Almond Anise Biscotti Recipe

Yield: 20

Here’s a delectable cookie that will add Italian flair to your after-party coffee or hot chocolate—almond biscotti. At the Cork, we always serve a cup of delicious affogato with its compatriot confection. Our secret spice? Anise. This herb has a subtle sweetness much like fennel or licorice and often appears in Italian biscotti recipes, thanks to its abundance in the Mediterranean region. To bring out the herb’s flavor, we add Pernod, an anise-flavored liqueur, to the dough. The almonds add the satisfying crunch of proper biscotti.  If you serve this twice-baked chunk of Roman heaven at your next festivity, don’t be surprised if it ends up on your “must-bake” list!


Almond Anise Biscotti Recipe2 ¾ C All-Purpose Flour
1 1/3 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Sugar
½ Cup Whole almonds
1/3 Cup sliced almonds
2 Tablespoon cornmeal
1 ½ Tablespoon whole aniseed
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
8 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp, cubed
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Pernod
1 egg white, lightly beaten


  1. Oven at 350
  2. Combine flour, sugar almonds, cornmeal, aniseed, baking powder, and salt in large mixer. Add butter. Mix until the consistency of wet sand.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla, and Pernod liqueur until dough forms.
  4. Divide dough into 4 parts. Roll out onto silpats about 1/2″  high and 4″ wide. Bake for 20 minutes. Or until lightly browned.
  5. Cool slightly and cut into 1” wide pieces. Bake again for 10-15 min or until brown and hard.

Oven-roasted Halibut with Lemon, Herb-roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus

Oven-roasted halibut_Boulder Cork

By Chef Jim Smailer of the Boulder Cork

Serves 6


1 1/2 lbs. of assorted fingerling potatoes cut in half length wise
Zest and juice from one lemon
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup spring onion, chopped
1T fresh rosemary, minced
1/4 cup best-quality olive oil
Salt and pepper

2 bunches of medium asparagus (not pencil-sized), trimmed and washed
Zest from one lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

6 seven-ounce halibut, thick-cut filet portions
Best quality olive oil to drizzle
Lemon (wedges)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

For the potatoes (25 mins)

  1. Toss all together and place in a roasting pan or baking sheet ( Do not crowd the pan )
  2. Place in 425-degree oven
  3. The potatoes will take about 25 min. (toss potatoes once or twice to brown evenly )
  4. While the potatoes are roasting, prep the asparagus and halibut.

For the asparagus (12 mins)

  1. Drizzle asparagus with the olive oil and sprinkle with zest , salt and pepper.
  2. Place in 425-degree oven
  3. The asparagus will take about 12 minutes.

For the halibut (12 mins)

  1. Drizzle some olive oil in a roasting pan large enough to hold the filets.
  2. Drizzle olive oil on top of halibut and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place in 425-degree oven
  4. The halibut will take about 12 minutes also.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Jim Smailer’s Triple M Bar Braised Lamb


Jim Smailer’s Triple M Bar Braised Lamb5 lbs. Triple M Bar leg or shoulder meat cut into 1 ½- to 2-inch cubes (I like a mix of the 2 cuts)

1/2 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 parsnips, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

8 crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 bunch parsley, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1 oz. dried porcini (optional)

1 T. fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

1 28 oz. can of Italian plum tomatoes, chopped

1 cup port wine

2 cups good quality red wine

8 cups of roasted chicken stock


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  1. Toss the lamb cubes with Wondra flour and salt and pepper.
  1. In a large sauté pan, brown the lamb in 1/2 cup olive oil over medium high heat. Do not crowd the lamb.  You may have to cook it in batches. Get the lamb very brown on all sides.
  1. Remove the lamb and place in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan.
  1. In the pan the lamb was cooked in, add 1/4 cup olive oil and sauté onion, carrot, parsnip, celery, crimini mushrooms, parsley, garlic, shallots and porcini with fresh thyme and bay leaves. Cook vegetables until nicely browned.
  1. Add the tomatoes, port, and wine and cook until some wine evaporates.
  1. Add chicken stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Pour vegetable mixture over lamb.
  1. Cover pan with lid or tight-fitting aluminum foil and bake in a 300 degree oven for about 3 hours. There will not be much fat, but if necessary, skim off any excess.
  1. Serve very warm with gnocchi or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Serves 6. 

This recipe also appeared in the Winter Locavore column of the Boulder Daily Camera.

Porcini-Rubbed Steak with Crispy Polenta, Mixed Mushrooms and Arugula

By Chef Jim Smailer

Serves 6

Porcini-Rubbed SteakIngredients

3 – 16 oz. NY strip steaks
Mixed mushrooms

For the rub:

3 cloves of garlic minced
1oz. dried porcini mushrooms ground to a powder in spice grinder.
2 – tsp. of sugar
1 – tsp. of kosher salt
1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes
Fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil.

