Thursday, June 30, 2011

Elk Stroganoff

Ever since I moved to Utah I've been lucky cook with game meats. Timmy's parents always have a ton and give me some. A couple of months ago they gave me a few pounds of elk... ground and steaks. This elk steak is so beautiful, a vibrant reddish-purple. I'm excited to use it in this recipe.

Elk Stroganoff
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated

1 lb elk round steak, cut into 1/2 inch think rounds and than into strips after cooked
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons hot water
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely chopped
8 oz mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon garlic
2 teaspoons tomato paste
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon white wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream 
fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

  • Using a fork, poke each piece of steak. Place in a baking dish and pour evenly with soy sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to an hour, turning over once.
  • While the meat marinate, combine the water, dry mustard, sugar and pepper in a small bowl until smooth paste forms; set aside.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the egg noodles until they are al dente, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Pat the steak dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place steak pieces in skillet and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer meat to large plate and set aside while cooking sauce.
  • Add the oil and onions to the pan and cook. Once they are translucent, add the mushrooms and let them brown. Add in the garlic and salt and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup of wine, beef broth and mustard paste and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon to loosen up the browned bits. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce has reduced slightly and has begun to thicken.
  • Stir in meat and any accumulated juices into the sauce and cook until the beef has warmed through. Remove the pan from the heat and let any bubbles subside. Stir in the sour cream and remaining tablespoon of wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

The elk steak added a great flavor to this stroganoff, I highly suggest it!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Croque Monsieur

I've actually had one of these before. It was back when I lived in Florida, my mom and I would go to the Winter Park Farmer's Market. One of the vendors would make these and I loved it. I hadn't actually made one until I watched It's Complicated though. It just got me interested in the concept and I've been making them ever since!

Croque Monsieur

sourdough bread
black forest ham
jarlsberg cheese, grated
dijon mustard
white sauce {recipe below}

  • Turn on the broiler and toast the pieces of bread for about 5 minutes, turning over once. I do this so that the bread doesn't get as soggy when you put the sandwiches together.
  •  Make the white sauce as directed and set aside.
  • To assemble the sandwiches take one slice of the bread and slather it with the dijon mustard, layer two spoonfuls of the white sauce, 2-3 slices of ham, some of the jarlsberg cheese and more white sauce on the second slice of bread and put that on top. 
  • Now take more of the white sauce and spoon it on the top of the assembled sandwich. Layer with the remaining cheese. And for the finishing touch, spoon on more of the white sauce over the top, almost covering the cheese.
  • Turn on the broiler again and set on the lowest setting {if you have one} and cook for about 7 minutes, turning once or twice. The cheese will be melted and the sauce on top will have a nice brown coloring.

White Sauce:
Recipe from Cooking at Home {William Sonoma}

2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan, about 5 minutes. Do not let the milk boil or develop a skin. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  • In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir well until the mixture is pale and ivory, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Whisking constantly, drizzle the warm milk into the flour mixture about 2 tablespoons at a time. The sauce will gradually become smooth. After one-fourth of the milk has been added, you can add the rest more quickly. When all of the milk has been added, the sauce should have the consistency of thick cream. Stir in the salt.
  • Return the pan to medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until bubbles begin to appear around the edge of the pan and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 1 minute. Taste the sauce; it should taste creamy with no trace of raw flour flavor. If any lumps are visible, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Orleans Bread Pudding

I bought my mom The Little New Orleans Cookbook a while ago for her birthday or mother's day, it's been such a long time that I can barely remember. I just know that it was a darling cookbook with tons of great recipes in it. Sadly since I've moved away I haven't been able to access it unless I email her for a recipe. Luckily, I was browsing a site and found the bread pudding recipe and figured that since I had leftover french bread from my trip to the market the other day that I would utilize it!

New Orleans Bread Pudding
Recipe adapted from The Little New Orleans Cookbook

1/2 loaf stale french bread, cut into cubes
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 stick butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup zante currants

  • Soak the stale french bread cubes in milk. 
  • Melt the butter and add sugar, eggs, vanilla and currants. Mix all together with your hands.
  • Bake in a greased 8x8 baking pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 

If desired, serve with hard sauce {recipe below} and a dollop or whipped cream.

Hard Sauce

5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 tablespoons bourbon {I used whiskey}

  • Melt the butter in a small pot and add the remaining ingredients. Cook until smooth.

I used zante currants instead of raisins. I had some leftover and figured they would be just as good.

