Rosemary garlic potatoes

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sorry for the terrible photo. not #foodporn

Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients
6 red potatoes, quartered
1/8 cup good olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
minced rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon butter (I used 1.5, cuz more butter, the better)
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used smoked gouda, which I had on hand)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 box of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, corn, carrots, beans mix)
Melted butter to brush on top of mashed potatoes

Directions:
Cut the potatoes in quarters and cover the chopped potatoes in cold water plus an inch. Boil for 5-10 minutes until cooked through. Drain water. Place potatoes in a pan with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Pan fry the potatoes in 1 layer until browned and crisp. Flip with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning. Remove the potatoes from the heat, season to taste, and serve. Fry the vegetables with some butter, salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Add a protein of your choice if you so desire (I used herbed turkey breast).

~Jessica

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Seared ‘garlic’ elk sirloin

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Adapted from Nevada Foodies and Creek’s Edge Elk Farm

Ingredients:
.57 lbs. of elk sirloin from here
salt and fresh cracked pepper
garlic
rosemary/thyme
For the smashed potatoes:
6-8 potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
Chopped fresh chives
roast mushrooms and caramelized onions (optional)

Directions:

Let steaks stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, boil quartered potatoes until tender (cover potatoes in 1 inch of water and check after 5 minutes of boiling, less if smaller). Then add butter to a pan on medium heat, and smash potatoes. Season with rosemary and chives. Cook other side vegetables as you prefer.

Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over steaks. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Add vegetable oil to the pan and swirl to coat, heat until shimmering, but not quite smoking. Place the elk steaks in pan; sear 2 minutes on all sides. Remove from heat.

Add butter and garlic and seasonings to the pan. Carefully grasp pan handle using an oven mitt or folded dry dish towel. Tilt pan toward you so butter pools, baste steaks with herbed butter continually.

Cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Serve elk steak with smashed potatoes and side vegetables.

~Jessica

P.S. I liked putting the bison in the oven for 5 extra minutes at 400 deg F, so I might try that next time with the elk.

Seared bison sirloin steaks

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Adapted from Marcus Samuelsson, Red Cedar Bison Ranch, and The Bison Council

Ingredients:
0.5 lbs of bison sirloin (purchased here!)
olive oil and butter
salt and cracked pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
thyme

Directions:
Defrost frozen bison meat at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Season both sides generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Once you see light wisps of smoke rise from the pan, place the meat in the pan and sear 1 minute per side, making sure not to move the meat around too much, which prevents that delicious crust from forming.

Once seared on all sides, remove pan from heat. Add your crushed clove of garlic to the pan and thyme, rosemary, or sage. Add more olive oil if needed. Add butter, tilt the pan and baste the steak using the melted butter.

Place pan directly into the oven and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes for medium-rare, or until the internal temperature reads 120 degrees F.

Most important: Remove steaks from the pan and allow them to rest at least ten minutes.

The story to acquiring bison meat: I was visiting my Italian friend who I knew in Germany as she was doing a postdoc in Montreal, Canada. To get to and from, I booked rideshares from kangaride because it was cheaper and faster than bus, train, or plane. My driver on the way back back to NYC happened to know of a little bison farm. So we stopped by and I picked up every frozen cut of meat that wasn’t bison burger. And hence, this meal. Bison meat is leaner than beef, and definitely not a product of the meat industry. Bon appetit!

~Jessica

Avocado pasta

IMG_20180403_144205.jpgAdapted from Damn Delicious

Ingredients:
350 g spaghetti
2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:
In a large pot of boiling water, season with salt and cook pasta according to package instructions; reserve a little pasta water. We had fusilli, which took 9 minutes to cook al dente.
To make the avocado sauce, combine avocados, basil (didn’t have — next time!), garlic and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor (I minced and mashed by hand with a rice paddle); season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pasta, avocado sauce, cherry tomatoes and corn (vegetables next time).
Serve immediately.

Herbed summer squash pasta bake

IMG_2707Adapted from smitten kitchen

Ingredients:
250 g De Cecco pasta
olive oil
3 summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
Juice of half a lemon
45 g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 large or 5 skinny scallions, sliced thin, white and green parts separate
Pinches of red pepper flakes, to taste
25 g (3 tbsp) all-purpose flour
350 mL (1 1/2 cups) broth
thyme, oregano, salt and more pepper to taste
finely grated parmesan cheese
smoked Gouda, cubed small
chopped basil

Directions:
Cook the pasta to al dente in salted water. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a pan on medium-high, season with salt and pepper, and fry the zucchini for 10 minutes without burning, browning both sides. Remove, and sprinkle the squash with some lemon juice. Melt butter in the pan on medium heat and fry the scallion whites and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the flour until absorbed by the butter. Slowly add the (milk) broth, incorporating each time you mix it together. Season with lemon, salt, and pepper. Simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat and mix in all herbs. Season to taste. Add the gravy sauce to your baking dish. Add the pasta, squash, and cheeses. Stir to combine. Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown. Serve hot, topped with chopped basil.

I subbed broth for the whole milk and smoked Gouda for the mozzarella. It made the sauce a quite nice gravy, surprisingly. I also had two tomatoes and some reserved puree that needed to go somewhere so… Mystery pasta bake. Yum! In hindsight, however, this would have been super delicious without the addition of tomatoes, although Amber really didn’t mind them.

~Jessica

Home Fries

IMG_2704Adapted from The Kitchn and Serious Eats

Ingredients:
vegetable oil
2 red potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1/2 large red onion
3 garlic cloves
Seasonings: smoked paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, scallions (optional)

Directions:
Chop the potatoes. Cover them with cold water in a pot and a pinch of salt. Heat until water boils for a couple of minutes then turn off the heat. Drain, coat in a little oil, and set aside. Chop the rest of the vegetables. Fry the onions in some vegetable oil/butter over medium-high heat, then the garlic, until fragrant. Fry the bell pepper. Set aside. Fry the potatoes until they sear, without crowding, then add back the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste. Top with scallions or parsley (chives could do as well).

I do love garlic butter roasted mushrooms, so I was inspired to incorporate this form of protein in the morning brunch (also because we had run out of yogurt. Ack). So of course I needed to know the best method How to saute mushrooms. Cut thick, cook hot, don’t overcrowd. Done. Accompanied by some freshly grated Parmesan, a dash of salt and pepper and olive oil, and a wedge of smoked gouda. The omelette included scallions, salt, pepper, and just before I folded it in half, several strips of the same smoked gouda (melts wonderfully when reheating leftovers).IMG_2706

~Jessica

Triple Grilled Cheese

IMG-20170501-WA0011.jpgButter both sides of the bread. Add cheese. Fry until cheese melts. Put the slices together and fry a little more in the pan, flipping once. Serve hot.

A classic Grilled Cheese involves 1 slice of cheddar per bread slice. I added muenster and crumbled goat cheese, garnished with a side of kale chips. (Because there was cheese in the fridge that needed to be used, if you know what I mean). Next time I will add more cheddar and a little less goat cheese (strong flavor overpowers the sandwich).

~Jessica