Last of the 2012 Antelope + Pink Ribbon Ride

I cooked up the last of my 2012 antelope on Friday before heading up to Togwotee for the Pink Ribbon Ride this weekend. It had been sitting in the fridge marinating all week long, and I knew I needed to use it, and some other leftovers on hand, before leaving home for two days. I had also been wanting to try out the Sundried Tomato Pesto I bought last week while at Wal-Mart. So Sundried Tomato Pesto Antelope Pasta was created on the fly and ended up being a quick and easy veggie and protein-filled pasta dish.

Sundried Tomato Pesto Antelope Pasta

Serves 2

  • 1/2 lb antelope steaks (this was backstrap)
  • 1/3 cup Italian dressing (I use Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian)
  • 1 c. AP Flour
  • Garlic salt
  • Season salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 cup uncooked Egg Noodles
  • 2 Tbsp. yellow onion, diced
  • 1 big handful fresh Spinach (or spinach mix- mine was mixed with arugula)
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Half and Half (I use fat-free)
  • 1/4 cup heaping Sundried Tomato Pesto
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Marinade antelope in Italian dressing for 1-3 days in refrigerator.

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When ready to cook, make the breading mixture for the steak by combining flour, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, a big shake of season salt, and a big shake of pepper in a shallow bowl or ziplock bag. Thoroughly coat each steak.

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Heat a shallow layer of vegetable oil in a medium-sized frying pan so that it begins to sizzle and bubble. Lower heat slightly.

Drop each steak into the oil and fry for about 2 minutes per side, depending on the  thickness of your steak. Do not overcook–take the meat out and make a cut into it if you are unsure if it is done, better to have to put it back in than to have tough, overcooked meat.

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Lay steaks on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with garlic salt and black pepper.

Next, boil water according to package directions for the egg noodles.

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Add in pasta and allow to boil until almost cooked, about 3/4 of the way done.

Then throw in a handful of spinach and the diced onion with the pasta and continue to cook.

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When pasta is cooked, drain the water off and then add into the pot: Italian diced tomatoes, remaining 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, sundried tomato pesto, half and half, and half (2 Tbsp.) the parmesan cheese.

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Cook pasta mixture another 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat.

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Divide pasta into two bowls and top each pasta bowl with one antelope steak. Drizzle the remaining sauce from the pasta over the steak and top with another Tablespoon of parmesan cheese.

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Last of the antelope ’til next year.

As I mentioned, I took Jade and left home Friday after work to spend the weekend with Joe up at Togwotee Mountain Lodge for the 6th Annual Pink Ribbon Riders Wyoming Snow Run.

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We gathered at 8:30 am on Saturday to line out into our groups for the day. Each group is led by a Togwotee guide. I got to ride with a friend from Jackson and her husband, Joe, was our guide for the “B-Cup” Intermediate group. The B-Cups are the “middle” riding ability group– not just trail riding but no crazy hill-climbs either.  We ended up meeting up with everyone else’s groups, including my Joe’s, at lunch. About 90 people made the 38-mile round-trip run from Togwotee to Brooks Lake Lodge for lunch, and then back, to support those in need fighting against breast cancer. It was a warm and beautiful day to ride, and despite the lack of snow this year, it was nice to be outside for most of the day and to ride for an even greater cause.

The Pink Ribbon Riders is a small non profit organization that provides direct financial assistance to both men and women diagnosed with breast cancer. Funds raised are distributed through an assistance program that is made available to both men and women breast cancer patients.

The Pink Ribbon Riders is a grass roots effort, and I always enjoy hearing the story of how it all started: the effort began in upstate New York when two women went out riding, and in honor of their mothers who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, they strapped on bras to the front of their sleds and took off for the day. While stopped for lunch at a restaurant along the trail, they returned to their sleds to find that their bras had been filled with dollar bills while they had been inside eating lunch. An idea was then born, and the Pink Ribbon Riders developed as a result. Each year the organization holds a snow run fundraising event and supports patients in: Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, New York, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Wyoming.

