Archive for November, 2007

On our third day (against all grim meteorologic forecasts) we were rewarded by the most gorgeous weather for a scenic mountain riding: clear blue skies providing a perfect backdrop for all shades of red and brown that color the rocks in Valley of Fire.


the flickr link is here:  Through Valley of Fire on Motorcycle


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Mussels in Red Chile Broth

I have this pile of new cookbooks begging for attention so just before heading to Wegmans i opened Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill looking for some quick mussels recipe. He actually had several but i stopped on mussels in red chile pesto broth. A pesto was made of 4 chiles (i used 4 ancho and 1 guajillo), 1/4 cup of their soaking liquid, 3 garlic cloves, a handful of cilantro, some pinenuts (i didn’t bother) and 1/2 cup of olive oil. You steam 2lb of mussels in 2cups of white wine, remove mussels, reduce the wine, stir in the pesto and a but of honey (i had this flavorful mesquite honey we just brought back from nevada), pour the sauce over mussels and your dinner is ready to serve. A good bread is the only thing you’ll need – the sauce is so flavorful…


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Ghost Rider: Day 2 in Vegas

So we rented a nice Goldwing and off we rode into Nevada desert escaping the shopping madness of black friday. The weather was unusually harsh – cold, sunny with ghastly winds. We didn’t mind though – it made our long ride more fun. And it set a proper stage for the appreciation of monumental sculptures at the Goldwell open air museum, located at the entrance of the Death Valley and near by the ghost town of Rhyolite.


The rest of the pix are here: Riding to Rhyolite.

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Vershki da Koreshki

I couldn’t deny myself the pleasure of using this russian expression which in vernacular is way more poetic than just roots and leaves it roughly stands for. The plant in question was an oyster mushroom, and the idea to separate stems from caps came after our Burger Bar dinner in Vegas when i ordered oyster mushrooms for topping. The burger came with deliciously chewy mushroom pieces that resembled elbow macaroni.

Well honestly i didn’t give this idea much thought during the dinner itself but the next day when we were riding to the Valley of Fire i had plenty of time to contemplate our meal. So right after we came back home i bought a load of oyster mushrooms and used their stems to make a fish pie (see the post below).

As a result for the next day dinner there was a lot of caps left but fortunately i stumbled on a recipe for mushroom and potato al forn in a recently published Moro East.



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Fish Pies with a Twist

it so happened that just before we went to Vegas and right after we came back i made two unusual fish pies.

The first one is based on this recipe: Fish Pie with Sweet Potato Topping . I pretty much followed the recipe except for using raw shrimp (still ended up slightly overcooked). And make sure that potatoes are pretty much cooked before you assemble the dish for the final baking.

The second was upside-down fish pie from Jamie’s Dinners – i actually got the book mostly for this recipe. It’s very simple but so good: you make a polenta, in parallel you saute some mushrooms and a lot of spinach.


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Around Vegas in Four Days: Day 1

Yet another Thanksgiving in Vegas – and we were on the road even more than last year. The turkey day was spent in Zion Park. The place is magical – the severe beauty of mountains softened by water and trees.


The rest of the pix are here: Zion National Park in Autumn.

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Tremendous Autumn Light at Rockport

Cold, sharp and naturally surreal; the incredible color redeeming this chilly and windy November day…

First at Bearskin Neck:


and later at Halibut Point:




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