It’s summertime and the 9 best recipes are here to try! We’ve gathered recipes from some of the best local chefs and establishments to bring you a wide selection of delicious, tasteful, slightly decadent, dishes to fulfill your culinary summer night dreams. We wanted to be local, we wanted ‘grown in your own backyard’ local, we wanted right here, Boulder County (and some surrounding areas) L O C A L, local. Whether you’re in the kitchen at home or outside at the grill, these recipes are sure to make your mouth water. As the world gets vaccinated, and we can finally gather safely with our friends and families, what better way to really connect than to share the pleasure and joy of a thoughtfully and well-executed meal created by local residents from our community? From Top Chef, Hosea Rosenberg, to Jax Fish House, Sheila Lucerno, this list of 10 extraordinary recipes is sure to spice things up. So go on, try one, two, or all of them, we know we will!
Skirt Steak a la Plancha with Chimichurri Sauce
2 pounds cleaned and trimmed skirt steak
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary
2 cloves garlic
fresh cracked black pepper
1 bunch parsley chopped
1 bunch cilantro chopped
1 large clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chile flake
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1. Combine first five ingredients and let steak marinate overnight in refrigerator.
2. Prior to cooking, remove steak and set out for at least 20 minutes to come to room temp.
3. Season to with salt and pepper and cook (on grill or cast iron pan) to desired temp.
1. Combine remaining ingredients except lemon juice.
2. If you have a mortar and pestle this can all be ground up that way, instead of chopping.
3. Can be made 1 day ahead and kept in refrigerator.
4. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice.
5. Spoon over steak for the most delicious homemade condiment!
Pacific Oyster Ceviche
12 West Coast oysters, medium size
¼ cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
¼ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
¼ cup shallot, finely sliced
¼ cup Persian cucumber, small diced
6 each cherry tomatoes, halved
½ each serrano chile, thinly sliced in rings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons basil, chiffonade
1 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
Cracked black pepper
4 tostada shells, broken in half
1. Wash oysters well prior to shucking.
2. Shuck oysters, and place oysters into a fine mesh strainer.
3. Discard shells.
4. Place oysters in a plastic or ceramic bowl, add shallot and pour citrus juices over the top.
5. Let oysters marinate for 5 minutes.
6. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
7. Check seasoning, and adjust if necessary.
8. Serve with tostada shells
Makes about 3 ½ cups
We’re including this recipe for purely selfish reasons: We love them—plain and simple. Chocolate-coated nuts are a not-so-secret indulgence for many people, but Frasca pastry chef Alberto Hernandez truly makes the best ones. When we were shooting the photographs for this book, we had to ask Alberto to take them away because we couldn’t stop eating them! These are great as an any-time-of-day snack, and even better served alongside an espresso at the end of a meal.
Note: Gianduja (“jee-ahn-doo-yah”) chocolate is a Piedmont specialty and consists of sweet chocolate mixed with 30 percent hazelnut paste (think of a purer, sophisticated Nutella!). Chocolate companies such as Callebault and Valhrona offer it in semisolid cream or block form, but you can also use individually wrapped gianduja chocolates, typically found in purveyors of fine Italian products. You can also use any fine milk chocolate of your liking in this recipe.
You will need:
Deep-frying thermometer or candy thermometer
Small silicone offset spatula (optional)
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2½ cups roasted almonds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
2 cups gianduja chocolate pieces (see Note)
2 cups cocoa powder
1. In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, combine the sugar and water and stir until the sugar dissolves completely and the resulting syrup reaches “soft crack” stage — 285°F on a candy thermometer — 3 minutes.
2. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, stir the almonds into the sugar syrup, mixing continuously to coat completely. As you stir, the sugar will crystallize and form a white coat around the nuts. Keep stirring until all the nuts are evenly coated. The sugar coating may start to caramelize but don’t worry if it doesn’t; give it another minute or two. Sprinkle in the salt and stir in the butter to coat the nuts.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
4. Spread out the nuts on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other.
5. In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water), regularly stir the chocolate until melted, about 2 minutes. Alternatively, microwave the chocolate in short 10 to 15-second bursts, stirring well after every burst, until completely melted. Check the temperature as you’re melting the chocolate; it’s important to temper it for a smooth, even, and crisp coating. If you are using small gianduja chocolates (rather than block chocolate for baking or regular milk chocolate), melt the chocolate until it registers a temperature of no more than 104°F. Remove the chocolate from the heat and allow to cool until it reaches 86°F—this will take 10 to 15 minutes (if using another kind of chocolate, refer to the temperature ranges specific to that chocolate on the back of the packaging). When the chocolate is tempered, you are ready to coat the nuts.
6. Put the cocoa powder in a large bowl. Set up a production line with the nuts, the melted chocolate, and the cocoa.
7. Working with one nut at a time, dip the nut into the chocolate, stir to coat, and lift out using a small offset spatula or your fingers, letting any excess chocolate drip off. Toss the dipped nut into the cocoa powder and shake the bowl to coat. Leave the nut in the cocoa powder while you continue to dip the remaining nuts in the melted chocolate followed by the cocoa powder. Move the coated nuts (still in the cocoa bowl) to a cool place (not the refrigerator) to rest for 1 hour, while the chocolate sets.
