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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Doing more with Venison in Kitchen

Now that deer hunting season is over, I hope many of you have landed your buck. Now, I am not a hunter myself. I do, however, like to cook and eat venison. Of course, my favorite, like many, is venison sausage. But, there is so much more you can do with the meat. Here are two ways that I like to cook venison.

This is a great way to use a venison roast without grounding it up into sausage meat. This is a two day event. I feel the key to this roast is the marinade. It flavors the meat while tenderizing it. You can speed this up if you want by raising the heat, just make sure that you check it and add stock if needed, to prevent the stock from evaporating out.

Venison Pot Roast

1 3-5 pound Venison Roast
1 tablespoon Black Pepper
1 tablespoon White Pepper
1 tablespoon Pink Peppercorns
3/4 cup Italian Dressing
1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon Granulated Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
2 tablespoons Salt
4 to 5 cups Beef Stock
1 Onion, chopped
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
1 stalk Celery, chopped
2 Potatoes, cut in half and sliced
1 bag Baby Carrots

Combine venison, black & white peppers, peppercorns, Italian dressing, vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic, mustard and salt in a large nonreactive container or zip-lock bag and marinate overnight in refrigerator.
Remove venison from marinade, place in a large skillet over high heat, and brown on all sides. Set aside.
Add stock, roast and remaining ingredients to a Dutch oven. Cover and simmer over low heat until the meat is tender, about 8 hours. Served sliced with vegetables for the pot.

Sauce Piquante is a classic Cajun preparation. You can make this as spicy or as mild as you like. This recipe contained no extra pepper or hot sauce. My suggestion is to serve with a bottle of hot sauce on the table. That way, everyone can spice up their plate as much as they want.

Venison Sauce Piquant

1 cup Peanut Oil
1 cup All-purpose Flour
6 cups Beef Stock
2 cups Onion, chopped
1 cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1 cup Celery, chopped
5 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 6 ounce can Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning, plus more to taste
3-4 pounds Venison, diced small
1 cup Red Wine
1 28 ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
4 Bay Leaves

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Stir in the flour, then turn the heat down to medium. Cook this roux, stirring often, until it turns the color of dark chocolate, about 15-20 minutes. Once the roux turns the color of peanut butter, you will need to stir it almost constantly to prevent it from burning. While roux is cooking, heat beef stock in another pot until boiling. Hold it at a simmer for now. When the roux is ready, add the onion, bell pepper and celery and stir to combine, Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until everything is soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, Creole seasoning and tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook this, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Mix in the venison, then add the red wine, the can of crushed tomatoes and hot beef stock, stirring as you add. Add the bay leaves and bring this to a a gentle simmer. Let this simmer very gently until the meat is tender, about 3 hours or more.When the sauce piquant is ready, re-season with Creole seasoning, if necessary. Serve over cook white rice,

Until next years hunt, enjoy your venison..

Transforming dishes with seafood

America is one big melting pot. Many different cultures are represented in the population of this great country. You can see great examples of these cultures in the ethnic restaurants that have opened locally and around the country. These immigrants have adapted their recipes with the local products they can find. Today, I will take two traditional ethnic recipes, one Mexican and one Italian, and using seafood, transform them into dishes that are different from what you would find in these different cultures.

Seafood enchiladas are not traditional New Orleans food. However, Mexican restaurants are abundant in the Crescent City, as they are here in Arkansas. By including great seafood in this traditional Mexican fare, you get comfort food from both worlds, North and South of the border.

Seafood Enchiladas

1 medium Onion, chopped

1 tablespoon Butter

1/4 pound fresh Crabmeat, picked thru for shells

1/4 pound Shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined and coarsely chopped

1/4 pound Crawfish tails, coarsely chopped

Creole Seasoning to taste

8 ounces Colby cheese

6 (10-inch) Tortillas

1 cup Half & Half

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/4 cup Butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons dried Parsley

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt

Preheat oven ot 350℉.

