Le Chateau Fondue Restaurant

18 Nov

I need to get real serious with you all for a second here.

If you haven’t been to this place yet, your life is incomplete. This fancy find is located at 1040 15th St in the downtown area, and it’s every cheese-and-chocolate lover’s paradise.I had to roll myself down the street like the fat kid in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I guess I did that to myself since we ordered the four-course meal for two that is only meant for people with an extra cow stomach. We dined on salads; a fondue cheese course served with apples, breads, carrots and celery; a main course of shrimp, chicken, two types of steak and salmon; and just when we had enough the chocolate/marshmallow dip. While it was all amazing, I would have been happy with just the cheese and chocolate. What else could a girl need?

Le Chateau has a solid French menu as well, but I honestly didn’t even look at it. What can I say, I’m in it for the cheese. You can check them out at Le Chateau.

I told you this was serious.

BBQ Chicken Mac-n-Cheese

17 Nov

OK, so I totally stole this from Picky Palate, and it’s amazing. If you feel good about and consistently have cravings for down-home BBQ such as shredded chicken in sweet bbq sauce and cheesy, gooey macaroni and cheese, then jump right into this one.

 

Sliver of butter or dash of EVOO

3 large chicken breasts

Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce

Squirts of Honey (look for the bear jar)

Paprika

Gator Sprinkle

1 box of mini farfalle

5 Tablespoons butter
5 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
4 Cups milk
5 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

 

Season the breasts with S&P, Sprinkle and a little bit of paprika, and then put them in a greased skillet with the BBQ sauce ad honey. Cover and let cook on medium-low for about 15 minutes. Flip them once, and be sure there is no pink on the inside, but don’t over-cook them either. Once they are done, use two forks to shred the chicken apart.

While you are shredding the chicken, pre-heat the oven to 350F and cook the farfalle.

Melt the butter in a large pot on medium heat. Slowly stir in the flour, one table spoon at a time, and then add all the seasonings. Stir in one cup of milk at a time, and then do the same with the cheese. Once the pasta is done, stir it into the cheesiness.

Grease the bottom of a large baking dish, and then spread on the macaroni evenly up to the sides. Sprinkle the shredded chicken all around, and then add on some more cheese and bread crumbs for good measure.

 

Let it bake until the top crust is golden

The New Colorado Classic: Bison and Veggie a la poof

11 Nov

When an opportunity comes along, you better recognize it and run like hell with it. Culinary opportunities for exploration and experimentation are everywhere, and all you have to do is reach out to munch them up. Don’t be afraid to try something different just because you’ve never done it before…some thing that is initially uncomfortable to you will have a lot more value than that same old chicken dish you’ve made a thousand times.

That being said, let’s get into some grub, shall we? This recipe was inspired by a Picky Palette chicken dish, but luck so had it that there was bison meat at the store and plans changed real fast. I love a state that can offer me a meat like bison and wines of all kinds, and the great State of Colorado has both. The Verso CabSab I splashed in at the end comes from Palisade, Colo., but if you want some off the wall vino check out Vino Salida, where they still foot-smash their grapes.

1 lb ground bison

¼ chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic

Shliver of butter

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Rosemary

Marjoram

Thyme

Drained can of carrots

Drained can of peas

Drained can of corn

Flour

1 Bay leaf

Splash of Cabernet Savagion

 

Additional item:

Frozen puff pastries brushed with egg wash (egg and water)

In a large pot, heat oil to medium and sauté the garlic and onion for about five minutes.  Turn up the heat and brown all the meat, don’t forget to season it with the herbs. Once all of the bison is cooked, drain out the excess oil, and mix it with the veggies, butter and the cab. Season again. After about 15 minutes, slowly stir in a few scoops of flour to thicken the mixture. Emphasis on slowly, people. You may want to throw in some more cab for good measure.

Once your pastry puffs are out of the oven, gently cut off the top hole, and then scoop the bison mix inside the puff cavity. Put the top back on, and then you inhale it. Enjoy kiddies!

Some Kind of Concoction

31 Oct

Sometimes the best things to come out of your kitchen had nothing to do with a recipe book, but rather come from the random mix of things you had in your pantry. On this particular evening, we had no idea what we were about to throw together, and frankly didn’t even know if it was going to be any good. Thank goodness this one didn’t suck.