This bread pudding is amazing, it melts in your mouth with a little bit of crunch. The sauce makes it though, so it's a must have.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Fish Tacos

It's awesome to have so much Halibut on hand when you want to make something like this. Chris, Timmy's brother, goes to Alaska once a year in the fall with his parents and some of their friends to catch Halibut and Salmon. He's going again in August this year so I need to use up the rest of last years supply!


Fish Tacos

1/2 lb halibut, skinned, deboned and cut into small pieces 
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

  • Prepare the fish by skinning and boning if needed. 
  • In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients listed above. Add the fish to the marinade and let sit for up to 30 minutes. 
  • When ready to cook the fish, heat a pan on medium-high heat. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Don't worry if the fish is falling apart, it's a flaky fish so it's normal.


pico de gallo
chili mayo {recipe below}
cheese, shredded
cabbage, shredded

Chili Mayo

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder

  • Combine all of the ingredients above and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the tacos, start off with a flour tortilla and add a couple spoonfuls of the halibut. After that the pico de gallo, gaucamole, chili mayo, cheese and the cabbage.

I usually serve the fish tacos with a side of black beans and mexican rice topped with a little cheese.



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday at Lagoon

We decided that we were going to set aside a day to go to Lagoon. This place is pretty awesome for those Sundays that you have nothing better to do. When we got there we figured we'd just get a seasons pass so that we could go back next week when Nick {Timmy & Chris's younger brother} comes into town. We rode tons of rides and had an all around great time! Our food choices were limited but we went with the BBQ place... it's nothing compared to something I would make, but when you're just starving, it's great. We also were craving ice cream while at the park and decided to stop at a Cold Stone Creamery on the way home. It was so good!

I completely forgot to reload my SD card back into my camera so I couldn't get any pictures. Maybe next week!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Sunflower Farmers Market and Garden Potato Salad

I woke up early this morning and started looking at recipes for the potato salad I'm making for dinner. But I realized that I was missing some ingredients. Instead of going to our regular grocery store, I decided to make a trip to the Sunflower Farmers Market. I've had never been there before but I've heard good things, plus the store is very close to my work and school. I pulled up and thought that perhaps they just sale fruits and vegetables, but it was so much more. When I walked in I got so excited to see all of the products that I almost forgot what I was in there for. Along with the vegetables and herbs I picked up, I also bought a wedge of 60% double cream brie and a baguette! I'm definitely going to make another visit as soon as I can. 

Onto the potato salad that I'm making, I've decided to go with a base of cottage cheese. I had a potato salad about a month ago when I was in Colorado. Timmy's parents were invited to a friends house for a BBQ on Memorial Day weekend and they let us tag along. The potato salad was memorable which is why I wanted to recreate it.

Garden Potato Salad

7 red potatoes, boiled whole and sliced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley {fresh}, chopped


2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon pepper
cayenne pepper and parsley springs, for garnish

  • Clean off the potatoes and place in a pot with water, bring it to a boil and let them cook for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile chop the celery, bell pepper, green onions and parsley and put into a bowl. 
  • To make the dressing mix all of the ingredients together.
  • Once the potatoes are thoroughly cooked rinse them off and start slicing. Put them in the bowl with the other vegetables. Pour the dressing mixture over everything and mix together.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper over the top of the salad and place a couple of parsley springs in the middle.

This potato salad will go great with the hot dogs that I'm going to grill. I would use the new grill that we purchased over Father's Day but we still need to put down pavers in the backyard. Instead I'll be using the good old charcoal grill that we've had for a couple of years.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rigatoni with Sausage, Mushrooms and Zucchini

It was pretty hectic this past weekend. My boyfriends parents were visiting. Anytime they come into town we always have a ton of leftovers. I'm excited today because we've finally gone through all of them! So I've decided to make this pasta dish that I've been looking at for the past month. Thankfully I have leftover sausage that was used for sandwiches; they will be perfect for this.

Rigatoni with Sausage, Mushrooms and Zucchini
Recipe adapted from America's Little Germany

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb italian sausage {I used 2 sausage links ~ 5.4 oz}
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2-1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 small zucchinis, julienne
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb rigatoni, cooked
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 eggs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and stir over low heat until the onions are tender. Add in the mushrooms and saute. Before removing the mixture from the pan add in the zucchini and cook for another minute or so, just until they are a little tender.
  • Add the sausage and red pepper flakes and cook thoroughly. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, half the parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add to the sausage mixture and toss.
  • While the sauce is cooking, cook the rigatoni in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the sauce mixture.
  • Serve sprinkled with the remaining parmesan.




Although I've never blogged before, I've been reading food blogs for about 2 years now and I'm addicted. I figured that since I love to cook it would be a great idea to start one. Hope you enjoy!