For the polenta:

4 cups of water
2 cups of polenta corn grits
1/4 cup of cream
2 T of butter
4 ounces white cheddar cheese grated


  1. Mix all ingredients together to make a paste. Rub on the both sides of the steaks.
  2. Place steaks in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove steaks from the refrigerator and brush off any excess rub.
  4. Grill or pan sauté steaks until medium rare and let rest.
  5. Sauté mixed mushrooms.
  6. (See instructions for polenta below) Cut the polenta into 3 in squares and then cut diagonally in half.
  7. Grill or sauté polenta on both sides until crispy.
  8. Place 3 pieces of polenta on a plate and top with a little arugula that has been tossed with lemon juice and olive oil Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  9. Place sautéed mixed mushrooms on top of arugula.
  10. Slice the steaks and place on top. Garnish with a little more arugula shaved Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil.

For the polenta

  1. Bring water to a boil and add 1 tsp. of salt.
  2. Whisk in the polenta and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cook until mixture begins to thicken and whisk in the cream and butter.
  4. Cook mixture for about 10 min. over low heat stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheese. Taste for salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Pour polenta into an oiled sheet pan. The polenta should be about 3/4 in. thick.
  7. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

The Best Butternut Squash Ravioli

Chef Jim’s Butternut Squash Ravioli is fresh, flavorful and perfect for autumn weather. While it does require some persistence, the end result is well worth the effort. Serve up a hearty plate of fresh ravioli drizzled in sage brown butter sauce and the perfect wine pairing.

Yield: Approximately 60-75 ravioli

For the Pasta


2 1/2 oz. semolina flour
6 1/2 oz. flour
3 T. water
1 T. olive oil
9 egg yolks


  1. In a mixer with a paddle attachment combine flours.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the water, olive oil and egg yolks. Add this liquid to the flours. A very firm dough will form in about 30 seconds.
  3. Remove dough to a floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes. In the final minute start to shape the dough into a 6 inch cylinder.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour or as long as 3 hours.

For the Filling


1 medium butternut squash prepared the following way:

  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place the squash cut side down on a buttered baking dish.
  • Roast the squash in a 325 degree oven for approximately one hour or until the squash is very tender when pierced by a fork.
  • Let the squash cool to room temperature and remove seeds and skin.
  • Chop the squash into large pieces and place in a bowl. The squash should be very tender and somewhat dry. If not, place the pieces back into the oven and roast until tender.

1 cup fresh ricotta
2 oz. grated reggiano parmesan
1 T. pure maple syrup
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. allspice
1/8 t. cayenne pepper or red chile
Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Add the above ingredients to the squash and place into a food processor fitted with a steel blade. You may need to do this step in two batches depending on the size of your food processor.
  2. Process the mixture until very smooth. Remove mixture and chill for at least 1 hour. You can prepare the filling the day before.
  3. To prepare the pasta, place the dough on a floured surface and cut into five equal pieces.
  4. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten into a disk with the palm of your hand.
  5. Set your pasta machine on 0 and roll dough through 0 setting.
  6. Continue to roll dough on settings 0 thru 4 rolling through these settings two times each.
  7. Roll dough through settings 5 and 6 one time each. Now you are ready to make the ravioli.
  8. You can make free form ravioli or use a ravioli mold. I prefer to use the mold. Make sure you dust the mold with flour before placing the pasta in or the pasta will stick.
  9. Place a dollop of mixture onto the pasta and cover with a top layer of pasta that you prepare the same way as the bottom layer. Roll over the mold with a little pasta rolling pin to form and seal the ravioli. Turn mold upside down to remove the ravioli. Place the finished raviolis in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet dusted with flour. Repeat the above process with remaining pasta dough and filling.
  10. You can cook the ravioli immediately or refrigerate them for up to two hours uncovered. You can also freeze the ravioli in a single layer to use at a later time. When cooking the ravioli bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the desired amount of ravioli for about 5 – 6 minutes.
  11. Transfer the ravioli to a serving plate and spoon over sage browned butter. Top with a little grated or crumbled amaretti cookies and freshly grated reggiano parmesan.

For the Sage Browned Butter


1 stick of unsalted best quality butter
1 T. chopped fresh sage


  1. In a small sauce pan cook butter over medium high heat until it starts to brown.
  2. Remove immediately from heat and add the sage leaves.
  3. Spoon and gently toss the warm butter mixture over the ravioli.

The Best Butternut Squash Ravioli

Chef Jim’s Clams Oreganato Recipe

Composite Image_Clams Oreganato

The only thing better than the clean, bright flavors of this delicious seafood starter is how easy it is to prepare. It’s a great dish for the experienced seafood cook and the novice clam-shucker alike. A popular appetizer in Italy, Clams Oreganato takes its name from the addition of oregano to the light bread crumb topping. This version has a bit of a spicy kick thanks to the Fresno chile (or jalapeño), and pairs well with both sauvignon blanc and pinot noir.

