Connect with us

Wild Game Cooking

Chacales Soup – Mexican Cracked Corn Soup

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Chacales are roasted, dried and cracked corn typically cooked in soups. Also called chichales or chuales, it makes a great meatless soup for Lent. You’ll need to mail order chacales, but I’ll give you some easier options below.

New Mexico has lots of recipes for this type of corn, but in northern Mexico you will typically see it served as a soup during Lent. I’ve eaten it in Mexico, and recreated the soup below.

It’s really simple, and really good! The stewed corn stays chewy and almost meaty — it definitely tricks your mouth into thinking you’re eating meat — and the accompaniments are perfect for late winter or early spring.

Obtaining Chacales

Making chacales is time consuming, so most people buy it. If you happen to live around Native Americans, many groups make something like this, and you might be able to buy from them. New Mexico calls chacales chicos, and I’ve seen them in regular supermarkets there, as well as in Arizona.

But you can easily buy chacales online, as well as chicos, which are close enough.

You want starchy corn here, so don’t use fresh or frozen sweet corn. You could get away with pozole corn, but that has been nixtamalized, and chacales generally aren’t, so it would be different, but still good. And if you happen to have access to regular starchy corn, have at it!

If you want to make your own chacales, it’s not terribly difficult: You roast, steam or smoke ears of corn, in the husks, until they are nicely cooked, strip the husks off and then dry the ears in the sun or a dehydrator. Once completely dry, which takes days or weeks depending on your climate, you strip the kernels off.

This process typically cracks a lot of the kernels, which is good, because that opens the starch up in them to thicken soups or stews. Once made, chacales keep for years if kept dry.

Uncooked chacales in a bowl.

Making Chacales Soup

Chacales as a Lenten soup has a loose structure, but as with many Mexican recipes, there is plenty of room for your own sazon, your own flair.

It’s almost always a mix of the corn, onions and garlic, something red — chiles or tomatoes — cilantro and cheese. I’ve seen both roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped green chiles as well as chiles pasados, which are the same green chiles that are then dried and rehydrated.

The red thing is usually tomatoes of some sort, usually hand crushed whole and peeled, or, alternatively, I’ve seen what is essentially a red enchilada sauce poured into the chacales soup at the end, which gives it a vivid red color.

Either way, the main chore in cooking chacales is getting the corn tender enough to eat. You can soak it overnight or just boil it for an hour or so before you start the rest of the soup. You want the kernels to be chewy, but pleasantly so.

Beyond that, it’s simple: Fry some onions and garlic in lard (which is acceptable during Lent), or oil, add to the corn, crush some tomatoes into it, or add the salsa, or both, garnish with cilantro and add shredded melty cheese in at the end.

A bowl of chacales soup on a wooden table.

Serving and Storing

The soup keeps a week in the fridge, and it freezes well. You could also pressure can it, using standard guidelines for soups.

In Mexico, you usually see chacales served with corn or flour tortillas. Bread is another good option. I’ve served leftover soup with freshly made rice, too.

Oh, and you absolutely can add meat to your soup if you want.

If you’re looking for other recipes that use chicos or chacales, try my green chile stew, or my New Mexican turkey leg stew.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

  • 8 ounces chacales, or other cracked corn
  • salt
  • 3 tablespoons lard, bacon fat or vegetable oil1
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 28- ounce can, whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 pound grated melty cheese (asadero, chihuahua, mozzarella, “Mexican blend”)
  • 2 limes, cut in wedges
  • Boil the corn in plenty of water until it’s chewy, but pleasantly so, about 1 hour. Add salt late in the cooking process, about 30 to 45 minutes in.

  • When the corn is mostly ready, fry the onions in the lard or bacon fat over medium heat until transparent, and just a little brown on the edges. Add the garlic and cook another minute more.

  • Usually the water level in the boiling corn has reduced enough to be a nice soup consistency. You want it milky looking and covering the corn by about 1 inch. If there’s too much water, drain some. If not enough, add some. Scrape the onions and garlic into this pot and continue to simmer.

  • Hand crush the peeled tomatoes into the pot. Add the tomato juice from the can if you’d like. Stir in the oregano. Let all this cook for 10 minutes, and add salt if needed.

