All photos taken by: Ian Hylands Photography
We've been living our dream this summer; riding bikes and cooking at cycling related events all over Colorado, the West!! Every menu this summer has been different from the next, rejuvenating to the soul & filled with flavors unique to us.
The Cyclist's Menu had a moment to "check out" of the real world for a moment, along with 13 other like-minded souls on a special work-related trip that led us deep in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. Niner Bikes (Fort Collins, CO) was about to launch two new mountain bikes, and we had the opportunity to ride some incredible single-track with Sun Valley Trekking (Hailey, ID) into the incredible "Coyote Yurt." Most importantly, we discovered some of the best local food producers in the Central Idaho region and cooked some delicious food. While this crew of talented riders, photographers and writers, rode trail into the sunset, we set the stage for a high alpine, open fire cookout, equipped with expansive vistas, cool mountain air, Colorado beer and stories of grass fed beef, local greens, sun burns and 6 inches of suspension travel! Is there anything better?!
The term "work" was fairly relevant on this wonderful escape from the norm. As we chase our goals to "connect people directly to the food and land in beautiful places," we cant help but think about our "work" more as our passion than something we wake up to 5 days a week. In the lives of two avid cyclists, community builders, lovers of food and stories from the road; we regularly discuss the importance of this and how it drives us, like nothing before, to achieve our wildest dreams. No matter how far off they seem or how hard it might be to get there. We laugh and smile, knowing passion this real, can at times, feel so thick you want to take a bite out of it.
Back to the story... As that Idaho sun began to fall behind the mountains, the light was perfect. Ian Hylands, photo wizard, had his trigger finger ready for the dinner to come. Vietnamese meat balls, wrapped in local red lettuce led into a Wood River Ranch New York Strip Steak, sliced and set on top mixed greens with a garlic pesto, grilled corn and goat chevre. The crack of an Odell Brewing Company IPA (Fort Collins, CO) sparked a few stories around the table and talk went from drive trains and better brakes to the best places to ride in the West and that favorite summer concert series.
It's moments like these with great people that keep us moving, keep us in the kitchen! We are so thankful to look back on these incredible moments in time, where food changes people's connection and understanding of a place. We love to ride bikes, but when we talk about what exists at the core of The Cyclist's Menu, its our ability to change people's perspective on a meal, on what's going into their bodies and how it impacts each location we visit. It had been a handful of years since the last time we visited Hailey and Ketchum, ID. However, we now have a wealth of knowledge on the place, and the incredible people who call that beautiful valley home.
& finally, dinner was served!
More amazing shots, stories and bike reviews about our yurt adventure with Niner, links below:
Next cooking adventure for The Cyclist's Menu, July 28-31, 2016: The Steamboat Ralleye!!
Thanks for reading y'all!! (More photos below.)
CHEF Z & HR
Scroll down for CHEF Z's rice bowl recipe
Dear Friends, New and Old...
We admit, this blog post is a bit over due. But hey, its summer time and the sun is shining into the night; which means more time for single track riding, dirt roads into the mountains and letting the fire burn into the wee hours. As we sit around the table, fresh smells of the first summer arugula, charred veggies, seared meats and a fresh chimi to boot, waft in the cool air. We cant help but think about what has already occurred! Its only July 9th, and the events have been incredibly memorable!! Its time to share one in particular, that will be in our hearts for many months to come.
On June 24th, we rolled into the beautiful Sun Valley of Idaho. Ketchum and Hailey are unique town's, challenged by their locations, high in the mountains and dislocated from typical life. Then again, thats why this place is so special and loved by many who have visited or continue to visit each year. We have spent some time in this valley, Heidi racing Mountain Bike Nationals, myself exploring the Sawtooth Mountains with friends on two wheels and searching out high alpine hot springs near Stanley, ID. Friends have come and gone over the years, which makes landing here for a moment very special.
This trip was marked by a new path however. The Cyclist's Menu was invited to The Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival this year by The Wood River Bike Coalition. Adrian Montgomery, newly appointed Executive Director was looking to offer his community a fresh sense of variety and certain kind of "connectivity" to the Valley's food producers. Exactly what our menu's develop and we couldn't have been more happy to offer just that! Sun Valley has an incredible line up of local businesses, who were incredibly welcoming to us "out of towner's." We felt at home right away and excited to serve local residents the best foods available within a 200 mile radius. Mission accomplished!
