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Wild Game Cooking

Wild Rice Porridge Recipe – Wild Rice Breakfast Cereal

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Wild rice porridge is a great way to enjoy our native grain at breakfast time: Creamy, studded with fruit, nuts and seeds, it’ll get your day started right.

Wild rice is native to North America, and the best stuff is true wild rice, which grows wild (duh!) and is harvested all over the northern Midwest and Canada. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Manitoba have the best wild rice.

Yes, you can get cultivated “wild” rice, which is mostly grown on farms in California and Arkansas, but it’s inferior to the real deal. Normally I get all up in arms about the cultivated stuff, but in the case of wild rice porridge, an even cheaper product — cultivated, but broken-grain wild rice — works very well.

We made wild rice porridge a lot when I worked as a chef in northern Minnesota at a grouse hunting lodge, and the trick to an easy breakfast was to cook the wild rice the night before. True wild rice doesn’t take too long to cook, maybe 20 minutes, but the cultivated stuff can take up to an hour. Not ideal for breakfast.

So cook your rice with just water and a little salt until it’s tender, then drain and keep it in the fridge, where you can store it for a week or so. Then, when you want breakfast, you put the cooked wild rice in a pot with milk and/or cream, heat it to steaming, and you’re good.

(Side note: If you want to eat your pre-cooked wild rice for lunch or supper, try my wild rice salad, or my wild rice pilaf with mushrooms.)

How you make your wild rice porridge is a matter of taste. I generally add whatever fruits (dried, frozen or fresh) that I have handy, along with some nuts and seeds, a bit of maple syrup, honey or brown sugar, and if I reheated the porridge in just milk, a little butter for richness.

Wild rice porridge with uncooked wild rice and dried lingonberries alongside.

Here’s how we made wild rice porridge at grouse camp:

  • True wild rice, broken grains (these cook faster and are cheaper)
  • Half and half, or whole milk plus a little heavy cream
  • A pinch of salt
  • Maple syrup to get it sweet, but not overly so
  • A mix of dried berries: lingonberries, blueberries, craisins, black currants, golden raisins, etc
  • Chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are great, too
  • If we wanted to get crazy, a dash of cinnamon

You can mix and match as you see fit. But dried fruit adds tartness and chewiness, the creamy stuff some needed fat, the nuts crunch (also fat), a sweetener to make it all nice.

Once the wild rice has been cooked, a batch of wild rice porridge comes together in about 5 minutes. Easy-peasy.

Oh, and if you have leftovers? Keep them in the fridge separately from your cache of pre-cooked wild rice, then add the leftovers to some new wild rice the next time you want some porridge.

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 haven’t pre-cooked your wild rice, simmer it in plenty of water with a healthy pinch of salt added until it’s tender. This can vary from 20 minutes with true wild rice, to almost an hour with the hard, black, cultivated stuff. Drain and set aside.

  • Pour the milk and cream into a pot and add the wild rice. Add more milk if you want to. It should not be totally submerged in it — you want the dairy to be a sort of sauce for the rice. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.

  • Let this cook 5 minutes or so, then serve. If you want, add a little butter or a splash of more cream.

If you want to, you can add more (or less) fruit, nuts or sweetener to suit your taste. 

Calories: 665kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 542mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 414IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Source link: https://honest-food.net/wild-rice-porridge-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

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Wild Game Cooking

Fish and Grits Recipe – A Tripletail Recipe

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The lesser known sibling to Southern shrimp and grits, fish and grits are every bit as good, especially if you make it with a firm, flavorful fish like tripletail.

A plate of Southern fish and grits, made with tripletail.

Several years ago, I saw a painting on the wall of the hunting lodge my friend Larry Robinson owns in Texas. The painting showed a gray fish leaping out of the water near a buoy. It looked like the prehistoric ancestor of a bluegill, only larger. I asked Larry what it was. “That’s a tripletail,” he said. “Best eating fish out there.”

That’s when I knew I had to catch one.

I’ve caught and eaten most of the fish that swim in North America’s lakes, streams and oceans. But somehow this tripletail fish had not only eluded my hook, but even my notice. How on earth was it possible that there was fish with this reputation as table fare that I didn’t even know about? It’s probably because when I fish the waters of the Deep South, it’s normally either inshore for redfish and speckled trout, or over wrecks for snapper.

Tripletail, Lobotes surinamensis, likes to live inshore, but it’s pelagic, meaning it hangs out in the middle or top of the water column. And, just like the painting, it loves structure, like buoys or pylons. Sometimes they float around on their sides, looking like debris — small fish congregate underneath them to get some shade, and whump! Dinner.

