Sunday, June 11, 2017

Scandinavian-Style Fish Cakes


If you live by the ocean, chances are there is a fish cake tradition floating about. New England, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seoul, Dan Nang or Cornwall… just about every culture has its own version of the fish cake. 

In the mostly water-bound reaches of Scandinavia, this is no exception. Fiskekaker is a true Scandinavian meal, an everyday dish symbolic of the seafood-heavy Nordic diet. But what if you live in the Midwest, as I do? While you won't find haddock or cod in this recipe, you will find potatoes and white-flesh freshwater fish. I chose Missouri River paddlefish for this recipe; it’s firm and fatty, resembling ocean fish. I have found it tastes quite close to tuna.

If paddlefish meat is not accessible, I suggest catfish, but any white-fleshed fish will work just fine. The beauty of this dish is that it's also fantastic with fish that you may not want to eat otherwise, such as carp, drum or bass. The seasonings in the recipe are merely suggestions; flavor your fish cakes with any herbs and spices you like.

For the full recipe, visit World Fishing Network online: http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/recipes/post/scandinavian-style-fish-cakes-recipe

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fried Tacos with Wild Turkey and Chipotle


Most hunters I know just don’t know what to do with wild turkey legs. It’s true— these legs are tough, especially from a dominant, old tom turkey, and the pin bones can be intimidating to cook. For this reason, these underrated parts are often thrown away, and that’s a shame because that’s a ton of meat wasted; from just two turkey leg and thighs, I was able to make about 25 tacos for this recipe. And just because turkey may be considered a “white meat,” don’t be fooled. Wild animals are a different and their leg meat is dark and flavorful. However, you do have to put in some work to make them fit for the table. 

If you have a slow cooker, then you can cook turkey legs. It’s as easy as seasoning the legs and throwing it into the crockpot for a few hours to tenderize—no more difficult than slow cooking a roast. After 6 to 8 hours, the meat will be so tender that you can do anything with it. Use the meat in your favorite casseroles, soups, stir fries, BBQ sandwiches … or tacos. 

These turkey and chipotle fried tacos are by no means healthy, but I promise that they will be gobbled up so quickly. Remember those fast food Jack in the Box or Burger King fried tacos? They were filled with a weird meat paste that was so disgusting but also so addicting at the same time. Well, these tacos are all crunchy, greasy goodness—filled with wholesome ingredients hunted by you.

For the recipe, visit Outdoor Channel online:  http://www.outdoorchannel.com/article.aspx?id=52011&articletype=article&key=wild-turkey-leg-chipotle-fried-tacos-recipe

Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Cave Tools Hook Rack

The folks at Cave Tools contacted us a few weeks ago about reviewing their BBQ/grilling products. They gave us a wide range of tools to choose from, and we chose their hook rack because we actually needed one. If your kitchen is like ours, then it's limited in space and bursting at the seams in kitchen gadgets. Sometimes it's hard to stay organized, and things are just haphazardly shoved into whatever drawer has space. We were looking for something that would be able to hold our bigger grilling tools and free up some space in our drawers. The Cave Tools Stainless Steel 5 Hook Rack fit our needs. 

The hook rack measures 14.25 x 2 inches and has a polished stainless steel finish. Its design is neutral and will fit into many applications, from the kitchen to garage to bathroom to duck blind to "man cave." 

Packaging came with a screwdriver, although we didn't use it. We used our power drill, and it was easy and quick to install onto the side of a cabinet. 

The two screws that came with the rack were long and substantial for holding weight, but we thought it could've been made with a better quality material as it was beginning to show signs of stripping during installation.Two covers were included to snap over the screws to give the rack a clean, slick look.

The hooks seem sturdy and heavy duty. You won't have a problem hanging heavy coats, towels, gardening or home improvement tools on it. If you're a hunter, use this rack to organize your game calls, hunting clothes or dog training gadgets. Durable stainless steel makes it ideal for both outdoor and indoor use. 

