Home on the range with Tom Brokaw’s wife

Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw and his wife, Meredith, are originally from South Dakota. After spending many years in New York, they returned to the West. This time they bought a ranch in the Big Sky state of Montana. Meredith and her friend Ellen Wright turned their love for the region, its food, and its lifestyle into the “Big Sky Cookbook.” The women were invited on “Today” to demonstrate how to prepare some of their hearty frontier recipes, including the Perfect Bison Burger and Stetson Salad. Try these recipes and Tom's Sunset Margaritas at home:

Perfect Bison Burgers
Servings:

Serves 6

Ingredients

    • 3 pounds ground bison or beef
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
    • 6 hamburger buns (sesame seed, poppy seed, onion, or plain)
    • 6 iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and dried
    • 6 slices ripe tomato
    • 6 slices onion (red, Vidalia, or Walla Walla)
    • Ketchup
    • McLeod Hot Mustard (recipe follows)
    • Mayonnaise (optional)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Prepare a hot grill.Form the meat into 6 patties, being careful not to overhandle. Place the patties on the grill rack, 3 to 4 inches over direct heat, and grill, turning once, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare.Spread each bun half with 1 teaspoon butter. Place the buns, buttered sides down, on the grill rack and toast briefly. Assemble the burgers with the toasted buns, patties, lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise (if desired).

McLeod Hot Mustard
Servings:

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

    • 1 (4-ounce) container dry mustard (Colman’s is a good choice)
    • 1 cup cider vinegar
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3 large eggs

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a large heavy-bottomed casserole over medium heat, combine the mustard and vinegar until blended. Add the sugar and eggs and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mustard thickens to the consistency of ketchup, about 7 minutes. Cool; store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Stetson Salad
Servings:

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

    • 4 cups cooked quinoa (from 2 cups uncooked)
    • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
    • 2 cups dried roasted corn (such as JustCorn)
    • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
    • 1 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds
    • 1 cup dried currants
    • 1-1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
    • 2 cups chopped spinach or arugula Stetson Dressing
    • 2 small shallots, diced
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 cup Easy Aïoli (recipe follows)
    • 1/2 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows)
    • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Make a bed of quinoa on a large round shallow serving plate. Arrange the chicken, corn, cheese, pumpkin seeds, currants, tomatoes, and spinach on top of the quinoa in 7 wedge-shape sections.To make the dressing: In a medium bowl, combine the shallots, buttermilk, aïoli, pesto, lemon juice, and pepper. You will have approximately 3 cups.Serve the dressing in a pitcher for your guests to drizzle on their salad. Reserve the remaining dressing in a glass jar, refrigerated, for other salads.

Easy Aïoli
Servings:

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Combine the olive oil, garlic, and salt in a small bowl. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week.

Pesto
Servings:

Makes about 3/4 cup

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
    • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the olive oil, basil, pine nuts, and salt until combined. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 or 3 days.

Tom’s Sunset Margaritas
Servings:

Makes about 3/4 cup

Ingredients

    • 3 to 4 tablespoons margarita salt
    • 1 lime, cut into wedges
    • 1 cup ice
    • 1 (8-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
    • 8 ounces good-quality tequila
    • 4 ounces triple sec

Preparation

Baking Directions:

To prepare the glasses: Place the margarita salt on a large sheet of waxed paper. Rub the rims of 6 or 8 margarita glasses with a lime wedge. Dip the rims in the mound of salt. Place the glasses in the freezer until ready to use.To make the margaritas: Put the ice in a blender; add the limeade concentrate, tequila, and triple sec. Blend until the ice is chopped up. Pour into the prepared chilled, salted glasses.

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