Recipe from the Resort: Konditorei Key Lime Pie

Chef McCarthy's Key Lime Pie is the perfect summer dessert

Chef McCarthy's Key Lime Pie is the perfect summer dessert

Sun Valley’s long established Austrian heritage is nowhere more apparent than the newly reinvented Konditorei Café in the Sun Valley Village. Step inside, take in the endless expanse of the pastry case and step across the Atlantic to a culture where afternoon tea and cake are a daily ritual. As someone whose early childhood was spent in Germany and who delighted in sidewalk cafes filled with handmade delicious treats, the sight of Black Forest Cake, Linzer Cookies and all the new confections imagined by the Konditorei’s Head Pasty Chef Chris McCarthy, bring back a flood of fond memories.

Chef McCarthy understands the appeal of what he does, not only on a gastronomic level, but on a visual and emotional one as well. This Wood River Valley native attended culinary school in Arizona where he learned both to cook and bake. There, he found his true calling was in flour and sugar, pastry cream and buttercream. Before making his circuitous route back to his hometown and to the Konditorei upon its grand reopening last December, Chef McCarthy prepared pastries in prestigious kitchens from Sea Island, Georgia, to a Ritz Carlton in Florida.

Pastry Chef Chris McCarthy shows off one of his daily creations

Pastry Chef Chris McCarthy shows off one of his daily creations

As part of the Valley Sun Recipe from the Resort series, the chef shares with our readers the steps to create his fresh, flavorful Key Lime Pie with Creme Anglaise. Now, if you’re like me and intimidated by pastry prep, don’t worry.  Chef McCarthy promises this recipe is easily replicable at home.

Konditorei Key Lime Pie

Ingredients for the crust:

#2 graham crackers – buy crumbs in a bag or crush in a food processor until they are the consistency of granulated sugar

19.2 ounces melted butter

9.6 ounces sugar

3.2 ounce all purpose flour

Method

Combine until uniform in texture and form crust in small pie tins

Ingredients for the Crème Anglaise

2 quarts cream

1 pound sugar divided into two half pounds

1 vanilla bean — cut in half and scrape out the beans (this gives it the little dots in the sauce)

1 egg yolk

Method for the Crème Anglaise

Combine cream, half the sugar and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to a boil

Whisk together yolk and second half of the sugar

Temper in yolks with sugar (translation for people like me who don’t know how to do this: pour a ladle of hot cream into the yolk sugar mixture. This tempers the yolks so when you add them to the cream they don’t instantly curdle)

Combine all ingredients in cream pot and cook until the mixture coats the back of a spoon in a thin, even layer

Strain over an ice bath through a fine mesh china cap to remove any lumps that my have occurred during the cooking process and to prevent the egg from scrambling

Ingredients for Key Lime Pie Filling:

2 lb. 3 ounces sweetened condensed milk

8 ounces key lime juice

8 ounces egg yolks

Zest from 2 limes

Method:

Combine all ingredients together and mix until homogenous

Spoon key lime filling into graham cracker crust

Bake for about five minuites until outside is set then chill until ready to serve

Top with a dollop of Crème Anglaise

This makes about 12 – 15 small tarts

This dessert will certainly be met with a lot of ooh’s and ah’s at your next dinner party, but if you prefer to simply relax on the Konditorei patio and sip a cappuccino, Chef McCarthy and his six pastry wizards will present you with Key Lime Pie or any of the other daily offerings without all that clean up. My family’s favorite? The cream puff swans. Not only are they delectable, they represent the signature Sun Valley swans that glide gracefully around the picturesque Lodge pond.

The pastry case at the Konditorei changes every day

The pastry case at the Konditorei changes every day

The team in the Konditorei pastry kitchen also create hundreds of custom cakes (call ahead to order) and even spectacular wedding cakes. Chef McCarthy said he truly enjoys making one-of-a-kind cakes for one-of-a-kind occasions.

Be sure to visit the Konditorei for a taste of the old country (they serve breakfast and lunch, as well) with a modern, healthy, farm fresh twist. Maybe cake and coffee will become an afternoon tradition in Idaho, too.  One can always hope!

Enjoy!

–RES

One of the custom cakes created by the Konditorei team

One of the custom cakes created by the Konditorei team

Recipe from the Resort: The Ram’s Salmon Rillettes

The perfect start to dinner at the Ram Restaurant: Salmon Rillettes and a cocktail

The perfect start to dinner at the Ram Restaurant: Salmon Rillettes and a cocktail

On a warm summer evening earlier this week, I found myself seated on the Ram Restaurant patio perusing the new modern steakhouse menu, sipping a glass of champagne, and once, again, pinching myself that I get to live here.

Selecting from the Ram’s new seasonal menu that was instituted in June proved difficult. Serving only the finest cuts, the Ram’s reinvention as a modern steakhouse with a new twist (five of eight Entrees are meat), choosing among the beef, lamb, short ribs, chicken and fish proved an omnivore’s dilemma.

