Dinner quickies for Eagle County cooks | VailDaily.com

Dinner quickies for Eagle County cooks

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
HL Chef Joe TS 04-20-08

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” In an ideal world, you would spend all night in the kitchen, making pasta from scratch and slaving over souffles.

The reality check? Whether you’re staying late at work or running the kids to baseball practice, your schedule rarely allows for a drawn-out dinner.

Try whipping up one of these meals. We asked local chefs to supply a healthy, weeknight dinner that takes less than an hour to make. Each recipe has fewer than 10 ingredients (excluding things like salt, olive oil and butter, which most cooks have on hand).

Look below for two halibut recipes and one pasta dish you can make during “Law and Order.”


Joe Ritchie, executive chef with Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek, offers this low-maintenance halibut dish. With just six ingredients, it takes about 45 minutes to prepare.

A fava bean puree serves as the sauce. Similar in appearance to lima beans, fava beans have a slightly sweet, earthy taste. “Although they are usually available throughout the summer, they are really at their best in the spring, when they are young and so tender you can eat them without cooking,” Ritchie said.

Broiled halibut with fava beans and pea shoots

Courtesy of Joe Ritchie, executive chef with Grouse Mountain Grill

1 1/2 pounds of fresh halibut

1/4 cup butter

2 cups fresh or frozen fava beans (peas may be substituted)

1 healthy handful of pea shoots (substitute spinach if needed)

1 clove of garlic

1 small yellow onion or shallot

1 bunch of baby carrots


For the beans:

Dice half of the onion and gently sweat it in a small sauce pot with 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Once the onion is soft and translucent, add 1 1/2 cups of the fava beans and 2 cups of water. Leave the pot to simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until all of the ingredients are soft. Place the mixture in a blender with 3 tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon of salt. Puree for 30 seconds until the puree is very smooth. If the mixture is too thick to blend, add more water. The finished sauce should be silky smooth and should coat the back of a spoon rather than have the consistency of baby food. Taste and add more salt if needed.

For the carrots:

Bring a large sauce pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the carrots and either gently peel the carrots or scrub them with a stiff brush or the coarse side of a sponge. Place them into the boiling water for about 3 minutes or until they are just tender. Cool them immediately in ice water and then cut each carrot in half lengthwise.

For the halibut:

Portion the halibut into four 6-ounce pieces. Lightly sprinkle both sides with salt. Place the fish on a cookie sheet that is either lined with foil or lightly oiled to prevent the fish from sticking. On each piece of fish place several small pieces of butter so that the top side of the fish will be covered when it melts. Put the cookie sheet in the broiler on high for approximately 5 to 8 minutes until the top is browned and the fish just starts to separate slightly when you gently squeeze it.

Crush the garlic clove with the side of your knife and toss it in a saute pan with a little mild olive oil or melted butter and a pinch of salt. Add the pea shoots and gently saute on medium heat only until they are wilted. Remove the garlic and discard.

In a separate pan on low heat, warm the remaining fava beans and blanched carrots together with a bit of butter or olive oil. Spoon a few ounces of the sauce onto each plate. Place a small pile of the pea shoots in the middle of the plate with a few of the carrots. Gently place the halibut onto the pea shoots and scatter some favas around the plate.

Serves 4.


Although Arrabiata means “angry” in Italian, this Linguini Arrabiata from Montauk Seafood Grill in Vail won’t raise your blood pressure. Chef Dimitri Souvorin said the meal is ready in 45 minutes (including prep time) and has eight ingredients. “It’s a fresh dish you can make any time with next to no effort at all,” he said.

Although Souvorin mixes white prawns with the pasta, you can substitute almost anything you have in the refrigerator, he said. Chicken, broccoli and shrimp make for good additions to this spicy meal, he said.

Linguini Arrabiata with White Prawns

Courtesy of Chef Dimitri Souvorin with Montauk

4 ounces Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

3 ounces Garlic Minced

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, freshly chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper, fresh ground

6 medium vine ripe tomatoes, diced

20 white prawns, peeled and de-veined

24 ounces cooked linguini

Cook Linguini to al dente in salted water, chill under cold water and set aside. Mix all ingredients except shrimp, pasta and tomatoes and set aside.

Put oil mixture and shrimp into a large cold pan and set heat to medium. Cook until garlic just starts to brown and add tomatoes. Set cooked pasta on top, cover pan and reduce heat to low. Cook until shrimp are cooked through, the tomatoes start to liquefy and the pasta is warm. Toss and serve.

Serves 4.


Paul Ferzacca, owner of ZaccaZa! and La Tour in Vail, tops this halibut dish with an orange and ginger glaze. With 10 ingredients, his recipe takes just under an hour to cook.

Roasted beets and puree of celery root ratchet up the vegetable count without complicating the dinner. “The beets take 40 minutes to cook,” Ferzacca said. “While those are cooking, you can do everything else.”

Orange- and ginger-glazed broiled Alaskan halibut

Courtesy of Paul Ferzacca, owner of La Tour in Vail and ZaccaZa! in Avon

Serves 4

Roasted Beets:

6 fresh organic red beets

2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher salt to taste

Ground white pepper to taste

Puree of Celery Root:

10 ounces organic celery root

6 ounces organic russet potato

4 ounces skim milk

Kosher salt to taste

Ground white pepper to taste


4 6-ounce filets of fresh Alaskan halibut

1 tablespoon of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Orange Glaze

2 fresh-squeezed organic oranges

1 teaspoon of fresh organic ginger

2 tablespoons of agave Nectar (Honey can be substituted)

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 bunch of organic green onions

For the beets:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F to roast beets. Remove beet greens and wash beets thoroughly. Leave skin on beets for roasting. Dry beets and lightly rub with extra virgin olive oil. Place in roasting pan and cook until tender, about 40 minutes depending on size. Once done, let cool slightly and remove skin with towel or small paring knife. Cut into desired presentation. Drizzle with remaining extra-virgin olive oil. Season with kosher salt and ground white pepper. Reduce oven temperature to 225 degrees F and keep beets warm.

For the celery root puree:

Peel celery root and cut into one inch cubes. Place in 4-quart sauce pot covered in water. Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place in water with celery root. Add a small amount of salt and bring to a simmer, cook until tender. Drain celery root and potatoes. Add skim milk and puree until smooth with a hand blender. Season with kosher salt and ground white pepper.

For the Halibut:

Clean and portion halibut. Place in zip lock plastic bag and reserve in refrigerator.

For the orange and ginger glaze:

Cut oranges in half and juice into small sauce bowl. Peel ginger and mince fine. Add to orange juice in small bowl. Add agave nectar and soy sauce to bowl and stir to combine. Slice green onions very fine and add to orange and ginger glaze. Pour glaze in a zip lock bag and add halibut. Remove as much air as possible from bag and let fish marinate for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat broiler while fish is marinating.

Spread extra-virgin olive oil on a half sheet pan. Reserve marinade from halibut by draining into small pot, place on stove and bring to a simmer. Place halibut on half sheet pan and place under broiler for approximately 4 minutes per side depending on thickness of fish. You may want to baste fish with simmering marinade. The marinade should only need to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, killing any bacteria. Use glaze as sauce for fish.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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