8. Toss the nuts in a sieve or colander to discard excess cocoa powder and transfer to an airtight container. The nuts will keep, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.
4) Linda Hampsten Fox, The Bindery
This gazpacho resembles a famous Tuscan recipe called Pappa al Pomodoro. In that dish, fresh tomatoes transform an old loaf of bread into a satisfying and delicious meal. Our version turns up the volume with chile pepper and toasty croutons, creating a unique summer gazpacho.
1 dried ancho chile pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
¼–½ teaspoon hot chile powder
1 pound fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
1 cup pure tomato juice
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices fluffy white bread, crusts removed
4 slices rustic country bread
4 to 6 flat leaf Italian parsley sprigs, for garnish
1. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over the ancho chile and let soak for about 10 minutes. Deseed the chile and purée in a blender with 2 tablespoons of the ancho chile water until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl to use for adjusting seasoning and heat later on.
2. Remove the stems and seeds from the red and yellow peppers. Coarsely chop the peppers, red onion, cucumber, tomato and garlic and transfer to a large bowl.
3. Combine the tomato juice, sherry vinegar, toasted cumin seeds, and chile powder in a liquid measuring cup.
4. Add half of the chopped ingredients, half of the liquid ingredients and one slice of white bread to the blender and blend well. Pour this first batch into a large container.
5. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Combine first and second batches, and season to taste with salt, pepper and puréed ancho chile paste.
6. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
7. To make the croutons, cut the rustic bread slices into 1-inch or slightly smaller cubes. Warm two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and lightly toast the cubes until golden brown. Finish by tossing with olive oil, salt and pepper.
8. Serve the gazpacho in chilled bowls or wide-mouthed glasses, topped with toasted rustic croutons and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley.
Servings: 2 in a 10’’ paella pan
Remember, cooking paella takes practice and is much more an art than science… so, open up a bottle of wine, nibble on some olives and have fun!
10” paella pan can be purchased locally at Cafe Aion.
1 yellow onion, julienned
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of saffron
¼ tsp. Spanish paprika
28 ounces can of crushed tomatoes
1. Sweat a julienned yellow onion and the garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. When they are soft, add a pinch of saffron and Spanish paprika (pimentón) and stir for a few minutes. Then, add a can of crushed tomatoes and simmer for 15-20 minutes until it becomes a nice, fragrant stew.
2. You will only use a ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of the base for the paella. You can freeze the rest (we suggest in hearty ¼ cup portions like a silicone cocktail ice tray) or use it as a base for a pasta sauce or over eggs.
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon paella base
½ cup + 2 tablespoons Arborio rice
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups stock (chicken or veggie) (You might need another 1/2 cup later on)
1 link of Spanish chorizo, cut into ½ inch slices
½ pound of bone-in chicken thighs
½ pound of shrimp (cleaned and deveined)
½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1. With your paella pan on the stove (not turned on yet) pour the paella base, rice, salt, and stock into the pan. Turn the burner to high and bring the mixture to a boil; give it a few little stirs.
2. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium-low/low, barely a simmer. Don’t stir it any more, but you can give it a few gentle wiggles if you need to even things out. Add the chicken and chorizo and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Taste test, and add more salt if needed.
4. After about 30 minutes lightly salt the shrimp and place them on top of the paella. At this point the paella should be starting to get drier… like the consistency of loose oatmeal.
5. Flip the shrimp after 5 minutes and add the roasted peppers.
6. After another 5 minutes, taste the rice to make sure it is cooked—it should be almost done. If it seems a little al dente and the paella is dry, add a bit more stock.
7. Serve in the pan with some freshly chopped scallions, a few chilies, and a squeeze of lemon.
Total cooking time should be around 40 minutes.
Other Paella Ideas
• Paella del Mar: Add mussels, clams, and small pieces of fish (we like firm, white flesh).
• Paella de la Tierra: In addition to the chicken and chorizo, add steak, lamb, and roasted pork.
• Vegetariano: Local veggies are the best, like squash, eggplant, fresh peppers, and peas!
Moroccan Carrot Salad
North African flavors work so well with sweet root vegetables. This salad really shines the longer you let the carrots rest in the marinade. You can use this recipe with the beets in this week’s bag, too, for a carrot-beet salad; just roast beets as normal and double the marinade recipe. If you love olives (like me), adding some chopped olives on top is a lovely touch. SIDE NOTE: I actually never peel carrots. I love their flavor and find it superfluous to do so.
4 large carrots, cut in quarters, vertically
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1-inch fresh ginger, grated
A pinch of your favorite chili powder
Juice of ½ lime
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, cilantro, mint, or any combination of 2 or 3
1. Cook the carrots in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes until slightly soft but still crispy in the center. Drain and season with salt. In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, coriander, ginger, and chili powder. Pour over the still-warm carrots and let marinate a few hours or even overnight. Right before serving, mix the lime, oil and herbs together.