Relaxing to the music of an acoustic guitar, my friend and I finally decided on dinner. I ordered Salmon Rillettes and the Snake River Chicken; he went the more traditional route with the Summer Beet Salad and Meyer Natural Angus 8-ounce Tenderloin with heirloom tomatoes (at the peak of freshness), creamed spinach and Bernaise sauce. Who doesn’t love Bernaise sauce?

Chef Brian Janego promises that his recipe is easily accomplished at home

Chef Brian Janego promises that his recipe is easily accomplished at home

Chef Brian Janego who has been with the Ram for three years, is thrilled to offer his new menu, certain it will appeal to many palates. “All of the meats, including the lamb, are USDA Prime,” Brian explained. “It doesn’t get any better than that. And most of our meats are sourced in the Northwest: Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Washington and Montana. Here, we give a nod to the traditional steakhouse, but our dinners are all conceived to work as a whole. You won’t get a slab of beef cooked in butter with a choice of sides.”

Despite the meat-centric menu, Chef Janego is really excited about the Salmon Rillettes I ordered and when the dish was served, I understood why. Presented beautifully in a sealed canning jar and accompanied with watercress salad, rye toast and fennel-dipped apple balls, this starter was a feast for the senses.

The key flavorful ingredient in this dish is salmon and Chef Janego lets the flavor shine through

The bountiful key ingredient in this dish is salmon and Chef Janego lets the flavor shine through

Chef Janego agreed to share this recipe with readers of the Valley Sun and while I would certainly recommend enjoying this company-pleasing dish at home, be sure to come to the Sun Valley Village to get the full experience of dinner on the Ram Patio or in the historic dining room. In fact, the Ram is the longest continually operating restaurant in the valley, having opened in 1937. Much in the dining room is original including the wide plank floors. The hideaway booths are from the 1940s and the carvings beneath the white linens go back decades. Go ahead and take a peek. There is live music at the Ram every night and dinner is served from 6 – 9 p.m. seven nights a week through September 2.

Cozy and romantic; rustic yet sophisticated, nowhere else personifies Sun Valley quite like the Ram.

Salmon Rillettes

Ingredients

For the salmon:

¾ cup salmon poached in white wine

¼ cup hot smoked salmon (available at local grocery stores)

Fresh chives

Lemon Zest

Smoked Paprika

For the Lemon Aioli:

4 cups extra virgin olive oil

4 lemons juiced and seeded

4 egg yolks

Combine in a food processor or whisk together

Method:

Gently fold aioli into the salmon and seasonings, leaving the meat chunky. Use about 3/4 cup of the aioli per portion to moisten and bind the salmon.

Service:

Using a small ring mold, cut four small circles of thin caraway bread. Quickly drop the rings in butter in a sauté pan until toasted.

Prepare a salad of fresh watercress and shaved fennel.

Using a melon baller, place three balls of apple, dredged in fennel on the plate next to the salad, toast rounds and sealed jar of salmon.

Serve and savor!

–RES

Be sure to save room for some of the Ram's handmade desserts

Be sure to save room for some of the Ram's handmade desserts

Recipe from the Resort: Chef Chad’s Crab Cakes

The restaurant at the Elkhorn Golf Clubhouse is nearby yet away from it all

The restaurant at the Elkhorn Golf Clubhouse is nearby yet away from it all

It is the height of the season. Ketchum and Sun Valley are overflowing with people and you are hungry for a full-of-flavor, satisfying lunch. But you want something different, something new. A trip out to the Elkhorn Clubhouse, located just minutes south of the Sun Valley Resort (right on the back side of Dollar Mountain) is exactly what you’re looking for. There, Chef Chad K. Woodland offers a menu that will appeal to everyone in your party in an atmosphere that feels like you have gotten away from it all.

The chef believes that the ingredients in a dish should speak for themselves; that if you’re camouflaging flavors, you might want to rethink what you are serving. From a long list of hearty appetizers including lamb sliders, garlic and ginger chicken wings and sweet chili shrimp; salads like the popular and hearty taco salad and a salmon Caesar; and lots of inventive sandwiches, it is hard to decide what to order. Signature cocktails run to the classics like a Singapore Sling or Manhattan, with a large selection of wines by the glass rounding out the recipe for a relaxing afternoon.

