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Featured Recipe

Jugged Hare

This is an ancient and honorable dish especially popular in merry olde England and Germany. The method calls for a rich, hearty wine sauce – sinfully delicious. This may possibly start a family tradition in January. Gather the following:

1 cup flour
2 or 3 rabbits, cut in serving pieces
1 – 1.5 cups of dry red wine
2 medium onions, quartered
3 – 4 cloves stuck in onion quarters
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
garlic powder
chicken broth (enough to cover meat)
mushrooms (optional)
1/3 cup of dry red wine (again)

After soaking the rabbit pieces in a solution of water and salt for a half hour, wipe with a paper towel and place in a bag. Pour most of the flour into the bag, saving three tablespoons for thickening the gravy later. Shake the bag vigorously, coat in the pieces with flour.

Over a medium heat, brown the pieces in clarified butter or oil, then place them in a bean pot, alternating layers of rabbit with layers of quartered onions and the optional mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms are better, but canned will work. Whether you use sliced mushrooms or buttons is up to you.

Sprinkle in the pepper, salt, and two or three light shakes of garlic powder. Pour in the wine. Now, if you use chicken broth, make sure to boil it before adding it to the pot. If you cheat and use chicken bouillon cubes, it will be hot anyway. However, a word of caution with bouillon cubes They are salty so go easy on the salt. Maybe just a third of a teaspoon.

Cover the bean pot and place in a 275 degree oven for three to four hours. Just before serving, remove the pot from the oven, place the pieces of rabbit on a warmed serving platter, then pour the liquid into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, then slowly dribble in a paste made with three tablespoons of flour and enough water to make it smooth and somewhat runny. While dribbling the paste into the pot, stir like crazy with a whip. When all has been added, place back on stove over a moderately low heat and continue stirring until it begins to thicken. When the thickness suits your taste, thicken it a little more, then add one-third cup of dry red wine. This is a delicious touch, making it so rich. Pour this gravy over the pieces of jugged hare, and serve immediately.

French bread is a must with this meal. It adds a festive touch to a meal continental already. And, besides, there is plenty of gravy to sop up with the crusty French bread. French string beans with slivered almonds or peas with pearled onions round this dish out. It is so rich and starchy no potatoes or rice are needed.

This meal calls for a good wine…red of course. It will complement a rich, somewhat hearty meal.

 

Roast Goose

If someone is lucky enough to score on a Canada goose, it deserves to be served at Christmas. Gather the following for stuffing:

1 stick of butter
2 medium chopped onions
4 cups diced apples
1 cup of raisins
chopped, cooked liver of goose
1 cup cooked, diced potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

Place a Dutch oven over a medium-low heat. Melt a stick of butter. When it begins to bubble, add the chopped onions and cook until they first begin to turn translucent. Add the remainder of the ingredients and cook until the apples soften, and the entire mixture is brown. Wipe the cavity of the goose with salt, then stuff and skewer the goose tightly.

Put the goose on a rack, cover with aluminum foil, and roast in the preheated 375 degree oven for about 2 – 2.5 hours. Remove the foil, prick the bird in several places with a fork, then return to the oven without the foil, and cook until the skin is crisp and brown, about 30 – 40 minutes. The results will be a golden skin with dewy-moist center – the essence of cookery. Canada goose is food fit for the gods, so serve a superior bottle of French Burgundy, preferably a heavy Burgundy such as a Chamberin or Nuits-Saint-Georges.

Wild rice is a must with Canada goose. Baked squash, asparagus, and French bread will make a meal with a memory to last a lifetime.

Eat, drink, and relish the season. Another year has slid by…much too quickly. With luck, patience and skill, nature’s bounty had been good to us. Living close to the Earth, we know where our meals have come, and have eaten them the way we should…with reverence.

 

 

Plum Wine Grouse

This recipe is superb for yearling birds. It is a recipe originally used with Cornish hens, a good substitute if you are not a grouse hunter. Gather the following ingredients:

2 grouse (or Cornish hens)
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup of plum wine, or medium sherry
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons soy sauce
poultry bred stuffing (optional)

Stuff and truss birds, and place in a shallow baking dish. Melt four tablespoons butter, and mix in a quarter cup of plum wine, two tablespoons lemon juice, a teaspoon of dry mustard, and two teaspoon soy sauce. Mix thoroughly. Bast birds with this sauce, letting excess drip into pan. Place the birds in a preheated 375 degree oven, and cook for approximately 35 minutes. During the cooking, baste quickly every five minutes, glazing the birds well. When done, the leg joints will move easily. Don’t overcook and dry them out. Serve with French bread, rice pilaf, baked squash, a green veggie, and a good bottle of Chablis.

