Saturday, February 23, 2013

Venison Piccata

This is a dish that gives venison a slightly different flavor-- a lemony one. For those not too sure about this combination, you can add or subtract the amount of acidity to your own taste. Either way, it will delight your tastebuds and may become a new favorite. 

FYI, the venison will spend some time soaking in milk. This is a way of leeching blood from the meat, helping to lighten the flavor, especially for those who think venison tastes too strong or have a tendency of not wanting to eat it. If you have a young deer or doe, you will not have to do this long. The verdict, this Venison Picatta dish was wonderfully tender and had a light taste. Serve this with brown rice and your favorite veggies for a healthy, satisfying meal. -Rick 

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 2-4 hours
Cooking Time: 8-10 minutes
- 1 lb. of venison roast
- 2 cups of milk, divided
- 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 1/2 tsp. of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup fo butter or margarine
- 3/4 cup of dry white wine, like Chardonnay
- 1 to 2 tbs. of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
- 1 to 2 tbs. of capers, drained

1.  Trim roast of any fat or silverskin and then slice venison across grain into ¼ inch slices and pat dry.  When slicing, this can be better accomplished with the roast partially frozen.  Lay sliced meat in a shallow non-metal dish.  Keeping meat fairly close to each other, pour 1 cup of milk over the sliced meat.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-3 hours, depending on the age/sex of the deer.  Longer for an older buck and shorter for a young deer or doe.  When ready, drain and discard milk from the meat and then add another 1 cup of milk and cover.  This time, leave the meat out at room temperature for 1 hour.  Drain and discard milk and pat the venison dry with paper towels.

2. In a bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper and  spread this mixture onto a large plate. Coat venison steaks in flour mixture.
3. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add venison slices and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. (Remember not to overdo it because the venison will cook quickly being so thinly sliced.) 
Add wine and let it cook for an additional 2 minutes. 
4. Remove venison slices to a warm plate.  I like to place it in a warm oven. Key word here is warm. You do not want to continue cooking the venison. Add lemon, parsley and capers to the remaining wine in the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides of the skillet for 2 minutes. Reduce the sauce slightly to thicken. 
5. Place venison steaks on plates and pour sauce over venison. Serve with your favorite veggies. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How Does Wild Game Stack Up?

Here's an interesting chart Rick made on the nutrition content of wild game and domestic meats. 

See? It pays to hunt. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Venison Neck Irish Stew

In past years, neck meat was always thrown into the hamburger pile. With the deer Rick shot last November, we wondered how it would taste when left whole and braised. Filleting both sides, we got a total of two pieces from the neck. If we had had the right equipment, we might've just cut out the entire neck, bone and all. But we didn't.

When I thawed out one of the pieces last week, I was a tiny bit apprehensive. Looking at it,  there seemed to be so much silver skin and fat running through the muscles. There was no way that I could trim and clean it all without disfiguring the entire cut. I wasn't worried about the silver skin so much as the fat. Silver skin tends to melt away during long, slow periods of cooking, but any deer fat left over can give your venison a bit of an "off" taste. Some call it "gamey." So, I cleaned and trimmed as best as I could and prayed that the braising process would do the rest. 

After a few hours of being in the oven, I found the neck to be unbelievably tender and moist. Because of the little bit of unavoidable fat left on the neck, I will say that this dish does have a stronger taste compared to more ideal cuts like tenderloin. However, it was a taste that I appreciated. For those used to eating game, you will love this dish for its distinct and robust flavors. It was probably the most tender braise I have ever done with venison. I was quite proud of myself. All-in-all, this is an easy dish with an Irish flair; traditionally, Irish Stew is made with lamb or mutton. It requires few ingredients and will feed a house full of hungry hunters, huntresses and hunt-munchkins. Please enjoy! -Jen

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 1/2 hours
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (I like to use white whole wheat flour)
- 3 lbs. of venison neck, silver skin and fat removed
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 4 red potatoes and 4 baby yukon potatoes, halved
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 3 1/2 cups of hot beef stock
- 2 tbs. of chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

Clean venison neck. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Dredge well in flour. 
2. Lay the venison flat in a baking/casserole dish.
Next, layer onion on top... 
Then carrots and potatoes. 
3. Sprinkle in the thyme and pour in hot beef stock. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 325 F oven for 2 1/2 hours. 
Shred venison neck into serving size pieces. I like to keep them sort of big so guests can continue shredding themselves. Garnish with parsley. Add more salt and pepper, to taste. Feed to hungry carnivores. 

This is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal. 

If you're interested in following my Nebraska adventures, please check out these past blog posts at

"Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen - Treasures From the Past:"

"Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen - A Change of Environment:"

Friday, February 8, 2013

Enchiladas Pescadores

Hello all! "Bienvenido a mi cocina!" Today, I have a recipe for fish enchiladas, or as I like to call 'em Enchiladas Pescadores! This is not your regular red sauced enchilada commonly found in average Mexican restaurants. I wanted to stay away from using any red sauce, as it can overpower the delicate taste of fish. Any light, mild tasting fish like walleye, crappie or catfish will do; I used crappie. I like to serve this with our own Spanish Rice, refried beans and Waka-Guacomole. I made the chips as we did in our "Nachos Cazadores" recipe. These side dish recipes can be found here on our website. Check out the "Recipes" tab or click on the above links. I like to wash this dish down with my favorite Mexican beer. Enjoy!

Servings: 2-3, 6 enchiladas total
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
- 6 crappie filets
- 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of cornmeal 
- 1 tsp. of chili powder
- 1 cup of cilantro, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. of garlic powder
- 1 Serrano chili, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1/8 tsp. of cracked black pepper
- tortillas
- salsa
- vegetable oil

1. Rinse crappie filets and pat dry. Set aside.

Combine flour, corn meal, chili powder and pepper in a small bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, beat the egg.

2. Heat oil in a fry pan. Coat each filet in egg, then dip into flour mixture to coat both sides. Shake off excess flour. Lightly fry each filet for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. 
Drain on paper towels. Place in a 170 degree F oven to keep warm.

3. In a separate fry pan or wok, heat 2 tbs. of vegetable oil. Lightly fry a tortilla to soften, not to crisp. Place heated tortilla in a 9 inch baking dish. Crumble a filet of fish onto the tortilla and then sprinkle a fair amount of chopped cilantro and onion. Roll tortilla tightly and place on the far side of the baking dish.
Repeat until you've used up all the fish. Rolled tortillas should sit neatly in a single layer and not on top of one other. 

4. Top the enchiladas with as much cheese as you like. I like to use quite a bit. Sprinkle more chopped onions and cilantro over the cheese (this is where I like to add the finely chopped Serrano) and place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until cheese is melted and turned a golden brown.
5. Serve enchiladas with refried beans, Spanish rice, guacamole and homemade tortilla chips. I also like to place some salsa on top of the enchiladas for a little extra "zip."
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