Once you have chosen what you would like to eat for lunch or an early dinner, all you need to do is decide where to sit. The large patio is probably the most popular choice on a summer’s day. Offering expansive views of the pristine Elkhorn Golf Course, the patio is a peaceful oasis far from the madding downtown summer crowd. Indoors is lovely, too, with a spacious bar, cozy banquettes, and an almost Arts-and-Crafts, northwestern feel – different than anything else in Sun Valley.  The restaurant is open to the public, seven days a week, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The patio is the perfect place for an appetizer and cocktail or a leisurely lunch

The patio is the perfect place for an appetizer and cocktail or a leisurely lunch

One of the favorite items Chef Woodland serves is his special crab cakes. Now, preparing crab cakes can be a little tricky. Those that are run-of-the-mill are dense and soggy with fillers, over-fried and short on that key ingredient: fresh crab. But when crab cakes are good, they are really good, and the crab cake appetizer Chef Woodland serves daily is really, really good. Loaded with fresh Dungeness crab and herbs, the chef lets the flavorful shellfish shine. A transplant to Sun Valley from the Seattle area, Chad has a soft spot for fresh seafood and knows how to honor its intrinsic goodness.

If the lure of your own patio or kitchen proves overwhelming, though, as part of our Recipes from the Resort series, Chef Woodland shares his recipe for these crab cakes with readers of the Valley Sun.

The crab cakes at the Elkhorn Golf Clubhouse are chock-a-block of that key ingredient: crab meat

The crab cakes at the Elkhorn Clubhouse are chock-a-block of that key ingredient: crab meat

Chef Chad K. Woodland’s Crab Cakes

Ingredients:

For the crab cake:

1 lb. Dungeness crab meat

Panko breadcrumbs

Enough mayonnaise to bind the meat

Sea salt

Egg yolks

Clarified butter or extra virgin olive oil

For the red pepper coulis and chive oil: 

1 tsp. fresh chives

1 tbsp. fresh basil

Roasted red peppers from a jar or can

For the basil aioli:

4 egg yolks

6 large basil leaves

1 tsp. of tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar

A pinch of salt and pepper

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Blend roasted red peppers with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, creating a coulis that is poured carefully into the center of a shallow plate.

Blend extra virgin olive oil with finely chopped fresh chives.

Strain the fibers.

Pour the chive oil carefully around the red pepper coulis.

For the crab cakes:

Take approximately one pound of Dungeness crab meat and combine it with the chives and a chiffonade  (long thin strips) of basil using your hands.

Form the crab meat into a patty by hand or use a round form if you have one.

Using a brush, coat each side of the crab cake with egg yolk.

Bread each cake lightly with the Panko breadcrumbs.

Heat clarified butter or extra virgin olive oil in a skillet.

Brown both sides of the crab cakes.

Finish the crab cakes in a 350-degree oven for about five minutes.

Place crab cake in the center of the red pepper coulis.

For the basil aioli:

Combine egg yolks, vinegar and basil leaves in a blender.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil.

Dollop the basil aioli onto the crab cake and serve.

Chef Chad K. Woodland invites you to be his guest for lunch or an early dinner, served daily

Chef Chad K. Woodland invites you to be his guest for lunch or an early dinner, served daily

But better yet, let the pros do the cooking! Parking is plentiful, the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming and the food is fantastic at the Elkhorn Clubhouse. Come on by. Chances are you’ll want to stay the whole afternoon, watching the golfers work on their game as the sun begins to slowly set over the hills. 

Be sure to mark your calendar for upcoming special events, too, including a winemakers’ dinner and a beer dinner. The beer dinner is scheduled for August 31 and will feature specialty kegs from Boston’s Samuel Adams Brewery. Chef Woodland will pair the beer with delicious complimentary dishes. The winemakers’ dinner will feature organic Idaho winery Holeinsky and will take place on September 27. This dinner features a five-course gourmet meal paired with wonderful vintages.

Come catch a break from your busy summer and enjoy a flavorful meal with a great view at the Elkhorn Clubhouse. It is worth a trip off the well-trodden path!

–RES

The interior dining room at the Clubhouse is like no other space in Sun Valley

The interior dining room at the Clubhouse is like no other space in Sun Valley

Recipe from the Resort: Crab Gazpacho

Clubhouse Crab Gazpacho -- cool and zesty on a hot summer's day

Clubhouse Crab Gazpacho -- cool and zesty on a hot summer's day

Chef Erik Olson of the Sun Valley Club doesn’t really go in for exact measurements. Rather, his cooking is done to taste and his taste tends toward the flavors of southwestern cuisine. As a child growing up in Arizona, he grew heirloom tomatoes and peppers as a hobby and cilantro is his favorite herb.  He loves to eat light, commenting, “When it was 118 degrees out, we all wanted food that was anything but heavy.”

But his culinary training and experiences broadened his horizons and while he still loves the flavors of his childhood, his palate embraces endless kinds of food. At Sun Valley Resort, he spent one season at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge and one year catering in the Sun Valley Inn kitchen before assuming the mantle at the Sun Valley Club and bringing his point-of-view to the restaurant’s kitchen.

Step one: create a brunoise of fresh, seasonal vegetables

Step one: create a brunoise of fresh, seasonal vegetables

For the summer, Chef Olson created an incredibly fresh, surprisingly hearty and just right spicy crab gazpacho for the menu. The presentation is beautiful, with just picked colorful vegetables and a generous portion of crab meat creating a tower in the middle of a tangy tomato broth. It is just the right combination of cool flavors for a hot summer day.

