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Wild Game Cooking

Garlic Parmesan Risotto – Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

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Garlic parmesan risotto should be the first recipe you learn when you want to make risotto: It’s easy, there are no hard-to-find ingredients, and the result will make you want to make this Italian classic over and over.

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

What’s more, garlic parmesan risotto is a naturally vegetarian, although little bits of bacon or guanciale thrown in there would certainly be nice.

I have been making risotto for decades, both in restaurants and at home, and it remains one of my favorite things to cook because it is a meal-in-a-bowl that is endlessly versatile. I have an entire page of risotto recipes for you to browse if you want, but I’ll go over risotto basics here.

Risotto Basics

First and foremost, you need risotto rice. You can’t make decent risotto without it. Period.

Risotto rice is a medium- or short-grain rice that can absorb an enormous amount of liquid, all while sloughing off starch as you stir it — it is this starch that makes risotto creamy.

Any recipe that adds cream to risotto is cheating.

Arborio is the most common risotto rice, and it’s available in most supermarkets; Texas grows quite a lot of it. Carnaroli is my favorite for garlic parmesan risotto or other non-seafood risottos, while Vialone nano is my go-to for seafood and fish risotto.

Yes, you need to stir risotto a lot, almost constantly. Otherwise you won’t get that creamy starch. Just drink a glass of wine as you do it, listening to your favorite song.

Risotto requires way more liquid than other rices. This is a) because the rice itself absorbs so much, and b) because you are stirring an open pot. That liquid should be flavorful.

Risotto really likes butter and cheese. Use lots, but only at the end. If you add too much fat at the beginning, it will coat all the grains of rice and slow the risotto down.

Garlic Parmesan Risotto

OK, so my recipe for garlic parmesan risotto is different from all the rest because I use two whole heads of roasted garlic in it. Yes, you read that right.

Don’t worry, roasting the garlic really mellows it out, and when you squeeze the good stuff into the pot with the rice, it’s roll-your-eyes-back-in-your-head good.

You can roast the garlic up to a couple days ahead, too, so that saves you time if you’re scrambling.

Please, for the love of all that’s holy, grate your own parmesan! That stuff in the green can is vile and should be outlawed. Finely grated cheese melts easier, so use the finest grater you have.

Close up of a bowl of garlic parmesan risotto.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Stock Choice

You can go full vegetarian and use a vegetable stock for garlic parmesan risotto, and that’s a good option. But I prefer a poultry stock: Chicken for non-hunters, pheasant, rabbit or grouse stock in my case.

This is a light-colored risotto, so if you make a mushroom stock, keep it light. Ditto for any meat stocks you might think about using.

A really cool vegetarian option in the summer: corn cobs. Yep. Make a corn cob stock! Simmer a half dozen cobs with some salt and maybe a few herbs for an hour or three, strain and use that. It adds a really nice touch — and uses a part of the corn many people throw away.

Risotto Leftovers

Should you have leftover garlic parmesan risotto, pack it into a lidded container and keep it in the fridge.

I like to take it out the next day and mix the rice with a beaten egg, then make little patties. Roll them in breadcrumbs and fry until pretty and browned in some olive oil. Serve with a lemon wedge.

It’s almost better this way, actually.

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.

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the top off the head of garlic and set it into a packet made of foil. Drizzle some olive oil over the cut part and seal the packet. Roast this in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • When the garlic is soft, squeeze it out of the husks and reserve. This step can be done up to a couple days in advance.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a pot set over medium-high heat. Sauté the shallot until soft but not browned, then add the garlic and rice. Cook this, stirring often, for a couple minutes to toast the rice.

  • Stir the white wine into the rice. It will be absorbed quickly. When it has almost boiled away, ladle in about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the stock and stir that in. Let this cook, stirring often, until that has almost cooked away. Repeat with more stock, cooking and stirring, until the rice is fully cooked, but not mushy. This will take about 20 minutes or so.

  • When the rice is ready, stir in the rest of the butter, the parsley and the grated cheese. Let this cook about a minute or two, then serve. You want the risotto to be wet, as in you’ll need it to be served in a bowl, not on a plate. If the rice is too stiff, add a little more stock or water to thin it out.

If you can’t use wine in your cooking, just use more stock.

Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 4mg

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

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

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Wild Game Cooking

Potted Shrimp Recipe – British Potted Shrimp

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British potted shrimp are a classic appetizer, usually served on bread or crackers, that is easy to make, delicious and it keeps at least a week in the fridge. I make mine with tiny pink cocktail shrimp, which are one of the most sustainable shrimp you can buy. Easy and tasty!

British potted shrimp on slices of rye toast.

You can actually buy canned potted shrimp, but I’m not a fan. Better to make them from scratch. I love the recipe from the great book The British Cookbook by Ben Mervis, and this recipe is basically his.

The dish is popular in the north of England around Yorkshire, and is made there with what they call brown shrimp. Brown shrimp are cousins of the boreal shrimp we can get here in the United States.

