In keeping with the easy vacation mode of cooking, I kept it simple tonight with sliders, corn, and asparagus. Simplicity was especially important because Tuesdays are the one day of the week that I always feel sick and wiped out. I do an injection of an immunosuppressive medication every Monday night to treat the arthritic symptoms of lupus. The medication helps me feel and function better throughout the week, but makes me really fatigued the day following the injection, with dizziness and nausea if I try to do too much. For that reason, James did most of the prep for the meal today, and he and my aunt did the grilling, which was really helpful.
To honor the unique ingredients that can be found out here in Colorado, and make the sliders a little more interesting, I bought both elk and ground beef and mixed them. I would have used 100% elk, but I’ve never cooked it before and wasn’t sure if everyone I was cooking for would like it, so I made a blend. For the slider patties, I had James mix up a pound of ground elk, a pound of ground beef (85/25) and a little each of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I have heard that you have to be careful about overworking elk, so he mixed them delicately until just combined, then formed about 10 small patties, plus one special request regular size burger patty. To combat the leanness of the elk, I cut small cubes of butter, which I put in the freezer for a few minutes, then stuffed three cubes into each patty, and worked the meat over to cover them. I also made slider patties with an additional pound of regular ground beef (85/25), in case anyone didn’t like the elk. When we were about ready to eat, my aunt threw them on the grill and cooked them to medium rare, about 10 or 15 minutes. At the end, she topped them with some swiss cheese.
To spice up the corn, I duplicated the street corn style grilled corn I made while camping a few weeks ago – https://instagram.com/p/Bmmew19hLkr/. For the creamy topping, I mixed equal parts sour cream and mayo (maybe half a cup of each, or it could have been more) with the juice from one lime and some salt. James pulled back the husks (leaving them on) and removed the silk from eight ears of raw sweet corn. I soaked them in cold water for about twenty minutes before cooking, then James grilled the ears in the husks until they were tender, about 15 minutes. Before serving, I peeled the husks back (to use as holders for the corn) and spread on the creamy mix. I finished by sprinkling with shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend with pepper flakes and other ingredients.
For other sides, I roasted some asparagus in a little oil with shichimi togarashi at 350F degrees until done. Usually I roast them at 400F degrees; not sure if it was the stove or the altitude but that seemed too hot, so I turned the temperature down a bit. I also baked off a tray of tater tots by special request. We never do that at home, but I must say, they were delicious!