  • Stir in the cilantro, and bring the soup to a rolling boil. Ladle it out very hot into bowls and add the grated cheese on top, for everyone to stir in. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce on the side.

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 512mg | Potassium: 380mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 564IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 338mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: https://honest-food.net/chacales-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

Continue Reading

Wild Game Cooking

Venison Enchiladas – Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Classic venison enchiladas are easy to make, delicious and are fantastic as leftovers. What’s more, you have plenty of option for the filling.

If you have ever traveled in Mexico, you know there are a zillion varieties of enchiladas depending on where you go. These venison enchiladas are pretty standard Northern Mexico and Texas-style enchiladas, which is to say shredded or ground meat, rolled corn tortillas and lots of cheese.

Plus, these are baked, and not all enchiladas are. The net effect is more or less a Mexican casserole, although not so casserole-y as pastel azteca, which is essentially a Mexican lasagna.

I’ll walk you through the process, which involves making the sauce and filling, and then constructing the enchiladas.

Making the Filling

OK, so let me start by noting that you can fill venison enchiladas in a variety of ways. This recipe uses a very simple, picadillo-like mixture with ground venison, but you have options.

Enchiladas have always been a great option for leftover meats, so get creative! A few especially good fillings would be:

  • Actual Mexican picadillo, which is basically really good “taco meat.” There are various kinds of picadillo, but I prefer the Sonoran version, which is not sweet.
  • Leftover venison barbacoa. Using the shredded meat in venison enchiladas is a great use for it.
  • If you’ve made venison tacos with backstrap or steaks, dice any leftovers small and use that as a filling.

One thing I like to add to the filling is queso fresco, a fresh farm cheese widely available in supermarkets. It’s not a melty cheese, so it plays well with whatever filling you choose.

Making the Sauce

I’ll be the first person to say that yes, you can use canned enchilada sauce — if you have one you really like. If you live in Texas or the desert Southwest, there are lots of good ones.

That said, I make a simple red enchilada sauce from a puree of ancho, chipotle and either guajillo or New Mexican dried chiles, a touch of tomato paste, onion and garlic, all thinned out with broth.

This sauce keeps for weeks in the fridge, so you can use it as a salsa later, or for more venison enchiladas or for the filling in venison tamales.

Building Venison Enchiladas

The general instructions for building standard, rolled enchiladas are to either briefly fry the corn tortillas in oil, or reheat them on a comal or flattop, then paint or dip in the sauce, fill, roll, arrange in a dish, top with cheese and bake.

I find that briefly frying the tortillas in oil helps them hold up a little better than if you just reheat them to make them supple. And let’s face it, fat equals flavor, so it adds a li’l sumthin.

Building venison enchiladas is messy, so do it near the sink. I find just going for it with your hands is the best option. Having sauce-spattered hands also keeps you focused, so you won’t be tempted to look at your phone midstream.

As for the cheese topping, ideally you’d top venison enchiladas with hand-shredded queso asadero, queso quesadilla or queso chihuahua. They’re all real-deal Mexican melty cheeses. But you can certainly use pre-shredded “Mexican blend,” if you want, or if you want to lean Tex-Mex, go for classic longhorn cheese.

A dish of venison enchiladas, with two taken out.

Serving and Storing

I will often serve venison enchiladas solo, maybe with a crunchy salad alongside. Nopales salad is a great choice here. You can of course make them part of a larger Mexican feast with maybe a soup like pozole, stuffed jalapenos and, if you’re a hunter, maybe some guajillo smoked doves or fried quail to dig into.

Leftover venison enchiladas keep for a week in the fridge, and they freeze well in the dish.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

SAUCE

  • To make the sauce, boil the seeded and destemmed ancho and guajillo chiles for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and let them soak. Heat a cast iron pan or comal on medium-high heat and lay down the pieces of onion and garlic. You want to blacken the onion on both cut sides, and get some char on the garlic peel. This process takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onion and garlic to a cutting board. Peel the garlic.

  • Put the garlic and soaked chiles into a blender. Roughly chop the onion and add that, too. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients, including about 1 teaspoon of the salt. Puree, adding chicken broth as needed, to make a pourable sauce. In some cases, you’ll need to add some water, too. Taste and add salt if needed.