Chef Olson has shared his recipe with readers of the Valley Sun as part of our Recipe from the Resort series. You will certainly enjoy this dish at home on the deck, accompanied by a nice dry white wine. Or come to the Sun Valley Club and let Chef Olson do the chopping for you, as you luxuriate on the restaurant’s beautiful large patio that overlooks the golf course, Dollar Mountain and Baldy.

Note: Chef Olson is a big fan using the technique called a brunoise — a very fine 1/8” dice. But if your knife skills aren’t up to the task, no worries. Your gazpacho may not look as pretty as his, but it will taste just as good.

Spoon the tomato-y broth around the vegetables taking care not to drown them

Spoon the tomato-y broth around the vegetables taking care not to drown them

Clubhouse Crab Gazpacho

Ingredients

2½ or 3 ounces of shredded King Crab or Dungeness crab (you can take the meat from crab legs or buy it fresh in lump form.  In a pinch even good quality canned crab will do).

Vegetables:

Brunoise dice of fresh:

Cucumber

Yellow squash

Red bell pepper

Zucchini, no seeds, only the skin and flesh

Tomatoes, flesh and skin only, no seeds

Enough of each to fill a small ramekin

For the broth:

About three cups of prepared tomato juice

 ½ cup fresh lime juice

1 to 1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce, depending on how much heat you like

1 to 1½ tsp red wine vinaigrette

1 Tbl. sugar

A few dashes of Tabasco sauce, again, according to taste

½ tsp. fresh chopped jalapeno

Fresh cilantro and basil

Green onions, cut on a bias and placed in ice water to curl

Method

In a bowl, stir the chives and cilantro into the tomato juice.

In a small bowl, pack in diced vegetables until they take the round shape.

Tip the vegetables into the center of a shallow soup bowl.

Carefully pour the broth around the vegetables.

Shape crab meat into a small ball using your hands.

Place the crab ball carefully on top of the vegetables, creating a small ‘tower.’

Sprinkle curled green onion on top of crab meat as a garnish.

Chef Olson shows off his flavorful dish in the Clubhouse dining room

Chef Olson shows off his flavorful dish in the Clubhouse dining room

Be sure to come to the Clubhouse to sample and enjoy the rest of Chef Olson’s summertime creations. These include: a heirloom tomato salad with a white balsamic reduction, fresh burrata and arugula tossed with pesto and pine nuts; grilled sockeye salmon served with haricots verts, yellow and purple wax beans, fennel and red onion, and for dessert, new cookie sundaes and a decadent strawberry amaretto sundae.

The Clubhouse is now also offering duck tacos. These fabulous tacos are available on the patio Mondays and Mondays only from 4 – 7 p.m.  Following a round on the links, a bike ride or whatever your active Sun Valley day offered, enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail from the full bar and dig into as many duck tacos as you like, priced at $5 apiece.

The Sun Valley Club offers one of the most pleasant dining rooms and patios in the Wood River Valley. Be sure next time you are making lunch plans to include this beautiful spot.

–RES

On Monday nights, grab some friends and come for a duck taco and cocktail on Sun Valley Club's stunning patio

On Monday nights, grab some friends and come for a duck taco and cocktail on Sun Valley Club's stunning patio

Recipe from the Resort: Trail Creek Meatloaf with Tomato Onion Relish

The Trail Creek Cabin patio was full on July 4 with people enjoying great food and a great ambiance

The Trail Creek Cabin patio was full on July 4 with people enjoying great food and a great ambiance

Trail Creek Cabin is located merely a mile and a half east of the Sun Valley Lodge, but is a world away. Step inside the rustic cabin, built in 1937, and step back into an era both of simplicity and glamor; one where meals with friends lasted for hours and ended over a fine single malt scotch. Once Averell Harriman’s private hunting lodge, this idyllic location on the banks of Trail Creek hosted gatherings of some highly influential people, including by many reports, Ernest Hemingway. Today, the cabin’s rough-hewn exterior, log furniture and grand fireplace still exude a masculine, woodsy energy, but don’t let that fool you – the food is refined, sophisticated, and offers just the right fresh, healthy, flavorful ingredients that still give a nod to Trail Creek’s hunting lodge heritage.

Make your own history at Trail Creek Cabin, built in 1937

Make your own history at Trail Creek Cabin, built in 1937

For a festive Fourth of July celebration, my family, friends and I ventured to Trail Creek Cabin to enjoy a meal beneath one of the most spectacular Idaho sunsets I can remember. Under Chef Wendy Little’s discerning eye and exacting palate, the menu offered something for everyone in our party of seven that included four children. Wendy, who has been with Sun Valley Company since 2009 and the chef at Trail Creek Cabin since 2010, said the special environment at Trail Creek Cabin informs the menu, with hearty steaks and meatloaf year-round favorites. For summer, Wendy also incorporates a great deal of fish and farm fresh, local, organic greens and vegetables into her seasonal offerings. For children, she insists on the same high quality of product as with adults, simply cutting down portion size and offering sides to appeal to the younger set. “I don’t do chicken nuggets or strips or any of that,” she laughed.