The best part about the Cave Tool hook rack is the price and 100% satisfaction guarantee. For a 15% discount on this Cave Tool hook rack, enter HOOKRACK15 at https://cavetools.com/collections/cooking-tools/products/stainless-steel-5-hook-rack


Monday, May 8, 2017

Morel Mushroom Dolmades

Fried, sautéed or simmered in a hearty stew, I haven’t found a recipe where I didn’t like morels. But as a food blogger, I’m constantly challenged to find different ways to utilize wild ingredients every year. This recipe was inspired by one of my good friends who served Greek dolmades at a dinner party last spring. Her husband is Greek so these delicious morsels of tender rice, minced lamb, onion and herbs stuffed in grape leaves show up at their dinner table often. As an appetizer or side, dolmades are supposed to be served cold or at room temperature. This is a great dish if you need to begin preparing dinner the day before.     

When thinking of a new way to prepare morels this year, I thought of Libby’s dolmades dish and how morels, known for being rich and meaty, would make a great alternative to minced lamb. I was right— I made a large batch and they were gone by the next day. The morels added a nice umami element to these little bites. I didn't miss the meat, but the great thing about this dish is that you can fill them with whatever you want. Here’s my simple version of dolmades developed for Outdoor Channel.

To view the recipe, visit: http://outdoorchannel.com/article.aspx?id=51491&articletype=article&key=morel-mushroom-dolmades-recipe

Friday, April 28, 2017

Venison Tartare

Steak tartare is dish made of raw minced meat mixed with fresh herbs, spices and a raw egg yolk on top. It's usually served on crostini as an appetizer-- crackers aren't the same, I tried it-- and is tasty with a glass of red wine. When you cut into the yolk, it creates a velvety sauce that adds a much-needed richness to the lean meat. Additions such as shallots, mustard, parsley, lemon, capers and freshly cracked pepper impart a fresh, pungent bite.

Some of you are probably looking at this and thinking: "Ew." It's not for everyone. Rick wouldn't touch it-- he doesn't find eating raw meat and eggs particularly appetizing, but I was perfectly happy to eat it all by myself-- a little raw meat every once in awhile adds excitement to my life. And it was also a fun opportunity for me to photograph this pretty dish with the woodland violets I've collected in the woods. We've been doing lots of morel mushroom hunting and woodland violets are a common sight this time of year. They don't really have a taste, but they do pretty up dishes and salads quite nicely. And try to use farm fresh eggs-- they look and taste much better than mass produced grocery store eggs. I used eggs from my friends Bre and Dave who keep their own chickens.

Of course there are health risks if your meat and eggs are not top quality. However, if you know that your meat was properly handled and your eggs came from a good source, you should be fine. Never use venison from a deer that was shot in the gut, though. I used Hank Shaw's recipe as a base for mine, and he offers a great guide to making venison tartare on his website: http://honest-food.net/venison-tartare-recipe/

I also took an extra precaution. I salted the venison prior to placing it in the freezer to firm up, and then rinsed off the salt before mincing the meat. The salt kills bacteria present on the meat's surface. 

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:
- 1/2 pound venison loin
- Kosher salt
- Half a shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of juniper berries, toasted and ground
- Himalayan sea salt, to taste
- Coarse ground pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- Grated zest of half a lemon
- Woodland violet flowers for garnish, optional
- 2 egg yolks
- Capers
- French bread, buttered and toasted

Directions:

1. Trim off any silver skin and fat on venison. Cover liberally with the kosher salt and set in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, soak minced shallot in red wine vinegar. When venison is firm, rinse salt off the the venison and pat dry with paper towels. With a sharp knife, finely dice the meat. Transfer meat to a bowl and keep cold.

2. Drain shallots and combine with minced meat, ground juniper berries, Himalayan sea salt to taste, coarse ground pepper, chopped parsley, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Taste for seasoning. 

3. Divide meat into two serving bowls and make a depression in each. Lay an egg yolk into each bowl and garnish with lemon zest and woodland violets. Serve with capers and thinly sliced buttered, toasted French bread.

 
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