Within a few phone calls, we had 6 local food producers lined up. We got busy planning our menu! Crafting local menu's is the best part of our job. We entered Sun Valley with immediate interest in who we are, what we do, and questions like, "How did you hear about us?" "Your from Colorado? That's amazing!" The old saying goes, "If you build it, they will come." Well, between Bellevue and Ketchum, ID, a 25(+/-) mile distance, a handful of area food producers have dedicated themselves to farming/ranching in this beautiful, but challenging place to cultivate the earth. What we discovered is they are producing some incredibly delicious products, and the community came in hordes when they found out our mission; "Connect people directly to the food and land in beautiful places."
Ride Sun Valley Festival is amazing, and an event everyone should put on their schedule for next June. If you haven't been to Sun Valley to recreate, you must! The trails are incredible, the high alpine is quiet and remote, yet close enough you don't have to take weeks off to visit. Besides cranking some money into the local food economy, we choose to partner with The Wood River Bike Coalition in order to raise funds for the regions trail development plan. This is an aspect of our goals wherever we travel, emphasizing our dedication to the land, its resources and the quality of life they provide for local communities, nationwide. We are proud to foster this growth in our attempt to cook "Food For Trails."
We could not have accomplished the fundraising efforts we did without the local food producers we worked with. Those incredible people are: Wood River Ranch Beef, Bellevue, ID, Squash Blossom Farm, Bellevue, ID, Shooting Star Farm, Hailey, ID, Purple Sage Farms, MIddleton, ID, Picabo Desert Farm, Picabo, ID, NourishMe Market, Ketchum, ID. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!! You guys rock!
Ride Sun Valley Festival Menu: Asian Street Bowls
Jasmine Rice, Vindaloo Beef, Curried Lentils, Lime/Sesame Slaw, Crispy Idaho Potato's, Spring Mix Greens and Spicy Almond/Ginger Sauce.
Want to try this recipe at home? Here you go!
1-3 lbs (depending on size of party) local, grass fed beef brisket or roast
Rice Wine Vinegar
4 Cloves Garlic
1 in piece fresh ginger
Lentils (1 cup)
Seasonal cabbage, savoy works great!
Russet or Red Potatoes (2-3)
Fresh Greens (arugula, spring mix, spinach)
In a rice cooker, cook rice. when finished, let breath for about 10 mins, it will get nice and sticky
On the stovetop, boil your lentils. We add water just above the amount of dry lentils, bring to a boil and add water until you reach desired consistency. We usually cook them until just before they begin to stick together. You want to be able to see each lentil. During cooking, add curry powder and sea salt to taste!
For Vindaloo beef:
We use a slow cooker for brisket or roasts. Place on high for 2-3 hours, then turn down on low until meat pulls apart. If you plan on having a dinner party, place in the slow cooker in the morning, and cook throughout the day. You can place the cooker on warm whenever you want to. Add onion (diced), tomato (chopped), cayenne (couple dashes), cumin (1T), turmeric (2T), coriander (3T), rice wine vinegar (about 1 cup), sea salt (2T), Garlic cloves (minced). Pull apart when finished and serve on top rice bowl!
Slice your potato's length wise, like french fries. Pre heat oven to 475 degree, place potato's on a baking sheet with a little bit of oil, olive, vegetable, coconut, you choose! Cook at 475 for 25-30 mins, or until crispy (this can change due to elevation) Take out, turn around and place back in the oven at 525 for 5-10 mins, again this timing depends on elevation, watch your taters! They will be so crispy!
To make your slaw, shred cabbage, using a sharp knife or mandolin. The mandolin is a great tool for this job, however be careful! They are really sharp and love to slice fingers, so watch yourself! Once shredded, add fresh lime juice, sesame oil, and a couple cracks of sea salt and ground pepper. Mix around and let sit for a couple of minutes or over night in the fridge.
Add fresh greens for garnish!! So delicious!
Spicy Almond Ginger Sauce:
Almond butter (1 jar)
juice from 2 limes
Asian chile paste (2T) add more to amp of the heat
3-4 cloves garlic
Rice Wine Vinegar (1 cup)
fish sauce (couple dashes, it can be potent!)
1 inch fresh ginger (peel off skin) add more for stronger flavor
red chile flakes (1-2T) added heat and flavor!
Water for consistency (1-2 cups, depending on desired amount and thickness)
Add garlic and ginger into food processor, mince before anything else. This will ensure that its fine and wont create any chunks in the mix. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy, using water to bring texture to desired consistency. Serve chilled or room temp!
Hope you enjoy as much as we do!! Have an incredible weekend...
Zander and Heidi