  • OPTIONAL STEP: I always do this, because it results in a smoother sauce that removes bits of seed and skin, which are undigestible. Push the sauce through a fine strainer with a rubber spatula into a bowl. Set aside.

FILLING

  • To make the filling, heat the lard or oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the chopped onion and the venison and brown well. This takes about 8 minutes or so, and stir the meat occasionally. When it’s mostly browned, add the garlic and oregano and cook a minute or two more. Turn off the heat.

  • Mix in a ladle or two of the sauce, using it and a wooden spoon to scrape off any browned bits stuck to the pan. Once this cools, add the queso fresco and mix well.

TO FINISH

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour some oil in a frying pan, enough to float tortillas, and heat the pan over medium-high heat. Get paper towels or a kitchen towel ready. When the oil is shimmering, fry one tortilla at a time in the oil, flipping once or twice, for only a few seconds – you want to see them puff up. They should be very flexible. Do this for all the tortillas, setting them on the towel.

  • Spread a little sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish.

  • Set up a station where you can dip a tortilla into the sauce (or paint sauce on both sides of each tortilla with with your fingers or a brush), then grab a bit of the filling (maybe 2 to 3 tablespoons) and roll up the enchiladas. Set each one, seam side down, into the casserole. Fill the dish snugly.

  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes.

You can use canned enchilada sauce if you want, especially if you have a favorite. 
For cheese, I shred queso asadero or queso Chihuahua, but you can use pre-shredded cheese like the “Mexican blend” in supermarkets. 
 

Calories: 642kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 751mg | Potassium: 1368mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 9500IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 465mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: https://honest-food.net/venison-enchiladas-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

Continue Reading

Wild Game Cooking

BBQ Turkey Legs Recipe – Barbecued Wild Turkey Thighs

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Slow smoked BBQ turkey legs are a great way to eat that part of the bird, whether it’s a wild turkey or farmed. Here’s how to go about getting the most out of these underrated cuts.

Mostly when I talk about BBQ turkey legs I am referring to the thighs, but the drumsticks benefit from this process, too.

The reason is because the thighs only have the one bone in them, and none of those crazy tendons and ligaments that the drumsticks have — and those will never break down, especially on the barbecue.

What follows here are tips and tricks on cooking better BBQ turkey legs, and on how to use them.

First, separate them. Cut the drumstick from the thigh. This will matter a lot in the final product, because generally speaking, you will sit down to eat the thighs, but use the drumsticks in another recipe where they are slow simmer until the meat falls off the bone.

Doing this gets around those nasty ligaments. More on this in a moment.

Brine Thy Bird

It’s important to brine your BBQ turkey legs because this will keep them juicier as they cook. Because you’ll likely cook the drumsticks a second time in a soup or somesuch, it’s less important for them. But it’s vital with the thighs.

My normal brine is 1/4 cup kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal), to 1 quart of water. Dissolve the salt in the water and submerge the thighs (and legs if you want) in the brine in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to cook, just rins and pat dry.

BBQ turkey legs on the grill.

BBQ Turkey Legs Slowly

Slow is key here. You want your smoker or grill cool, like 200F to 225F. It will take time, so do this on a day off or a weekend. I’ve had old gobblers take 6 hours to get tender.

Here’s the thing: You can go one of two routes. You can cook your bbq turkey legs just until they’re done, with an internal temperature of about 160F, or you can fully barbecue them like a pork shoulder, which will take the meat close to 200F.

I choose the first route with jakes and farmed birds, the second with old toms.

For the drumsticks, if you want to actually eat them right off the barbecue, you will need to go the long, slow route, and you’ll still have to eat around the tendons and such.

Smoke and Gear

I do a lot of smoking on a Traeger, but any grill or smoker that will hold low temperatures is fine. If you’re using a gas grill, fire up one element and cook the turkey legs on the other side, grill cover down.

Soaking some wood chips, then setting them on an open piece of foil directly over the gas element will give you a bit of smoke flavor on a gas or charcoal grill.

Wood choice is up to you. I really like oak, maple, hickory or fruit woods. But it also depends on your sauce. In the maple bourbon sauce below, any of the aforementioned woods would be great. But in the picture above, I used a Chinese char siu sauce, and in that case oak is my preferred choice.