In a large skillet, sauté onions in 1 tablespoon of butter until transparent. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the seafood. Season with Creole seasoning. Shred the cheese and mix half of it into the seafood. Place a large spoonful of the seafood mixture into each tortilla. Roll the tortillas up around the mixture and arrange the rolled tortillas in a 9×13-inch baking dish.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine half & half, sour cream, melted butter, parsley and garlic salt. Stir until the mixture is lukewarm and blended. Pour sauce over the enchiladas, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Lasagna is Italian comfort food at its finest. In many restaurants in New Orleans, you can find lasagna made with seafood in a white sauce. Lasagna prepared this way takes your tastebuds on a trip to heaven. This recipe is basically a Shrimp Alfredo, that is layered with seafood goodness. Feel free to substitute your favorite seafood in this dish, making sure you have the correct amounts of protein.

Shellfish Lasagna

12 Lasagna Noodles

3 tablespoons Butter

1 small Onion, minced

3 cloves Garlic, minced

3 tablespoons All-purpose Flour

2 1/2 cups Heavy Cream

1 cup Romano cheese, grated

1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning

3/4 pound Crawfish Tails

3/4 pound medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375℉. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the lasagna noodles until they are done, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet and cook the onions over low heat until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more. Over medium-low heat, stir in the flour with a whisk, then gradually add the heavy cream, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly before adding more. When the sauce has thickened to desired consistency, add the cheese and stir well. Add Creole seasoning and stir again. Add the seafood and cook until the shrimp are starting to turn pink, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the skillet into the prepared pan. Layer noodles into the pan then top with seafood mixture. Continue this until the top layer of pasta is only covered with sauce and NO SEAFOOD. Make sure that all of the top surface of the pasta is covered. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, uncovered until bubbly. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Experiment with Duck in kitchen

One of my favorite dishes to order in a restaurant is duck. The first time I had duck was at the now closed LeRuth’s. They served a half duck roasted on top of an oyster dressing with a green peppercorn sauce. More recently, I found a half roasted duck at Brigtsen’s. You usually find duck in a restaurant either served as a half duck or the duck breast. Either way is a great alternative to chicken.

Locally, there are many duck hunters. Stuttgart is the home of Mack’s Prairie Wings, the premier waterfowl sports outfitters in the world. Every year in November, the city holds the World Duck Calling Championship, which brings people of all ages from around the world to compete.

Down in south Louisiana, the Cajuns eat lots of foods that they catch themselves. When they first moved to Louisiana from Canada, they had to learn to live off the land. Hunting and fishing became a way to survive. Ducks, deer and fish are staples in their diet. So today, I am sharing with you two duck dishes prepared Cajun style, one featuring the half duck and one with just the breast.

Cajuns love to smother everything when cooking. The best thing about smothering that you can adapt your recipe to you own taste. To Creolize this dish, add some diced tomatoes. To make that Creolized dish even spiced, use Rotel.

Cajun Smothered Duck

2 Ducks, cleaned
2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Canola Oil
2 large Onions, chopped
2 large Bell Peppers, chopped
1 Celery Rib, chopped
1 cup Green Onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Bay Leaves
1 cup Chicken Stock, or more if needed

Preheat oven to 300℉.

Wash the ducks and pat dry. Season inside and out with Creole seasoning, then dust outside lightly with flour. Heat the canola oil in a roasting pan over medium-high heat. Brown the ducks in the oil, turning frequently, until the skin begins to crisp on all sides. Remove and keep warm. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon on the oil in the pan. Over medium-low heat, sauté the onions, bell peppers and celery until soft, about 2 minutes. Return the ducks to the roasting pan. Add a cup of chicken stock and bay leaf. Cover the pan and cook for about 2 hours. Every half hour, open the pan and turn the ducks over. Add a little more stock if the pan juices begin to dry out. The ducks are cooked when the meat begins to fall from the leg bones. Remove the ducks from the pan and keep warm. Let the pan contents stand for a few minutes; the fat will rise to the top. Skim and discard the fat. Bring the remaining pan contents to a very light simmer, and reduce until it thickens to a gravy consistency. Add the green onions and the parsley, and add more Creole seasoning to taste. To serve, cut the ducks in half from end to end. Remove and discard the backbone and ribcage and serve with the rest of the sauce.

The most desired part of the duck is the breast. This succulent meat is very versatile in the ways you can cook it. In the deep south, frying is the preferred method of cooking poultry. Here is how they fry duck breast down on the bayou.

