 drops orange extract
1 With the mixer on high speed, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 2 Add egg and orange zest, beat for an additional 30 seconds. 3 In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Sift flour mixture into butter mixture, 1/4 at a time and mix. Add orange extract, 6 drops of red food coloring and 2 drops of yellow food coloring. Mix until combined. 4 Line two baking sheets Place heaping teaspoonsful about an inch apart on the baking sheets. I put some of the dough too close together, meaning that I ended up with some cookies that ran together. When separated, these had a flat side or two rather than the desired round cookies. 5 Bake for 10 minutes or until just turning golden around the edges. Remove from oven briefly and add one drop of blue food coloring to the center of each cookie. Bake for another minute or two. Remove the baking sheets from the oven for a minute or two to let the cookies solidify a bit, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
I found a year-old recipe for a Grape, Almond and Olive Oil Cake on food52.com and was intrigued. A simple, one-bowl cake that didn’t require frosting (which I can never do prettily) seemed the perfect thing to bring to a weeknight potluck. Of course, I tweaked some of the ingredients and I found that a single cake required more than twice the baking time that indicated in a footnote to the recipe that was actually for smaller, individual cakes. Is it the elevation here? I don’t know. If I make it again, I will sprinkle some powdered sugar on top once it is cool. Here’s the version I made:
Olive Oil Cake with Red Grapes
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (vanilla flavor)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon (zest and juice)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds (aka almond meal)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, cut in half lengthwise
olive oil spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, olive oil, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice until well blended
Spray olive on bottom and sides of a 9- or 10-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
Press the grape halves decoratively into the batter, cut-side down.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Cool and remove from tart pan before serving.
Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news. For address of any restaurant, click on the Zomato icon at the end of the post.