I encourage anyone who wants to support the cause and support those fighting breast cancer to sign up for the Pink Ribbon Ride. The ridiculously fantastic snowmobiling is just an added benefit of contributing to the cause. There were many beautiful panoramic views  of the Absarokas and Tetons that I wanted to photograph, but was not able to do so while going 40 mph, so you will have to use your imagination. Pics from the day:

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One of the many decorated sleds!

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I stepped off my sled here to start it again after we took a break to get another lady un-stuck and sunk up to my waist…there’s definately more snow than meets the eye.

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Pink ribbon on the ski= Pink Ribbon Rider! This is the 4th winter I have had my own sled, and I love my Polaris 600 RMK, and find it especially amusing that the new windshield Joe put on it says “GUIDE”. The decal won’t come off of this old windshield that used to be on a guide sled at Togwotee, and that’s perfectly fine with me. Yesterday I overhead a lady in a passing group that we met on the trail ask another lady why the Guide, being me of course, was in the middle of the group: “What’s that guide doing, why are they just waiting right there?” Priceless.

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Jade being Queen of the Snow Mountain outside of our cabin. Which sadly (nicely?) was as big as our house…

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Skillet Tortellini with Wild Game Pasta Sauce

Since I am really only cooking for one most of the time during the winter due to Joe’s work hours, I often find myself with leftovers to eat. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight meal that takes only about 15 minutes to prepare and makes fantastic leftovers that you won’t mind having around the house. Please note that this recipe can be doubled easily for a family of four. I made this recipe with the thawed ground elk meat that had been sitting in the fridge for a while and needed to be used up. This is a basic sauce because tomato puree was all I had on hand, and it turned out good for this recipe. As an alternative, this spaghetti sauce recipe is a favorite of mine if I have a little time to spare and the ingredients it requires.

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Skillet Tortellini with Wild Game Pasta Sauce

Yield: (3) 1- cup servings

  • 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini (I used Great Value brand)
  • 1/2 lb. ground wild game
  • 1 1/2 c (12 oz.) tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Italian Blend or mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

Seasoning:

  • Italian seasoning
  • Basil
  • Garlic salt
  • Season salt
  • Black pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano

1. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and brown ground meat with diced onion. Meanwhile, start water boiling in a medium pot for the tortellini.

2. Liberally season meat mixture by shaking in Italian seasoning (about 1 T.), and basil, garlic salt, season salt, black pepper, onion powder, and oregano in smaller batches (about 1/2 tsp.) until you achieve your desired taste.

3. As meat browns, crumble with a wooden spoon and add in tomato puree and half of the parmesan cheese (1/4 cup).

4. Simmer meat and sauce on LOW heat until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.   Taste and add more spices if desired.

5. Measure out 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini and boil for 3 minues until pasta in tender.

6. Drain pasta, rinse, and pour into frying pan with meat and sauce mixture.

7. Stir gently to combine. Top pasta with Italian blend shredded cheese (or mozzerella) and remaining 1/4 c parmesan cheese.

8. Serve immediately.

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Elk Sausage & Spinach Quiche with Savory Crust

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What can I say, it’s hard to stop eating this quiche! The crust is buttery, savory and melts into the mildly spicy breakfast sausage, spinach, onion, and cheedar cheese. Simple, filling, and good for any meal of the day.

Elk Sausage & Spinach Quiche with Savory Crust 

Servings: 4 large slices

  • Savory Pie Crust: recipe follows

-1.5  c Butter or Crisco shortening

-3 c. AP Flour

-1 egg

-1 T. White  Vinegar

-1 tsp. salt

-5 T.cold water

Using a pastry knife, work flour and butter/crisco together until mixture forms into coarse crumbs, then add egg, vinegar, salt, water and combine. I prefer using Crisco, but real unsalted butter works fine too. Form crust into ball and place in freezer for 10 minutes in a ziplock bag if you are using it immediately, this makes the dough much easier to work with. This recipe yields a top and bottom crust; I use one right away and freeze the other for later use for quiche or fruit pies.

