Taste of the Week: Monkey bread @ New Moon Bakery

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Monkey Bread served at New Moon Bakery in Nederland.
John Lehndorff

Recycling takes a tasty turn every morning at New Moon Bakery. The popular Nederland community destination dishes appealing house-baked pastries ranging from muffins and scones to coffee cake and tea breads, but I said yes to the monkey bread as soon as I heard its description. 

Chunks of day-old croissants, cinnamon rolls and other goodies are sweetly joined, rebaked, and glazed to produce to produce a totally memorable and satisfying treat. Sitting with a good cup of coffee, monkey bread has everything: a super-crunchy exterior with twice-baked raisins and nuts, plus a bite of yeasty cinnamon roll goodness followed by a bite of croissant buttery flake. 

Another roadside food attraction

If you are lucky enough to visit the ethnic food-rich neighborhoods of South Denver, make a beeline for the House of Bread, 2020 S. Parker Road, Colorado’s only Armenian bakery or restaurant Denver. The big menu at this family-run cafe and take-out spot features hard to find doughnut-like ponchik, meaty perashki, pizza-like lahmajun, distinctive breads and rolls, and classic European pastries.

Ajarski served at the House of Bread in Denver. Photo: John Lehndorff

The House of Bread dish that wows me and lots of other visitors is the ajarski, a variation on Georgian khachapuri cheese bread. A pointy-ended yeasted dough roll is baked to order topped with mozzarella and feta cheeses and two eggs. You dig into this experience by dipping chunks of chewy bread into a molten pool of cheese and runny eggs. Slices of basturma (dried beef) can be added. Note that it can take 20 minutes or so for the ajarski to emerge, but it’s a breakfast worth waiting for. Besides, there are pastries to keep you occupied in the meanwhile. 

What to do with too many green tomatoes

Echoing Bubba’s transcendent shrimp monologue in Forrest Gump, there must be a thousand things you can do with green tomatoes now that the garden season is over. You can slice them thinly, dip in egg (or batter) and panko crumbs and fry golden brown. Use those slices for fried green tomato Parmesan or as a base for eggs Benedict for brunch or dinner. Green tomatoes can be pickled (sweet or dill), used in green tomato chutney or jam, pureed for salsa, grilled or smoked and served with steak or chicken. You can substitute chunks of green tomatoes for Granny Smith apples in sweet pies. Whole green tomatoes can be baked at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes and then pureed in a blender to make pasta sauce. 

Culinary calendar 

It’s time again for the March Madness of Boulder’s world-class natural, organic, sustainable food industry. Naturally, Boulder’s 17th Annual Pitch Slam October 21 on the Boulder Jewish Community Center lawn is a day of meeting, greeting and tasting for the industry culminating in the big event. 

Of the 20 original companies in the competition only five remain: Frescos (the Latinx soft drink maker); Wild Barn Coffee (shelf stable ready-to-drink nitro cold brew); Pastificio (heirloom and ancient wheat pasta maker); Fossil Fuel Donuts; and Core and Rind which makes cashew “cheese” sauce. The winner will get a big boost toward becoming a national brand. Tickets: naturallyboulder.org. The event will also be streamed live on YouTube.

Send detailed information about Boulder County food events, wine dinners, classes, festivals and tastings at least two weeks in advance to: nibbles@boulderweekly.com