As we were under a bit of a tight deadline to get to Sun Valley On Ice, our server quickly took our order that included wild salmon, Idaho trout, cowboy rib eye steaks with buttermilk onion rings and baked potatoes (a favorite at the table), Kobe beef sliders, organic chicken and a buffalo and lamb meatloaf. All delivered wonderful flavor and excellent sides, but the meatloaf proved the most interesting. Chef Little agreed to share this recipe with the readers of The Valley Sun.

Trail Creek Meatloaf is a year-round favorite

Trail Creek Meatloaf is a year-round favorite

Trail Creek Meatloaf with Tomato Onion Relish

For the relish: (yields approximately 2 cups)
1 small onion minced
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tbl. Olive oil
7 oz. ketchup
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large roasted red bell pepper, peeled and seeded

Method:
Chop tomatoes and pepper into a coarse dice, sauté onions and garlic in the olive oil, then add the chopped peppers and tomatoes.
Add the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and cook 15 minutes.
Cool before stirring into the raw meatloaf mixture. Reserve the extra sauce to spoon on top of the meatloaf as a sauce.

For the meatloaf (yields one four inch deep meatloaf pan)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.5 pounds ground buffalo meat
1.25 pounds ground lamb
3 eggs
4 ounces heavy cream
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1.5 cups tomato relish
½ pound bacon for lining the meatloaf pan
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Method:
Place meat, eggs, cream, tomato relish, salt and pepper in the bowl of a kitchen aide mixer. Using a paddle attachment, slowly blend these ingredients.
After these are mixed, slowly sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and mix for three minutes more. Cook a small piece to check for seasoning.
Line a Teflon pan with strips of bacon and then fill with the meat mixture. Place more strips of bacon over the top of the meatloaf if necessary.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake another 30-45 minutes until an instant read thermometer registers 155 degrees.
Allow the meat loaf to rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing. Spoon reserved tomato onion relish on top of each slice and serve.

Makes ten generous, delicious servings that taste even better the next day!

Chef Wendy Little of Trail Creek Cabin works painstakingly to share Idaho's local flavors and Sun Valley's rich history with diners

Chef Wendy Little of Trail Creek Cabin works painstakingly to share Idaho's local flavors and Sun Valley's rich history with diners

While I would certainly recommend making this meatloaf at home (dinner one night, sliced into picnic sandwiches the following day!), no visit to Sun Valley is complete without going out to Trail Creek Cabin. Rent a bike from Pete Lane’s, hop on the bike path, and pedal out for light fare and a signature huckleberry mojito on the peaceful creek-side deck. Or make a reservation for the whole family or a romantic dinner for two on the lawn and enjoy Chef Little’s carefully crafted fare that incorporates more than just a bit of true Sun Valley flavor!

Happy Fourth of July weekend!

–RES

The deck on the banks of Trail Creek -- there is no nicer spot for a glass of wine and a light bite

The deck on the banks of Trail Creek -- there is no nicer spot for a glass of wine and a light bite

Recipe from the Resort: Yellow Squash & Zucchini ‘Pasta’

Healthy, tasty and light -- try this recipe from Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta at home!

Healthy, tasty and light -- try this recipe from Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta at home!

When I visited Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta in the Sun Valley Village this week, I realized it had been a while since I had enjoyed a meal there. If you, too, haven’t been into the restaurant lately, now is the time to again make Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta a part of your restaurant repertoire.

After spending an afternoon with Chef Dennis Pittsley, getting a taste of the new summer menu, it was clear that this is no run-of-the-mill pizza joint. Chef Pittsley has been at Bald Mountain Pizza for two years, working diligently to incorporate the freshest, most flavorful and creative ingredients into the menu.  Before taking over the stove at Bald Mountain, the Chef was a familiar face at the lavish Lodge Dining Room Sunday Brunch. As a longtime (embarrassingly) regular attendee at brunch, seeing Dennis again was like finding an old friend. It also gave me an indication of the attention to detail and passion he now brings to Bald Mountain Pizza.

Chef Dennis Pittsley gives the tomatoes, garlic and shallots a light saute

Chef Dennis Pittsley gives the tomatoes, garlic and shallots a light saute

As a mother of three, I know how hard it can be to find a restaurant that appeals to the entire family and Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta’s menu, based on Italian favorites but with a healthy, modern flair, will keep everyone happy. Particular eaters can build their own pizzas, while others branch out and order those made with chicken pesto, wild mushrooms, even asparagus and Gruyere. A wide array of popular starters and pastas will keep those from three to 103 smiling. But the day I visited, Chef Pittsley introduced me to a vegetarian dish –Yellow Squash and Zucchini ‘Pasta’ created from local garden-fresh ingredients. Light, flavorful and healthy, it will be my ‘go to’ order during the warm weather months.

