Tostadas are a great option for anyone cutting out gluten from their diet. Elk is a wonderful meat with very little fat. For those who enjoy their hunting (like my fiance) using elk to create a unique tostada is satisfying and healthy. So, gather your fry pan, spatula, cutting board and a good chopping knife and get to work!
1) Put a small bowl next to your cutting board. I use this to keep my chopped veggies separate from any raw meat. Take a good, sharp knife and slice a red bell pepper in half. Tear out the seeds and white core, this is very easy to do by hand. If you have a garden consider using the seeds and core in a compost pile. Slice the bell pepper into long strips. Place in aforementioned bowl.
2) Cut a tomato into chunks. Make sure the tomato has been thoroughly rinsed. If you’re not a fan of tomato substitute with a yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, or red onions. Your options are endless.
3) Take a bag of fresh baby spinach and cut off the top. You’ll use about a cup for four tostadas. Store the rest in a large, Ziploc bag. Place in a clean colander and rinse in the sink. Make sure you pick out any wilted leaves. Rinse thoroughly and set next to the bowl with your veggies in it.
4) Rinse off your cutting board and knife. Make sure the Elk tenderloin has been tenderized and marinated in a dressing of your choice. A simple mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, and rubbed sage would also work well. For fresh ideas google, “homemade dressing.” Take the tenderloin out of the marinade and cut into thin strips. You can also cut the tenderloin into strips beforehand and marinate in a large, Ziploc bag if desired.
5) Take your fry pan and heat to medium. Coat with a thin layer of canola oil. Make sure the oil has a chance to heat before you place the meat in it. A good test is to wet your fingers and sprinkle some water into the oil. If it sizzles, the temperature is perfect. If your oil splatters, turn the temperature down a little.
6) Cook the elk until tender. This generally takes about 10-15 minutes. I use very little oil and put the remaining marinade in the pan. It gives my meat a great flavor. After the meat is cooked, place the strips on a plate with paper towels on it. Doing this will let the excess oil drain off the meat.
7) Allow your oven to preheat to 350 degrees. While it’s heating, take a cookie sheet and cover it with foil. Place 4 or 5 tostadas on the foil. Put the Elk on first. You’ll want to cover the tostadas but not overload them. Top with the bell peppers and tomatoes (or your veggie of choice) next. Finally take the baby spinach and rip into bite size pieces, place this on top. Finish with a few tablespoons of salsa and your choice of cheese. I’ve used feta, shredded cheddar, and even goat cheese.
8) Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes. I usually check them after fifteen minutes, if the cheese is melted they’re ready. Enjoy!
A Word About Elk:
I’m a recent convert to Elk as a food group. My fiance was the first one to introduce me to Grilled Elk steak and Elk burgers. I fell in love, if that’s possible. When you’re cooking with Elk, keep in mind it’s low fat content. If you’re using Elk as a minute steak, tenderize it first. Elk benefits from marinades too.