Archive | Winter 2010-11



Anchoring Basalt’s Story
Tempranillo restaurant’s location has a storied past
By Tom Egan, Aspen Historical Society

From the time it was built in 1896, as a hotel primarily to serve passengers and workers on the Colorado Midland Railway, the building that now houses Tempranillo restaurant has been an integral piece of Basalt’s downtown landscape and history. 

Opened the year after Aspen Junction changed its name to Basalt (mail was mistakenly being delivered to Aspen and/or Grand Junction so a name change was requested by the postal service), the original Colorado Midland Hotel never aspired to be a flashy, upscale hotel with grand lobbies or ornate fixtures that made some other “railroad” hotels legendary. Catering more to travelers on their way to or from Aspen, Leadville or Glenwood Springs, this utilitarian lodge featured 10 rooms on the second floor with an eating establishment and saloon on the ground floor. After surviving the 1899 fire that destroyed a number of Basalt’s buildings, the Midland Hotel had a number of owners into the 1960s and served as a way station first for the railroad, and eventually cowboys, construction workers and hippies of the ’60s generation.  For a short time it even served as … Read More

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Greenhouses are not the only solution for growing food in the winter. Greens, fruits and vegetables can be grown in the cold winter months, indoors! Almost any windowsill, given enough light and a location that does not freeze in the winter, should work. Herbs in particular are fun, easy and very resourceful—you don’t have to leave the kitchen to get fresh, aromatic spices.  With an inventive eye and a curious mind, you can find foodgrowing niches all over the house!

Choose a location.

Generally, south-facing windows (in the Northern Hemisphere) are better locations for growing herbs, greens and vegetables as more light and heat pervade this area. When choosing a location, observe the space at various times over a few days and make sure it gets direct sunlight, especially in the morning. There is no need to be too fussy, however, as the great thing about potted plants is they are mobile: If they are not doing well in one location, just pick up the pots and move them.

Select herbs, vegetables and greens.

More important than “what will grow” is “what you will eat”!  Choose seeds or seedlings of foods you like, so you not only enjoy growing them, … Read More

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A Few of Our Favorite Things
This season, treat your loved ones, teachers and friends to a basket full of local goodness.
Here we’ve assembled some of our favorite Colorado homegrown and produced foods, along with a few other products we like.
When you buy local, you’re supporting our local economy!

Colorado Mountain Jams:

A diverse gourmet line of award-winning jams and jellies made from their own organic apricots, peaches and plums grown in Palisade.


Each bar of this insanely good chocolate made in Boulder is worth the purchase, but for us the Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate is a near-constant craving. www.chocolove.com

Aspen Brownie Works:

Our hometown sweeties! Handcrafted brownies made with Ghirardelli chocolate, farm-fresh eggs, real creamery butter and pure cane sugar. Pretty darn close to heaven.


Freshies Hot Mary Bloody Mary Mix:

A spicier version of their Original mix, with Habanero mash and other all-natural ingredients. No preservatives, just the Freshies. www.freshies.com

Love Grown Foods:

Aspen native Madeleine D’Amato and her partner, Alexander Hasulak, have created Love Grown Foods, featuring healthy, delicious granolas that are now Certified Gluten-Free. www.lovegrownfoods.com

Leaf People Antioxidant Face Cream:

Natural skin care line that … Read More

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Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad with Basil-Lime Vinaigrette

Recipe courtesy of Victoria Haveman and John Beatty, Victoria’s Espresso and Wine Bar

This is a great winter salad that’s colorful, has bright herbaceous flavors and utilizes the corn that we froze in the summer. You won’t find onion in our salad at the café—we don’t want to scare off anyone’s lunch date, plus this salad is sooo flavorful that it isn’t necessary.

The bonus: the carb content is good, it contains 50% of daily dietary fibers and a full serving of protein.

For the salad:

3 ears corn, fresh grilled or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into small cubes
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into small cubes
2 celery stalks finely chopped
1 red onion (optional)
1 mango (optional), peeled, seeded and cut into
1⁄2-inch pieces (you won’t find mango in our café version due to its sensitivity to air and quick aging)

In a medium bowl, mix together the corn, beans, peppers and celery. Add onion and mango if desired.

For the vinaigrette:

2 limes, zested and juiced
1⁄4 … Read More

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Celeriac and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Beet Purée

These vegetables need a really, really good wash to remove soils. While this white soup might seem delicate, the melding of these unique vegetables creates a rich smooth flavor. Deglazing the pan after caramelizing the veggies is key for flavor development.

For the soup:
3–4 tablespoons organic butter
1–2 celeriac (about 1–2 pounds), peeled and roughly chopped
10 Jerusalem artichokes (about 1 pound), roughly chopped
3 smallish potatoes, diced
2 large leeks, sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper
Verjuice, light port or bourbon
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
3 fresh sprigs savory (or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried)
5 fresh sprigs marjoram (or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried)
1⁄2 cup Big B’s Ginger Apple juice
3 1⁄2 ounces heavy whipping cream
1⁄2 cup sour cream

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, leeks, onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables gently
until they caramelize, about 15–25 minutes. Remove veggies from the pan and deglaze the pan with a nice verjuice (juice of unripe grapes), light port or bourbon of your choice. Put
everything back in … Read More

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Victoria’s Reign
Victoria’s Espresso and Wine Bar expands its empire
By Tom Passavant • Photographs by Karen Glenn

The barista stands behind her big espresso maker, coaxing shot after perfect shot from the gleaming silver machine.  Her hands move with practiced ease, like a driver pulling the last ounce of horsepower from a finely tuned race car. By happy coincidence, the barista and her machine are both named Victoria.

The barista and co-owner of this bright and bustling coffee and wine bar is Victoria Haveman. She honed her craft in Vancouver, British Columbia, one of the world’s most caffeinated cities. Her machine is a Victoria Arduino, made in Trieste, Italy, arguably the epicenter of Italian espresso culture.

Practiced skill and attention to detail are just a couple of the traits that have made Victoria’s Espresso and Wine Bar a success two years after it replaced the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop on the mall, opposite Pacifica restaurant and Wagner Park. When the café opened, word quickly moved through town that in addition to being a prime people-watching perch, Victoria’s was making world-class coffee drinks, and their pastries were top-notch. They were also notable for their commitment to using local … Read More

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Here is one way Jim Butchart could have filled his beef needs: He could have filled out standardized order forms and taken delivery of the meat off trucks rolling in from immense feedlots on the Front Range—or maybe Nebraska. Had he taken this approach—essentially maintaining the status quo—he would have had good reasons to do so.

As the Aspen Skiing Company’s new executive chef, mountain division—handling the menus for Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass (Skico restaurants at Aspen Mountain are handled by a separate division)—Butchart had 11 restaurant operations to get familiar with, most of these a good ways up a mountain. The eateries range from the cavernous cafeteria Bumps at the base of Buttermilk to the barbecue joint Sam’s Smokehouse on Snowmass Mountain to Cloud Nine, a cozy spot inspired by old-fashioned Austrian ski lodges, on Aspen Highlands.

Butchart is engineering extensive transformations of several spots for winter 2010–11: The Ullrhof, mid-mountain on Snowmass, is going the burger/fries/shake route, while Two Creeks, at the base of Snowmass, is being turned from a Mexican restaurant into a café.

Aside from being occupied with the new job he took last June, there was financial incentive to carry on established practices. Selling … Read More

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What’s in the Glass?
Wine and spirits myths demystified
By Jay Fletcher

Jay Fletcher is known around the world for his passion for and knowledge of wine. The Aspen-based master sommelier is currently board chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers American Chapter and executive director of fine wine for Southern Wine and Spirits of Colorado. Here he answers your most pressing questions on wine for edibleASPEN.

Q: I receive wine from wineries in California and other places. Is there any truth to the notion of bottle shock? Do you have any suggestions on how long the wine should rest before opening? Why do wines need to “rest” after shipping?

A: “Bottle shock” is a mystery but certainly not a myth. A couple of days usually does the trick.

Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about wines from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain. Why all the excitement?

A: The Ribera del Duero is home of the most famous of all Spanish wines, Vega Sicilia. Vega is old-school, world-class wine made from Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Vega Sicilia Unico is aged for 10 years before release. Many of the lesser wines of the region are great values and … Read More

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Trust in AFT
American Farmland Trust works to keep agricultural lands growing
By Daniel A. Shaw
Photograph: Don Tanaka

If you care about where your food comes or simply enjoy gazing out the car window at farms or ranchland, you might want to wish a happy birthday to an essential conservation group: the American Farmland Trust.

Started by the late Peggy Rockefeller and a handful of likeminded conservationists and farmers to resist urban sprawl and save farmland in New York’s Hudson River Valley, AFT turned 30 this year. Now based in Washington, DC, it has grown over the last three decades into a vital, full-fledged organization working across the country and on Capitol Hill to ensure that agriculture in this country remains an integral part of the nation’s economy yet does it in an environmentally sound—and even beneficial—fashion.

As a proud member of AFT’s board of directors, I feel a keen need to spread the word about the organization’s work, much of which has flown under the radar for far too long. AFT has three core missions: protecting working lands; working to make farming and ranching more environmentally sensitive; and promoting the growing, marketing and distribution of local foods as … Read More

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