If you are going with a Southwest or Mexican sauce, mesquite is the way to go.

About those Drumsticks

Chances are you’ll have super tough drumsticks. That’s OK if you plan for it. Eat the thighs at dinner, then the next morning, use the drumsticks to make any of these recipes, where you simmer the drums slow and low in water or broth

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

  • If you are brining your turkey legs, dissolve the salt in the water and submerge the turkey in this overnight, or at least 4 hours. Rinse and pat dry.

  • Get your grill ready as described above. Coat the turkey thighs in the vegetable oil. Lay them skin side up on the cooler side of of the grill. Cover and cook until the meat reaches about 160°F, flipping every 30 minutes or so to paint with the maple-bourbon BBQ sauce. For the first 30 minutes, let the turkey cook without the sauce while you make it.

  • Once the turkey is on the grill, make the sauce by sauteing the grated onion in the butter for a few minutes. You don’t want the onion to brown, but you do want it to cook enough to lose that raw onion smell and flavor. This should take 5 minutes or so on medium heat.

  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Boil this down by 1/3. Adjust for heat and salt. If you want, puree the sauce in the blender. I prefer to puree my sauce because it will be thicker that way. Return it to the stove top over very low heat. Stir from time to time.

  • When the turkey is done, shift it to the hot side of the grill, skin side down, for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce. Paint with a little more BBQ sauce right when you serve.

Wood choice is up to you, but oak and fruit woods are perfect here. Only use mesquite if you’re using a Mexican or Southwest style sauce. 

Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 433IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: https://honest-food.net/bbq-turkey-legs-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

Continue Reading

Archery

Survival Cave Food

Can You Hunt Enough To Feed Your Family For YEARS?

As masters of the hunt, you understand the thrill and satisfaction of providing for your family through your skills in the wilderness. However, relying solely on hunting and trapping may not be enough to ensure your family’s well-being in times of crisis. The stark reality is that whatever you’re able to hunt may not be sufficient to feed yourselves and your loved ones. At Survival Cave Food, we recognize the importance of having a reliable backup supply to augment your hunting efforts and provide peace of mind during emergencies.

Why Survival Cave Food?

Our commitment to providing the best survival foods is driven by a deep understanding of the challenges hunters face. While your hunting skills are impressive, unpredictable circumstances such as extreme weather, dwindling game populations, or even natural disasters can significantly impact your ability to procure food. Survival Cave Food offers a range of premium emergency food solutions meticulously crafted to augment your hunting efforts and provide long-term sustenance for you and your famil

A Reliable Backup for Your Hunting Success

 

Survival Cave Food stands as your dependable backup supply for the best survival foods. Our freeze-dried meals and high-quality canned meats are carefully crafted to provide essential nutrients and support your family’s well-being, complementing your hunting skills. Don’t let uncertainties in the wilderness leave you and your loved ones hungry – our products offer a reliable solution to ensure your family’s needs are met, no matter the circumstances.

Supporting Your Hunting Lifestyle

As skilled hunters, you’ve honed your craft and pride yourselves on providing for your family. Survival Cave Food aligns with these values, empowering you to maintain your independence and self-sufficiency while also being prepared for the unexpected. Our products not only offer sustenance but also peace of mind, knowing you’re prepared to support your family’s needs through any challenge.

Made with Care, Trusted by Hunters

At Survival Cave Food, we take pride in our products, which are made with care and integrity. Our canned meats and freeze-dried meals are not just provisions; they’re essential components of your hunting lifestyle. Whether you’re stocking up for emergencies, planning hunting trips, or simply seeking convenient, nutritious options for your family, our products deliver on quality and reliability.

Join Us in Securing Your Family's Future

Join countless skilled hunters like yourself who prioritize preparedness and self-sufficiency. With Survival Cave Food, you’re not just purchasing survival foods – you’re investing in the security and well-being of your loved ones. Take the first step towards a more secure future by exploring our selection today.

Order Now and Augment Your Hunting Success

Don’t let uncertainties in the wilderness leave you vulnerable. Take proactive measures to ensure your family’s well-being with Survival Cave Food. Explore our range of premium survival foods and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re prepared to provide for your family, no matter what lies ahead.

Continue Reading

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Join our subscribers list to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly in your inbox.

Trending