Monthly Archives: December 2010

Garlic Potato-Crusted Halibut with Dill Pollen Beurre Nantais

Wild Alaskan halibut fillets with a crunchy topping of shredded potatoes and fresh garlic, served over a dill pollen-infused reduction of butter, white white, red shallots, fresh lemon, cream and chopped parsley (beurre nantais)..

Garlic Potato-Crusted Halibut with Dill Pollen Beurre Nantais

“Halibut feed on almost any animal they can fit into their mouths. Juvenile halibut feed on small crustaceans and other bottom dwelling organisms. Animals found in their stomachs include sand lance, octopus, crab, salmon, hermit crabs, lamprey, sculpin, cod, pollock, herring, flounder as well as other halibut. Halibut live at depths ranging from a few meters to hundreds of meters, and although they spend most of their time near the bottom,[1] halibut may move up in the water column to feed. In most ecosystems the halibut is near the top of the marine food chain. In the North Pacific their only common predators are the sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), the orca (Orcinus orca), and the salmon shark (Lamna ditropis).”

“Halibut have been an important food source to Native Americans and Canadian First Nations for thousands of years and continue to be a key element to many coastal subsistence economies.”  –Wikipedia


Peanut-Roasted Cauliflower, Thai Yellow Curry

Fresh cauliflower is separated into individual florets, then blanched in fresh ginger and lemongrass-infused vegetable stock.  The florets are shocked in ice water and patted dry before being tossed in chopped peanuts.  The coated cauliflower is then laid out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roasted at 400 degrees until golden brown and crisp on the outside, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, Thai yellow curry paste (yellow chilies, shallots, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon & turmeric)  is fried in raw coconut oil with fresh lemongrass, galangal and scallions and simmered with coconut milk..

Peanut-Roasted Cauliflower, Thai Yellow Curry

Galangal (galanga, blue ginger) is a rhizome of plants of the genera Alpinia or Kaempferia in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, with culinary and medicinal uses originated from Indonesia. (Lao: ຂ່າ “kha”; Thai: ข่า “kha”; Malay: lengkuas (Alpinia galanga); traditional Mandarin: 南薑 or 高良薑; simplified Mandarin: 南姜 or 高良姜; Cantonese: lam keong, 藍薑; Vietnamese: riềng).

It is used in various Asian cuisines (for example in Thai tom yum soups and tom kha gai, Vietnamese Huế cuisine (tre) and throughout Indonesian cuisine, for example, in soto). Though it is related to and resembles ginger, there is little similarity in taste. –Wikipedia

This post is part of Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns
in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Mesquite Grilled Pheasant with Jalapeño, Sausage and Cornbread Dressing

Ring-necked pheasant breasts are partially boned, then brined for half a day in spring water with onions, garlic, cloves, bay and sea salt.  The breasts are  patted dry and allowed to air dry while the grill is prepared.

Once the fire is ready, the pheasant is painted with achiote-cumin oil and then grilled as you would chicken pieces.  The cooked bird is allowed to rest under cover for 10 minutes before being plated atop white cornbread dressing with onions, jalapeños and sausage.  The dish is moistened with glace de viande just before serving..

Mesquite Grilled Pheasant with Jalapeño, Sausage and Cornbread Dressing

Common Pheasants were introduced in North America in 1857, and have become well established throughout much of the Rocky Mountain states, the Midwest, the Plains states, as well as Canada and Mexico.  In the American southwest, pheasants can be found in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge 100 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Most common pheasants bagged in the United States are wild-born feral pheasants; in some states, captive-reared and released birds make up much of the population.

Wild Venison Osso Bucco with Italian Farro

Thick cuts of wild Texas fallow deer hind shank are marinated overnight in a mixture of Lambrusco, juniper berries, fresh rosemary, garlic, cracked pepper and bay.  The next day, the meat is salted and air-dried before being browned in olive oil in a Dutch oven.

Caramelized onions, chopped Roma tomatoes, porcini mushrooms, homemade stock and reduced marinade are added to the pot and gently simmered until the meat is tender (about 1-1/2 hours).

The meat is removed from the pot and allowed to rest while the cooking liquid is reduced and thickened.  The osso bucco (Italian for “bone with a hole”) is added back to the pot just long enough to heat through, then plated atop Italian farro, dressed with sauce and served..

Venison Osso Bucco with Italian Farro

“Fallow deer originated in ancient Persia. Native to the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, they have spread throughout the European continent and to the British Isles. In recent times, they have been introduced into New Zealand, Australia, and the North America where they have become one of the favored species for domestication and deer farming.

There are several thousand fallow deer here in Texas on deer farms, and many thousands more ranging wild on Texas ranches. Farmed fallow have a very mild flavor. Free-range fallow have a more natural venison flavor but are not as readily available. We harvest free-ranging fallow deer.

The fallow deer is about 5 feet long and weighs about 120 to 150 pounds. It is the only deer sporting a wide variety of colors – From solid dark brown (chocolate) to solid white, with over 40 variations in between. Many fallow deer have spotted coats of various colors.

The antlers are also unique. They are often quite large and have flattened spade-like ends. Fallow deer are primarily grazers, preferring grass and forbs, but may also eat twigs and evergreen needles in winter. One particularly interesting phenomenon is an “addiction” that a few fallow deer in Texas exhibit to the consumption of prickly pear cactus. Even when other food is readily available, some fallow deer eat prickly pear cactus and often succumb to massive ingestion of the cactus needles.

Fallow venison is highly valued for its tender texture and beef-like flavor.”  –Broken Arrow Ranch

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pan-Seared Bandera Quail Legs, Costeño and Guajillo Honey Glaze

Fresh quail legs from nearby Bandera, Texas are lightly rubbed with peanut oil and seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper before being quickly seared in a cast iron skillet.  Glazed with a mixture of local guajillo honey, ground Costeño chiles and a bit of coarse mustard, then popped in a very hot over for just a minute or two..

Pan-Seared Bandera Quail Legs, Costeño and Guajillo Honey Glaze

Native to Oaxaca, Costeño chiles have an apricot fruit tone and a heat level similar to the chipotle.  Less common in the US,  Costeños are frequently used in salsa and soups but can occasionally found in mole recipes as well.

Caribbean Goat Curry

A riff on the familiar Jamaican dish, this version adds sweet potatoes and fresh scallions to the long-simmered goat, fresh ginger, garlic and tomatoes.   Scotch bonnet peppers and  Caribbean curry powder add a quickly-building, lingering heat..

Caribbean Goat Curry

Sear a pound of cubed local, pastured goat in a very hot, greased Dutch oven until nicely browned on all sides. Add a chopped yellow onion and cook, stirring infrequently until the onions are browned, about 5 minutes.  Add a chopped Scotch bonnet pepper (2 if you’re brave), a clove or two of minced garlic, a teaspoon or so of freshly-minced ginger and stir to combine.

Add a tablespoon of good Caribbean curry powder (turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, star anise, black pepper and the all-important allspice) and fry until fragrant.

Reduce heat to medium and add 2 cups of chopped tomatoes, half a tablespoon of vinegar, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and enough stock (preferred) or water to just barely cover the meat.

Bring the pot to a boil, then lower heat, partially cover and simmer until the meat is tender and the liquid has reduced in volume by about 1/3, about 4-5 hours, adding diced sweet potatoes during the last hour.   Remember to give the pot a stir once an hour and add a little liquid if needed to keep it from drying out.

Adjust flavor with sea salt and black pepper if you think it necessary, then ladle into bowls, top with slivered scallions and a sprig of thyme and serve immediately.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday!