The release of Elvis, the new biopic film about the icon, has piqued interest in the King’s life, music and food obsessions. For the occasion, I unearthed Are You Hungry Tonight?, a keepsake 1992 cookbook featuring recipes for foods that Elvis loved. He was famously fond of comfy Southern favorites. The volume includes his beloved peanut butter and banana sandwiches, a reminder of Elvis’ Colorado connection. In 1976, Elvis and friends flew from Graceland to Denver to eat Fool’s Gold Loaf at Stapleton Airport. The joke food—created at Glendale’s long-gone Colorado Mine Company—was a butter-basted loaf of white bread stuffed with one pound of bacon, a jar of peanut butter and a jar of blueberry preserves.
This recipe from the collection is perfect for the arrival of the summer local tomato season. The dish is a red ripe cousin of the South’s fried green tomatoes.
2 large ripe tomatoes (approx.)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Oil (for deep frying)
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Plunge the tomatoes in the water, and hold them there for about one minute. Remove the tomatoes from the water and hold them under cold running water to remove the skins.
Cut the tomatoes horizontally and remove the seeds. Coarsely chop the tomatoes.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add the beaten egg, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and cheese. Shape the mixture into patties and deep fry in hot oil for about 45 seconds on each side, or until golden.
Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with hot sauce or pimento cheese dip. Makes about four servings.
Boulder Recipe Flashback: Dress your spinach salad
This dressing from Boulder’s legendary European Cafe was made for all those spinach salads you’ll be loving this summer. The European Cafe, located near 28th Street on Arapahoe Avenue, starred chef/potato artisan/banjo expert Radek Cerny, who went on to open L’Atelier in Boulder and the current Atelier by Radex in Denver. In the late 1990s, Cerny shared this requested recipe.
European Cafe Soy Ginger Dressing
3/4 cup sesame oil
3/4 cup garlic-infused olive oil (see recipe)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh ginger juice
To make garlic-infused olive oil, mince three large cloves of garlic, mix with olive oil and refrigerate overnight.
To make fresh ginger juice, peel 1/2 pound fresh garlic and puree in a food processor. Place in a clean towel and wring out the juice. A strainer can also be used.
Combine all ingredients and whisk until well-blended. Taste and adjust seasonings. Dressing will separate into layers between uses. Refrigerate.
To serve, heat until very warm and spoon over spinach and other fresh greens.
Sriracha Shortage! Hot Local Alternatives
If you see the rooster stamp and green cap, grab some bottles of sriracha while you can. The maker of the popular hot sauce, Huy Fong Foods, announced that due to drought in Mexico, where it grows most of its hybrid red jalapeno pepper, the company is temporarily halting production of sriracha and its other spicy products until the fall.
Don’t despair, hotheads. Grab some locally produced hot sauces that might make you forget that brand name stuff.
Picaflor Live Culture Sriracha Hot Sauce is made with organic cayenne and Portugal peppers and garlic grown on the McCauley Family Farm near Longmont (picaflor.co).
Boulder’s Seed Ranch Flavor Co. blends chipotle peppers into its memorable Smoked Jalapeño hot sauce (seedranchflavor.com).
The thick red Rocoto Hot Sauce from Longmont’s Chiporro Hot Sauce is an ideal sriracha substitute (chiporro.com).
Boulder-based Green Belly Foods’ distinctive Guatemalan-style red Chirmol sauce combines roasted tomatoes, chilies and spearmint for a refreshing saucy change (greenbellyfoods.com).
Culinary Calendar: Taking a Stand
We are assembling a comprehensive guide to farm stands in Boulder County and beyond to support local family agriculture. Help make the guide complete by emailing hours, offerings and detailed farm stand locations to: email@example.com