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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: https://honest-food.net/pasta-primavera-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

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Wild Game Cooking

Scallion Pancakes – How to Make Chinese Scallion Pancakes

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Not a pancake, nor really a dumpling, Chinese scallion pancakes are really something of a flatbread.

These are one of the highlights of my springtime, since I will often use wild onions instead of store bought scallions. Any green, oniony thing will work here.

A stack of Chinese scallion pancakes
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Long-time readers of this space know I have an obsession with alliums: onions, garlic leeks and such. Every spring I harvest either ramps or huge numbers of our local wild onion, the tri-cornered leek. Mostly I use them as a substitute for garden variety green onions or scallions.

Here with scallion pancakes, the onion is the star, the main flavoring and textural element. It is a fantastic way to celebrate the ephemeral bonanza of spring.

Chinese scallion pancakes are, as you might be able to tell from the picture, not really pancakes. They’re flatbreads. Really, really good flatbreads. I’d never eaten them before I first made this recipe, more than a decade ago, but they’ve become a spring tradition at our house.

Eating one is not really like eating bread. Yes, they are kinda-sorta bready, but these pancakes are chewier, you get a little juicy crunch from the onions. and the aroma of sesame oil and onion is so wonderful it’ll make your eyes roll back in your head. Like my venison potstickers, this is one of those “Oops! I ate them all. Again.” kind of foods.

One tip on rolling out your scallion pancakes: Use a simple tortilla press, which makes flattening the pancakes quick and easy. You can also roll them out with a pin. But the cross cultural use of a tortilla press really does make things much easier.

You can vary the fat — lard and rendered chicken fat are a good options that are used in China — and you can add one or two additional flavor elements, such as ground Sichuan peppercorns.

Stacking a pile of scallion pancakesStacking a pile of scallion pancakes
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

How to eat them? By themselves they are great, but they become sublime with a sweet-spicy dipping sauce. Think Sriracha with a spoonful of honey in it.

Scallion pancakes are also good cold as a trail snack, or something to bring to work or on a long drive.

If you want to make this as part of a larger Chinese meal, you can add dishes like fish stir fry or Chinese braised mushrooms. Another good accompaniment would be Chinese lettuce cups.

  • Put the flour in a large bowl and mix in the salt. Make a well in the center. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. When the water stops bubbling, pour it into the well in the flour. Stir together with a fork until you get a shaggy mass. Wipe the goopy flour off the fork and knead the mass into an elastic dough, which should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Put the dough into a plastic bag or wrap it in plastic wrap and let the dough sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

  • Take the dough out and cut it into four pieces. Put three of them back into the plastic bag. For a work surface, I use a baking sheet flipped over that I’ve lightly oiled with vegetable oil. Roll out the piece of dough into a roughly rectangular shape; it doesn’t need to be precise.

  • Paint the dough with the sesame oil, then sprinkle with about a half teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle minced scallions over the dough generously, leaving about 1/2 inch free space on all sides of the dough.

  • Roll the dough into a tight log starting from the longer side of the rectangle. Slice the log in half and pinch closed the ends of the log to keep the scallions from spilling out. Take one half of the log and roll it tightly into a snail. Flatten the snail with the palm of your hand. 

  • Cut up a Ziploc bag or somesuch into large plastic squares that will cover your tortilla press. Place the flattened snail on one piece of plastic, cover it with another. Squash the dough with the tortilla press, or roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 quarter of an inch.

  • Now you need to fry the pancakes in a little hot oil. I fry and press each one as I go, keeping the finished pancakes in a tortilla warmer lined with paper towels. You could also put them on a baking sheet in an oven set to 200°F. But if you are a beginner, roll out all your pancakes first.

  • I fry the pancakes in a large sauté pan with about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. I prefer peanut oil because it’s used a lot in Chinese cooking. Lard is another good choice. Get the oil hot before you drop the pancake in and cook for about 2 minutes per side, just until you get a little browning on them. Serve by themselves, with soy sauce or with a sweet-spicy dipping sauce.

Scallion pancakes will keep, wrapped in a paper towel, for a day or two in the fridge. They can also be frozen. 

Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1169mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 332IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 3mg

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

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

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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: https://honest-food.net/potted-shrimp-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

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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: https://honest-food.net/wild-rice-hotdish-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

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