Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 58! Finland - Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Elk and Finnish Baked Apples - Up Next, France - YAY!

Pink Lady Apples from New Zealand
I will sheepishly admit to initially opting to play it safe in Finland. After searching around for recipes from this beautiful and pristine country, I decided I'd make Finnish Baked apples. After all, I didn't think I could actually pull off a meal using reindeer or elk. But, as soon as my family ribbed me about not rising to the challenge, I was all over the

I found UnderHill Farms in central Kansas. Run by Lynn and Karen Kaufman, UnderHill Farms is unique not only because they are one of the few (domestic) Fallow Deer farms in the U.S., but their home is solar heated and built under a hill on the farm. They adhere to a philosophy of raising quality meat that is pure and naturally raised. Thank you Lynn and Karen!

I placed my order and this afternoon...My friendly FedEx delivery man pulled up to the house. I may have scared him a little - as you can see, I met him in the street, and he obligingly posed for the picture...later, my dogs, Buddy and Nestle, checked out the goods.

Finland, whose capital is Helsinki, is a Nordic country in north eastern Europe. Only 5 million people live in this expansive country, whose frontier lands are in Sweden, Norway and Russia. It seems that recently, Finland has undergone a culinary renaissance as young chefs have begun to capitalize on the clean water, beautiful forests and abundant fertile land Finland offers. Fish, game, berries and mushrooms are but a sampling of some of the wonderful food coming out of this country. I found tonight's recipe here:

I gotta say -this was by far one of THE best meals we've EVER had. The meat was fat and gristle free - clean and incredibly tender. With or without the filling, it's better than beef or pork by far!

If you dig goat and cheddar - check this out:

Apricots and goat cheddar for the filling

Sweat spinach in olive oil, and add to stuffing

Butterfly the roast and spread filling on evenly

Roll tightly and tie with kitchen twine - I seasoned it with Herbs de Provence and parsley

Bam! Mirepoix for sauce

Butter, goat cheese, bread crumbs and herb discs to top medalions

Sautéed portabella mushrooms 

Whipped sweet potatoes

The recipe for the Elk  is rather long and involved to type, so if you want to recreate this meal, here's the direct link:

And here's the link for the baked apples : 

Final Assessment: In the top 5 of my favorite meals so far! Worth the wait for the delivery (just 2 days)  and the prep time. I am FAN of elk. A++


ChristopherR2D2 said...

This dish looks soooo good! You're so inspiring!

Karen said...

never had elk, but have had lots of venison, what with living with hunters and all. May have to adapt this one :)