Tomatillo Salsa Verde
1 lb. husked tomatillos
1 sweet onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Serrano chile pepper, minced
¼ c. rough-chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
sea salt to taste
2 c. water
Place tomatillos and two onion halves on a char grill, and grill one side until blackened, about 5 minutes. (Use a shallow pan approximately 4 inches below an oven broiler if you do not have access to a char grill.) Once tomatillos become blackened, blistered and softened, flip them and char the other side.
Transfer tomatillos and onion, garlic and chile pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin and salt, and add water. Simmer over high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until ingredients are soft. Using a blender, carefully purée the mixture until smooth.• • • • •
This is a great salsa to serve with slow-roasted pork carnitas, grilled skirt-steak tacos, scrambled eggs or tortilla chips. For a different style of guacamole, stir a spoonful or two of this salsa verde into smashed avocados. You can also turn this salsa into a delicious sauce for white fish or chicken enchiladas by substituting chicken stock for the water and allowing the sauce to thicken slightly by simmering on the stove over a low heat for 10 to 15 additional minutes.
— Submitted by kitchen managing partner Jonathon Rentschler
Family-style, farm-to-table dinners at Ranch Foods Direct's 2901 N. El Paso St. market, 482-8082, fullcirclecuisine.com
Risotto & Bones
For the bones:
8 beef marrow bones, split in half
salt and pepper
For the gremolata:
zest from one lemon
1 celery stalk
3 tbsp. capers with a little juice
few sprigs fresh rosemary
little fresh Italian parsley
2-3 cloves fresh garlic (or as much as you like)
For the risotto:
3 c. hot beef stock
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. sliced onion
1 c. Arborio rice
1 c. dry white wine
1 tsp. saffron
½ c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 c. heavy cream, beaten stiff (aka whipped cream)
salt and pepper to taste
For the bones:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, brush bones with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Put bones, cut-side up, on baking sheet or in roasting pan. Cook until marrow is soft and has begun to separate from the bone, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven before marrow begins to drizzle out.
For the gremolata:
Combine all ingredients and chop fine. Set aside to generously sprinkle over risotto and bones.
For the risotto:
Bring stock to a low boil. Heat oil in a large pan, add onion and sauté until almost starting to brown. Add rice and stir to coat with oil; add more oil if needed. Toast rice for a minute or two. Add wine and stir, then add hot stock and bring back to a low boil, stirring as frequently as possible. Add saffron and cook until just al dente, maybe 12 minutes. Remove from heat, beat in cheese, and then gently fold in whipped cream. Spoon over roasted bones, sprinkle with gremolata, and serve with good, crusty bread.• • • • •
This is a rustic version of a nearly forgotten Italian classic, risotto à la Milanese. The quality and simplicity of the ingredients make the dish, not fussy techniques. That means you'll need to develop an intimate relationship with a butcher; thankfully, this can easily be accomplished at Ranch Foods Direct. You will want to prepare this for close friends and family who will not mind drinking too much and eating with their hands. Enjoy.
— Submitted by chef/owner Kevin Campbell
75 S. Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, 481-2222, thevillapalmerlake.com
Fresh Steamed Manila Clams
25 fresh Manila clams (soaked in cold water for 1 hour, then rinsed)
1 lemon, cut into sixths
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. white wine
Place clams in a medium-large sauté pan with 3 lemon wedges, garlic, cream and white wine. Cover and turn heat to high. Cook until all clams have opened and sauce is reduced by half. Use remaining 3 lemon wedges for garnish. Serves 2.• • • • •
My grandma used to make these for me, and all of our customers here at the Villa Restaurant really enjoy them!
