Monday, September 17, 2007

Road Trip - Boulder

Our primary reason for being out in Colorado was to visit our friends Elise and Tom, who recently moved to Boulder and even more recently moved into their beautiful new house. After we got settled, the first item of business was to head into Boulder. After a stroll through the local farmer's market, we had lunch and beers at Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery. Very nice small place with a laid-back atmosphere. After lunch, we perused the wares at Peppercorn. You need to drag Tom out of this store or he'll stay there all day.

Back at the ranch, Tom whipped up a batch of Chicken Tikka Masala from a recipe in Cook's Illustrated. It was his first try at a curry, and it came out great.

The next morning, Tom's cooking continued and we awoke to the smell of freshly made Toasted Oatmeal and Blueberry Scones. Yum!

Suitably sconed, we drove out to the base of the Flatirons, and did a relaxed late-morning hike.

That evening, Tom had a gig, so we had a nice dinner with Elise at Foolish Craig's. We met up with Tom later and had a pint at the Redfish Brewhouse. I tried their Treehugger Organic IPA, which was quite drinkable.

The next morning, Tom was playing at the Labor Day Cajun Cookout up in Gold Hill. Where is Gold Hill, you say? That was our problem, too. We finally found it after winding up a small dirt road for what seemed like forever. In GPS we trust...

The festival was being held at the Gold Hill Inn, a cute log building that pretty much *is* the town of Gold Hill.

That's Tom back there on drums. It's always tough to get a picture of the drummer...

That night we were in the mood for Thai food. Sherry took Tom on as sous chef...

...and the two of them cooked up a very fine batch of Pad Kra Praw.

For dessert, Tom decided to experiment and made coconut ice cream. Successful experiment indeed.

As Elise promised, here's the recipe for the Pad Kra Praw (serves 2-3):

Pad Kra Praw

1 tablespoon canola oil
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1/2 large onion, sliced into strips
3 celery stalks, sliced
2 fresh red chiles, seeded and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon chile paste (or to taste)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
4-5 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup whole cashew nuts

Stir together the fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Set aside.

Heat oil over high heat. Add garlic and ginger, stir once, then add chicken, celery, onions and fresh chiles. Stir-fry 3-4 minutes or until chicken is nearly cooked through.

Reduce heat to medium and stir in the chile paste and fish sauce mixture. Stir-fry another 2-3 minutes.

Quickly stir in the green onions, basil leaves and cashews. Serve immediately with plain short-grain rice.

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