  • 1/2 lb elk or venison breakfast sausage
  • 1/3 c frozen spinach, or more if it’s fresh
  • 1/4 c diced yellow onion
  • 1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c Half and Half ( I use fat-free)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 T olive oil

1. Make pie crust as directed above. Divide dough in half, use one half now & freeze one half in a ziplock bag for later use.

2. Layer pie crust in a pie tin WITHOUT greasing the pan first.

3. Pour olive oil into medium frying pan. Add in diced onion and spinach. I threw my spinach in frozen because I didn’t have much left. Sautee on medium heat for 2 minutes

4. Add in breakfast sausage and cook until it crumbles and is no longer pink.

5. In a small bowl, beat three eggs with 1/2 c. half and half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Pour meat mixture into pie crust and spread evenly on bottom.

7. Pour egg mixture over top.

8. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for approximately 35 minutes. If eggs are still runny, uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes until eggs poof up and are firm when you cut into the quiche.

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Nutrition Information: 1/4 slice = Note: For dinner if I am really hungry I will eat an entire 1/4 of the quiche, but it is a lot. For breakfast or lunch, I often cut smaller slices, like 1/6 or 1/8 size. Information below is for 1/4 slice. The nice thing though, is that I never feel overly stuffed like after eating a large portion of some foods. This is a wholesome recipe with a good dose of protein that will keep you full and energized.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/4 slice

Amount per Serving

Calories 674

Calories from Fat 395.5

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 43.94g

67%

Saturated Fat 26.06g

130%

Cholesterol 302.86mg

100%

Sodium 895.96mg

37%

Total Carbohydrate 37.16g

12%

Dietary Fiber 1.86g

7%

Sugars 3.32g

Protein 28.56g

57%

Est. Percent of Calories from:

Fat

59%

Carbs

22%

Protein

16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/elk-sausage-spinach-quiche/#ixzz2HLWwgijd

Open-Face Elk Tenderloin with Gravy and Onions

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Marinade

  • 1 T. Worcestshire
  • 1 tsp Hi Mountain Elk Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Cajun Seasoning

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  • 3/4 lb elk tenderloin
  • 1 egg
  •  1 c flour + another 3 T flour, divided
  • ~1/2 c milk/ half and half
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/4 c thinly sliced onions
  1. Marinade steaks for two days with worcestshire, Hi Mountain Elk Seasoning, and Hi Mountain Cajun Campfire seasoning.
  2. Beat an egg in a shallow container and dip steak in egg, bread in flour on a paper plate, repeat once to completely coat meat.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in frying pan and fry, flipping twice, until centers are no longer raw.
  4. Pour about 2 T of oil/meat drippings into a separate small saucepan (you can use the same pan if the bottom isn’t burnt, but I was low on oil and my pan/drippings had a burnt taste, I needed to use a fresh pan).
  5. Add in some flour (about 3 T. or so) and pour in milk (I used fat free half and half, no milk in the house tonight!). Stir with a fork until smooth on low heat.
  6. Toast slice of bread and sautee sliced onions until tender.
  7. Layer steak on toast and top with gravy and onions.

In the spirit of elk, check out this photo from Wyoming’s Wind River Country of Lander, Wyoming in the early 1900’s. Made me smile. And also laugh–one commenter had wrote “it’s all fun and games until you get an eye poked out!” Happy Holidays!

Spicy Venison Sausage Pasta

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I have been wanting to make this recipe for the past few weeks since I came across it on Pinterest, and tonight was the night. This dish is a winner and I will definately be  making it again. The original recipe uses turkey sausage, and can be found over at Kevin and Amanda’s blog. I made a couple tweaks and  followed the recipe using venison bratwurst made with my deer last year. The brats were made with a sausage kit and have hash browns and onion mixed in with the venison to add flavor. This pasta was delicious but it does pack some heat, but nothing overwhelming as long as you stick with the mild Rotel. I was skeptical about using the entire can, but am glad I did. If you don’t like some spice, this is not for you : )

Spicy Venison Sausage Pasta

  • (2) venison bratwurst
  • 1  1/3 c uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 can Rotel, mild (10 oz.)
  • 1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz)
  • 1/2 c Half and Half ( I use fat-free)
  • 1 c. Three Pepper Cheese= colby jack
  • 1 c. diced yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 T. diced Green onion
  • 1 T. olive oil

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1. Pour 1 T. olive oil in medium saucepan and saute diced onion and garlic with brats. I kept my brats whole at this point, as in the past when I have sliced them into round pieces first, they have gotten burnt and chewy.

