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.


  1. Sounds amazing! I've never cooked elk, but assume it's nutritionally equivalent to venison?

  2. I love anything that starts with a roux. I would love to try this with the bottle of ARBEQUINA I just received. Wonder how much difference it will make in the taste versus their Arbosana.

  3. Mmhmm, this would be amazing on this cold New England night!

  4. Does the arbequina oil have a distinctive flavor?

    urchiken at gmail dot com

  5. Love the use of the elk sausage in this stew. I'm sure the arbequina olive oil imparts a nice flavor to the stew.

  6. Arbequina sounds pretty delicious.

  7. Always looking for a new way to cook up our elk. Wonder how the fruity flavor of Arbequina olive oil would taste in this dish...

  8. I would love to try some arbequina oil on freshly baked bread

  9. Thank you for the superdelicious recipes! For dessert I'd very much like to try California Olive Ranch's recipe for Arbequina Chocolate Brownies using Bob's Red Mill Flour:

  10. This looks fantastic Jay!

  11. Would like to try some arbequina olive oil in some cornmeal olive oil Italian cookies.

  12. Way to use the Arbequina olive oil and wheat flour in a very interesting way. I believe you thought well outside the box and created something off the charts. Who doesn't love soup on a cold winter's day?

  13. Wow! Wow! Wow! What a way to cook up a crowd pleaser...thanks for the great recipe! I wonder if I could use moose sausage (yes, I said moose) instead of elk? I think I'll give it a whirl. The Arbequina Olive Oil would add a nice flavorful moisture to a sometimes dry sausage. Very nice; thanks again!

  14. You have me drooling! If we were in a top chef competition you would have the winning dish of this round!

  15. That looks like a really yummy elk sausage stew. Thanks for the grains and Arbequina olive oil giveaway!

    sweepinpianista at gmail dot com

  16. I follow all three and tweeted!/picatasi/status/155897112113070080

  17. Elk sausage stew with ARBEQUINA olive oil? Sounds absolutely delicious. What time is dinner?

  18. Miller's Blend and Bob Red Mills together for goodness.
    cjsorel at

  19. tweeted!/cjsorel/status/157176421352091648

  20. Nice! It just so happens I ordered a case of California Olive Ranch olive oil that is due here tomorrow. Am really excited to try this brand from the reviews. Now I have a little something/inspiration to try it out!

  21. Forgot to add to post, I ordered the Everyday oil, maybe I should of tried the "Miller's Blend"? I am really confused by the different varietals of EVOO.

  22. Congrats to Cat!! You won this round!!


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