Life in West Yellowstone

Steak and Fresh Montana Watercress Recipe

Montana Watercress

Watercress growing in a Montana Stream

Most people associate Montana streams with trout but there’s another delicacy found in them right now, if you know where to look: fresh watercress.

So grab your scissors and a bag, put on some boots and start walking along the stream edges. This is what my friend and I did yesterday and we came back with a really tasty haul. Some of the watercress was black from freezing at night, but the rest had a refreshing, peppery taste that adds so much to a meal. Freshly picked greens are one of my favorite foods and you can really taste the difference from what you get in a grocery store.

We went to a spot my friend has been talking about all winter. I’ve been in Montana less than a year and don’t know these locations myself, but he’s slowly been showing me the best places for ice fishing, big Rainbow Trout, whitefish, and now here.

Snipping Watercress

Use a scissors to snip the tops of the watercress

I guess I shouldn’t reveal the location, but I’ll say it’s near Wade Lake and about a 25 mile drive from West Yellowstone.

Rainbow Trout were darting amongst the rocks and watercress and it was a wonderful 65 degrees yesterday, so it’s the perfect time to go hunting for foods like this. If you can’t find this spot, explore the streams on your own!

Watercress is good in a salad, and adds a delightful taste in a sandwich. Here’s how I prepared it last night.

Yellowstone Traders Steak and Watercress Recipe

1. Thoroughly heat a cast iron skillet
2. While waiting for the skillet to heat, sprinkle a sirloin steak with freshly ground pepper and sea salt, slice two large mushrooms and wash the watercress.


Two mushrooms

Sirloin Steak

Sirloin Steak sprinkled with freshly ground pepper and sea salt

3. When the entire skillet is hot, add a tablespoon of lard and wait until it just begins to smoke.

4. Add the steak and mushrooms to the skillet and cook the steak until medium rare.

Cast Iron Steak and Mushrooms

Cook the steak and mushrooms in the cast iron skillet

5. Remove the steak and mushrooms and place on a plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

6. Pour 1/2 cup of red wine into the skillet and reduce to about 1/3.

7. Pour the reduced wine over the steak and mushrooms and recover.

8. Rinse out the cast iron skillet with water, place back on the heat, and add two tablespoons of butter.

9. When the butter is melted, add the watercress, season with some salt, and cook about two minutes until it is wilted.

Sautéed Watercress

Sautéed Watercress

10. Put the watercress on top of the steak and enjoy!

Sautéed Steak, Mushrooms and Watercress

Sautéed Steak, Mushrooms and Watercress

It was a great meal.

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Posted in Life in West Yellowstone, Recipes 1 Comment »

Fishing with Bison Fiber Gloves

Fishing with Buffalo Fiber Gloves

This winter while ice fishing at Hebgen Lake, just outside of West Yellowstone, I wandered away from the poles to find a new place because nothing was biting.

At that moment my friend started yelling: “You’ve got a fish.”

I turned around and saw the pole tipping deep into the hole. I started running back yelling “reel him in.”

Just as I reached the hole my friend was pulling it out of the water. I could see the fish’s head and part of his body, when it happened: the line broke.

So I did what you would have done. I put my hands together and dived arms-first into the 12-inch wide hole. Up to my biceps in icy water I felt the fish, grabbed the fish, and hauled him out of the water.

In that situation you don’t have time to take off your gloves, and I had been wearing my bison fiber fingerless ones. I took them off, wrung out the water, and then slipped them back on.

I could tell they were heavier than normal, but it wasn’t uncomfortable wearing them. Something like cotton would have been sticky and soggy, but not these. In about five minutes with the breeze they were completely dry.

I’ve just added a page on my online store with more information about fly-fishing with these gloves – the season is almost here in Yellowstone. You can visit the page here, or head directly to my gloves section and order yours today.

Brown Trout caught with Bison Fiber Gloves

I cleaned this fish on-location in the snow while wearing my bison fiber fingerless gloves. They were as good as new after throwing them into the washing machine.

Posted in Bison Fiber Gloves, Fishing, Gear, Life in West Yellowstone No Comments »

Taxes, Albino Ravens, And Sliding Down a Library Roof

I was home Monday afternoon with my 2009 receipts on one side, TurboTax and Quickbooks on my laptop screen, and crumpled papers all over the floor of stuff I no longer needed. And my stress level was way, way up as I tried to finish taxes.

The cell phone rang and it was my friend.

“I was coming out of the bar and you won’t believe what I saw,” he said. “There was a black and white raven. You need to come and take a picture. I’ll show you where he is.”

Hmmmm. Maybe it’s true, I thought. Maybe West Yellowstone does have a black and white raven, and going out in 32 degree temperatures and 8 inches of fresh snow would easily be worth it for a shot like that.

It was either that or go back into Quickbooks and recategorize all of the expenses I had entered wrong. Still had 10 days to get that done.

“OK,” I said. “Meet me there.”

Well, I couldn’t find any black and white ravens, but while looking I saw a normal-colored raven entertaining himself by sliding down the roof of the West Yellowstone Public Library.

Afterwards I went into the bar to report my findings. Another patron said she’s seen the albino raven in town, down by one of the grocery stores.

I’ll keep looking for the albino raven. It sure beats doing taxes.

Posted in Life in West Yellowstone, Uncategorized, Videos 3 Comments »