As part of our Recipe from the Resort series, Chef Pittsley shared his recipe with The Valley Sun. A wonderful alternative to traditional pasta, substituting strands of fresh vegetables for spaghetti incorporates local summer flavors at the peak of readiness. This is a recipe you will rely on time and again at home.

Squash and zucchini are a garden fresh alternative to pasta

Squash and zucchini are a garden fresh alternative to pasta

Yellow Squash and Zucchini ‘Pasta’

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large yellow squash
  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • Fresh chopped oregano
  • Fresh minced garlic and shallots
  • California cold pressed unfiltered extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Break off the ends of the asparagus and add stalks to a little olive oil in a sauté pan. Don’t overcook, the idea is to let the flavors of the fresh asparagus shine through.
  • Transfer asparagus to another dish.
  • Using a Japanese Mandolin slicer, or a simple vegetable peeler if you do not have a Mandolin, slice the zucchini and squash into long ‘pasta’ strands.
  • Heat some olive oil in a medium size sauté pan.
  • When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add in minced garlic and shallots. Sauté quickly until softened.
  • Add the tomatoes and oregano, stirring for just a few seconds.
  • Add the zucchini and squash along with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper.
  • Add ¼ cup water and cover for one to two minutes, depending on how soft you prefer the zucchini and squash.
  • Give all the vegetables a good toss before plating. Top the dish with fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
In the restaurant, or on the deck, Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta is a great dinner choice for the entire family

In the restaurant, or on the deck, Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta is a great dinner choice for the entire family

As easy as it is to incorporate this recipe into your summertime rotation of dinner choices, it is a wonderful experience to let Chef Pittsley do the cooking for you, too. Pop over to the Village, grab a table on the deck and rest assured the entire gang, from toddlers to grandparents, will enjoy this taste of Sun Valley. Kick back with smoked trout bruschetta and a chilled glass of wine, order some breadsticks for the kiddos (the chef promises they will be to the table in a matter of minutes), and wind down after a busy Sun Valley day. Be sure to also take advantage of the Resort’s special “Dinner and a Movie” offer. With your paid meal at Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta, you will receive movie tickets for that evening’s show at the historic Opera House. Current movie listings can be found here.

Summer should be this simple, shouldn’t it?

–RES

Recipe from the Resort: Sweet Corn & Nectarine Salad

The Konditorei's Sweet Corn & Nectarine Salad is fresh and flavorful

The Konditorei's Sweet Corn & Nectarine Salad is fresh and flavorful

Nothing, but nothing, tastes better on a hot summer day than a salad fresh from the garden. One of the best of the season is a Sweet Corn and Nectarine Salad, the creation of the Konditorei Chef Derek Gallegos. As part of the Recipe from the Resort series, Chef Gallegos, who enjoys a wide local following, shares his recipe with The Valley Sun. You will see how easy it is to enjoy this refreshing salad, packed with flavor, at home.

In mid-June, Chef Gallegos was in the midst of transitioning the Konditeroi’s menu from heavier winter and spring fare to one in step with soaring temperatures. A large part of this process is, wherever possible, incorporating farm-to-table ingredients into each dish. Look for an assortment of constantly changing fresh vegetables, brought to the kitchen at the peak of their readiness, fruit and lighter fare that is true to the Resort’s Austrian heritage, but with a modern, healthy spin.

Though there are four parts to this salad: the salad itself, the preserved lemons for the lemon vinaigrette and the grilled and pickled sweet onions, don’t let the number of ingredients deter you. Make a big batch of preserved lemons and keep them for up to three months in the refrigerator. Similarly, the onions can be made well ahead of time (Chef Gallegos said they taste pretty good on a burger, too!) With the preserving and pickling out of the way, building this salad is a quick and easy process of chopping and whisking.

Chef Derek Gallegos dices the nectarine after cutting fresh corn from the cob

Chef Derek Gallegos dices the nectarine after cutting fresh corn from the cob

Sweet Corn & Nectarine Salad
2 servings
Active prep time: 15 minutes
Additional information: Preserved lemons for the vinaigrette should be made at least two days ahead of time

Ingredients
Salad
1 large ear fresh sweet corn, corn cut off the cob
1 ripe nectarine, pitted and cut into ½ inch cubes
½ cup grilled & pickled sweet yellow onions
¼ lb Wood River Organics local mesclun salad mix
¼ cup preserved lemon vinaigrette
1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
2 oz. Cypress Grove Creamery “Midnight Moon” goats milk Gouda

Toss above ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, divide onto two chilled plates, shave cheese over salads using a Japanese mandolin.

