Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Holiday Gift from the Good Human Beings at Oak at Fourteenth: Recipes!

It’s not very often you get recipes from one of the best restaurants in the area.
But, as an early holiday gift, here are 4 of them for you, from the venerable Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder.
1. Green Goddess Aioli
2. BBQ Rub
3. BBQ Sauce
4. Harissa

2c. Sour Cream
1c. Chives
1c. Parsley
1c. Tarragon
2 ea. Lemons (juice only)
2 oz Red wine vinegar
6 ea Salted Recca Anchovies

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Makes 2 quarts – can always halve or quarter the recipe.

2T Ground black pepper
3T Ground paprika
1T Ground coriander
1T Ground fennel seed
½t Ground cumin
1T Powdered mustard
1T Powdered garlic
4T Powdered chile
1T Powdered chipotle
1lb Brown sugar
1T Salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

2 ea. Small diced onion
2T Dijon
2 quarts Tomatoes
1 pint Water
1 pint Worcestershire
1 pint Ketchup
1lb Brown sugar
1/2 pint Vinegar
1 pint BBQ rub

Combine all ingredients and simmer for an hour.
Makes a gallon.
BBQ sauce for everyone!
Again, can quarter, or you can always make it all and freeze portions for later use.

2T Dried Chipotle Chile powder
14 ea. Dried Ancho Chile
30 ea. Piquillo Peppers
1T Caraway Seed
1T Coriander Seed
1T Cumin Seed
4 ea. Lemons [juice only]
8 cloves Garlic
4c Olive Oil

Rehydrate the chiles in hot water for 5 minutes, then drain.
Toast all the spices.
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add a little water if too thick, then strain through a chinois.
Put ancho chilies in slowly, and to taste, as they all have different spice levels.
Also makes 2 quarts.

Thanks to Oak’s Executive Sous Chef, Bill Espiricueta, for this generosity.

For more reading on condiments, have a look at my feature in Boulder Weekly:

Sugarlicious Has Some Sweet Gifts from Colorado Artisans This Year [and they monogram]

You have to appreciate two women who open a candy store, albeit a sophisticated one, in tony Cherry Creek North.
Though I’ve not met Jill Landman Alfond & Stacey Landman [sisters-in-law, which should win them some sort of award for going into business together and thriving], these are surely people with great senses of humor and zest for life.
I mean, candy!
It’s a fun place to go for gifts any time of year, but especially so at holiday time.
They and their team are putting together gifts that can be devoured, with still something fun left over – monogrammed goodies of all kinds.
And, you can support local twice, when selecting treats produced by Colorado artisans.
It’s perfect, because everyone loves candy, right?
[If you have anyone on your gift list who doesn’t, you may want to re-evaluate that relationship]

Edible sweets from local artisans:
The perfect hostess gift for all of those holiday parties or unexpected treat for your out of town guests.
Choose from the list below – or combine for the ultimate Colorado Candy gift.
If you call the store with the hostess or guest name/initials, they’ll monogram a tray – or lunch boxes, tumblers, wine goblets, water bottles, glasses, coasters, etc. – and fill with local sweets.
Done in store in less than 20 minutes – or call in advance and they’ll run it to your car.
That’s service.
•Stuff & Mallow gourmet marshmallow kits from Fort Collins. The chocolate is inside the marshmallow for the perfect S’more! $8.95.
•Ziva chocolate covered bacon from Denver. $3. ea.
•Black Star Chocolates from Denver. $2.50 ea. [also in boxed sets of 4, 6, 9 + 12]
•Patsy’s Chocolates from Colorado Springs – $1–$3.50 ea.
•Sushimee Candy Sushi Kits from Denver by Miles, the Candy Sushi Kid. $11.

Here are some wonderful non-edible options, too:
Great as stocking stuffers or unique place cards at your holiday or New Year’s party.
•Monogrammed tote bags for the sun seeker or weekend snow warrior. $45.
•Makeup bags, pencil cases, and a ton of other little pouches than can be personalized.

3000 East 3rd Avenue

What’s Happened in the Writing and Publication of the Book – Colorado’s Top Brewers – by Emily Hutto, is a Joy to Behold.