Makes two-dozen clams on the half-shell.

2 dozen littleneck clams
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried hot chile, crushed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 T fresh chopped oregano
1 small fresh Fresno chile or jalapeño, minced
2 T fresh parsley, minced
Zest from one lemon
2T chopped roasted red pepper
1T tomato paste
1 tsp capers, rinsed and chopped
2 anchovies, minced

For the crumb topping:

  1. Sauté garlic, crushed chile and dried oregano in the olive oil.
  2. When garlic is just cooked add all the other ingredients and stir together.
  3. Taste for spice. This is a spicy dish and should taste a bit hot.

For the clams:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Rinse and scrub the clams with cold water.
  3. Shuck the clams over a bowl so as to catch all the clam juice.
  4. Release clams from bottom shell with a knife.
  5. Discard top shell of clams to create 24 clams on the half-shell.
  6. Place clams in a baking pan.
  7. Pour the juice from the clams into the crumb mixture and heat slightly.
  8. Top each clam with a heaping spoon of crumb mixture.
  9. Bake in a very hot 475 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Jingle Bell Salsa Recipe

Jingle Bell Salsa

jingle bell salsa
Scottish salmon with a polenta-stuffed chile and jingle bell salsa.

This beautiful, flavor-packed salsa adds a sprinkling of holiday colors to your dinner party. Versatile, fresh, herbaceous, fruity and zesty, jingle bell salsa works with all different kinds of meats and can stand alone with chips or strips of flatbread. The best part? You can make it year-round, even with the festive name.


1T minced red onion
1/2 cup minced fresh fennel
1T minced parsley
8 cherry tomatoes red and yellow quartered
1 small cucumber finely chopped
Zest and juice from one orange and one Meyer lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients
1 pomegranate


Cut the pomegranate in half and over a bowl in the sink smack the fruit with the back of a large spoon to gather seeds. Remove pith and stir seeds into salsa right before serving. Enjoy!


Kate’s Pumpkin Pie Exploration

Chef Jim’s wife Kate test-baked four pumpkin pies for the Cork’s holiday season. Try one of the recipes (especially Kate’s favorite) for your Thanksgiving this year.

pumpkin pie

My tried-and-true holiday-time pie tradition has always been more apple than pumpkin, and I bake a much-loved apple pie for the holiday season at the restaurant. This year, however, I decided to give the fall-favorite pumpkin pie a chance. I volunteered to help bake pumpkin and pecan pies for our seasonal menu and made it my personal mission to find a pumpkin pie that everyone would crave when the air became crisp and the leaves began turning. I researched recipes and reviews online and decided to taste-test these four pies:

1.  Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Crunch Topping

2.  Joanne Chang’s Pumpkin Pie

3.  Martha Stewart’s Traditional Pumpkin Pie

4.  Food Network Pumpkin Pie

“Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Crunch topping” won the contest. The graham cracker crust was a game-changer. The recipe also met my high standard for a filling both light and creamy, with the right amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove. Of course, I judged the aesthetics of each pie as well, and the extra egg yolk in Flay’s batter recipe made for a filling that did not crack upon cooling. The pie is topped off with a Cinnamon Crunch, which is reminiscent of an apple crisp coating, and a sinful Bourbon and Maple Syrup-flavored whipped cream.

In the end, Flay’s recipe won because it spiced up the usual, boring pumpkin pie, and it passed the ultimate test—I wanted another piece! This holiday season, I hope you will drop in to enjoy a slice of the pumpkin pie that has made me a believer.

Happy holiday season to everyone!

– Kate Smailer

Chef Jim’s Super Simple Yellow Tomato Sauce

Super simple yellow tomato sauce – drizzled over squash blossoms.


3 medium farmer’s market yellow or orange tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
8 fresh basil leaves (mix of green and purple leaves is nice)
1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper


Place all of ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Taste for salt.
Adjust consistency – if too thin add a little more oil. This all depends on size of tomatoes.
Can be stored in refrigerator for 1 or 2 days

So simple – and delicious and refreshing! I also make this with one clove of farmer’s market garlic. This sauce is great on just about any fish. I also use it with some vegetable dishes as a garnish or sauce. It goes perfectly with chile rellenos or stuffed squash blossoms.

Cook’s tip: Make this sauce and place in a squeeze bottle. Sauce should be at room temperature for use.

Recipe: Spring Salsa Verde

1 cup chopped artichoke heart preferably from fresh ( about 2 medium )
1 medium shallot minced
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
1 T. sherry wine vinegar
1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley minced
2 T. capers rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of Castelvetrano olives chopped
1/2 cup of very good quality extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of crushed red chile
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine above to form a coarse salsa.
Great on grilled fish or steak
Photo of sautéed Halibut with salsa verde.
Enjoy the season!!!!

Spring Salsa Verde