2. Once onions/garlic are tender (3-4 minutes), remove from pan and set aside. At this point, the brats should be expanding and beginning to brown.

3. Now it is safe to slice brats into 1/4-inch round pieces and return to frying pan. Add about 1/3 c water to pan so that brats continue to cook for 7-10 more minutes without burning.

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4. Add onions/garlic back into pan, along with the can of Rotel, can of chicken broth, half and half, and pasta, salt and pepper, and allow to rise to a low boil. Your half and half will curdle slightly and then combine into the mixture–I was worried at first adding the cream here, but it turned out fine.

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5. Keep at a low boil until pasta is tender, about 8 minutes.

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6. Remove from heat, sprinkle with 1 c. cheese, and cover with lid to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with green onion* and enjoy!

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*Garden Tip!! Green Onions can be diced and the extra can be frozen in an empty plastic water bottle so that when you need just a sprinkle, you can pour the onions out frozen and be on your way with zero waste! I used green onion left from our garden this summer in this dish.

Can’t-Stop-Eating-Them Wild Game Nachos

I enjoyed these elk nachos with a side salad–they are so addicting! The filling but (mostly)healthy meal is great way to use up ground meat when you are short on ideas and sick of burgers.

Wild Game Nachos

Serves 2, with leftovers (maybe)

  • 1/2 lb ground elk, venison, or antelope
  • 1/2 c diced yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 12 oz. (about 3/4 can) Vegetarian Refried Beans*
  • 1/4 c Medium-heat salsa
  • Season Salt
  • Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp. Taco Seasoning
  • 1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese

* I recently began using the Old El Paso Vegetarian variety as I realized they do not contain partially hydrogenated oils like the Traditional and Green Chili varieties, if you care about that sort of thing.

  1. Cook ground meat with onion, jalapeno, and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Season with season salt, taco seasoning, and chili powder to taste.
  2. Stir in refried beans and salsa to meat mixture and combine until smooth. Simmer on low heat another 1-2 minutes.

3. Lay out tortilla chips and top with nacho meat. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and microwave 15 seconds if you like your cheese melted. Top with salsa and start scooping!

Salsa Ranch Elk Taco Salad

Serves 1-4

Taco Meat:

  • 1/4 c diced yellow onion
  • 1 lb ground elk
  • 1/2 pkg. of taco seasoning- I use this recipe

Per Salad:

  • 1.5 c. romaine salad blend
  • 2 T. salsa ranch dressing (Bolthouse Farms brand or homemade)
  • 1 T. medium-heat salsa
  • shredded cheddar, as desired
  • crushed tortilla chips, as desired
  1.  Make the taco meat: Brown onion in medium frying pan and add in ground elk meat. Simmer on medium, stirring occassionally, until meat is no longer pink.
  2. Add in taco seasoning and stir to combine. Simmer another 2 minutes.
  3. Assemble the salads: place 1.5 c romaine into a bowl and top with ground meat, salsa ranch dressing, shredded cheese, salsa, and a few crushed tortilla chips. The Bolthouse Farms brand of salsa ranch yogurt dressing is tangy and creamy, and at only 45 calories per 2 Tablespoons, you can really pour it on!.

 

Elk Sh*t on a Shingle

Similar to stroganoff, “Sh*t on a Shingle” is a recipe that I learned from Joe, and for its simplicity, it really is a tasty, hearty, quick, week-night meal.

