March 9, 2013

Tangier-style Elk Meatballs – Saffron lends itself nicely to this Moroccan-influenced meatball first browned, then braised in the Master Base stock with celery.Meat balls

Rabbit and Swiss Chard Empañadas – The rabbit was dusted in a flour mix then browned, placed in a roaster with stock and baked until tender. Removed from the bone, it was then chopped and mixed with blanched Swiss chard from our garden. Golden raisins and roasted garlic complement the puff pastry packets. Try with Tomato Marmalade.

Smelt en Escabeche – Decades ago I first heard of the “Smelt Fry,” which led to a gonzo trip to Duluth/Superior with a lot of Hotel California played on the 8-Track. I have no memory of actually eating any smelt. But after these smelt are fried, they are marinated with sautéed peppers in a spicy sherry/white wine sauce for a couple of days. Try with saltines.

Chiang Mai-style Venison Carpaccio – Freezing the meat makes slicing it thinly very much better (sorry). Piquant lemongrass, lime and ginger are a perfect trio along with sea salt to “cure” the venison. Try with croutons and pickled green beans.Spring Rolls

Vietnamese-style Squirrel Spring-rolls – Tastes like chicken! Really, because there happened to be a couple of legs and thighs I threw in while I was braising the squirrel. There are also some shrimp and cooked soba noodles in the mix. Try with Mirin Soy Sauce.

Lacy Egg Nets with Elk, Pork and Shrimp – The mixture is prepared then egg is squirt-bottled into a pan decoratively. Once cooked, the nets are then wrapped around the filling. Easy, peasy; right?

Spicy Elk Patties with Coconut – Elk, coconut and citrus. Just like the settlers had at hand as they moved west and encountered these majestic animals.

Gogijon – Venison and Bean Curd Patties – I’m not sure if it sounds better called tofu. I have never once had tofu and thought “Wow, that’s good!” Until now, of course, because squeezed dry and forced through a strainer it succumbs to the strong flavors of garlic, sesame and soy. And it’s mixed with MEAT.

Crying Tiger” – It’s actually grilled venison blade steak with a spicy chili rub that is said to bring tears to your eyes.

Crépes with Venison and Red Peppers – Make sure you take a crépe.

Fresh Venison

Fresh Venison


Fragrant Thai Meatballs – Red curry paste brings intense flavor to this elk and pork mixture. Try with peanut sauce and rice.

Venison Strips with Orange and Ginger – A simple orange and ginger marinade then a quick sauté, then finished with a little soy, stock, carrots and scallions. Try with rice.

Venison Sauerbraten – I know one thing for sure. My Dad would say, “Tastes like more.” Try a taste with pasta.

Venison Bourgignon with Pumpkin and Cranberries – The most memorable meal from the first deer I got was a braised venison neck. This dish uses the neck stewed in red wine, then the meat is taken off the bone and finished with our garden pumpkin and cranberries from my cousin Erik’s cranberry bog near Siren.

Macaroni and Cheese – Question: Is it a leftover if you never had any of it after you first made it? Tidbits of cheese make a wonderful often unduplicatable dish. This one uses classic Emanthaler and Gruyére Fondue cheeses. [Vegetarian]

Pickled Northern Pike and Peppers – Peter Piper had nothing to do with this dish. The recipe came from Dad who uses it for bluegills. I spent an hour and a half pulling tiny bones out with a tweezer. Those of you who find a bone will undoubtably wish that I had spent two hours.

Bolognese Elk Sauce – Classic meat and tomato sauce using yellow tomatoes from our garden. Try it with pasta!

Legend Lake Cioppino – I remember making this classic San Francisco Fish Stew when I lived in Viroqua. My sister Judy and her husband Corky visited and I “impressed” them with my cooking by making this with bone-filled fish chunks. Oh well. Judy said, “It tasted good but we just couldn’t eat it.” This is made with fish from Legend Lake in northern WI and Gulf shrimp. Watch for bones – ?

Rabbit Liver Paté with White Currant Sauce – I worked a few times in Paris, Virginia at the Ashby Inn. George Washington slept there, and as a matter of fact, left his teeth there. This recipe is adapted from a chicken liver paté we used to serve at this restaurant.

Garlic Venison Steak with Wild Turkey Cream Sauce – Meat, cream, and booze. Where is the remote?

Stout-spiced Canada Goose Breast – I first corned the goose breast, sliced it, then simmered it in stout and spices. Try with pumpernickle.

Green Bean and Pumpkin Casserole with Goat Cheese – Roasted garden pumpkin and blanched garden beans topped with goat cheese. [Vegetarian]

Ratatouille – Garden vedge including one of the three eggplants that grew last year.

Gravy Fountain

The Great Gravy Fountain!

Meat” Fontaine – Rich Master Base Velouté. Good on a stick.

Smelt Loaf – A variation of the salmon loaf that my Aunt Bessie used to make.

Squirrel Pizza – Yes, indeed. The classic is back.

Bluegill and Sheepshead Paté – Charlotte and I caught the fish on Little Lake Mendota. Charlotte caught a two-pound sheepshead! The fish was lightly smoked then mixed with cream cheese, sour cream and heavy cream. Yum.

Varmint BBQ – Chopped squirrel and rabbit with Sweet Baby Ray’s. Mmm. Mmm.

Venison Roulade with Almond Shiitake Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper with Sauce Chausseur – Fileted, stuffed, rolled, and roasted. Served with “Hunter” sauce.

Surf and Turf – Pan-seared venison tenderloin, crispy smelt, and shiitake mushrooms.

Chef Joel would like to thank the following folks for contributing game: Mike Watt (elk & venison), Adam

Friends Helping

Friends Helping

Gallagher’s Uncle Tom Ritzinger (venison), Bruce Andrews & Tim Welsh (Canadian Northern Pike), and Chris Schacherer (fish from Lake Legend); and also Fatiha Hamdani for her hand-made Moroccan preserved lemons. Many thanks also to the wonderful friends who helped with food preparation and other duties as assigned: Kevin Pomeroy, Adam Gallagher, Tim Welsh, Bruce Andrews, Signe Peterson, Kathy Schwaegerl, Beth Zuehlke, John Roberts, Tim and Stacey Hull, Laura Flinchbaugh, and Charlotte Olson.

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