Preserved Lemons (for the vinaigrette)
6 lemons, washed
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 bunch fresh thyme

Mix together salt and sugar. Slice ½” off ends of lemons and discard, slice lemons ¼” thick. Alternate layers of lemon slices, the sugar/salt mixture and fresh thyme in a plastic or stainless steel container. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for a least two days. Lemons will keep in refrigerator for three months.

Once all the ingredients are in the bowl, just toss with the preserved lemon vinaigrette, et voila!

Once all the ingredients are in the bowl, just toss with the preserved lemon vinaigrette, et voila!

Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette
6 slices preserved lemon (rinsed well and seeded)
¼ cup champagne vinegar
½ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. minced shallot
½ tsp. pepper
2 dashes Tabasco
1 tsp. salt

Blend above ingredients together well in a Vitamix or similar blender, then add slowly on medium speed:

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup canola oil

Grilled & Pickled Sweet Onions
2 large sweet yellow onions
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup champagne vinegar
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt

Peel onions and slice ½” thick. Rub with a little olive oil and season with 1 tsp. salt. Grill until lightly charred on both sides and soft, place in a non-reactive container. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil and pour over grilled onions, let sit in fridge overnight. Will keep in the refrigerator for one month.

If you enjoy a salad at the Konditorei, be sure to chose among an endless assortment of pastries for dessert

If you enjoy a salad at the Konditorei, be sure to indulge in a European-style pastry for dessert

If you prefer to spend lunchtime on the beautiful Konditorei patio in the Sun Valley Village, Chef Gallegos would be more than happy to do the pitting, slicing and pickling for you. The Konditorei is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, as well as afternoon coffee accompanied by the most extensive, decadent Old World pastries imaginable. Go ahead and indulge — the Sweet Corn & Nectarine salad is really healthy!

–RES

Romance at the Ram

A cozy banquette for two

Last weekend, I found myself without children – a rare state for me. My daughters were whitewater rafting and my son was at a sleepover. With this sudden profusion of grown-up time, my immediate instinct was to avoid my own kitchen and let a professional do the work. I wanted elegance, charm, great food, a cocktail. So I headed to the Ram Restaurant in Sun Valley Village. From the toile draperies to the hideaway wooden banquettes with their needlepoint backs and leather seats, there is nothing I don’t like about the Ram. On the occasion that I have an evening to spend with an adult I really want to talk to (read: a date), the Ram is my restaurant of choice. On Saturday night, I slipped into a booth by the window, admiring the pressed white linens, sparkling crystal, and spotless silver, and allowed the soothing notes of the piano to adjust my attitude. I went from harried mommy-mode to night-on-the-town-mode in record time.

There is something truly relaxing and romantic about the Ram. From the moment you walk into the room — styled with more than a hint of Sun Valley’s Austrian roots in mind – the pressure is off. Unlike some other area restaurants fueled by the see-and-be-seen scene, at the Ram, you can bring a big group and make a scene or simply nod and smile at your fellow diners as you enter (because you will inevitably know someone there), but take comfort in the fact that your privacy will be respected. Many of us locals (you know who you are) seek refuge, while seeking a good meal, at the Ram.

The gateway to a wonderful evening

None of this would matter, of course, without delicious food. For a few years, the Ram’s menu was bit heavy for me, focusing on wild game, red meat and rich sides. Not my thing. Today’s selections are much more eclectic. Sure, you can still get a great steak, but I swapped the red meat for gravlax, the heavy red wine for a perfectly chilled Cosmo, added a fresh beet salad and a hot, creamy cup of New England clam chowder and, voila! I created my perfect meal (plus a few bites from the communal Bananas Foster, of course). My only complaint? Rice pudding is no longer served. I used to go to the Ram just for that. (Hint).

The beet salad is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. The Ram’s chef, Steve Ludwig, was kind enough to share this healthy, delicious fall recipe.

Ram Beet Salad:

 what you will need:

roasted beets

honey-lavender vinaigrette

candied walnuts, crumbled/crushed

ricotta salata cheese, crumbled

chive rounds

picked arugula

picked fresh herbs: chervil, parsley, dill, etc. (whatever you like)

 for the beets:

Find medium to large beets at the store. I use chiogga and golden varieties for this dish since the red beets stain everything. Set your oven to 350 F and depending what type of beets you bought, cut the greens off.  Find roasting pans or pots with lids large enough to hold the beets.  Roast different color beets separate from each other by placing them in their own pan, adding a ½ inch of water, covering tightly with lid or aluminum foil and roasting in oven until a small pairing knife can be inserted easily into the beets.  Depending on how uniform the beets were, some will be done before others; remove beets from pans as they fininsh cooking and continue to roast the remaining beets until all will easily take the pairing knife. Let cool for a few minutes and take clean dry kitchen towel and rub the outside of the cooked beets with this towel to remove the skins.  Trim off the root end if necessary and any blemishes.  Trim the top and bottom to create flat surfaces.  Using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter and going from top to bottom, press down and cut out a cylinder of beet.  Slice these beet cylinders into about ½ inch discs.  Let cool down.  This can be done up to two days in advance.