Boreal shrimp, Pandalus borealis, are the tiny “cocktail” or “salad” shrimp you get precooked and preshelled, often frozen. They’re amazing for a recipe like potted shrimp, because their small size makes them good on bread or crackers.

You can buy these little pink shrimp — not to be confised with royal reds, or Key West pink shrimp, which are different — in most supermarkets in the freezer section. I got some from my friends over at E-fish.

A cool thing about these shrimp is that they are sustainably harvested in the US and Canada, so you can feel good about buying them.

Shelled and cooked pink salad shrimp in a bowl. Shelled and cooked pink salad shrimp in a bowl.

If you can’t find pink shrimp, use the smallest frozen shrimp you can find, ideally cooked and shelled, or you can buy larger shrimp and chop them roughly. The idea, as you can see from the picture, is an array of shrimps and butter on your bread.

Once you have your shrimp, it couldn’t be easier: They’re already cooked, so just let the shrimp swim in your spiced butter for a while, then either serve or “pot up” in a jar (I prefer glass Mason jars), with a layer of butter covering the shrimp and it will keep at least a week in the fridge. I’ve kept them for three weeks with no problem.

Serving and Storing Potted Shrimp

You can serve your potted shrimp cool, room temperature or warmed up. Each has its own thing going on. Cool, on hot toast, is fun because the heat of the toast melts the butter. I prefer to leave my shrimp out on the counter an hour, then toast the bread, so the cooler shrimp/butter mix melts fast and doesn’t chill your toast.

Some people prefer to warm the potted shrimp in a small pot before serving, but I don’t love this because the butter gets everywhere.

I urge you to serve your shrimp on good bread. (It’s homemade rye in the picture.) Good toast + potted shrimp = amazeballs. But crackers are OK, too, and I suppose you could serve these over rice or grits if you wanted to.

For storing, if you make sure that the top of the jar of shrimp is covered with butter, the potted shrimp will keep at least a week, and maybe a month at the most. It’ll mold if any shrimp are exposed.

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.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

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Wild Game Cooking

Pasta Primavera Recipe – Classic Pasta Primavera

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Pasta primavera is an icon of my culinary childhood. My mom used to make it all the time, not just in spring, almost always with angel hair pasta. Here’s a walk down memory lane, with the original, 1970s recipe for this classic dish.

Two bowls of pasta primavera
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

There was a reason Mom made pasta primavera so often: She first ate this iconic dish at the legendary Manhattan restaurant Le Cirque back in the 1970s, and, when the New York Times printed the recipe in the early 1980s, she clipped it and pasta primavera became part of our family rotation thereafter.

I learned this recipe quickly, and it became a main part of Hank’s Date Night Dinners back when I was a student at Stony Brook University. Then, at some point, likely when I started working in professional kitchens myself, I stopped making pasta primavera.

So did everyone else, apparently. But this vegetable-filled fusion of French and Italian cuisine deserves to live again.

Pasta primavera is at its core a mix of spring vegetables, mushrooms and long pasta. I chose spaghetti here, because, well, while Mom preferred angel hair, I like a good spaghetti more. Angel hair, to my mind, requires less “stuff” in the sauce to really work.

What follows is, more or less, how Le Cirque made pasta primavera. It is mildly involved, but not overly so. I’ll also give you shortcuts for weeknights.

A bowl of pasta primaveraA bowl of pasta primavera
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

How to Make Pasta Primavera

First, you need to blanch your vegetables individually, so each is cooked al dente when they’re tossed in the pasta. The chefs at Le Cirque would toss the salted water after each vegetable, but that’s insane. Easier to get a big pot of salty water rolling and move your vegetables in and out as needed.

What vegetables? Broccoli or broccolini or broccoli raab are a must, as is asparagus. Fresh or frozen peas are vital, too. You could throw in some thin green beans, too. Garlic, plum tomatoes and herbs like basil and parsley are also traditional.

As are mushrooms. Regular button mushrooms are fine, but I use whatever fresh wild mushroom that happens to be popping at the moment. I used blewits in the pictures. Morels are another great choice.

After all your ingredients are ready, you finish your pasta primavera with lots of grated parmigiano cheese and yes, cream. Heavy cream, to be exact. This is not a low-fat dish. It’s a celebration of spring. Alas, pasta primavera does not keep well, although you can reheat it maybe once.

For some other fun spring pasta recipes, try my Ramp Pasta with Morels, Arugula Pesto with Pasta, or Linguine with White Clam Sauce.

  • Get a large pot of water boiling, then add enough salt to make it taste salty. Boil the asparagus spears for about 1 to 2 minutes, then remove and slice into bite-sized pieces. Boil the broccoli florets for about 3 minutes, remove and spread on a baking sheet to cool. If you are using green beans, boil them for about 2 to 3 minutes, then add them to the baking sheet. If you are using frozen peas, set them out to thaw. If fresh, boil them for 1 minute, then move to the baking sheet.

