Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dinner: Land, Sea, and Air - all in One Meal

Last night we had some friends over for dinner.  One of them offered to supply some of the meat.  We had pheasant, venison, salmon, and shrimp.  Oh yea, we also had salad and a little pasta too.  It was a lot of food, but everyone seemed to have a good time, and the food turned out really well.

To start, we had Roasted Salmon on crackers with an Italian Salsa Verde and Venison Tenderloin Bites.  Both were so good and different.  The venison was tender; I could have cut it with a butter knife while it was raw, and the breadcrumb coating added such a nice flavor.  The salmon, caught up in Michigan, I believe, wasn't fishy at all, roasted with lemon pepper, sea salt, and olive oil, was a nice clean dish for everyone.

I cooked BBQ shrimp, cajun style - I have made this before.  Totally one of my favorite dishes.  So easy, yet so, so good!  There is a ton of butter, so beware!

We had a venison loin; I also had one to play with earlier in the week.  I had marinated one earlier in the week with red wine and cider vinegar.  I thought it was ok, but not totally overwhelming.  After searching for a while, I found a stuffed loin that was grilled.  Since the weather was going to be good, we decided to go for it.  The meat was medium rare and very tender.  It turned out fabulous!!

The last dish was pheasant, farmer style.  I have made pheasant one time before, but I totally overcooked it.  This time I made a Mario Batali recipe - totally awesome!  My boys loved it!  It is a simple one pot dish that had such a good flavor - had nothing to do with the bacon in the dish!  lol.

Venison Tenderloin Bites - courtesy Allrecipes.com

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Italian dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound venison tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups arugula
1 lemon, cut into quarters

Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack at about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Warm the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes to infuse the flavor of the garlic into the olive oil. Place the bread crumbs into a mixing bowl, and pour the oil mixture overtop. Stir the parsley, and Parmesan cheese into the bread crumb mixture until evenly blended. Press the venison cubes into the bread crumb mixture to coat, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the venison pieces are not touching.

Broil in the oven until the bread crumbs are golden, and the venison has turned from red to pink in the center, or to your desired degree of doneness, about 6 minutes. Turn the cubes occasionally as they cook.
Divide the arugula onto 4 dinner plates, and top with the broiled venison. Squeeze a quarter of a lemon over each plate to serve.

Italian Salsa Verde - courtesy Whole Foods

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 anchovy fillet, cut into pieces
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak
5 cups baby field greens

In a food processor, purée parsley, basil, garlic, capers and anchovy fillet. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add olive oil, pulsing until completely combined. Add lime juice and pepper. Process until blended and the sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. The anchovy will contribute salt, so additional salt may not be needed. Set sauce aside.

Pheasant, Farmer Style - courtesy Mario Batali

2 small pheasants
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, 1 inch slices
4 sage leaves
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 rosemary branches
1 (16-ounce) can peeled tomatoes and their juices, crushed by hand
1 ladle chicken stock or 1 cup white wine
8 slices pancetta
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Quarter the birds and season with salt and pepper. In a 14 to 16-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Sear the poultry on all sides, then remove to a plate and reserve.

Add the onion, sage, bay leaves, garlic, carrots, and rosemary and cook over high heat 5 minutes. Add the stock/wine and tomatoes, bring to a boil, and return the poultry to the pan, each piece wrapped in pancetta (secure with a toothpick if necessary). Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until juices run clear from a piece of the bird.

Remove bird pieces to a serving platter, check sauce for seasoning, stir in parsley and spoon over pieces.

Stuffed and Grilled Venison Loin - courtesy Freevenisonrecipes.com

Tender venison loin, wrapped around tasty stuffing and grilled. Can't beat that! Here's the recipe...

1 large venison loin (backstrap)
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons of white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons celery, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of cracked black peppercorns
1 egg
1/4 to 1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

Saute the onions, celery and garlic in olive oil until tender. In a mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, sage and parsley. Mix in the sauted vegetables, the egg, and just enough beef broth to make the stuffing into a thick paste.

