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Larb Gai (Lap-Guy)

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This recipe is a twist on a South East Asian dish. In my late twenties I bought a one way ticket to Bangkok. For almost six months I traveled through Thailand, Malaysia and Laos. This dish was my absolute favorite, and I asked for it everywhere I went — to the dismay of some purveyors. Larb is a “peasant dish” served from basic ingredients and can be cooked street-side. I prefer Larb with chicken, Larb Gai. When it is cooked in Asia, it is cooked with boiling water. The cook will pour boiling water over the ground chicken until it is cooked through. This recipe is a shortcut where I cook the chicken in a cast iron skillet with coconut oil.

1lb ground chicken
Fresh mint (30 leaves, size of silver dollar)
Chlies
Red onion med-large
Fish sauce
Lemongrass (optional)
Basil
Peanuts (optional)
Rice powder
Cilantro

Saute ground chicken (or ground pork, beef), add 1/2 red onion, finely chopped, when chicken is nearly done, add lemongrass to taste. I use a tube of lemongrass that is already prepped and squeeze out about a generous tablespoon. Add chilies of your choice, fresh or dried. Dried will be more potent. I would use one fresh thai or fresno chile about the size of a small elephant’s toe nail. Add fish sauce, (be careful!) I add about 1/2 teaspoon- 1 teaspoon at this stage. I can always add more later, but too much fish sauce will ruin any dish. Get to know this ingredient. Add about 15 mint leaves, each about the size of a silver dollar. When the chicken is fully cooked, add cilantro and basil, your choice as to how much to use. I use more basil than cilantro and try to use Thai basil, but sweet italian basil will work too. Add rice powder. Rice powder can be made by pulverizing rice in a coffee grinder or food processor. I use long grain brown rice. Make sure the rice is really pulverized. Feel it with your hands. It should feel like fine sand. The rice powder soaks up the flavors of this dish and really gives it a great consistency and texture. Use about 2 tablespoons of rice powder per pound of ground meat. Once your ingredients are all sautéed together, let the dish “rest” on the stove for about five minutes. Before serving, add another 15 fresh mint leaves, the other 1/2 of the red onion finely chopped, and some more basil and cilantro to taste. Taste to see if you want more fish sauce. Recently I added some peanuts. Experiment, Explore, Enjoy! Serve with thai sticky rice, (not sushi rice), or black thai rice, or without carb. I like to put the meat into red or green cabbage leaves and eat like a taco or roll. Enjoy!

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Green Thumbs: Welcome Back Winter!

Another quick dose of winter doesn’t bother Millie or the plants thriving in the greenhouse here!

Winter's Last Stand?

Winter’s Last Stand?

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Hot Topic Around Klauzer & Tremaine

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Jessica Ryan’s Presentation Highlighted at Northwest Colorado Oil and Gas Symposium

Attorney Jessica Ryan of Klauzer & Tremaine speaks about oil and gas contract negotiation to the 150 people who attended the Northwest Colorado Oil and Gas Symposium.

An article about the event published by the Steamboat Pilot & Today can be found here.

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Exhibit for the Northwest Colorado Oil and Gas Symposium

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Penne with Black Eye Peas, Spinach & Pancetta


1lb Penne pasta

4-6 oz Cooked blacked eyed peas

2 oz Pancetta (2-3 thick slices)

4-6 oz Cooked drained spinach

1-2 T Butter/extra virgin olive oil

2-3T Coarsely chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley

Parmigianino Reggiano

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Pasta pot

Large sauté pan

Bring 8 quarts of water to boil. Cook 1lb Penne to less than al dente. You are under cooking your pasta from the texture you would like to eat it at, because you are going to finish cooking it with the ingredients in the large sauté pan or whatever pan you have big enough to accommodate the entire pound of pasta. After putting water on stove, and you are using plenty of water, (what might seem like too much), add 2T kosher salt. Bring to boil. Add pasta. Stir. Stir again in 1 minute, and repeat stirring each 1-2 minutes for the 8-12 minutes it will take you to cook the pasta until it retains a “bite.” Do not leave the stove. (You should be multi-tasking with the steps below, but you do not have to. You can cook the pasta and let it sit for only a few minutes. If you cook the pasta first, drizzle some olive oil over it to keep it from sticking. A minimal amount will do the trick.) Drain pasta and reserve about a cup of the water. I place a colander in the sink on top of a pot and catch some of the water, then pull the pot out from under the colander to disregard the remaining water down the drain. Figure out what works best for you when working with boiling water.

