Colorado Table

This July 20, 2015 photo shows mushroom miso pasta in Concord, N.H. This recipe tastes far richer, creamier and more sinful than it actually is. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Adding even more umami to this dish is the nutritional yeast. It’s an optional ingredient, but I think well-worth seeking out if you aren’t familiar with it. It adds a wonderful aged-cheese-like flavor that turns this simple mushroom-miso pasta dish into a veritable “umami bomb,” which is a good thing in the food world.

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Lyssa Walborn, employee, pours a Colorado Freedom Memorial Ale on June 29 at Dry Dock Brewery in Aurora. (Heather L. Smith/The Aurora Sentinel)

As the week winds down, there’s plenty happening in Aurora for beer drinkers looking for a sudsy weekend. • The Hops For Habitat Brewfest is set for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E, Hampden Ave. Tickets for this brew-filled shindig on the city’s eastern edge — proceeds […]

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This July 13, 2015 photo shows flank steak Frito pie in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by J.M. Hirsch. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

But I decided to turn this dish into a treat for a crowd by heaping a whole mess of it onto a platter and inviting everyone to dig in. I also decided to lose the chili in favor of a flavorfully marinated flank steak. But if you’re a purist, there’s no reason you couldn’t substitute your favorite chili for the steak. Or be crazy and do both. And if you’re so inclined, don’t hesitate to add salsa and sour cream to this.

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This July 13, 2015 photo shows soft shell crabs cooking in a pan in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Soft-shell crabs are blue crabs from the East Coast that have shed their hard shells on their way to growing a new shell that’s even harder. Losing that first hard shell takes several days, but the new shell starts forming within hours. It’s during that tiny window of opportunity that the soft-shells are harvested.

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This July 13, 2015 photo shows grilled shrimp margarita with avocado and summer tomatoes in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Elizabeth Karmel. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

The beauty of this dish is that it is loaded with flavor, impressive to serve and has to be made in advance (making it a great choice for a low-maintenance dinner party). For a festive appetizer, serve in margarita or martini glasses rimmed with a mixture of kosher salt, lime zest and smoked paprika, then serve with plantain chips and/or saltine crackers. It’s as close to a tropical vacation as you can get without leaving your backyard.

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This July 13, 2015 photo shows chickpea, zucchini and chicken quesadillas in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Allison Ladman. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

We’ll even throw the occasional leftover cooked grain into a quesadilla. Cooked quinoa or rice go great with canned beans and some chopped drained tomatoes. But whatever you do, don’t forget the cheese. It is the glue that holds this delicious dish together. We like cheddar, but Jack or Gouda are nice, too.

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