Thrown into the mix:

4 pork chops (bone in or out)

Soy sauce

Honey

Cabernet sauvignon

Quarter of a medium-sized onion (chopped)

One green pepper (chopped)

One stalk of green onion/scallions (thin slices)

Two fat cloves of garlic (smash-chopped)

Salt and pepper

One orange (half juiced, half sliced)

One lime (half juiced, half sliced)

Sesame oil

Mix it all up:

Season the chops with salt and pepper, and then marinate the chops in a combination of all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the oil). You need enough of all the liquid ingredients to cover the chops in the pan…I didn’t measure, but I have faith that you can feel it out.

In a large pan, heat the sesame oil on medium, and then dump the marinating chops with all the contents into the pan. Season the mixture with salt and pepper as needed and cover with a lid.

Flip ‘em once and then munch munch munch.

 

Served with Fried rice

Huevos Rancheros…Dos Tiempos!

19 Oct

OLE! Another way to make eggs! I’m always searching for new ways to get my fill of chicken fetus in the morning. According to my long-time friend Wikipedia, huevos rancheros is a traditional Mexican breakfast dish. It’s usually made with a chili sauce, but I’m not really into rules in the kitchen (except when baking). Here’s two spins on the recipe.

The Smitten Kitchen version gives a freshhhhy touch to this dish with salsa fresca. Go nuts children.

Numero Uno

Tortilla

Shredded Chedder

2 eggs, scrambled with milk

Cap (not cup)of milk for scrambled eggs

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Butter

Salsa verde (As much as you want!) 

  1. Slightly brown tortilla on one side in butter
  2. Sprinkle cheese
  3. Drop the egg on top and wait for the edges to thicken up
  4. FLIP! Good luck, mine was a wee bit of a mess. Leave it for another minute.
  5. Flip on to your plate, sprinkle with a bit more cheese, and slap on the salsa

Numero Dos

Tortilla

Shredded Chedder

2 eggs

Spinach leafs

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Butter

Salsa verde (As much as you want!)

Numero Dos is the same idea as Numero Uno, but lay the spinach down with the cheese, and then crack the eggs right on top of the toasting tortilla. Cook it as you would a fried egg…but attached to a tortilla.OLE!

Rose’s Mexican Chili

17 Oct

 

 

You know you want it

 

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” Well my Aunt Rose has left many footprints on my heart and my stomach! Ask anyone who has had the privilege of sitting at her dinner table, and they will tell you she’s the best around. For Christmas last year, she gave me a killer recipe book with some of her favorites, and I’ve been slowly working my way through it. In honor of her birthday this week I thought I would share her Mexican chili recipe with you all. Happy Birthday to my fave Aunt!

Make this chili with corn bread or eat it up with tortilla chips.

Olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 chopped sweet pepper (any color)

1 clove of crushed garlic

2 lbs of ground beef

2 cups tomatoes (undrained)

1 cup tomato paste

2 tbsp sugar

3 tsp salt

Black pepper

¼ tsp paprika

2 Bay leaves

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp basil

Dash of Cayenne

2 cans of kidney beans (undrained)

1. Heat oil in a large pot, sauté onion, pepper and garlic, stirring until tender. Season with s&p.

 

Shhhaute

 

2. In a separate pan, brown the beef, drain and add to onion mixture. Season with s&p.

 

Brown it up

 

3. Add all remaining ingredients except beans. Let simmer for at least ½ hour until it’s very thick.

 

Just stick your face in it. Go ahead

 

4. Add beans and cook through.

Local Lunch: Organixx

16 Oct

Under normal circumstances, I throw away any and all junk mail that comes into my mailbox including pages of coupons. But in this time of recession and the lacking of personal funding that has resulted from it, I have taken a liking to checking out these money savers and using them A LOT. Yes, I have turned into a coupon clipper, but hell if that means I get to eat out every once in a while I will take it. A 50-percent-off coupon led me to Organixx, located at 1520 Blake St., just around the corner from the 16th Street Mall.

Organixx features “organic, natural, local, wild caught and traditional products” and a decent price, with sandwiches and salads running you around $8-9. We went for dinner, which is apparently not Organixx busiest time of day, given that we were the only people in the restaurant, but it was pretty good. While the food was fresh and “microwave-free,” there seemed to be something lacking in both of the meals we ordered. The steak dinner with a thick Asian-inspired ginger and wine sauce was savory, but the portion was teeny tiny, and the jerk chicken sandwich was lacking in any real “jerk” as far as I could tell.

Overall, if you are looking for a fresh alternative to McDonald’s and you’ve grown sick of Chipotle burritos then Organixx is definitely worth checking out. The restaurant also has a free-wine special during happy hour, and that my friends is worth looking into.