Food. Everyone needs it. But Good Food - now that has power. Power to bring friends and family together, power to spur conversation, power to bring joy, power to even produce the fondest memories.
So it’s no surprise that on many occasions, holiday or not, food is the center of gatherings across the world. It’s certainly so in Steamboat Springs and, as spring arrives in the Rockies, we’ve found a delightful menu that is perfect for a late brunch or mid-afternoon meal. Serve it for your next family gathering or simply as a celebration of the coming of warmer months.
Set an outdoor table, purchase some good wine (Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice for the season), and enjoy!
Truffled Asparagus Crostini
- 24 (1-inch) slices French bread baguette
- 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
- 2 1/2 teaspoons truffle oil or extravirgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Manchego cheese
- Preheat broiler.
- Arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet; broil 1 minute or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; turn over and broil 1 minute or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; cool on pan.
- Fill a large skillet with water to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus; cook 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge asparagus into ice water; drain. Chop asparagus to measure 2 cups. Place chopped asparagus in a bowl. Add oil, salt, and pepper; toss well to coat.
- Top each bread slice with 1 rounded tablespoon asparagus mixture; place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese evenly over crostini. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts and begins to melt. Serve warm.
Basil Lime Fruit Salad
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon grated lime rind
- 4 cups cubed pineapple (about 1 medium)
- 3 cups quartered strawberries (about 1 pound)
- 2 cups cubed peeled mango (about 2 large)
- 4 kiwifruit, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in basil and rind. Cool. Strain sugar mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
- Combine pineapple and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with sugar mixture; toss gently.
Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- 24 (1-ounce) slices pumpernickel bread
- Cooking spray
- 2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided
- 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Trim crusts from bread slices; cut slices into triangles.
- Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Combine sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Add sugar mixture to pan, scraping pan to loosed browned bits. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
- Combine onion mixture, remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, chicken, and remaining ingredients. Place about 2 tablespoons chicken mixture on each of 12 bread slices. Top with remaining bread slices.
Spring Peas with New Potatoes, Herbs, & Watercress
- 1 quart water
- 1/2 pound small new potatoes
- 4 cups shelled early spring peas or two 10-ounce packages frozen baby peas
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium bunches of watercress, large stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (2 cups
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook over moderately high heat until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a plate and let cool, then halve or quarter any large potatoes.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the potato water and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the leek and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the potato cooking water, then drain the peas and add them to the skillet.
- Add the potatoes and the reserved cooking water to the skillet and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring. Add the mint, chives and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the watercress. Transfer the vegetables to a warmed bowl and serve.
Smoked Salmon Frittata
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Saute the onion and butter in a 10-inch oven-proof omelet pan over medium-low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the heavy cream, goat cheese, smoked salmon, scallions, dill, salt, and pepper and combine. Pour the mixture over the onions and place the omelet pan in the center of the oven. Bake the frittata for about 50 minutes, until it puffs and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve hot directly from the pan.
Orange-Almond Shortbread with Strawberry Compote
- 1 cup sliced blanched almonds
- 1 orange
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 1/4 teaspoons orange-flower water or pure vanilla extract
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup chilled crème fraîche, lightly whipped
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Spread the blanched almonds in a pie plate or on a small baking sheet. Bake the almonds for 8 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer the toasted almonds to a plate and let them cool completely. Lightly oil a 9-inch round springform pan.
- Finely grate 1 1/4 teaspoons of the zest from the orange. In a food processor, pulse the toasted almonds with the confectioners’ sugar until the nuts are finely ground. Add the flour, 3/4 teaspoon of the orange zest and the salt, then pulse the mixture until combined. Add the cold butter and pulse just until the mixture resembles large crumbs; stop pulsing before the dough begins to clump together. Add the orange-flower water or vanilla extract and pulse just until the dough forms large clumps.
- Scrape the shortbread dough into the prepared springform pan. Using floured hands, press the dough into an even layer and prick it all over the top with a fork. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden brown around the edges; rotate the pan halfway through baking for even browning.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and immediately cut the shortbread into 12 wedges. Let the shortbread wedges cool in the pan.
- Meanwhile, with a sharp knife, peel the orange, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a medium sauce-pan, cut in between the membranes to release the orange sections into the saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the orange membranes into the pan. Add the sliced strawberries, granulated sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest and bring to a simmer.
- Cook the fruit over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries and oranges are softened and syrupy, about 8 minutes. The fruit compote should be slightly thinner than jam. Transfer the compote to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- Remove the springform ring and arrange the shortbread wedges on plates. Serve with the strawberry compote and the crème fraîche.