Next, make the honey lavender vinaigrette.

 

honey-lavender vinaigrette

 ingredients:

1 T and 2tsp lavender

1 T honey

3.5oz chevre goat cheese

1 small shallot, rough chopped

1/2 cup champagne vinegar

2 T water

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper, ground

1 cup olive oil

method:

- put first eight ingredients in blender and process until smooth

- with blender still running, slowly add oil to emulsify

Assemble salad:

1)   toss beets with a touch of salt and some of the honey-lavender vinaigrette

2)   position on plate and top with crumbled candied walnuts, ricotta salata cheese and then chive rounds

3)   lightly dress the arugula and herbs in some more of the vinaigrette and place on top

4)   enjoy!

Sun Valley is currently running fall slack dining specials at the Ram and at all Resort restaurants — a terrific, affordable opportunity to enjoy some great food at a great price!  Be sure to check them out!

Fall Dining Specials

Do you #LoveSVFood?


Wish you were here ... eating this! The winners of Sun Valley's summer Instagram contest.

Taking photos of food was once the sole purpose of social media, that and telling people what you were doing at any moment in time. While, thankfully, we’ve moved on somewhat, food is still ubiquitous online. From sharing recipies, flaunting the delicacy you’re currently enjoying or pining over the one you wish you were consuming, food porn is ubiquitous in the modern age – probably because a love for food is one thing we all have in common.

This summer, Sun Valley Resort launched its first Instagram contest (for those not familiar, Instagram is a free photo-sharing social network). The resort opened the contest in early June, inviting guests at Sun Valley to snap a creative picture of their dining experience using Instagram and tag it with #LoveSVFood. Each week through the summer, one winner was awarded Sun Valley Swag. Last week the “Best Shot” was selected from among those twelve winners and awarded the grand prize, a three night stay at Sun Valley Resort.

Local girl Kristina Poydenis snapped that grand-prize winning shot, capturing her delectable Mud Pie at Bald Mountain Pizza & Pasta. Here’s Kristina’s shot, as well as some of the weekly winners and a selection of the many entries to the contest over the last two months:

A selection of entries and winners to @SunValleyResort’s summer food instagram contest.

A selection of entries and winners to @SunValleyResort’s summer food instagram contest.

For more on Sun Valley’s food, check out my series of Recipes from the Resort and learn how to whip up some of these delicacies in your own kitchen.

Happy trails!

Mrs. Sun

Recipe from the Resort: Summer Vegetable Pasta

 

A summer vegetable extravaganza

It’s been a long, hot summer by Wood River Valley standards, and if your vegetable garden is anything like mine, it’s hitting its peak right now, producing lots of beautiful colors and juicy treats. However, as all mountain gardeners know, we don’t have much time until the first frost, so best use up that sumptuous bounty quick smart. And the fifth dish in my Recipe from the Resort series, a delicious summer vegetable pasta from Bald Mountain Pizza & Pasta chef Dennis Pittsley, is the perfect vehicle.

Dennis’s dish is a unique twist on a traditional vegetable pasta, he incorporates spinach into his pesto and adds corn to the veggie mix, providing a surprising sweetness and delightful crunch. This is a simple, sweet and very healthy dish, and the pure pleasure of eating freshly picked veggies from your garden makes it manna from heaven.

Get your fresh veggies at the ready

Summer Farfalle Pasta
4 servings
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
Veggie Pasta
2 cups zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cups yellow squash, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup fresh white corn, cut off the cob
1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup of fresh seeded diced tomato
a handful of chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 oz of dry farfalle pasta

Spinach-basil pesto
2 cups of fresh basil
4 cups of fresh spinach
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

A quick sautee and you're almost done.

Directions
for the pesto
Blanch the spinach and the basil, then cool down in ice water to maintain the green color.. drain and squeeze as much water out as possible. roast the pine nuts in the oven at 350F. Combine greens and pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan in a food processor and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency.

for the Pasta
In a large pot, bring salted water to a steady boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. while the pasta is cooking sauté the vegetables (excluding the tomatoes) and garlic for 2 minutes in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the drained pasta to the pan, remove from heat, stir in the fresh and sun dried tomatoes. Toss in the pesto and serve immediately.

Summer Farfalle Pasta

If your garden hasn’t been kind enough to provide you with the ingredients needed, head down to Bald Mountain Pizza & Pasta and let Dennis whip up his specialty for you. The pizza is darn tasty too, and it’s a great restaurant for the kids. If you time it right you can enjoy dinner and then take the tykes to Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days at the Opera House for free (courtesy of the resort’s dinner and a movie special), or leave the kids at home and catch The Dark Knight, both starting this Friday.

Happy trails!

Mrs. Sun