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Wild Game Cooking

Lobster Salad Recipe – Healthy Lobster Salad

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A light, summery lobster salad recipe that doesn’t use mayo. This is a Mediterranean-style salad with cucumber, tomato and sweet peppers.

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

While I like New England lobster rolls, where the lobster is either served just in butter, or, less often, in a mayonnaise-based salad, this is not that. If you want that, I have a damn good recipe for crab rolls, which will get you close.

This is how I make a lobster salad in summertime.

Basically it’s as simple as a trip to your garden or farmer’s market, then to the fish market for some lobster. Or if you’re lucky, you go diving for spiny lobsters or throw traps for Maine lobsters.

That gets me to the core principal of this recipe: It is what you want it to be. I used spiny lobster tails and the bounty of my summer garden. You can use Maine lobster, any sort of shrimp, small scallops, crawfish tails, or even crabmeat here.

I like this combination in a lobster salad because it has a balance of textures, colors, tartness and richness.

Lobster Salad Variations

  • The cucumbers are the kind where you can eat the skin — some varieties have a bitter skin, in which case peel them — and are young so the seeds are no biggie. If you have a more mature cuke, slice out the seeds.
  • You’ll notice I halved the cherry tomatoes. This is to keep them from running all over your plate. Obviously, this is not an issue with larger tomatoes that are chunked up. If yours are watery, remove the seeds as best you can.
  • Peppers add crunch, and you can go with just sweet ones, or add some heat in there, too. I added yellow bell peppers and a teaspoon of minced habanero for some zip.
  • The onion, red in this case, is soaked in lime juice. You could use red wine vinegar or some other type.
  • Herbs are a must: Parsley, basil, summer savory, lovage, cilantro or mint are all good options.
  • Finally, the lobster tail is simply poached in butter. Use my recipe for butter poached fish as a guide. This method will work with all of the options above, although typically crawfish tails and crab is pre-cooked.

If you are using pre-cooked seafood, switch to a good olive oil. Lobster salad is a great use for the good stuff.

Close up of a plate of lobster salad.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Other Tips

Lobster salad doesn’t keep well, so eat it within a day or two.

If you want to make a lobster feast, serve this as a first course to lobster fra diavolo, or alongside lobster tacos. If you do make the tacos, use lime juice as the acidity in the salad.

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 minced onion with the lime juice and a little salt. Set this aside while you chop everything else. This process takes the sting out of raw onions.

  • Cut the lobster into chunks you’d like to eat. then toss in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients. You can eat this straight away, or let it sit for an hour for the flavors to meld; I prefer the latter.

This recipe assumes you’ve cooked the seafood. Normally you steam whole lobsters for about 20 minutes, then crack them. If you have only tails, best to butter poach them. Use my recipe for butter poached fish as a guide. 

Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1mg

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

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

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Wild Game Cooking

Venison Enchiladas – Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

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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

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Wild Game Cooking

BBQ Turkey Legs Recipe – Barbecued Wild Turkey Thighs

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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

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Archery

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