This book is a true celebration of our craft beer culture in Colorado, filled with information about 26 of the state’s most successful breweries, their beers, as well as inventive food pairings created by 24 of our most talented chefs.
Additional spreads profile 10 of Colorado’s craft beer-centric bars and taverns.
Developed in cooperation with the Colorado Brewers Guild, the book includes an introduction from guild Executive Director, John Carlson.
Special sections in the back provide a bevy [pun intended!] of beer resources, including a Craft Beer Lovers calendar and map/listings for the featured breweries, plus many other excellent breweries and brewpubs in our wonderful state.

Featured breweries and chefs:
Boulder Beer Company/ Phat Thai Chef Mark Fischer
Avery Brewing Co./ The Kitchen Chef Dennjs Phelps
Twisted Pine Brewing Company/ in-house Chef Scott Parent
Upslope Brewing Company/ Chef Ian Clark
BRU Handbuilt Ales/ Chef Ian Clark
Left Hand Brewing Company/ Chef Jenna Johansen
Oskar Blues Brewery/ in-house Chef Jason Rogers
Odell Brewing Co./ in-house Chef Ryan Tostenson
New Belgium Brewing/ Linger and Root Down Chef Daniel Asher
Funkwerks Inc./ Jax Fish House Fort Collins Chef Kevin Grossi
Equinox Brewing/ Fish Chef Howard Parker
Wynkoop Brewing Company/ in-house Chef Cory Treadway
Great Divide Brewing Co./ Cholon Chef Lon Symensma
Strange Brewing Company/ Linger and Root Down Chef Samm Sherman
Denver Beer Co./ Chef Justin Brunson
Wit’s End Brewing Company/ Euclid Hall Chef Jorel Pierce
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project/ Chef John Little
Breckenridge Brewery/ Chef Ron Piscitelli
Ska Brewing Company/ Cosmo Chef Chris Crowl
Dry Dock Brewing Co./ Freshcraft Chef Lucas Forgy
Crabtree Brewing Company/ Chef Jorel Pierce
Bristol Brewing Company/ The Old School Bakery Chef Alicia Prescott
Phantom Canyon Brewing Co./ in-house Chef Bon Hewlett
Trinity Brewing Company/ in-house Chefs Chad Conway and Jeremy Miller
Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery/ in-house Chef Tom Hennessy
Elevation Beer Co./ Laughing Ladies Restaurant Chefs Margie Sohl and Jeff Schweitzer

Featured craft beer bars:
West End Tavern
Road 34
The Forge Publick House
The Mayor of Old Town
Falling Rock Tap House
Euclid Hall Bar + Kitchen
Hops & Pie
Ale House at Amato’s

To say it’s a well-researched and comprehensive guide, would be an understatement.
Get one for yourself, or a gift – or for yourself and a gift – at one of these spots:
Tattered Cover Bookstore, LoDo or Colfax
Barrels & Bottles Brewery
Equinox Brewing
Denver Beer Co.
Odell Brewing
The Brew Hut/ Dry Dock Brewing Co.
The Mayor of Old Town
Trinity Brewing
Wit’s End Brewing Company

You can also purchase the book on Amazon or on the Georgian Bay Books website.

Volta is a Journey I Want to Take Again and Again

Jon Deering is a Boulder restaurant mainstay, having provided front of house and wine program leadership for many of Boulder’s most loved restaurants, including SALT, and most recently, Black Cat.
His wife Eleni, is a native of Greece, and together, they’ve opened a new Mediterranean restaurant in Boulder called Volta, or journey, that provided one of my most delicious and memorable dining experiences this year.
Having opened on October 21, 11 of us from the Boulder Food Media group were there on the restaurant’s 51st day, as Jon explained [not that he was counting!], as his and Eleni’s guests.
They set a lovely community table in the bar area for us and once we were all seated, the epic food and wine journey began.
Jon is a smart sommelier, made evident by the choices of wine he has selected for his list, and also the particular ones he chose to pair with the tasting menu.
He prides himself on offering small-batch, organic and biodynamic wines.
Aside from Kendra Anderson at Pasta Vino, I’ve never trusted a sommelier more, than I now do Jon.
Here was the menu we indulged in – everything, and I mean every single thing – was triumphant.
Get yourself and 20 of your closest friends there as soon as possible.
You will be stunned, in the best possible sense of the word.

