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Deep Roots at The Bottled Olive: A Cooking Tradition

"I grew up on a farm with both of my parents, who worked and had busy lives with two girls. Our family time was always about the meals and being together. Both of my parents always came up with recipes that were different but had a twist and loved to put on a family feast. A lot of these recipes I still make today. My passion for cooking comes with being around my parents and my family, who made it a comfort and a gathering for all. I find myself feeling very satisfied when I cook for others—seeing how different veggies, meats and spices combine to give those gorgeous flavors. For some, it's like reading a book; for some, it's enjoying a jog. And for people like me, it's cooking. Here, I find peace and gratitude. I am lucky my husband is as passionate about the flavors we bring to the table, as I am. We have been married 24 years and always have a great time cooking in the kitchen. We laugh about who added too much salt or not enough, and cherish the moments. Through this enjoyment, we can laugh together, give each other ideas for the next creation, or simply just be together."

–Michelle Krusmark, founder/owner of The Bottled Olive

"I am a multi-generation Colorado native who grew up in Steamboat Springs on a cattle ranch. From a young age, at every dinner or family gathering, I could usually be found somewhere near the kitchen. This still holds true today. I am always the one who brings too much to the potluck or holiday meal. To me, cooking is my escape; it's when I get to relax. No matter the occasion, if someone is happy or sad, in celebration or grief, cooking is always a unique way to communicate with others. Years ago, I started baking goodies for friends and family for their birthday. This became something everyone looked forward to, so I’ve continued the tradition. There’s something heartwarming about seeing the excitement of a teenager when you bring them homemade brownies for their birthday instead of a gift or even money. I know its cliché, but often we forget that love is the most valuable gift we can give someone. Cooking is one way of showing love. Don’t get me wrong; love might be the “secret ingredient,” but good seasonings and spices help also!"

–Kimber Jo, co-owner of The Bottled Olive

BOURBON SWEET POTATO GRATIN WITH A BACON PECAN CRUMBLE

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 80 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 yams, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin Spice Sea Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet Cream Butter Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon, chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon roasted coffee rub

Crumble:

  • 1/4 cup Sweet Cream Butter Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup bacon, crumbled (slightly undercooked)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Arrange the yams in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Season liberally with Cumin Spice Sea Salt. Set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

4. Deglaze the pan by adding the cold bourbon and allow to cook off. Add the half-and-half and roasted coffee rub and cook until hot and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Pour the hot mixture over the yams. Set aside.

5. Make the crumble by combining all of the crumble ingredients and stirring together with a fork.

6. Scatter the crumble atop the yams and transfer to the oven.

7. Bake until the yams are cooked through, 40–45 minutes.

BALSAMIC TURKEY GRAVY

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6–8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup turkey drippings
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar
  • 2–3 cups chicken stock

Method

1. Spoon the turkey drippings into a saucepan and heat.

2. Sprinkle with the flour and whisk to create a smooth paste.

3. Add the dark balsamic vinegar and stir.

4. Add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking until you have the perfect consistency.

5. Drizzle over warm turkey or potatoes. 

STRAWBERRY, ASPARAGUS & PANCETTA SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE VINAIGRETTE

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4–6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • 8 slices pancetta, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • 8 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces

Smokey Bacon Sea Salt

  • 4 cups fresh greens or spinach
  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons Barrel-Aged Dark Balsamic Vinegar
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Method

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the Vanilla Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar and honey. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the Blood Orange Olive Oil. Season to taste with the sea salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Add the pancetta to a skillet and cook until almost crispy. Remove from the pan, leaving any renderings.

3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon Blood Orange Olive Oil in pan. Add the asparagus, sprinkle with Smokey Bacon Sea Salt, and cook until bright green.

4. Place the greens on a large serving platter. Toss with the dressing to coat.

5. Atop the dressed greens, arrange the strawberries, crispy pancetta and asparagus. Finish with the chopped pecans, a drizzle of the Barrel-Aged Dark Balsamic Vinegar and fresh ground black pepper. 

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