When guests come to Red Horse Mountain Ranch for the first time, they may expect the typical and basic home-style meal, but for those who have experienced the food at Red Horse, they know this is not the case! Comfort food with a classy edge is what our guests find here, and it can only come from a dedicated and experienced kitchen staff. Steve Gallant, our dinner and all-around chef, made this season an amazing one for the pallets of our guests! Steve is never satisfied unless the quality and taste of his food is the best it can be, and this definitely showed in the feedback he received from our guests. One of the greatest aspects of Red Horse Mountain staff members is that they are not just here for a job, they become personally involved in spending time with the guests and making them feel at home and welcome, even if they spend hours in the kitchen preparing the meals! Here are a few things about Steve along with one of his delicious recipes!
What made you decide to enroll in culinary school? What was your favorite thing about it?
I have always enjoyed cooking ever since I was a little kid. I used to pretend I was on a cooking show when I was just making a hot dog or something simple like that. Then, one day I randomly applied for an entry level kitchen prep job and absolutely fell in love with it. I worked in that kitchen for a couple years before deciding to go to Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas. My favorite thing about it was learning from about 20 different chefs in one school. Each one had a few different skills up their sleeves. Las Vegas itself was pretty neat too!
I love cooking any kind of meat dish. Whether it is braised, grilled, roasted, stewed, etc. My favorite thing to cook on the ranch was probably the ribs. I got to experiment with different rubs and different ways to cook them. I finally almost perfected my way of cooking them when I started smoking them at the end of the season. Next time I cook them I am going to get creative with different types of BBQ sauces as well. I also loved cooking scallops because scallops are awesome.
What do you like most about cooking for others?
This is probably a simple answer but, I love their reaction to the food. Such as the way their face looks when they are describing it. I want nothing more than smiling faces when people are eating my food and I was lucky enough to get a lot of them this summer at the ranch. It was so humbling when the guests would invite Lauren, Laura, and I to the dining room after wine dinner and give us a standing ovation.
What is your favorite food of all time?
I love any kind of seafood, especially shellfish. As I mentioned before, scallops are awesome! I also love bacon. A perfectly made B.L.T. is quite possibly the best sandwich in the history of sandwiches.
The best part about working at the ranch was the guests and the staff. They were all amazing to be around and get to know. I love meeting new people and this was definitely the place to do that. I also really enjoyed working in the kitchen because Lauren was so cool about letting us be creative with our dishes. As long as it tasted great, we could pretty much make whatever we wanted! The most fun part of working at the ranch was evening activities with the guests and staff. Karaoke night and wine dinner night were my favorites. Karaoke was just a blast all season.
What made you choose Red Horse Mountain Ranch?
I have always been an outdoorsy person, even in the suburbs of Philadelphia growing up. I loved being in the mountains and being in the amazing scenery that came along with them. I was also always drawn to the specific scenery of the Pacific Northwest. I applied for the position and jumped at the chance when Lauren hired me. I couldn’t have been happier with how last summer at the ranch went!
For all those ranch food fans out there, here is one of Steve’s recipes from this summer that was a delicious and elegant favorite!
Pan Seared Halibut with a Rustic Roasted Tomato “Sauce”
Ingredients for the fish:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
4 5oz Halibut filets
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. While the pan is heating up, salt and pepper the fish filets to your liking. Add the olive oil and butter to the hot pan. The butter and oil should sizzle, but not smoke! Add the halibut filets, presentation side (the nicer side) down in the butter and oil first. Cook on this side for a 3-4 minutes until a nice crust is formed. Flip the filets over in the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low to finish cooking another 4 minutes or more, depending on thickness. As they are finishing cooking, you can add a little more butter to the pan and a few sprigs of thyme to the butter and baste the fish with a spoon until it is done.
Ingredients for the Rustic Tomato “Sauce”:
2 Packages of fresh grape tomatoes (halved)
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme (finely chopped)
1/2 Tablespoon fresh oregano (finely chopped)
1/2 Tablespoon fresh garlic (finely chopped)
2 Teaspoons granulated sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 Cup dry white wine
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the tomatoes, oil, herbs, sugar, and salt and pepper in a bowl and put the mix on a baking sheet. Cook the mixture in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to get some brown coloring. When the tomatoes are roasted, add them to a sauce pan on the stove with the white wine over medium heat. The tomatoes will continue to cook and reduce with the wine creating the sauce. If the sauce is too acidic, add more sugar. If the sauce is too sweet for your liking, add a touch of lemon juice. Spoon the finished sauce over the cooked halibut filets. I would also add some fresh basil on top of the sauce for a garnish. A nice rice pilaf and asparagus would go great with this dish. If you wanted to pair a wine with this dish, I would suggest a crisp Chardonnay. Happy Cooking!