Kelly Liken was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Inspired by her mother who was a cook, Kelly developed her love for cooking in high school. At 18, she landed a job preparing salads at an upscale seafood restaurant. After receiving job offers from celebrated restaurants such as Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and New York City’s Restaurant Daniel Kelly decided to open her own restaurant at the age of just 27. In 2004, she took over a dilapidated Chinese eatery at the entrance to Vail Village and transformed it into an eponymously titled restaurant, Restaurant Kelly Liken. Here she shares one of her signature dishes - Rocky mountain elk carpaccio, bulgur taboulleh and mustard aioli - which features on her menu at Restaurant Kelly Liken.
For the Spice Rub
(equal parts toasted and ground)
Salt (not toasted)
Pepper (not toasted)
Elk loin, cut in half long ways
For the tabouleh salad
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
1.25 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
1.5 cup tomato concasse, brunoise
3/4 cup cucumber, brunoise
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup EVOO
salt and pepper
For the mustard cream
1 egg yolk
1 cup blended oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp whole grain mustard
salt and black pepper to taste
water to thin if needed
Rub the loins with the spice mix.
Sear loins in a very hot pan so they stay very rare.
Wrap the loins in plastic, torchon style, and place in freezer.
When frozen, slice very thin on slicer and arrange on parchment.
To serve, flip a parchment arrangement onto a plate.
Top with a scoop of tabouleh, and finish with a drizzle of mustard cream.
Bring water to the boil, stir in bulgar, cover and turn off heat. Let stand 25 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and bulgur is fluffy and tender. Pour off remaining liquid if there is any.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together.
In a bowl combine bulgur, herbs, vegetables and dressing and mix until just combined.
Cover and store in the cooler.
Whisk together egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard.
Slowly incorporate the oil in a thin stream while whisking constantly.
Season to taste. You should be left with a thin to thick nappe consistency.
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Click here to visit Restaurant Kelly Liken website