 

Mustard-Butter Grilled Mackerel

An interesting recipe that make a hit with guests. Gather the following ingredients:

2 mackerel per person
1 stick melted butter
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix the butter, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper, an let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Split the mackerels’ backs. When the coals are medium-dark, grease the broiler rack well, place 5 inches from the coals, and lay the fish on, skin-side up. Broil  4 to 7 minutes, turn and baste with the butter-mustard sauce. Cook an additional 4 to 7 minutes, or until the flesh along the bone begins to flake easily. Of course, the cooking time depends entirely on the size of the mackerel, so keep an eagle eye.

 

Fried Clams

There may be some work to this dish, but the reward will be an appreciative family. Gather the following ingredients:

1 pint shucked, fresh clams
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt, dash of pepper
2 eggs, straight from refrigerator
3 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
vegetable oil for deep frying

Drain the fresh, shucked clams. Put a cup of flour, teaspoon of salt, and dash of pepper in bag, and shake, mixing ingredients. Drop the clams into the bag, and shake, coating them well. You may want to do this in steps instead of all at once. Shake excess flour from clams, and dip them into a mixture made from the eggs and ice water. Roll in bread crumbs and place in oil heated to 375 degrees. When golden brown, remove, let excess oil run off completely, set on paper bag or towels for a moment, then serve with french fries, cole slaw, home-made yeast rolls, and plenty of tarter sauce. Cold Beer goes great.

 

Deep-Fried Bass

A good, old-fashioned Southern fish fry begins with a cast-iron deep fryer, and some mail-order businesses in this country do a brisk business selling the is item. The important thing in this cooking is the proper temperature of cooking oil. It should be 380-390 degrees. If it is cooler, the batter becomes leathery and greasy rather than a golden-crisp joy. First, gather the following ingredients:

Bass, whole or filet
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup bread crumbs

If the bass are large enough, filet them. Boneless fish is a joy. If not, whole ones are great. It’s free and fresh. Plan on 1/4-pound of filets for each person, or a pound of whole fish. These are not hardcore rules. We won’t admit how many fish we have polished off during one of these fish orgies.

Put the flour, salt, and pepper in a brown paper bag, and shake, mixing ingredients. Beat two eggs lightly. Lay the bread crumbs on a plate. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven until it is between 380-390 degrees. Have enough oil so the fish will be submerged in it. When the fish are done, they will bob to the top and float. Remove them immediately. This is a good rule of thumb.

Drop the fish into the bag with the flour, shake the bag, coating the pieces. Remove, dip into the egg batter, then roll in the bread crumbs. Slip carefully into the fat and remove when done. Serve this meal with French fries, cole slaw, buttermilk biscuits, and beer. A meal as American as apple pie, and Chevrolets.

 

Poached Brook Trout

Poaching is one of the best ways to cook a delicately flavored fish such as trout. This method helps retain the delicate taste so easily lost with harsher heats. First, gather the following ingredients:

6 cups water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 onion, quartered
1 stalk celery, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves
1 cup dry white wine (optional)

Bring this mixture to a smiling bubble, and cook for 10 minutes. Keep this mixture on a low heat. Poaching means to poach – not boil. Take the cleaned trout, and slip them into the bouillon. Don’t put in so many it crowds them. When the water begins to bubble again, cook 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. Keep a careful eye. When the meat along the backbone first turns from translucent to opaque, serve with buttered-parselyed potatoes and mild green vegetable. A good white wine and French bread will round out a meal heavenly already.

 

Maine-Style Trout

Not for the calorie-concious among us, but for the bacon-lovers, this is a down-right tasty meal!
In a cast-iron frying pan over a medium heat, bacon fat is brought to a smoking sizzle. The trout is rolled in cornmeal and slipped into the pan. Later, cooked to a snapping crispness, served with eggs and bacon. This method breaks most fisher cookery rules with the fish being slightly over-done, the bacon fat is pretty powerful and the cornmeal has absorbed grease. However, a lot of fine folks eat trout year after year prepared in this manner.

 

Brandied Duck Breast

At first glance, this recipe seems complicated, but like all great recipes, is simplicity itself.

