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.
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.
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
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.
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
1/4 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.