Cajun Fried Duck Breast

2 Duck Breast
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup Cracker Crumbs
Shortening for frying
6 quart heavy skillet, preferably cast iron

Tenderize breast slightly with a meat tenderizer. Cut each breast into 3 equal pieces. Soak in buttermilk for 2 hours. Remove duck from buttermilk, dip in beaten egg, sprinkle with Creole seasoning, and dredge in finely crumbled cracker crumbs. Deep fry in large skillet with 1 inch of shortening at medium heat for 20 minutes a side. Drain on paper towels before serving.

For you hunters who have not reached your limit, you have until January 28th to do so. If you already have your limit, try one of these Cajun recipes. You will be glad you did.

Poaching eggs not as hard as it seems

It has been said that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Eggs are often a main focus of this meal. Poached Eggs are the centerpiece of fancy egg dishes. Numerous versions can be found on menus across New Orleans.

Many people shy away from poaching eggs, feeling that they are too difficult to make. You can buy an egg poacher to make it easier. However, it is not difficult to do without one.

The key to poaching eggs without a poacher is the temperature of the water. Make sure that the water is not at a full boil. You want it to be at a simmer, which is just below the boiling point. You also want to make a whirlpool in the water before you put the eggs in. This will help the egg white remain close to the yolk.

How to poach eggs:

Fill a large deep skillet with water. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Break one egg in a small cup. Stir the water to create a whirlpool. Gently slip the egg into the center of the slowly boiling water. Repeat with remaining eggs, keeping track of the order the eggs are going in. Reduce heat; simmer eggs for 2 to 3 minutes, until the whites are firm near the yolk. Remove with slotted spoon in the order you put them in and place in a pan of ice water. Set aside.

If you need to reheat the eggs, fill deep skillet with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add eggs with slotted spoon and heat for a minute.

Eggs Benedict is a dish that is found on menus across the nation. From neighborhood cafes to 5-star fine dining restaurants, Eggs Benedict is the first poached egg dish people think of. So, let’s start off with this cliché dish.

Eggs Benedict

8 Poached Eggs
2 Tablespoons Butter, divided
8 slices Canadian bacon
4 English Muffins split in half
Hollandaise Sauce

Directions:

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat one tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Add Canadian bacon and cook for 4 minutes, 2 minutes a side, until browned. Divide and toast muffins. Spread remaining butter on muffin halves. Place muffin halves in oven and keep warm.

To assemble:
Arrange 2 muffin halves on a plate. Top each half with a slice of Canadian bacon. Top with eggs. Make sure to drain them well before plating them. Top with Hollandaise Sauce and serve immediately.

This recipe has been published before. In case you don’t have this recipe, here it is again.

Hollandaise Sauce

2 Egg Yolks
1 Whole Egg
2 Sticks (1/2 pound) Margarine
1 Stick (1/4 pound) Butter
1 ½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
½ teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
½ teaspoon Ground White Pepper
¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Melt margarine and butter over medium fire. Bring to a boil, remove from fire and allow to cool. Blend egg yolks, egg, vinegar, cayenne, white pepper, and lemon juice. With blender on, pour melted margarine/butter slowly into other ingredients. Blend to thick.

This dish is from the original Brennan’s restaurant. After a breakfast at Brennan’s, there is no need to eat lunch. The amount of food will carry you over to dinner and possibly beyond. A breakfast or brunch at Brennan’s will easily take you at least an hour or longer to consume. Here is one of their original poached egg dishes that is not topped with Hollandaise sauce.

Eggs Nouvelle Orleans

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 1 tablespoon Butter
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Brandy
1 pound Lump Crabmeat, picked over to remove any shell and cartilage
8 Poached Eggs
Salt and White Pepper to taste

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes over medium heat, then gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Stir in the brandy and season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium sauté pan, melt the remaining tablespoon butter, then add the crabmeat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat.
Spoon 1/4 cup hot crabmeat mixture onto each plate and top with 2 poached eggs. Spoon cream sauce over the eggs and serve.

Poached eggs are my favorite way to eat eggs. When you break into the yolk, it takes your dish to another level. Just don’t be afraid to try to cook them.