Modern Economist #1 – St. George gin, Foro organic vermouth, garnished with two Castelvetrano olives

Skordiala – Greek dip made from garlic, nut and potato, served with housemade focaccia and bread chips

Estate Argyros “Atlantis”, Santorini, 2011 – made with Assyrtiko, Adini and Athiri grapes

Spanakopita with frisee and yogurt
Lucques 2010 Blanc – biodynamic and unfiltered

Kassari Cheese – which they set on fire – the technical term being flambé

Braised lamb, French fries and arugula
Plutone Piedirosso – smelled like chocolate and tasted like the best wine I’ve had this year

Red mullet over celery root puree with collard greens and fingerling potatoes

Housemade gnocchi with rabbit sausage, Asian pear, sage and a Retsina reduction [a Greek wine made using pine resin]
Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

Baklava with a lemon honey sauce

In addition to their full dinner menu, each night they offer a 3 or 6 course Chef’s Tasting Menu for $36. or $65., respectively.
You can add wine pairings for $18. or $36., and also have the option of choosing premium pairings for an additional charge.
Every Sunday evening, beginning at 5p, they offer a Greek Dinner, with authentic Greek classics, music and merriment.
On Christmas Eve, they have a special 3-course menu for $45., and will have Kyra Neiman playing harp from 6:30 – 8:30p.
Reservations are available between 5-8p.

2480 Canyon [directly across from McGuckin’s]

Chorizo Hollandaise. Now That I Have Your Attention, Let’s Talk Sunday Brunch at Comida at The Source.

I have friends who treat brunch as the High Holy Holidays of Food.
They feel strongly about it.
To me, brunch is more a state of mind than anything; a release from rigid weekly obligations; a casual meal later in the morning or early afternoon that almost requires a cocktail or three; a devil-may-care attitude.
But, let’s not be silly, it’s also very much about the food.
As an avid home cook, at brunch [breakfast, lunch, dinner] I seek out dishes I probably won’t make at home, like eggs benedict.
It’s not that poached eggs, or hollandaise are especially difficult [hollandaise more so, but still doable], but they are special, so I save this kind of thing for when the professionals are cooking.
I was invited to attend a friends and family practice run last Sunday, before Comida makes brunch available to the public this Sunday.
I brought three food-loving friends, so we could sample a variety of things, and talk food for a couple of hours, which is exactly what we did.
The atmosphere was warm and inviting, and convivial.
Our server was great – and took service to the next level when he taught me to hold down the n on my iPhone to get the ~ needed for a tweet I was sending to announce brunch was about to commence.
We were at Comida after all – I felt it only right to address the people as Senors y Senoritas.
There are the classic brunch drinks available – like mimosas and bloody marys – and they have all kinds of other drinks, many tequila-based, because, that’s the right thing to do in a Mexican spot.
We ordered our drinks quickly, so we could get to ordering our food.
On the recommendation of our server, the table shared the Cinnamon Raisin Pan Tostado.
Think Mexican French toast, but less eggy.
No less delicious.
Using some of the best bread on the planet, Babette’s [no exaggeration; baked just across the hall], macerated berries [blackberries, blueberries and strawberries], sweet crema and maple syrup, this is a treat.
We also shared both the Breakfast Torta – a warm buttered bun, fried egg, Tender Belly bacon [another Colorado triumph], house cured tequila salmon and avocado – as well as the House Made Granola with fresh vanilla bean yogurt, berries and local honey.
We got both sweet and savory tastes, and a good sense of the overall menu.
Other interesting highlights include Grits and Eggs with smoked tomato, jalapeno grits, poached duck eggs and Lemon Queso Fresco Pancakes with toasted pepitas [pumpkin seeds] and blueberry jalapeno syrup.
12 dishes in total, there truly is something for everyone.
For our mains, two of my friends ordered the Huevos Rancheros, and I and the other friend each ordered the Eggs Benedict.
With the benedict, you have your choice of Tender Belly spiral baked ham, fresh avocado or their house cured tequila salmon.
I couldn’t decide between the avocado and salmon, so I asked for both.
They do theirs untraditionally – instead of English muffin, it’s built on buttermilk biscuits.
When the dish came out, I noticed the hollandaise was orange, and not the typical butter yellow.
I asked how they made it and the server said it was done with chorizo.
I didn’t even notice this on the dish’s description on the menu.
That’s how excited I was just to have one of my favorites.
Be still my – and every – food-lover’s heart.
I found this such an inventive choice and one I’ve never seen before.
There’s nothing not to love about hollandaise: egg yolks, butter, lemon.
There’s a debate as to whether it came from the Dutch or the French.
It appears in a Dutch cookbook from 1593, and the name is HOLLANDaise, so I’m going with Holland.
Eggs benedict is a much-loved brunch treat, and worth a visit just to experience this special iteration of a classic sauce.
I don’t know what says devil-may-care more than chorizo hollandaise.

