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.

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BBQ Wild Turkey and Kimchi Sandwich

Pulled pork sandwiches are boring without the tangy crispiness of coleslaw, but when my butcher mentioned that he likes kimchi on his sandwiches, I thought he was a genius! What’s kimchi, you ask? Think of kimchi as the sauerkraut of Korea, except it’s colorful, spicy, and bursting with flavor, and tastes brilliant with the sweetness of BBQ. But we don’t have weeks or months to wait for real kimchi to ferment, so I offer a quick kimchi recipe below. Or you can find it premade in jars in many Asian grocery stores and on Amazon, as well as the coarse red pepper flakes (gochugaru) needed to make this iconic Korean side dish from scratch.  

What we have here isn’t pulled pork, thoughit’s wild turkey, which dries out easily, so braising it is a good way to keep the breast moist. This is a dish best made the night before. Make the kimchi and let it marinate overnight. Then pop the turkey into the slow cooker before you go to bed or before you go to work and it will be ready in a few hours. With just 1 breast from a big tom, we were able to get about 8 sandwiches. Use 2 breasts to double the servings.  

To view the recipe, visit: http://outdoorchannel.com/article.aspx?id=51490&articletype=article&key=bbq-wild-turkey-and-kimchi-sandwich-recipe

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rabbit Cacciatore over Pesto Orzo

Here's one of our latest for The Sportsman Channel: Rabbit Cacciatore over Pesto Orzo. If you've been hunting rabbits this winter, give this recipe a try. It's a traditional Italian dish usually served with chicken, but rabbit is so much better. Find the recipe here: http://www.thesportsmanchannel.com/2017/02/wild-rabbit-cacciatore-pesto-orzo-recipe/

For step-by-step instruction on how to hunt, field dress and cook rabbit, check out our book Hunting for Food

An exciting update! We're super psyched to partner with the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha to celebrate its Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art exhibition. In addition to assisting the museum to develope a wild game hors' douevres menu for their patrons and public event on Friday, April 7, we are also giving a pheasant cleaning and cooking demo at the patrons event. While our demo is private, we'll hang out afterward for the public event, which will feature a lecture by Lily Raff McCaulou, author of Call of the Mild, at 7 p.m.

If you're in the Omaha area, come out to try some food, drink, mingle and walk through this amazing collection of works that feature our favorite subjects: hunting, fishing and the outdoors. The museum store is also offering autographed copies of our book Hunting for Food for sale. Reservation is required for the public event. It is $10 for Joslyn members and $20 for the public. Make your reservation here: https://www.joslyn.org/forms/one-time-ticket-event-purchase-3.aspx

The exhibit: Wild Spaces, Open Seasons is the first exhibition of its kind in the country, featuring a variety of portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes, including iconic works by Thomas Cole, Thomas Eakins, Paul Manship, and John Singer Sargent, as well as pictures by artists who specialized “in the field,” such as Charles Deas, Alfred Jacob Miller, William T. Ranney, and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait. The exhibition also sheds new light on modernist studies of sporting subjects by Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, and Max Weber. Together, the 64 works in the exhibition illuminate changing ideas about community, environment, national identity, landscape, and wildlife, offering compelling insights into one of our most familiar shared adventures. Entry into the Joslyn Art Museum is always free, but this special exhibition is ticketed, with special pricing for kids, members and students. For more information: https://www.joslyn.org/collections-and-exhibitions/temporary-exhibitions/details.aspx?ID=367
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