Chef-triathlete Rebecca Nation shares a high-protein (and surprisingly simple) main dish.
Coffee-crusted Bison with Bourbon Thyme Cream Sauce
2 4oz bison filets
¼ cup ground coffee
1 T chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
For the sauce:
2 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup bourbon
2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 T fresh thyme)
½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Roll bison filets in the mixture to coat. Place filets onto a baking sheet that’s covered with parchment paper or foil. Place the baking sheet into the oven for 15–20 minutes until the bison is cooked to desired temperature. It cooks the same as beef (135 degrees for medium-rare, 140 for medium, 160 for medium-well). Once cooked, let rest for 10 minutes before serving. While the bison is cooking, make the sauce by first bringing a sauté pan to high heat. Add olive oil and then the shallot and garlic. Sauté until caramelized. Add bourbon to pan and reduce by half. (If you’re using a gas burner, be careful because there will be a flame.) Add thyme to pan. Reduce heat to medium and stir in yogurt. Slowly bring to a simmer until sauce is heated through. Do not heat too quickly or the sauce will break. Serve with your favorite grain and roasted vegetables. Note: Nation says the recipe works great with chicken and tofu as well.
Meet the Triathlete-Chef
Columbus, Ohio-based private chef Rebecca Nation likes to get new clients by word of mouth. “I don’t want a website to dictate what people are going to have for their menu,” she says. “I want to keep it completely open and personalized to each customer.”
Her biggest client is a local IT consulting firm, who hired her to cook lunch for employees Monday through Friday. In addition to that, the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute graduate cooks gourmet dinners in homes for small groups and teaches cooking classes a few times per month. She describes her cooking style as “seasonal and eclectic,” and would even call herself a “moody chef.” “It really depends what mood I’m in—what the temperature’s like, what’s fresh at the moment, and I like trying new things,” she says.
Her flexible schedule leaves time for triathlon training, and Nation’s been racing triathlons for a few years. After getting into the sport with her husband, they found a coach, joined a training team called Just Tri, and she raced her first half-iron-distance race at Rev3 Cedar Point this season. “It’s kind of been a lifelong goal,” she says. “When I was in high school, I watched the Ironman on TV and thought, ‘I want to do that someday.’” Now she’s signed up to race Ironman Lake Tahoe in 2013.