Get Yourself 7 Green Apples + Make This As Soon As Possible.

Get yourself 7 green apples.
Cut them into a large dice.
Melt 1T butter in sauté pan, add 3T chevre and 3T port wine cheddar until melted.
Add apples.
Add 3/4c natural sugar, 1T cinnamon and 2t salt [you’ll get more salty goodness from the cheese].
Saute apples until soft, but not mushy.
The port wine cheddar gives this the most beautiful pink color.
Jar in two pint Ball jars and give to two lucky recipients as holiday gifts.
Or, use yourself for an untraditional apple pie, mix into pancakes, make crepes.
Whatever you do, enjoy yourself.

P.S. Of course, you can double or triple or quadruple [you get the idea] this recipe and feed the whole neighborhood if you’d like.

Raise a Glass to Williams & Graham

It took me too long to get to Williams & Graham.
Only recently – as in this year, thanks in large part to the Denver Passport – have I taken a strong and serious liking to cocktails.
I’ve always been a wine and craft beer person.
It’s also true that I had to reach a certain age to feel natural about the whole idea of them; it takes a level of sophistication that allows for the ordering, drinking and making of cocktails, without the awkwardness of affectation.
People refer to Williams & Graham as a speakeasy, but it’s not illicit, so I don’t understand that reference.
Still, it is special.
You enter a cozy front room lined with bookcases, and give your name to the person at the counter.
They write it down and hand it through a small door that feeds directly to the bar.
Then, one of the bookcases opens, and you’re sent back, greeted by name as you enter the dimly lit space.
Our names were used throughout the evening, in a classy, appropriate way, not in the way bad salesmen like to overuse to try and fabricate some sort of weird intimacy.
I liked it and it put me at ease.
There with a couple of friends, we shared the tea sandwiches [oversized presentation and taste] and deviled eggs [reminder: if deviled eggs are on the menu, they’re getting ordered].
For something more substantial as a meal, I had an oyster po’boy slider and fries – made with a malt gastrique [= pleasure].
Both, delightful.
But, what we were really there for – and what most people are really there for – were the drinks.
I had a Fig on a Stick – which is a treat of a concoction of fig infused cognac, Curacao, fresh lemon juice and demerara syrup.
They also use whipped egg white in this cocktail, which the server shared in his verbal description [not printed on the menu], and that element creates a frothy drink and also helps cut through the sweetness to balance it.
Garnished with a literal fig on a stick [well, ok, not a stick, but an adorable tapas pick], the presentation was lovely.
After enjoying that wonderful creation, what did I do?
I ordered a glass of wine.
A Cotes du Rhone.
I apologized to the guy.
He laughed.
I’ve taken a liking to cocktails, but I’ll always be in love with my wine.
It’s the perfect place for a date, a great place to spend time with friends, and somewhere I’ll be bringing out of town guests to show them just how authentically cool our city is.

Williams & Graham
3160 Tejon

Panettone: An Italian Holiday Treat That Should Be on Every Holiday Table – Italian or Not.

Panettone – the Italian bread/cake is a tradition at the holidays – and blessedly, nothing like the dense concern that most fruitcake is.
It’s actually a symbol of the city of Milan, they are so well known for it.
I love it especially because of my Italian heritage, but also because it feels festive and special.
Yet, it’s approachable enough to have a slice in the morning with coffee, which I’m doing as I type this.
It’s my kind of baking – you can follow the base recipe and add any kind of dried, preserved and/or candied citrus/fruits, to your taste.
I find I need that kind of flexibility in my baking, and my life.
Inspired by Mario Batali’s recipe below, with a few key differences, here’s mine:

1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
4 c flour
1 c milk
1 c sugar
3 t baking powder
2 T liquid from preserved lemons
2 T small dice candied orange peel
2 T small dice dried pineapple
2 T small dice preserved lemons

Mix together well.
You’ll see the recipe doesn’t call for salt, which all my baking recipes do, and that’s because the preserved lemon juice [and the lemons themselves] have a lot of it, which helps balance the cake beautifully.
Using the traditional Panettone baking papers, makes for a beautiful presentation.
If you can’t get these, no problem, use a high-sided cake pan, or event a Bundt or ring pan.
Butter and flour mold.
375* / 75m