Elk Steaks with Chipotle Potato Puree

June 17, 2013

Elk steak with okra and chipotle potatoes

A few weeks ago I found a surprise on my doorstep – a cooler full of elk! A friend who has enjoyed more than a couple of dinners from the Madd Hatter’s kitchen thought I would enjoy this bounty from the Rocky Mountain states, and he was right. Surprisingly, it’s not a meat I’ve had the privilege to try before, so a little research was needed before I decided to embark upon my elk feast.

Elk is a very lean, red meat. At first glance when I opened the cooler, the coloring of the meat reminded me of bison or venison, both of which have little fat to add flavor to the meat, and the latter having a much more gamey taste. After a little reading through the information Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Company sent with the elk, I decided it must be more similar to bison meat. Thus I developed a flavorful marinade that would bring in some extra flavor where the fat was missing, but wouldn’t mask the mild, sweet flavor of the meat, which might have been needed if it were more gamey.

I recently added a new flavor to my lineup of olive oils from the Olive Bar – a chipotle olive oil that has a definite kick to it! With this as my base, I began to build on the flavors that I thought would pair nicely with a syrah, as I had decided this is what I would serve with the elk. What I ended up with was one part Southwest, one part Southern, with a sprinkling of Asian spice thrown in for good measure. And might I say, I wouldn’t change a thing about this marinade. (more…)

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Crudite with a twist

November 20, 2011

Crudite with Herbed Sea Salt and Olive Oil

You may remember this post that talks about why I now make sure I have appetizers on hand at Thanksgiving dinner. Long story short, if you don’t get the turkey to the table at the appointed time, people can still have something to nosh on instead of having grumbling tummies.

Crudite is one of the easiest things to toss out as a pre-dinner nibble. All you need to do is stop by any grocery store, and you’re bound to find a tray with hard-as-rock baby carrots, chunks of celery, and yummy broccoli, all well-organized around a dish of ranch. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s easy, everyone has their favorite veg (mine was always potato chips dipped in the ranch, though these days obviously I like the broccoli). Last year I stumbled upon a wonderful idea that I decided to try – roasting crudite. (more…)

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Set Sail for the Mediterranean!

January 20, 2011

Courtney's Mediterranean Couscous

Once upon a time I used to make this meal a couple of times a week. Then I wandered a bit, trying new things, new flavors, and I no longer had time for my tried and true couscous recipe. This week I decided to bring it back, and I’m glad I did. I missed you so, couscous salad.

I first started making this dish when I stumbled upon Near East couscous in the store. I decided to give it a whirl, and given the Mediterranean bent to the flavors (garlic, olive oil) I decided to top this with a Mediterranean salad, and a bit of chicken for good measure. (more…)

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