Hi! I know what you’re already thinking…an après ski blog in March? Am I crazy? The first day of Spring is tomorrow. Bad timing.
Not really, actually. Spring Break is finally here…& that means VACATION! Since so many families & college kids are headed out West for some great Spring skiing…as well as some of our die-hard friends who need another ski week before it gets too warm…not to mention those of you who have moved out West to live, work & ski. I think you may agree that this blog post makes a ton of sense. After a day of skiing or snowboarding, you are hungry. Famished. While ski resorts have great après-ski menus, the food is expensive, and most kids are not going to sit in a restaurant for any length of time waiting to be served at the end of a long day, which is a nightmare for parents on vacation, because, suddenly, vacation isn’t vacation anymore. Also, most of you college students may not be able to afford every afternoon eating & drinking out. Lastly, some of us just want to get out of all those layers & chill…have a glass of something…& eat.
Thus, you need a menu.
But, there’s a little more background about this menu…I simply did not come up with the idea myself. I’m not that good. Dear friends of ours recently moved out West to live, work & ski…eventually, I received a text asking me to come up with an après-ski menu for them & their friends. After some considerable thought and a little research to see what various ski resort restaurants predominantly serve, I got to work. The menu had to be (almost) make-ahead & easy…after a full day of any activity, & especially skiing, you’re whooped. The last thing anyone wants to do is to start cooking…& if there is any preparation, it should be dishes that can prepared in less than 20 minutes…
…like Classic Cast-Iron Pan Pizza…this is the easiest & BEST pizza you will ever put into your mouth. All you need are a cast-iron skillet, store-bought pizza dough, crushed tomatoes & 2 cups (an 8-ounce bag) of shredded mozzarella cheese…& any topping you may like to add…I added sautéed mushrooms & fresh baby spinach to this pizza, but the sky’s the limit…how about Tomato Confit instead of crushed tomatoes, then add pesto & black olives? I have converted many to this method of making pizza, which I originally learned from Bon Appétit,..yes, I have tweaked the recipe a bit & have made it my own…use medium instead of high stove heat…use olive oil instead of cornmeal…crushed tomatoes instead of “sauce in a jar”…& only bake the pizza for 8 minutes on the highest oven temperature you can muster…in less than 20 minutes, pizza is served & all those hungry mouths are happy.
If you’re an adventuresome eater, try this pizza after a day on the slopes…Pear Pancetta Parmesan Cast-Iron Pan Pizza. To me, pears are underutilized in cooking…pears pair well with so many different foods. The combination of sweet, ripe, juicy pears with salty, crisp pancetta & good quality Parmesan is outstanding…before you leave for the slopes, cook a package of diced pancetta, then when you return, fire up your oven, make the crust…thinly slice a pear & lay atop the dough…sprinkle the diced pancetta over the pear slices…add the Parmesan, then mozzarella…bake 8 minutes…serve. Seriously, how easy is that? If you want to take this pizza to a whole new level, drizzle a little Mike’s Hot Honey…the honey is infused with chiles & it is delish! You need a bottle in your pantry!
As I was researching this menu, I saw a photo of tuna nachos…ahi tuna was served on tortilla chips…with salsa & melted cheese. This did not appeal to me at all. What did sound appealing…amazing, actually…was, instead, diced ahi tuna served over crispy wontons, which I bought at our favorite Chinese take-out…why would anyone make crispy wontons when you can buy them for 60 cents a bag? I mean…really🙂
OK, so for the easiest last-minute après-ski dish that’s sorta healthy, dice in the morning…tuna, avocado, scallions, mango, red pepper, cilantro…buy a bag of broccoli slaw & a bottle of ginger dressing…& a bunch of bags of crispy wontons from the local Chinese take-out…trust me, there is one nearby…everyone will eat the wontons while you assemble the nachos for Après-ski…throw all the ingredients on top of the wontons…add dressing…eat. If you want a little kick, drizzle some Wasabi Ginger Cream over the nachos…this stuff is the bomb…fat-free sour cream, ginger paste & wasabi powder…I have made these nachos so many times over the last few weeks, the take-out folks throw wontons in a bag & take my money before a word even comes out of my mouth…how sad is that? If you love these flavors, then Ahi Tuna Nachos will become a fave, I promise! 😉
We also need dips! A few years ago, I created Skinny Tzatziki Dip with Lemon & Toasted Pine Nuts, & I thought this would be great to serve as part of an après-ski menu…after all, serving something skinny allows us to indulge in other areas:) This dip is great because you can make it ahead of time…it will last all week…& everyone loves it. Serve the Skinny Tzatziki Dip with pita chips, cucumbers, & a bunch of other veggies…
…that can also be dipped in Quick & Easy Magic Green Sauce! How’s that for a twofer? This sauce rocks! Throw avocado, parsley, cilantro, pistachios (or cashews or macadamias), jalapeño, olive oil & lotsa lime juice…& zest…into a blender…blend & serve! This creamy deliciousness is so over-the-top good, you’ll be making it forever! What I love about the sauce is that it remains green & doesn’t turn brown, due to the large amount of lime juice in the sauce…magic! What I love even more is that this sauce is delicious with everything, & I serve it with…
…Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas, a dish that can be cooked in a slow cooker or 200˚ oven all day while you ski. When you come home, get someone to pull the pork while you reduce the sauce…broil the saucy pork for 5 minutes to make it deliciously crispy & enjoy! I like serving flour & corn tortillas with the carnitas, along with Quick & Easy Magic Green Sauce, fat-free sour cream & sliced jalapeños…depending on your crowd, this dish will last easily 3 or 4 days, which is great for Après-ski all week!
Lastly, we need a sweet! I’ve had Bailey’s Irish Cream on my mind with it having been St. Patrick’s Day this past week, & I decided to make a batch of 5-Minute Irish Cream Brownies…OMG! Skiing, to me, means a little Bailey’s during Après-ski, so here you go! Chocolate & Bailey’s all in one bite! Life can’t get any better. Be sure to serve the brownies with a little extra Bailey’s, just for good measure…after all, you’re on vacation. Enjoy the menu! Bon Voyage & safe travels, wherever you go. If you’re having a staycation, this menu is also fab for #MarchMadness…I promise! Cheers!
An Easy (Almost) Make-Ahead Après-Ski Menu