Trim any silverskin off of the venison loin. Butterfly the loin and season it lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. Cover the cut side of loin with the herbed stuffing, roll it back together and tie it with butchers string. (Soak the string in water before tying the loin to prevent it from burning on the grill.)

Grill the stuffed venison loin over charcoal, at a medium temperature for twenty to thirty minutes. Turn one time after fifteen minutes. Coat the outside of the loin with olive oil before it goes onto the grill, and baste with oil once more when it's turned. When the internal temperature reaches 145F (medium rare), remove, slice into sections and serve. Remove at 160F if you prefer your venison medium well.

The meal turned out really well, and it was so much fun to find recipes and cook!  Next week - Super Bowl!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Shrimp and Grits!

When we were in North Carolina this past summer, I bought some stone ground grits.  Tonight I finally made Shrimp and Grits.  I got the recipe this past summer as well from a friend of mine.  My husband has, over the past couple of years, developed a real liking for Shrimp and Grits.

This recipe is probably one of the best entrees I have ever made.  It was absolutely delicious.  Hubby said they were some @#%$^ good grits.  He really liked it meaty with all the shrimp and sausage - just like they make them in North Carolina.  It was spicy enough with the Frank's, but he added some Cayenne pepper to make it hotter.

It isn't a meal that is carb friendly - I looked up the grits after dinner.  One cup of grits has about 100 carbs - oops!  Anyway, once in a while, who cares.

Here is the recipe.  Enjoy.  I did make two changes.  I added a bit more stock.  My gravy was very thick.  I added the andouille sausage, because Hubby wanted some.

Charleston Shrimp and Grits
Adapted from Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison’s “A Real American Breakfast”
This recipe calls for stone-ground grits, which can be an acquired taste. If you’re not a stone-ground fan, or even a fan of grits (yet), feel free to use quick-cooking grits and follow the cooking directions on the package.
Serves 4
    1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled, halved lengthwise, and deveined
    Juice of 1 lemon
    Frank’s Hot Sauce
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt or more to taste
    1 1/2 cups stone-ground grits, not instant or quick-cooking
    6 thick slices bacon, chopped
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
    2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 cup chicken stock
    1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 cup (about 1/4 pound) grated medium to sharp Cheddar cheese
1. Combine the shrimp with the lemon juice and a couple of generous splashes of hot pepper sauce. Set aside.
2. For the Grits: In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, bring 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Whisk in the grits a few handfuls at a time. (They will bubble up initially.) Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook over low heat for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently toward the end.
3. For the Gravy: While the grits are simmering, fry the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until brown but still limp. Stir in the onion, green pepper, and garlic and continue cooking until the onion and pepper are limp, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and continue sauteing for 5 minutes longer. Stir in the stock and remaining salt and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat while you finish the grits.
4. When the grits are thick and creamy, stir in as much of the butter as you wish, followed by the cheese. Add a splash of hot pepper sauce and additional salt if you like. Cover the grits while you finish the gravy.
5.  Return the gravy to medium heat and stir in the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, mounding the grits in large shallow bowls or on plates and covering them with shrimp and gravy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mexican Inspired Salad

So tonight I was trying to think of something somewhat healthy for dinner.  This morning we went to the Boy Scout breakfast.  Yum!  I was good though, and didn't eat any pancakes or biscuits.  I did eat sausage gravy though.

So for dinner, I was thinking to myself that a big salad would be great.  Boy was I right.  I looked in the fridge and saw that the only meat that was thawed was some sausage.  I decided to use that and made a Mexican style salad with the ingredients that I had available.  Here goes - sorry no picture, but I wasn't thinking a blog worthy dinner.

Mexican Style Salad

Baby Romaine
Baby Spinach
1 lb. ground sausage cooked and drained
Black Olives
Black Beans - rinsed and drained
Cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips - broken up

1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1 Tbsp taco seasoning

I didn't give amounts - use what you would want.  I would next time add cilantro, Avocado, green onions (dang, I had those!) and other Mexican inspired ingredients.  The salad turned out really well, and my whole family wants me to make it again.  I was super excited, because my kids usually complain about salad but they didn't tonight!!!