Cool Contrasts Salad

January 29, 2015

Cool Contrasts Salad

It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of salads that have a warm component to them. Whether it is a warm blackberry vinaigrette or adding freshly made buffalo strips, having something warm with my greens makes a salad feel substantial, like a real meal for me. So when I was raiding my refrigerator the other night for things to pair with my baby spinach, it’s no surprise that my first instinct was to sauté or roast the pears I found. But then, I noticed the cucumber sitting next to it, and I decided to go a different route.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy cucumber is with a Japanese bent – soak the cucumber slices, strips, or cubes with onion in a dressing of rice wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. (more…)

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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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Spinach Salad with Duck and Black Cherry Vinaigrette

September 23, 2010

Spinach Salad with Duck & Cherries

This salad is great for a light dinner. The smoked duck seems filling, but it’s a salad with a with a with a vinaigrette, so it seems light at the same time. My recipe was born from trying to figure out what I should do with the smoked duck breast I bought from Fabrique Delices. Their booth at the Campbell Farmer’s Market is always full of yummy meats, such as merguez sausages, various types of duck, and pates. (more…)

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Courtney’s Veggie Pita with Harissa

September 19, 2010

Grilling Vegetables

Attention Campbellites, this post is for you!

Actually, it’s for anyone that is experiencing those last warm days of summer that are fading into fall. This sandwich was inspired by products I pick up at my local farmer’s market, but if you’re not from these parts, you should easily be able to find most products in your local store (and the one secret ingredient online if not locally).

The veggie pita sandwich starts off with veggies – duh! Personally, I like to start with zucchini, summer squash, and onions. You could also try adding some tomatoes or eggplant to the mix. (more…)

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