Chef Ritchie at home in Spain

Eating gourmet food prepared by Chef Ritchie is undoubtedly one of SV:Travel's highlights.  Check out what we had for dinner last night.

Photos courtesy of Steve Harshbarger, SV photographer and trip participant 

Enjoy! 




 







A Private Cycling Adventure Close To Home

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to do the Point Reyes loop with Mike Ling and Co. Yesterday, SV: Travel and Gourmet led a private ride along the familiar, but ever stunning California Coast. Pedaling along with a group of mixed abilities it is always refreshing to see the road through new eyes and be reminded of how incredible our local routes are.  

We had a casual start from the shop around nine with about half of the group riding with Mike Ling and Chris Reed, while the other half took the sprinter up with Ritchie. We all met in point Reyes in a bevy of other Saturday riders enjoying the sun and the local bakery.

Then we headed off en mass pedaling south along highway one absorbing the breathtaking cliff side view. It was a seamless day culminating with a fantastic lunch ala Chef Ritchie on the back patio. The riders basked in their accomplishment and enjoyed a Catalan influenced meal of Fideo pasta, piquillo pepper, and aubergine Romesco style sauce with chorizo Iberico and goat's milk French fetta.

 

Studio Velo Travel and Gourmet traverses the world from Spain, to New Zealand, the Sierras and back. But we also love doing local events and rides; sharing some of our favorite loops with people just learning the view from the bike. Contact the shop to save a weekend for a guided and/or catered ride for you and your coworkers, friends or family.

The joys of Spring shopping

Spring is here and farmers market season is back! Chef Ritchie talks about creating a menu at the market and the joys of shopping in the spring:

The best way to create a truly fresh and local meal is to buy your ingredients and devise your menu while perusing the farmers market. You don’t have to be a chef, although you may run into some if you go right when the markets open, to design a creative and delicious meal when you are surrounded by the awesome array of spring produce.  Give yourself plenty of time to sample, wander and collect ingredients. Talk to your farmers, ask them to describe the flavors of different varieties and if they have any pairing suggestions.


When you are designing a meal think about balance and color. The options can be overwhelming the last thing you want is to walk out of there with five different types of lettuce and nothing else. So do a preliminary lap, taste things you might be interested in. Then take a deep breath and head back to the stands you liked the most.


Warmer nights make great grilling, maybe consider picking up some spring onions Ramps, asparagus, or some baby artichokes all deliciously grillable. Image how your meal will look on your plate - let color help you build diversity into your dish.  Take care of your body and your planet and enjoy your delicious seasonal meal.

Stay tuned for one of my favorite farmer-market spring recipe. 

Chef Ritchie 

"You say you don't have the time to cook healthy food?"

You got it! Dinner in 30 minutes is actually possible.  A famous Food Network celebrity had an entire show dedicated to it.  The concept is a good one as it leaves no excuse to prepare a solid meal.  No need to order out and or make an unhealthy food choice; this time, you are in control and going to eat healthy




Here is a nice, relatively light meal that quick to make, healthy and a great meal for us cyclist. Packed with healthy carbs, lots of greens, and plenty of protein, this meal is a favorite post-rde, early evening recovery choice in our kitchen. 


Ingredient List:

Small Yukon Gold Potatoes

Chard or Kale

Favorite Portion of Fish

Spanish Smoked Paprika (Pimenton)

Garlic

Chili Flake

Extra Virgin Olive Oil - XVO

Salt & Pepper


For the potatoes

  •  Set your oven at 375 degrees and on the convection setting.
  •  Slice the potatoes about 1/4 “ thin slices.
  •  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and the paprika.  A few shakes of dried rosemary always works nicely too if you have it.
  •  Arrange on a baking sheet or a casserole dish fanned out.  This will allow for a faster cook time.
  •  In the oven they go.  30 minutes or till tender


For the Greens

  • Wash the greens thoroughly and shake dry.
  • Cut about 1 inch off the bottoms and discard.
  • Slice the greens into ½ inch pieces.
  • In a large sautee pan combine olive oil and the garlic which you have already slivered very thin.
  • Bring up to medium heat in order to “lightly toast” the garlic.
  • Add a sprinkle of chili flake.
  • Add the greens to the pan and stir to coat.
  • Add seasoning to taste and stir to incorporate.
  • A quick splash of water and a lid to cover expedites the braising process at this point.
  • Check your heat and turn down slightly as need.


For the the fish

  • Season with salt and pepper on the flesh side only.
  • Prepare a blue steel pan or a non stick pan will work.
  • Burner on high-preheat the pan.
  • Once hot, add a drizzle of oil and lay the seasoned side of the fish down first. Taking care not to splash and burn ones self.
  • Allow to cook for 3 minutes and carefully turn the fish to the other side.
  • Adjust temp of burner at this point if needed and allow fish to cook through.

Plate up

  • Arrange the potatoes, greens and fish on the plate however your creative self feels is appropriate.
  • Drizzle with a little XVO and perhaps a squeeze of Meyer Lemon as they are in season now.
  • Eat and Enjoy!

There you have it.  A simple, easy preparation, quick cook time and healthy, satisfying meal all rolled into one.  

Enjoy!

Chef Ritchie 

An abandoned edge of Manchego?

Studio Velo Cheeseburger NOT!Do you ever have those days when you just can’t figure out what to eat?  Nothing sounds good at all and you end up making unhealthy decisions?  On top of this, you may not be up to par with your exercise regiment so  early in the season, compounding those bad food choices and their effects on the body. So as a fast-paced, time-starved athlete, you are probably asking yourself what are the best choices?  I could give you the classic response: have ample fruit around to snack on and opt for a salad over the cheeseburger.  Both are wise decisions; however, by this time the body wants something “tasty” and “different” it’s too late.

healthy cycling foodThe key to making a healthy meal “on the fly “ --as we call it in the culinary biz-- is to have a well-stocked pantry at all times. And I don’t mean an entire WholeFoods isle. Do you have a tomato? Check.  Avocado? Check. An abandoned edge of  Manchego? Check.  And a bit of bread? Yes! Oh wait, the bread is gluten free…. Even better!  Toast the bread, slice the tomatoe and avocado, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with black pepper and add a little Manchego for a flavor boost. So simple, yet so good.  Found a few more hidden gems in the corner of the fridge? Add a bit of hummus to the bread first, or roasted bell peppers and basil.  Bottom line: think outside the norm of what you would go for when typically hungry and make a healthy creation.

Cycling beriesHave more time?  Get creative, pull a recipe off the web and try something new.  Simply because “nothing sounds good to eat” or you are starting to feel not-hungry due to a lack of creative ideas in the kitchen does not mean your body doesn’t need the nourishment.  Remember, you are an athlete, a rider, a runner, a swimmer.  You need good food, all the time. Simple is often tastier and easier than a complex recipe.  Allow yourself a 30-minute window for food preparation.  This is a perfect amount of time to create a great, rounded meal.  Any more time spent and it often feels like a chore rather than a fun, satisfying experience. Check back next week when I’ll post one of my favorite 30-minute gourmet meals after a day on the bike.