Favorite Bites from Colorado Bed and Breakfasts
There's nothing like a night's stay in a cozy B&B, and these recipes from Colorado's finest inns will make you feel right at home-away-from-home.
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Baby Beets with Gorgonzola
Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards, Hotchkis
Chef Yvon Gros studied in some of the best cooking schools in his native France and cooked for years in high-end restaurants in Vail, but when the rural life beckoned, he and his wife, Joanna, moved to Colorado’s wine country to start the Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards in Hotchkiss. Since 2000, Yvon has taken guests on culinary adventures at the adobe bed and breakfast.
Leroux Creek Inn takes the farm-to-table concept seriously. Any produce that isn’t picked right in Yvon’s garden is grown within a 15-mile radius of the inn. For his baby beets and gorgonzola recipe, Yvon took a trip to a farmer down the road, who picked the beets right in front of him. While generations of Americans are still scarred by childhood memories of being force-fed canned beets, Yvon’s guests quickly realize fresh baby beets are something else entirely. “The freshness and the maturity of small beets is different from a huge beet, which loses flavor,” he said. In the dish, “the beets are pretty mellow, but the gorgonzola doesn’t take that away — it makes a wonderful blend between the two.” Yvon finds that his red Chambourcin wine, made from grapes grown at Leroux Creek Inn, makes the perfect pairing with much of the locally grown cuisine.
1 dozen baby beets
6 oz gorgonzola cheese
1 Tbsp white wine
1 tsp butter
1 Tbsp heavy cream
Clean the beets, leaving 2-3” of green. Steam the beets to a soft bite. In a pan over low heat melt the gorgonzola with white wine and butter, add 1 Tbsp heavy cream. The sauce should be creamy and soft. Arrange the beets in a serving dish and spoon the sauce on each beet.
Focaccia and Braised Beef
Claremont Inn, Stratton
The Claremont Inn is a gem set amidst the golden wheat fields of the eastern plains town of Stratton. The Claremont Inn proves that luxurious romantic getaways and gourmet meals can be found all over Colorado. Dave Dischner, the bed and breakfast’s founder and culinary maestro, is a Stratton native. Dischner has trained at culinary schools in Colorado, New York and the south of France. He learned to make focaccia bread years ago and adapted his own recipe.
“We teach the focaccia recipe all the time in our cooking classes at the inn,” Dischner said. “In 15 minutes, anyone can have delicious homemade bread.” The best part is focaccia’s versatility: You can top it with things like rosemary and parmigiano-reggiano, or prepare some braised beef to make a sandwich.
1 cup warm tap water
2 ½ tsp (1 envelope) active dry wheat
6 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, or
1 Tbsp dried, plus rosemary sprigs (optional)
1 cup milk
2 oz parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher or coarse salt
Topping variations: mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, black olives, marinated artichokes
Whisk together water and yeast, then 3 Tbsp olive oil. Mix and stir flour, salt and rosemary. Stir yeast mixture and milk into the flour mixture until flour is evenly moistened. Beat vigorously for 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise until it has doubled (about 1 hour). Spread 1 ½ tsp olive oil on an 11 x 17-inch baking pan. Press dough into pan, filling completely. Using fingertip, poke cavities 2 inches apart. Drizzle 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt over dough. Add toppings of your choice. Set oven rack at lower third of oven. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes, until deep golden in color. Lift focaccia with spatula halfway through to check bottom; if coloring too quickly, put another pan underneath to insulate.
Braised Beef with Onions, Anchovies and Herbs:
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
3 lbs boneless chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 oz pancetta, cubed into pea size cubes
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
6 anchovy fillets
1 cup dry white wine
1 3-inch fresh rosemary sprig or other herb of your choice
In a skillet, heat oil medium-high. Pat beef dry. Add only as much of the beef and pancetta to the pan as fits without crowding. Cook until browned on all sides. Transfer meat to a large slow cooker and brown remaining meat. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon off excess fat and reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and anchovies. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until anchovies dissolve. Add wine and bring it to a simmer, scraping bottom of the pan. Pour liquid into a slow cooker. Add rosemary or other herbs. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, or until meat is tender. Discard rosemary/herbs and serve hot.
Bonus Recipe: 3 Cheese Tomato Basil Quiche
8 large eggs
3 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
3 ounces of shredded cheddar
3 ounces of shredded monterey jack
1/2 cup of diced onions
1 1/2 cup of half n half
4 tomatoes sliced
2 tablespoons of dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato pesto
2 teaspoons of sun dried tomatoes
Mix up all ingredients and put in pie dough. Bake at 370 degrees for 50-60 minutes until the center jiggles a little.
(This story originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Colorado Life Magazine)