2. Toss the carrots to coat and serve.
Lemon-Summer Squash Bread with Sunflower Seeds
Every summer, we reach a point when summer squash is ubiquitous. It sure grows prolifically in Colorado. Maybe you’ve been saving it in your fridge? If you’re tired of cooking or grilling it, this is a simple quick bread that actually uses quite a bit of it. It’s based on a carrot cake recipe but now in bread form for simple morning snacking.
2 cups AP flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Grated peel of 1 lemon
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup golden raisins
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup milk
½ cup neutral oil, such as sunflower
1 1/3 cup packed, shredded, unpeeled summer squash
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon peel in a large bowl. Stir in seeds and raisins. In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, milk, and oil. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until combined and fold in the squash.
3. Spoon the batter into a greased and floured 13×8 loaf pan. Bake 55-60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes on a rack. Remove from pan and let cool to room temperature.
Lentil Soup with Rutabaga and Collards
This is super simple to make and it makes a lot, so you will have leftovers and the leftovers are great. You can throw in any extra grains or vegetables you have to freshen up the leftovers and eat this all week. Oh, and this just happens to be vegan.
I love adding a little bit of vinegar to lentil dishes, I add a splash about 1/2 way through cooking when I add the greens, if I am using greens and usually a little more right before eating it. If you don’t think you’ll like the vinegar just start with just a little and add more to taste or leave it out. It will be delicious either way.
To make this you’ll need:
1 ¼ cups green lentils
12 ounces canned (or cartoned?) fresh tomatoes (1 ½ cups)
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons to a ¼ cup vinegar to taste (I used white balsamic, I like the slight sweetness but any vinegar is good – red wine vinegar is good)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves
2 cups peeled and diced rutabagas
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups chopped greens – collards, spinach, chard (greens are totally optional)
6 cups water
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1. Peel and dice the rutabagas and dice the rest of the vegetables you are using. I don’t peel carrots. Put everything in the amounts above in a pan except the vinegar and greens.
2. Simmer that for a total of about an hour. About 1/2 way through cooking add about 2 tablespoons of vinegar and your greens and finish cooking until all the vegetables are cooked through. It’s fine to cook it longer. This photo (above) is when I added the greens. It needs to cook at least 1/2 hour longer.
3. I like eating this with an added splash of vinegar and olive oil and bread or croutons.
Bourbon Brined Buckner Family Farms Pork Chop
Yield: 4 plates
4 bone-in tomahawk pork chops
1 quart brine
¼ cup Kosher salt
¼ cup maple syrup
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
1 cup water
2 ½ cup cold water
½ cup bourbon
1. Place all ingredients except cold water and bourbon in a small sauce pan, heat until everything is dissolved.
2. Remove from heat, add remaining liquid and cool completely (below 41?F).
3. Place pork chops in brine for 6 hours, keeping them fully submerged.
4. Remove and place on a sheet tray with a roasting rack
1. Dry chops thoroughly.
2. Grill to desired temperature (For a perfect medium, remove the pork chop when internal temperature reaches 130? (use a probe thermometer, and always check close to the bone, as that will be the last part of the cut to cook) and allow to rest for a few minutes. Lower temperature cooking with pork is now considered safe to eat, especially when the pigs are treated so well!
3. Plate pork, kept whole, on the polenta, leaning the bone against the vegetables, serving the bone away from the guest.
Asparagus and Mushrooms
6 ounces asparagus
6 ounces black oyster mushrooms
¼ cup white wine
4 ounces butter, divided
Salt and white pepper to taste
1. Bring a pot of water to boil, and prepare an ice bath.
2. Snap bottom ends of asparagus and rinse.
3. Blanch asparagus for 1-5 minutes depending on thickness.
4. Shock in the ice water until completely cold, then remove from the water and set aside.
5. Gently rub mushrooms with a cold, wet towel/paper towel, separate by the stem and trim off bottoms of large clusters.
1. Sauté the veggies together in 1 ounce of the butter, and season with salt and white pepper. Allow to cook a couple minutes.
2.Deglaze with the wine, and reduce by 50%. Add the remaining butter in chunks and swirl into the liquid to form a sauce. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
3. Plate with a spoon on top of the polenta, making sure the sauce is nicely coating the vegetables.
Creamy Soft Polenta
2 cups chicken stock
2 cup whole milk
1 cup polenta
4 ounces butter
4 ounces parmesan/pecorino
Salt, white pepper, parsley to taste
1. Bring stock and milk together in a saucepan, and heat on medium. Just when the liquid comes to a boil, begin slowly adding polenta in. While whisking vigorously, add all the polenta in this way.
2. Continue whisking frequently and allow polenta to cook for 5-10 minutes, making sure the bottom doesn’t scorch.
3. Melt in butter and cheese, and add seasonings and herbs.
4. Hold on very low heat or in a double boiler until service, adding milk or stock and whisking occasionally to keep nice and creamy
1. Check consistency and seasoning before plating and adjust as necessary.
2. Plate on warmed pasta bowls when pork is resting.