Showing posts with label snacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snacks. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Deer Liver Paté

This post is for those who like liver. The rest of you can just leave-- Hey, I'm kidding. 

Rick isn't a big fan of liver, but he'll eat this. If you recall, our Tagliatelle with Rich Three Meat Sauce recipe also had liver in it, and he happily ate it all up. I think it all depends on how you prepare liver. If someone gave me a hunk of it on a plate, I wouldn't eat it neither. But dress it up a bit, and this under-appreciated organ turns into something completely different. I grew up eating paté, so it's nothing new to me. 

While I was sautéing the ingredients, I was afraid that the finished product would retain too much of its livery, gamey smell. The liver we pulled from the whitetail Rick recently shot was extremely bloody. (Don't freak out if your kitchen looks like a murder scene after you're all done.) I wondered if it mattered that the liver came from a wild animal because pork or chicken paté you get from the store really doesn't smell like liver at all. It smells-- nice, actually. But here's what we discovered. The secret to smoothing out liver's strong gamey smell and taste is brandy. That's right! Alcohol fixes everything. Spread the paté on crackers; use it as a condiment in sandwiches; serve it with capers or even jellies and jams. I love it with crackers and a tiny dollop of boysenberry preserve on top. 

So the next time you field dress a deer, save the liver instead of leaving it for the coyotes. You may be surprised by what you can actually do with it. If you still absolutely don't like liver-- well then, forget all I just said. We promise the next recipe won't have any liver in it. 

Servings: 16-20 ounces 
Prep and Cooking Time: 2 hours
Set time: 3 hours (in refrigerator)
- 1 venison liver (about 1.5 lb)
- buttermilk (for soaking liver)
- 1 1/2 tsp. of juniper berries, finely crushed
- 2 tbs. of shallots, chopped
- 1/4 cup of onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 tbs. of unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup of brandy (plus extra in case if mixture is too dry)
- 1/4 cup of whipping cream (plus extra)
- 1/8 tsp. each of ground nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cloves and cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp. of fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of melted unsalted butter
- kosher salt, to taste

For those who don't hunt, this is what a deer liver looks like. It was red fresh out of the deer, but after spending a few days in an ice chest, some of the blood has oxidized, turning the liver rather dark. 
1. Remove any veins, dark spots and tough outer film from the liver. Cut into 1/2- inch pieces. Run under cold water to wash as much blood away as possible. 

See? What'd I tell you about it looking like a murder scene? 
Then, put the pieces in a ziplock bag. Submerge with buttermilk and refrigerate for at least one hour. 
After the hour, drain the liver and discard buttermilk. Rinse under cold water. Dab dry with paper towels. Set aside.
2. Melt 2 tbs. of butter over medium heat in a sauté pan. 
When butter stops foaming, sauté liver, shallots, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme until livers are just stiffened but still rosy inside. About 5-8 minutes. Slice one open to test.
Then mix in ground juniper berries, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cloves and cracked pepper. Take off heat. 
3. In a small saucepan, reduce 1/3 cup of brandy to 3 tablespoons. 
In a food processor, combine liver mixture, reduced brandy and whipping cream. Blend until smooth. Then pour in 1/2 cup of melted butter and blend to combine.  If it's too thick, add more brandy(no need to reduce) and/or whipping cream. 

Hey Jamba Juice, we have a new smoothie idea for you!
4. Place a bowl underneath a fine mesh sieve. Pour liver mixture into the sieve. With a spatula, push and scrape the mixture through the sieve. This helps to get rid of stray rosemary bits to make your paté smooth. 

Add salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Pack the paté into any jars or containers you like. Then chill for at least 3 hours. 
You can also give them as gifts. Just tie a bow around it. Bring paté to Christmas dinner instead fruit cake this year... ;-)

We hope you enjoy this recipe! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kale Chips

Kale Chips... Now, I know what you're thinking. "What business does kale have to do with wild game blog?! It's green!" Well, I guess I let my curiosity get the better of me. After all, kale is getting to be the next big thing, and we wouldn't want to miss out on any fad, would we? Yeah, I know. Californians eat weird things. I blame Food Network.

Anything with the word "chips" in it gets me excited-- except buffalo chips.  That's the only reason why I decided to make this, and because I was bored. The verdict: interesting. Kale crisps up surprisingly well in the oven without turning into wilted spinach. It's slightly bitter and is reminiscent of seaweed Nori chips Rick and I love so much. It won't replace potato chips in taste, but it's definitely a healthier alternative and something different to make. Kale seems to be one of those things that you either like or don't like. So give it a try and find out for yourself! Oh, and try feeding it to your kids. Tell 'em that they're green potato chips.  ;-)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- 1 head of kale
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- olive oil

Kale is so pretty. :-)

Try to pick out younger, smaller heads of kale. Supposedly, the bigger and older the kale, the more bitter it tastes. 
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Rinse and wash kale in cold water.

Remove leaves from the stem. Cut/rip leaves into pieces that are slightly bigger than bite-size. They will shrink. Allow leaves to thoroughly dry. 
2. Lay leaves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Try not to over-salt because the chips will shrink. You can always add more salt later. 
3. Place in a 275 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until crisp. Turn leaves halfway through baking.

The baking sheet was completely covered. See how much they shrunk?
Sprinkle more salt, if desired. Enjoy! 


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