Gather the following ingredients:
2-4 duck breasts
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup brandy
1 cup of wine – red and dry
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
cooking oil

Melt butter and let cool until it starts to thicken. While it is cooling, put some flour, salt, and pepper in a paper bag. Shake the bag, mixing the ingredients. Next, thoroughly coat the pieces of duck with the butter, then drop into the paper bag. Shake the bag vigorously, coating the duck well.

Rub a liberal amount of oil on the cold iron frying pan then heat to medium-high. Put the breasts in and brown quickly. This should be about 3 minutes to a side. Remove from heat, then add half a cup of brandy. Light the brandy with a match.

Be careful. At first, this makes cooks new to the procedure nervous, but eventually, you will delight in this part of the preparation, particularly with an audience present.

When the brandy burns out, add a cup of dry red wine, a crushed bay leaf, a teaspoon of thyme, and then bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, then lift out breasts. Add the other half cup of brandy, then bring to a rolling boil. Scrape the pan’s bottom, removing any crusting. Remove from heat and stir vigorously with a whip. Serve the breasts with equal amounts of the sauce. Wild rice, broccoli or carrots, French bread, and a good Burgundy make this meal special. A memory to last a lifetime.

 

Breaded Venison Cutlet

If you happen to get some venison from a yearling or a really tender deer, try this wonderful recipe. With a sharp knife, slice thin steaks not more than 3/8 of a inch thick. Lay them on a cutting board, then pound with the edge of a heavy saucer, breaking down all the fibers. This may take a little time, but the results are perfect.

Gather the following ingredients:
2 cutlets per serving
1 cup flour
2 cups bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 lightly beaten eggs
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil

Put the flour in a paper bag, eggs in a bowl, add bread crumbs in a pie plate. Salt and pepper the flour and bread crumbs to taste.

Put the butter and oil in a heavy cast-iron frying pan, and place on a medium heat. When it becomes hot, and begins to bubble, drop the cutlets into the bag of flour. Shake the bag, coating the pieces well. Shake excess flour from each piece, dip into the egg, then roll in bread crumbs. Saute the cutlets on both sides until they are good and brown…about 10 minutes.

If you are unable to get each cutlet into the pan, do not bread them until there is space in the pan.

Serve this dish with creamy mashed potatoes, frenched string beans with slivered almonds, French bread, and a tossed salad. You may want to try something entirely different for a change-of-pace meal, so go Italian! Serve the breaded cutlets with spaghetti, tossed salad, home-made garlic bread, and a Chianti wine.

 

Roasted Grouse

Did you ever hear anyone say grouse is too dry?  This is a constant reminder to us that this bird is a challenge in the kitchen, but properly preparing and cooking it can result in a moist, succulent food that has just a subtle game taste. Properly prepared grouse begins as soon as you are out of the cover – eviscerate immediately, and if there is a wild apple tree handy, quarter an apple and stuff it in the cavity. At home, after the bird has cooled, pluck carefully, taking care not to tear the skin. Skinning the grouse does not help keep the bird moist during cooking. After plucking, clean the cavity carefully with a damp cloth, then make a bread stuffing.

2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
6 slices dry bread
1 lightly beaten egg
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 diced, boiled potato
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
enough milk to moisten stuffing
salt and pepper to taste

Chop two onions and slice two stalks of celery, and saute over a medium-low heat until onions begin to turn translucent. Remove from heat. Crumble six slices of dry bread, then add melted butter, onions, and celery. Add one lightly beaten egg, teaspoon of poultry seasoning, diced potato, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. We like the potato because it makes a moister stuffing. Add milk, just a little at a time. When the stuffing is moist enough for your taste, let it stand for 15 minutes. this improves the flavor.

Lightly stuff, then truss one bird for each two people. Lay the birds in a shallow baking dish that has been liberally smeared with butter. Sprinkle paprika on the birds for color. Next, and we hate to admit this, we resort to aluminum foil. We cover the birds, and lightly tuck the foil under. The grouse go into a preheated 300 degree oven for 2 hours. This covering, plus the slow cooking, keep the meat moist. At the end of two hours, place the birds under a broiler, and brown. This only takes 2 or 3 minutes.

Serve with French bread, baked-stuffed tomatoes, a green veggie and a great French Chablis. Our favorite meal of the entire season!

