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Wild Game Cooking

Lingonberry Sauce – How to Make Sugared Lingonberries

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Making lingonberry sauce is easy: It’s just lingonberries and sugar – and time. Sugared lingonberries are a versatile Scandinavian condiment.

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

If you are not familiar with them, lingonberries are tiny cousins of the cranberry. Super tart, full of vitamins, and a little tough to eat off the bush.

They are a berry of the far north, rarely appearing in the Lower 48, although they can be found in secret places in Wisconsin, Minnesota and the northern parts of New England. Lingonberries are circumpolar, however, so they appear throughout northern Russia and Scandinavia.

I found my lingonberries while hunting ptarmigan in Alaska. My inspiration for this lingonberry sauce, however, is pure Scandinavian.

Calling this lingonberry sauce is something of a misnomer, because it’s really just sugared lingonberries.

That’s right: Sugar + lingonberries + time = lingonberry sauce.

First thing to know is that lingonberries (and cranberries) are practically indestructible. They contain a natural preservative that means you can keep them in the fridge, submerged in just plain water, for more than a year and they’ll be fine.

They are already high in acid, so sugar is the only lacking ingredient. What covering lingonberries in sugar does is soften them, tame the tartness and sweeten them. It’s really the perfect condiment to so many things.

Now if you are going to make sugared lingonberries, you will need to start them several weeks before you eat them because the sugar needs time to penetrate the berries. They don’t ever really go bad, at least in the fridge, and they are ripe around September in Alaska.

Quick Lingonberry Sauce

If you want to speed things up, add heat. And a little water.

Simply put the lingonberries in a pot, add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot by about 1/4 inch, get this simmering, then start stirring in sugar. How much is up to you.

You can get away with just a small amount, but taste as you go. I normally go something like 4 parts berries to 1 part sugar.

And yes, you can use honey. I prefer white sugar because it doesn’t alter the color of the lingonberry sauce.

Overhead view of a bowl of sugared lingonberries.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

What to Serve with Sugared Lingonberries

Christmas is lingonberry time. Not only do they look festive, but lingonberries go alongside so many game dishes, which are equally at home in the holidays.

The obvious choice is Swedish meatballs, which are almost always served with lingonberries alongside.

My recipe for duck with beer sauce needs a tart berry, and a spoonful of sugared lingonberries works nicely. British mincemeat pies are much, much better with lingonberries, too.

But honestly? I love a dollop of lingonberry sauce next to simply cooked game.

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.

  • Mix the lingonberries, sugar and a little water — just enough to come up about 1/4 inch — in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook gently, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Cool and keep in a jar in the fridge. It lasts forever.

You can do the same thing with cranberries, too. 

Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 0.05g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 0.1mg | Potassium: 0.2mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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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