— Submitted by chef/owner Chris Bohler
2528 W. Cucharras St., 471-2799, godsgourmet.com
Misoyaki Salmon Skewers (Salmon in Miso Sauce)
1 lb. salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces good for skewering
8-inch bamboo skewers soaked in hot water for 30 min.
oil for frying
¼ c. white miso paste
½ c. sake
¼ c. sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger, minced
green onions sliced for garnish
In a medium bowl or Tupperware with a lid, mix the miso paste, sake, sugar, soy and ginger until smooth and well-combined, then sprinkle fish lightly with salt and a little extra sake. Add fish to sauce and let set for at least 30 minutes, and soak your skewers.
Heat your gas grill to medium and lightly oil the grates, to help prevent sticking. Remove fish from the marinade, skewer about 4 to 5 pieces onto each skewer, and set on a plate, letting the excess marinade drain off. (Take all your excess marinade and bring it to a boil in a small pot, add a bit of water to thin it out, let boil for 2 to 3 minutes, and then set aside for extra saucing later.)
Once the grill is hot, add your skewers; be sure to use a medium heat so that you do not burn the sauce on the fish. The high sugar content of this sauce makes this a little tricky, so be careful. The fish will cook in about 5 minutes; be sure to turn the skewers a few times for even color and flame-seared tastiness.
Remove from the grill, let cool for a few minutes (since they are tender at this point), then serve with freshly chopped green onions and a good drizzle of the marinade sauce. Or take it off the skewer and make Misoyaki lettuce wraps.• • • • •
Miso was very common flavor for me, growing up in Hawaii, so this salmon preparation just kinda feels like home. This same marinade is great on other fish and chicken. Here it's prepared as an appetizer, but it makes a great quick entrée for something different in the week — just be sure you don't forget the white sticky rice.
— Submitted by chef Amy Pontius
727 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-5284, manitouspiceoflife.com
Thai Chicken Salad (not your usual chicken salad)
1 large can of white-meat chicken
1 c. sun-dried tomatoes
4 tbsp. black sesame seeds
2 tbsp. Thai seasoning
2 c. mayonnaise
1 c. The Ginger People ginger-sesame dressing
1 loaf Rustique bread
1 head Romaine lettuce
Desired portions of: diced Italian roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Place entire can of white-meat chicken in a mixing bowl. Chop sun-dried tomatoes into julienne-style cuts, then stir them into the chicken along with the black sesame seeds and Thai seasoning. Mix the ginger-sesame dressing with mayonnaise, then pour the dressing over the above mixture thoroughly and let stand for an hour.
Chop a bed of Romaine lettuce, place on a salad plate, and layer with diced Italian roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and julienne-style carrots. Place a scoop of Thai chicken salad in the middle of the salad mixture and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Serve with toasted Rustique bread slices. Thai chicken salad can also be made for sandwiches.• • • • •
We created this recipe to give our customers a different type of chicken salad, not your average one with grapes and celery. We wanted to add some spice to your life by giving it a succulent Thai flavor. We have been serving this signature salad at our café for 10 years, and all of our customers just love it. But in our market, we also carry all the ingredients to make Thai chicken salad at home. Enjoy!
— Submitted by owners Michael Cornejo and Douglas Lewis
4737 N. Academy Blvd., 228-6006, laperlatapatiacs.com
1 lb. shrimp, peeled, de-veined and cut in half, length-wise
1 bunch cilantro
6 large limes, juiced
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze 3 limes into a bowl, add the shrimp and let cure, covered in the refrigerator, in lime acid for 30 minutes. In a blender, combine the juice of 3 limes and the rest of the ingredients. Mix until smooth, creating the cilantro-lime sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Meanwhile, cut up the avocado, onion, tomato and cucumber. After the shrimp is cooked, drain the lime juice and put on a serving plate. Cover the shrimp with the cilantro-lime sauce. Garnish with the avocado, onion, tomato and cucumber, and serve with tostadas.• • • • •
This recipe comes from the city of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. It is great served all year-round, but I prefer to have it on a hot summer day. When you bite into this dish, all you are thinking about is where to get more! It is an all-time favorite at my restaurant. Enjoy!
— Submitted by chef/owner Sergio Laureano