  • When this is done, dump the water from the pot and refill it to boil the pasta. You’ll need to add more salt, too. You don’t want to use the vegetable water for the pasta because it’ll give it an off taste. Cook the pasta until it’s almost done — just a shade too much al dente to enjoy, but still mostly cooked.

  • Meanwhile, get a large saute pan hot and add the olive oil and sliced mushrooms. Toss to combine and sear the mushrooms over high heat. Sprinkle salt over them now. You want them to release their water. When that water has mostly boiled away, move to the next step.

  • Add the butter, red pepper flakes, garlic and tomatoes and toss to combine. Cook this with the mushrooms for 2 minutes, then add all the vegetables and toss to combine. Pour in the chicken broth and get this boiling.

  • To finish, add the herbs, pasta, grated cheese and half the cream. Toss to combine well, and add the rest of the cream if the sauce looks dry. Grate lots of black pepper over everything and serve.

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1878IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 3mg

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

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

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Wild Game Cooking

Wild Rice Hotdish Recipe – Wild Rice Casserole

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Can you get any more Minnesota than wild rice hotdish? Pretty sure you can’t. This easy comfort food casserole is a hat tip to the North Star State, and can be made “wilder” with venison and wild mushrooms.

A casserole dish of wild rice hotdish.

This is a casserole — hotdish in Minnesota parlance — that isn’t bound with eggs, so it’ll be a touch sloppy, er, freeform, when you dish it out on plates. If this bothers you, you can add a couple of beaten eggs to it.

The wild rice is your starch here, but even so it’s a lot lighter than, say, the pasta in my sauerkraut casserole or my venison tater tot hotdish.

Mushrooms and wild rice are a classic combination, and I used wild ones I gathered in Northern Minnesota here, but really any mushroom will do. I prefer using fresh or thawed ones I’d previously cooked over rehydrated dried mushrooms, but either works.

Meat in Wild Rice Hotdish

This is not a vegetarian wild rice hotdish: I use both sausage and bacon in it. But you can skip both if you want to make is vegetarian. My advice here would be to double the amount of mushrooms.

What meat is up to you. I do really like frying bacon, then using the fat to cook the rest of the vegetables, then chopping the bacon — after eating a piece, duh — for the topping. So unless you have a moral objection to bacon, use it.

I prefer a basic venison sausage for wild rice hotdish because venison + wild rice + wild mushrooms really speaks to Minnesota, where this dish originates. But any good, mild link will do. Don’t use anything too spicy or bold, because the sausage plays backup here.

You could also use straight up ground venison, or any other ground meat. Another route would be to use leftover slow-cooked venison, like leftover venison neck roast. Leftover beef pot roast, chopped, is another good option. Same with chopped BBQ brisket.

A plate of wild rice hotdish ready to eat. A plate of wild rice hotdish ready to eat.

Wild Rice CHoices

Unlike most of my wild rice recipes, wild rice hotdish doesn’t need to have the real-deal, truly wild wild rice. It is of course better with the real stuff, but it’s not strictly needed.

Regular, farmed, inky black wild rice is fine. So is broken grain. You cook the wild rice before it goes into the casserole, so the main difference is that the farmed wild rice takes a lot longer to cook.

Serving and Storing

I like to serve a wild rice hotdish with a simple green salad. This isn’t a gut bomb like many other casseroles, but it is still a little light on greenery.

The finished casserole keeps a week in the fridge, and freezes well. To reheat, either pop the whole dish in the oven at 300°F for 30 minutes, or, because it’s not a tight, set casserole, you can spoon some into a pan and heat it up on the stovetop.

If you do this, fold in some scrambled eggs for a killer breakfast!

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.

  • Fry the bacon in a pan until crispy. Eat a piece. Chop the rest. Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of the fat (save it for another dish). Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • Saute the sausage, onion and celery in the bacon fat until the vegetables are soft and everything is just beginning to brown. While it’s all cooking, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the water chestnuts and wild rice and mix well.

  • Turn off the heat and mix in cream of celery soup, herbs and half the cheese.

  • Butter a casserole dish; a 9×13 should work fine here. Pack the contents of the pan into the casserole, and top it with the chopped bacon and the rest of the cheese. Bake for 1 hour, or until the cheese is nicely melted and starting to brown — check it at 45 minutes.

  • Four cups cooked wild rice is generally 1 heaping cup of dry wild rice. 
  • Any fresh mushroom you like will work here: buttons, chanterelles, morels, you name it. 
  • You can use any mild sausage. Brats are a good choice, as is sweet Italian sausage or Polish sausages. Nothing too strongly flavored. 
  • If you want to use a different meat, ground venison, beef or turkey works well, as does leftover brisket or pot roast, chopped roughly. 

Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 814mg | Potassium: 637mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 272IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

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