Heat a sauté pan big enough to accommodate 1lb pasta. Once the pan is gently warmed, (not scorching), add butter and or olive oil. I use 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil. It is worth the cost of the flavor. If your pancetta is super fatty, you can trim the fat, or reduce the oil/butter, or indulge in the decadence. You will find that pre-packaged grocery store pancetta is thin and will burn quickly. It is best to get deli-sliced pancetta about ¼ inch thick, or use think sliced bacon. If you have to use the thin pancetta, it will only take about 1 minute to burn if your heat is too high. Adjust your heat accordingly, and do not leave the stove. Stir. Get the bits of animal fat off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. (Prosciutto is not suitable, as it will burn and turn grey. I love prosciutto, and this recipe can be used with prosciutto, just add it at the end after everything is cooked. Prosciutto is cured so there is no need to cook it. Pancetta needs to be cooked.)

Add cooked drained black eyed peas. You can buy them frozen, canned or you can soak and cook yourself. Stir to coat the peas with the olive oil, butter, animal fat, add the Italian parsley. Make sure your heat is low enough to warm the ingredients not burn them. Add some butter or olive oil if your pan is too dry. You can also add a little pasta water if you would like 1T at a time, (you will add some pasta water later). Add undercooked pasta and Italian parsley. Toss. Add spinach. Toss. Add shaved Parmigianino to your taste, Toss. I like to use a vegetable peeler and shave off pieces at this stage. I add some at this stage and grate some over top when serving. Cook for about 2-3 minutes to bring all of the ingredients together. I avoid salt, since the ham (pancetta), the cheese and the pasta water all contain the salt. Your choice. I do add cracked black pepper in to my liking, and encourage you to experiment with customizing the recipe to your liking. Add a dollop of truffle butter at this stage or red pepper flakes. Enjoy with a good beverage of your choice, (A nice red or white wine, beer, mineral water.) Abbondonza!

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“So you wanna be your own lawyer?”

You are the captain of your own ship; the creator of your own destiny.  Why not navigate the legal system as a pro se litigant? (Pronounced “pro-say” pro se is Latin for “on one’s own behalf”)  Read on and I will direct you to a resource available to you that can provide basic knowledge of some skills you will need to have in order to succeed in Court.

Without the right navigational system, (radar, sonar, Google Maps, Rand McNally, GPS), you are bound to get lost.  Court is the same–without the right “map,” you could find that you are on the wrong route.  The sense of panic a lost traveler encounters when they misplace their passport is the same feeling a confused pro se party can encounter when tossed by the currents of the judicial system.

What is meant to preserve civility and prevent chaos often makes pro se parties feel disheartened, disadvantaged and distraught.  Without forewarning, you could find yourself in the eye of a tumultuous hurricane, and I am not talking about the delicious grenadine spiked libation.  You need a life preserver, some basic information.

What you need as a pro se litigant is a base knowledge of the rules of evidence, the rules of court procedure, and the law.  What evidence is relevant? What procedure applies?  Civil? Small Claims? Traffic?  What is the law?

Court is where you go to fight a legal issue with your opponent.  Court is adversarial.  However, for this battle you will need to leave your joust at home, your horse in the barn and really think through your plan of attack to persuade the judge to your point of view.

Fortunately, for the pro se litigant, the Colorado Bar Association offers free information online.  This website provides guidance to the pro se litigant by offering basic tools that you will need to present an effective case.

So, you visit the website, read the literature; outline your script; watch twenty episodes of Law & Order, and prepare a three-ring binder of information to present to the judge.  You have read rules until your brain hurts.  You’re ready.

You proceed to the courthouse and make your way to the right court room.  If all goes well, the judge is there, your opponent is there, and your case is called on schedule. The judge sounds friendly, asks if you’re ready to proceed, and your mind goes blank.  (Right about now would be a convenient time for an electricity outage or a fire alarm drill.)

However, because you have prepared for this adventure, you regain composure, make your opening statement and present your side of the story to the Judge.  You make it through your day in court unscathed.  The success or failure of your mission, in the end, will depend on how well you have prepared, and when it comes down to it, the Judge will tell you whether or not your mission was accomplished.  In parting, my general advice is to cultivate your own sensibility and strategy toward fairness and always read the fine print.  To borrow words from a mentor: Don’t bring a knife to a gun-fight.  Good Luck and Carpe Diem.

Originally published in The Steamboat Local

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