Elk Sh*t on a Shingle

Serves 2, with leftovers

  • 1 lb ground elk
  • 1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup (I do not recommend using the healthy request, low-sodium, or bargain brands–I have tried all of the above and it drastically affects the taste, and not for the better!)
  • Wheat or white bread (the shingle, of course!)

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1. Cook ground meat on medium heat and season with salt and garlic pepper, if desired.

2. Crumble meat and add in the soup. Stir to combine, simmer on low 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Load your sh*t onto your shingle, er, I mean slice of bread. You now have elk sh*t on a shingle- enjoy! I usually serve this with green beans.

~FYI ~Leftover meat is good in enchiladas and burritos.

Grilled Elk Steak w/ Bacon Wrap

These steaks came out extremely tender with great flavor, and a little kick.

You will need:

  • 1 lb elk steak, butterflied (this was backstrap)
  • 1 slice bacon per steak
  • toothpicks
  • Dry Rub= A Shake of the following: cumin, onion powder, chili powder, salt, Mrs Dash lemon pepper, Hi Mountain Seasoning Elk Seasoning, garlic pepper, cayenne pepper, and worcestshire (not pictured)

1. Marinade meat in refrigerator with the dry rub for desired length of time (we did 2 days).

2. Preheat grill. Wrap each butterflied steak with a slice of raw bacon and secure with toothpicks.

3. Grill steaks 15-17 minutes to medium-rare. Mine were pretty thick, so adjust time accordinly if your steaks are on the thin side. I flipped each steak twice.

Crockpot Lasagna with Ground Elk

I have recently begun working an extra two hours per day tutoring, and four days per week I now find myself not getting home until 6 pm. By this time, we are hungry, and if dinner can’t be ready in about 10 minutes, I either want to eat leftovers or have something waiting for me when I walk through the door. My crockpot, a $3 yard sale steal, has made a quick re-entry into my life after lying dormant most of the summer, and I am currently making at least one crockpot meal per week. While I enjoy cooking and find it relaxing, when I am short on time, nothing is better than dumping your ingredients in the crockpot and knowing you will have dinner ready when you walk in the door.

I found a straight-forward recipe  from food.com and decided it was time to try lasagna in the crockpot. We waste no food in our house, and I am very conscious of using or freezing leftovers if not eaten within a day or two. I found myself with a leftover cooked elk burger, a mason jar of tomato puree I had frozen earlier, and a bunch of brown-paper-bag-ripened tomatoes from our garden ready to be used.

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Crockpot Lasagna with Ground Elk

Serves 2-3

16 oz. spaghetti sauce– I make my sauce and use “My Mama Iuliucci’s ‘Don’t Skip a Step Spaghetti Sauce’ “  as the basis of my sauce but I do skip a few steps…lol

4 oz. or more ground elk, crumbled (beef or venison would be fine, too)

~ 1.5 c Italian blend cheese

~ 1/2 c Parmesan cheese

~1.5 c 2% Cottage Cheese

Italian seasoning

3-6 No-cook lasagna noodles, depending on size of crockpot

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1. If using homemade, make spaghetti sauce, add in ground elk, and simmer in crockkpot for 3 hours on low. No need to dirty another pan! My sauce was made of what I had on hand and based off the above recipe: 16 oz. tomato puree, diced cherry tomatoes, onion, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, garlic pepper, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, and parsley. I did not measure exactly.

2. Next, I scooped out 2/3 of the sauce, and left a layer on the bottom of the crockpot.

3. Next, I ran home during my 15 minute break between jobs, and layered non-cooked lasagna noodles (broken to fit the circular crockpot), spread them with cottage cheese, then sprinkled shredded Italian blend cheese and parmesan on top. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

4. Repeat this process two more times–sauce, noodles, cheeses, Italian seasoning– and add a little extra cheese on the top and final layer.

5. Make sure your noodles are totally covered with sauce/cottage cheese so they cook and are not hard.

6. I only cooked my lasagna for 2.5 hours on HIGH in the crockpot and it was juuuust done. If I had had more time, I would cook it on LOW as recommended for 4-6 hours.

7. Serve with salad, and enjoy!