So while I was at my Farmer’s Market this morning, I finally made the purchase I had been flirting with for several weeks. I bought myself some Yak. I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of yak to get, as it came in several ways. Ground, stew meat, and then more familiar cuts such as sirloin and roasts. However, I was inspired by another ingredient I saw today – Squash Blossoms. I have never used either before and I figured if I was going to experiment I might as well go all out.
Before I dive into what I made and how, I’d like to share some trivia about yak meat. I was, of course, curious about it simply because it’s Yak. How fun is that to say? I ate Yak. Yak…Yak Yak Yak. Okay it has lost all meaning and I’ve digressed something horrible.
Regardless I like to experiment with food and try new things and I couldn’t resist the exotic lure of Taos Mountain Yak. So I decided to go ahead and do some research and I found the following bits of info about Yak which increased my desire to try the meat.
First of all, Yaks only eat about 1/3 of what a cow eats, and are grass fed (well, the yak I bought is…I suppose if there was industrial yak it may not be…). They are also very healthy animals and as a result are disease resistant, meaning antibiotics are really not widely used. Yak meat has approximately twice the protein as chicken, and is 97% lean. The fat that yak does contain is very high in both Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA’s (conjugated linoleic acids).
So, armed with some ground yak, a hefty dose of nutritional info, a handful of lovely squash blossoms and a few fresh carrots, I left the farmer’s market with recipes abuzz in my foodie brain. The result?
Dinner was divine!
I sauteed the yak meat with some veggies and a bit of heavy cream, then I stuffed the prepared blossoms with the end result. At this point I realized that the fragile blossoms were going to need something to hold them together and keep the meat from falling out of them as soon as they hit the pan. So I threw together a quick breading of breadcrumbs and cornmeal. I then pan fried the stuffed, breaded, wonderful-ness in a hearty Tbs of butter. Yummy!
So, in the spirit of…sharing…I’ve shared the recipe I threw together this evening. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I do!
1 lb ground yak
25 squash blossoms – rinsed and de-stamened. (I realize that isn’t a word.)
1 medium carrot, diced
1/2 c diced summer squash (I used yellow)
1 large shallot
1 Tbs heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
The breading was basically equal parts bread crumbs and cornmeal with salt and pepper. I didn’t want to totally overpower the flavor of my star ingredients so I kept it simple.
The most difficult part of the process was cleaning the blossoms without tearing them as they are very delicate. Basically you need to wash out the inside of the blossom, removing any bugs or dirt, and then you have to carefully remove the stamen of the flower. I have relatively small hands, so I didn’t split the blossoms open before attempting this. They were definitely worth the effort!