Colorado Avalanche: Cooking with the Players

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 26: Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) (L) and Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) smile after they were announced as silver and gold medalists in the 2014 Sochi Games before their game against the Los Angeles Kings February 26, 2014 at Pepsi Center. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 26: Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) (L) and Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) smile after they were announced as silver and gold medalists in the 2014 Sochi Games before their game against the Los Angeles Kings February 26, 2014 at Pepsi Center. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Colorado Avalanche players make some attempts in the kitchen — or, at least, share some of their favorite foods.

For Colorado Avalanche players, as with any professional athlete, nutrition is very important. However, pro hockey players tend to be stereotypical men — ie., they can’t cook.

These Colorado Avalanche players can’t necessarily cook on their own. Here are some fun videos of them at least attempting it.

First up is center Matt Duchene. The Avs had a partnership with UC Health last season. As part of that, Duchene teamed up with chef Katrina Brink to showcase some healthy recipes in honor of National Heart Month:

The menu included almond-rice pilaf with parsley, oven-baked salmon and cooked greens with raisins and walnuts. The meal is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats, vitamins and antioxidents.

Essentially, to make the pilaf (which, by the way, is apparently what results when you saute the rice in oil before boiling), saute shallots in olive oil, then the rice, and add the beef stock. The video doesn’t say, but I personally like to bring my covered rice to a boil, turn the heat off, and leave it for 15 minutes.

More from Mile High Sticking

Additionally, you have to toast the almonds in the oven. Let me tell you from experience — you’d better watch those nuts or they will burn. Anyway, after making jokes about burnt nuts, mix the toasted almonds with chopped parsley. When the pilaf is done, mix in the almond-parsley mixture.

Side note: You can saute not just onions but other vegetables to make a healthy pilaf.

Anyway, for the salmon, make a topping out of shallots, vinegar and spices. From experience, a glaze made of honey and soy sauce is also delicious. You can cook the salmon in a 450-degree oven for 15 minutes or broil it for around three minutes on each side — the fish is done when it’s flaky.

I like to put the honey-soy glaze on before cooking. However, the video has you mixing the vinegar shallots with parsley, capers and roughly-chopped almonds. (Can we celebrate with what focus Duchene mixes the topping — he really is an intense young man.)

The greens for the side dish are swiss chard, turnip greens and curly leaf kale. (Not to be confused with new draftee Cale Makar — yes, I will make kale-Cale jokes his entire career with the Colorado Avalanche.)

For the side dish, you should toast some walnuts in a pan and mince some garlic. Saute the garlic in a light amount of oil — be careful that it doesn’t brown or it will become bitter. (Been there.) Then cook the greens in the mixture until they wilt. Season with salt, raisins and toasted nuts.

While the Colorado Avalanche players must certainly eat healthy, that’s the only healthy cooking video I have for you. However, I do have a couple videos of captain Gabriel Landeskog actually doing the cooking himself.

Here’s the infamous video of a shirtless Gabe making pancakes:

It’s possible it was supposed to be an instructional video, but it mostly turned into a celebration of our classically handsome captain’s, well, charms.

Here’s a younger Landeskog being a little more serious about his cooking:

(Notice a very young Erik Karlsson in the background.)

Landeskog is with his Team Sweden teammates Niklas Persson and Peter Popovic apparently making a meringue for a cake. Since I don’t speak Swedish, I can’t transcribe the recipe for you. However, I can tell you that you shouldn’t dig around in the bowl with your finger when you drop some egg shell in it. Use a spoon. Nor is that how you separate the white from the yolks — the two should never be in the bowl together.

Gabriel Landeskog should know better — his mother is an actual Swedish chef. Cecilia Landeskog is a chef and instructor at the largest culinary school in Stockholm, Sweden.

Landeskog told Mile High Sports that, while “everything she whips up in the kitchen turns out to be magical,” his favorite dish is her salmon. Gabriel says of the dish that his mom makes it with lemon and dill “and a lot of flavors and spices.”  His own version of it his his pregame meal.

Unlike Matt Duchene — who admits in the video above that he can’t cook — Landeskog is a good cook, according to his mom.  He says he likes to barbecue on his balcony when he’s back home in Sweden.

I have one more video to share. It’s not of a player cooking, or even of a man who’s still on the team (which still burns my hide), but here’s Calvin Pickard taking Altitude TV’s Lauren Gardner for beaver tails in his hometown of Quebec:

According to Pickard, they’re very hard to get, even in Winnipeg. He says you can only get them a couple times a year.

Pickard took Gardner to an outdoor beavertail — sorry, BeaverTail — stand for the delicacy.

BeaverTails appear to be something like oblong pizzas with sweet toppings. The classic is cinnamon and sugar, though you can also get items such as Nutella, Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter. Oh, yes, and you can get maple syrup, obviously.

Interestingly, there’s also an Avalanche BeaverTail with a cheesecake topping. Anyway, BeaverTails are around $6 Canadian (which is still around $4.50) and over 500 calories, so they’re a true indulgence.

Next: Duchene Gets Married

I wonder if Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie, who’s not from the Winnipeg area (Victoria, BC for him) has ever had a BeaverTail. According to Landeskog’s ribbing, Barrie has quite the sweet tooth.