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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

California Olive Ranch and Bob's Red Mill's Healthy New Year Giveaway

As part of eating and blogging and living a little healthier in the new year, Bob's Red Mill and the California Olive Ranch teamed up with the Virtual Potluck crew to bring us a Healthy Holiday Cooking Challenge as well as a product giveaway.  Each blogger got four different grains from Bob's Red Mill and four different extra virgin olive oils from the California Olive Ranch.  We are all tasked with pairing the grains and oils in four dishes (consisting of an appetizer, side dish, entree, and dessert) over the month of January.   I'll get to the giveaway later, but for now, let's check out my appetizer!

Above are some of the ingredients that I used.  I selected Bob's Red Mill's whole wheat pastry flour and the Arbosana olive oil to go along with some other excellent ingredients like elk sausage, Serrano peppers, and black beans.  

Elk Sausage and Black Bean Soup:

Over medium-high, heat 3T olive oil in dutch oven and brown elk sausage on all sides
Remove the sausage when it is done browning and place aside to cool
Add another 3T olive oil and 2T butter to dutch oven and stir until butter melts
Add 1/2C whole wheat flour and stir with a wooden spoon to make a roux
Continue to make roux, stirring regularly, until it turns a dark brown color

When the roux is sufficiently dark, add one medium yellow onion, diced, and stir
After about a minute, add one green bell pepper, diced, and stir
After another minute or so, add two stalks of celery, diced (about 1C) and stir
Add six cloves of garlic, minced, and continue to stir
The roux and veggies will all come together, but don't worry about that
Add three diced Serrano peppers, cored and de-seeded
Add three 19oz cans of black beans, or equivalent if you had dried black beans and re-hydrated them
Add 1QT chicken stock and stir the mixture until it is consistent
Slice the elk sausage into roughly 1/4" slices and return to the pot
Add 2t kosher salt, 2t freshly ground black pepper, 3 bay leaves, 1/2t smoked paprika, 1t ground cumin, a shot (1.5oz) tequila, 1T Cajun seasoning like Slap Ya Mama, and six diced green onions

Thanks to my Harb's Oasis herb garden, I was also able to secure some very fresh tarragon, thyme, parsley, and cilantro.  I added 1T of fresh chopped tarragon, 1.5T fresh chopped cilantro, 1.5t fresh chopped thyme, and 1T of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

Allow the soup to get up to a boil then reduce to simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally, to allow all the flavors to come together.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

When ready, serve in a bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro or green onions, as seen below.

Want some Bob's Red Mill grains and olive oil from the California Olive Ranch?  Read blow for the details about how you could win some!

  • Visit either Bob's Red Mill or California Olive Ranch's Facebook pages and retrieve this week's Virtual Potluck code word. Then use that code word in a sentence, when commenting on this blog post. 
Additional Entries:

  • For an extra entry: Follow BRM, COR and VirtualPotluck's Twitter profiles and tweet about the contest linking to this blog post and using the #virtualpotluck hashtag. Then comment again, letting me know you've done so, by providing the link to your tweet.
  • More Blogs, More Ways to Win: Get additional entries in each week's giveaways by visiting our host blog and finding other participating VP bloggers sites to comment on.