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Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Pop-Up Restaurant Event in Fort Collins

Local Artist/”Shrine Maker,” Maggie Kunze shows off her post election day Obama Shrine

Cold snowy weather could not dampen the spirits of the local crowd that showed up at Everyday Joes Coffee House on Saturday, November 10. William Pilch showcased his own brand    of eclectic entertainment at his latest pop-up restaurant.  A mix of film, stand-up, dancers, musicians, singers, etc provided the evening’s entertainment. Fly By Diner catered the event. Our theme was “Latin Hot Hot Hot, and we certainly needed some heat for our first snowy night of the season. 

First up: Ancho-Spiced Caramel Peanut Corn, followed by Lara’s own Pineapple Habanero Jam bruschetta; Latin Chopped Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette; Chicken Posole with Crunchy Radish, Cabbage, and Lime; Cocoa infused Spanish-style Black Bean Sliders with Pimento Olive and Orange Salsa; and Dark Chocolate Chili Bark for Dessert.

Check out William Pilch’s site below for updated information about coming events.

Wild (dry) Mushroom Risotto – perfect for fall

I recently wrote about attending the Rogue Valley Farmer’s Market in Medford Oregon. One of my favorite “finds” was an assortment of dried mushrooms from

Mushrooms All Year. Needless to say, I will be ordering more mushrooms from Louis.

A cool Rocky Mountain fall day inspired me to make risotto. The incredibly “freshly dehydrated” mushroom mix of morels, porcini, chanterelle, and lobster mushrooms did not disappoint.  This dish is terrific with or without the traditional use of parmesan cheese to finish the dish.

Wild (dried) Mushroom Risotto                                                                                                             


4 cups Vegetable Stock (I like Imagine Foods Brand, which is also gluten-free)

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 oz. dried wild mushrooms

8 oz package of fresh white or crimini mushrooms

½ tsp. dried thyme

2 medium leeks, white part only

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup Prosecco or dry white wine

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Freshly shredded Parmesan Reggiano (optional)


*Place wild mushrooms in a bowl with warm tap water (at least 2 cups) to rehydrate for 30-45 minutes.

*Clean the leeks, rinsing well, cutting in quarters lengthwise, and then crosswise into ½”slices. Use a towel to remove dirt from the white or crimini mushrooms, and slice.

*Warm the vegetable stock in a medium saucepan. You want to maintain a low simmer.

*Drain the rehydrated mushrooms, saving the soaking water. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any remaining “grit”.  Coarsely chop, leaving larger pieces, and set aside.  Strain the mushroom liquid through a coffee filter or fine strainer and add 1-½ cups of the mushroom stock to the vegetable stock and bring back to a low simmer.

*Heat 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in another medium saucepan and add the white mushrooms and sauté until they have released their juices and are tender.  Remove from heat and add to the rehydrated chopped wild mushrooms.

Rehydrated Wild Mushrooms with White Mushrooms

*Add remaining 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil to the saucepan. Sauté the leeks over medium heat for a few minutes and add the dried thyme. Continue to sauté until the leeks are soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes..

*Pour in the Prosecco and continue to cook until the rice absorbs most of the wine. This doesn’t take very long.

*Add a ladleful of simmering stock to the rice and give it a good stir, let it simmer over medium heat until most of the stock is absorbed, giving the risotto a stir every few minutes. Many recipes tell you to stir the risotto constantly. I have learned that this isn’t the case: that said, stay close by!

*Add another ladle full of stock and repeat the process adding another ladleful of stock as the previous one is absorbed. Depending on the type and age of your rice, you may not use all of the 5 ½ cups of stock. I had close to a cup left. What is important is that your rice should be creamy but still al dente (firm with a bit of “tooth”).

*Add the mushrooms and the pine nuts and stir briefly to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

*Add Parmesan if desired and mix in, or sprinkle on top.

*Serve immediately!

*This recipe serves 4.

Finished Risotto

“Bon Voyage” Dr. Patti Palagi

Fly By Diner was honored to provide appetizers and desserts for a celebratory “bon voyage” party for Dr. Patti Palagi this past week-end. Several hundred people attended, bringing cards, flowers, presents, and best wishes for a family doctor who was certainly loved and respected by her patients and colleagues. We wish Dr. Palagi the best of luck and happiness in her upcoming new home in Seattle, WA. Hopefully, we will see her back in our community someday!

Next up for Fly By Diner: William Pilch’s Pop Up Restaurant at Everyday Joes Cafe on November 10th. Enjoy an evening of great food, art, entertainment, and more! Refer to the link below!