 

Braised Bear in Wine

Pot roast is a common way to prepare bear meat. It tenderizes the meat, and since bear must be well-done like pork, nothing is lost. Gather the following ingredients:

1 roast, trimmed of fat
2-3 tablespoons oil or clarified butter
2 chopped onions
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups dry red wine
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup boiling water
3 whole cloves
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups small, whole carrots
1 1/2 potatoes per person

Put a Dutch oven over a medium heat, and pour in two to three tablespoons of oil or clarified butter. Add the chopped onions and brown. Just as they begin to brown, put in the bear roast, and quickly sear on all sides. Push it to the side of the oven and sprinkle in three tablespoons of flour – brown it.  When it becomes browned and crusty, turn the heat to medium-high, wait a few moments, then dump in the wine. Scrape the flour from the pot’s bottom, and stir it smooth. Add the cup of boiling water with two dissolved bouillon cubes, three cloves, salt, pepper, and reduce heat when it all boils. Reduce to low and simmer for two hours. An hour and 15 minutes before serving time, add the carrots and potatoes. By serving time, they should be good and tender, and the gravy rich and thickening. Serve with biscuits and tea or coffee.

 

Baked Striper A La Tomatoes

Take one striped bass of five or so pounds, or three pounds of thick filets, and prepare in the following manner. First, gather these ingredients:

Juice of one lime or lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 1-pound cans of tomatoes
1 chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Saute the onions, garlic, and peppers in olive oil. When lightly browned, add tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add the remainder of the ingredients (except for the lime or lemon juice). Simmer for an hour, or more. When ready to cook the striper, rub lime or lemon juice over it, including the cavity. Put the fish in a shallow baking dish, and dump on sauce. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree preheated oven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steamed Clams

The poor man’s lobster. How we love ’em, particularly when we have dug them. Like any seafood, clams should never be overcooked. This only toughens the flesh. Properly cooked steamed calms are a succulent delight. There is really only one way to determine if a clam is done properly. There is a small, cylindrical muscle that attaches the clam and shell. If the clams are not overdone or underdone, this tiny, white piece will come off when the clam is removed.

If you have a large batch of clams, try using a turkey roaster and two burners or an open fire. This spread the clams out more and they cook better. The clams on bottom are less apt to be overdone, and the ones on top won’t be raw. Put a half-inch of water on the bottom of the cooking utensil, and lightly salt. Make sure the clams are cleaned well – preferably each one scrubbed with a brush. It is so hard to get rid of the grit. Bring the water to a boil, add the clams, and wait for it to boil again. Make sure the pot is covered. When it boils again, cook until all the clams are open, about 10 minutes. Remove immediately to serving dishes. Clams will continue to cook just from the heat of their shells, so don’t add to it by leaving the in the hot broth.

Serve clams with a dish of clam broth and melted butter.  A touch of vinegar in the butter allegedly aids the digestive process. Clams are difficult little critters sometimes. We think the vinegar helps. Of course, the clam broth is for dipping the shucked clam to remove that inevitable grit.

 

 

Baked Bass

This recipe is for the lucky angler who takes a 3 to 5 pound bass. Eviscerate and remove pectoral and ventral fins, but leave the head (minus the gills) intact. Juices are lost when a fish is baked without the head or tail. It goes without saying the scales should be removed.  Next, rub vigorously with salt. Rub the inside well and take special care with the outside scouring. You may want to stuff the fish. Try this stuffing:

3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dill weed (optional)
just enough milk to dampen the stuffing

Saute the mushrooms and onions over a low heat. When the onions first turn translucent, remove and put the mushrooms, onions, butter, and juices in a bowl. Add the crackers, salt, pepper, and dill weed, and mix. If it is really dry, just spill in some milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it is moist. All we care about is moist crackers. Sometimes, if the mushrooms are watery, no milk is needed. Stuff the fish.

Lay the fish on a shallow baking pan; brush heavily with melted butter and lemon juice. For every four tablespoons of melted butter, add a half tablespoon of lemon juice. A good combination. After the basting, put into a preheated 375 degrees oven for approximately 10-12 minutes per pound. Every 10 minutes, baste with the melted butter and lemon. When done, the meat along the bone will have turned from translucent to opaque. Serve with French bread, mashed potatoes, tossed garden salad, and french string beans. Baked fish, whether it is bass or the lordly salmon, really reaches epic proportions.

Enjoy one of June’s best bounties!