By Karen D. Lorentz
There’s nothing like enjoying a good meal after a day of skiing or riding. When gathered round a table with family or friends, there’s a sense of cordiality that comes from sharing stories and an elevation of spirits that mirrors the good times experienced on the slopes.
Sharing a meal together can also make for special memories. One of my favorite après-ski “eats” occurred at a Snowmass condo, where my brother served his freshly made chocolate chip cookies with our wine!
When visiting him in Vail, we invariably ended up eating in most nights. Lasagna is ordinarily my favorite après-ski dinner as I can make it ahead of time and take it to a condo when traveling here in the East — or serve to guests at home. (My dad used to make a pan of lasagna, freeze it, and take it on the plane for his stay at the Vail condo. Wonder if that is even allowed today?!)
Lasagna was too much work in his small kitchen so I gravitated to chicken parmigiana for Italian night.
For the chicken parmigiana, I brown flour-dusted chicken breasts in olive oil in a large frying pan, top it with a jar of good sauce and slices of mozzarella, and put a lid on it. It simmers while I cook the spaghetti, make the salad, and warm the store-bought artisan bread. Quick, easy and delicious.
Diane Mueller, former Okemo co-owner, gave me this tasty twist on a traditional comfort food dish. “Carrots, peas, corn or other vegetables can be added to pie mixture, if desired,” she noted, adding that other meats could be used, too.
½ cup butter
½ cup flour
¼ tsp sage, ground
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp lemon juice
1½ cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
½ cup flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sage, ground
1/3 cup butter
3 tbsp water
1. Melt butter in saucepan and blend in flour and seasonings. Add next three ingredients and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add chicken and pour into 1½ quart deep-dish pie pan.
2. To make crust, mix flour, cornmeal, salt and sage together in bowl. Cut in butter. Add 3 tablespoons water or enough to hold mixture together, mixing lightly with fork.
3, Roll pastry to fit top of pie pan. Arrange on dish, trim, and flute edges. Cut slits in top for steam vents and bake in preheated 425-degree oven about 20 minutes, until crust is lightly browned. Makes 6 servings.
Sarah Pinneo and her friend Tina Anderson were enjoying a glass of wine when Sarah commented that there was “no such thing as a ski house cookbook.” So the friends came up with one, “The Ski House Cookbook: Warm Winter Dishes for Cold Weather Fun,” which makes clever use of trail ratings. Green circles indicate the easiest recipes, etc. Sarah suggests this “green-circle” dish, noting it is a “surprisingly fast way to put a roast on the table.” (You could substitute pork tenderloin for the meat cut.)
Roasted Pork Loin with Cherry Balsamic Sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ½ to 3-pound pork loin roast, tied
1 large shallot, minced or 2 Tbsp minced onion
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
¾ cup jarred pitted sour cherries, sliced in half, plus 2 tbsp reserved syrup from the jar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan over high heat. Generously salt and pepper the roast. When pan is hot, add the roast and brown on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
3. Transfer pan to the oven. Roast the pork until an instant-read thermometer reads 140 degrees when inserted into thickest part of the roast, 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Remove the roast to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the sauce. While it rests, the temperature of the roast should rise to 145 or 150 degrees. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the shallot. Cook for 2 minutes, add the vinegar, and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon. When the vinegar is reduced to a glaze, about 5 minutes, add the broth and reduce again by half, about 7 minutes. Add the cherries and syrup and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
5. Slice the roast thinly, drizzle the sauce over the meat, and serve immediately.
Getting a tad fancier with dessert, Sarah says this (blue square) cookie recipe is fun and will let you, or your kids, literally dig in!
Snowy Peaks Macaroons
4 large egg whites
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 (14 ounce) package shredded sweetened coconut (about 5 1/3 cups)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped (about 1 cup)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the coconut and mix well, completely combining the ingredients.
3. Dampen your hands with cold water. Form a rounded tablespoon of the mixture into a haystack shape and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture, spacing the stacks about 1 inch apart.
4. Bake until golden brown, about 18 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Remove the cookies from the pan while still hot to cool completely on racks.
5. Fill a small saucepan with water to a depth of 1 inch and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and place a medium heatproof bowl on top so the bottom is resting on the pan just above the water. Add the chocolate and stir until completely melted.
6. Turn off the heat and dip each macaroon bottom into the melted chocolate. Place on wax paper to cool and harden. The macaroons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days.