Somehow I never really got a chance to fish for them. Life happens. Until, finally, in 2017, I got my chance. My friend Joe Baya of the magazine Great Days Outdoors offered to take me out to experience what the Alabama coast had to offer. He added, somewhat offhandedly, that he and his dad were good at catching tripletail.

I think there was some other talk about shrimp and tuna, but at the time all I could hear was the word “tripletail.” Yes, I’m in. Name the time. I’ll be there.

As it happened, the weather wasn’t great for tripletail before our planned offshore tuna trip, and, well, the day after wasn’t so hot, either.

Clouds in the sky over a body of waterClouds in the sky over a body of water
Photo by Hank Shaw

But we figured we could zoom in on a few of Joe’s good spots and try before the storm hit us.

Fishing for tripletail is a lot like bluegill fishing, oddly enough. You use a bobber and bait, only much bigger, We used live shrimp for bait. You cast toward some sort of structure, let the current take the bait past the object, and watch the bobber. Tripletail don’t always strike hard.

We dodged the storm for about an hour, going from pylon to buoy. No dice. Eventually, we got to a red nun bobbing in the increasingly choppy waters of the Mississippi Sound. I cast out to a buoy and immediately got wrapped around the chain. Damn.

“I think that’s a fish,” Joe said. No way, it’s just the chain. I reeled in gently, trying not to snag the hook. The chain pumped its head twice. Hard. Holy crap!

Now I felt the fish, and it was a good one. I finessed it in closer to the boat, a gray hubcap. Huh. Not much of a fighter. Then it saw the boat, tore off about fifty yards of line and changed my mind about the fighting abilities of Lobotes surinamensis. Now all I felt was nervousness. This might be the only chance I get. Don’t. Screw. It. Up.

Fortunately, I didn’t, and Joe netted the fish with the skill earned by netting scores of these things. And all of a sudden, I had my first tripletail, a spectacular 15-pounder!

Hank Shaw with tripletailHank Shaw with tripletail
Photo by Joe Baya

To say I was excited is an understatement. To not only catch a tripletail, but a really good one, was awesome. It still gets my blood up writing this, weeks later.

Just in time, too. The storm hit us on the way in. But I didn’t even notice the rain. All I was thinking about was tripletail on the grill, fish and grits, sweet and sour tripletail, tripletail skin chicharrones, fried tripletail, butter-poached tripletail…

I decided on fish and grits, as I happened to have some seriously great grits hanging around.

Closeup of fish and grits in the bowlCloseup of fish and grits in the bowl
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I love most things on good grits, and this fish and grits recipe is a riff off Low Country shrimp and grits. Bacon, fresh tomatoes, some chanterelle mushrooms (you can use any mushroom), green onions and lots of lemon. The tripetail itself is seared simply in bacon fat.

The tripletail lived up to its reputation. Firm, clean-tasting, with a meaty texture very close to grouper, and reminiscent of striped bass. Tripletail has thick, wide flakes, and the meat is pearly white. It was worth the wait.

  • Boil the water and stock and add salt to taste. Start stirring it and pour the grits in slowly; this prevents lumps. Drop the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 to 30 minutes. 

  • Meanwhile, salt the fish fillets and set aside on the counter. Fry the bacon in a large pan to render the fat. Remove the bacon, chop and set aside. 

  • Pat the fish dry with paper towels and place in the hot bacon fat, the flattest side down. Keep the heat at medium-high. Use a spoon to ladle bacon fat over the top of the fillets until they turn opaque. Keep doing this for about 1 minute. Do not flip your fish unless the pieces are more than 1 inch thick. When you have a nice sear (see picture above), remove the fish from the pan and set, seared side up, on a cutting board. 

  • If you have less than about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan, add some more. Add the mushrooms and sear them well. They’ll sear, then give up their water. Let this happen without moving the mushrooms. This should all take about 3 minutes or so.

  • Right before serving, stir the butter, cream and cheese into the grits until the butter and cheese melts in. 

  • When the mushroom water subsides, add the remaining ingredients and stir-fry them about 90 seconds. To serve, give everyone some grits, then some fish, then pour the mushroom-tomato mixture over. 

Calories: 688kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 861mg | Potassium: 1758mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2509IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 2mg

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

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

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Wild Game Cooking

Rhubarb Syrup Recipe – How to Make Rhubarb Syrup

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Here’s how to make rhubarb syrup, which is fantastic on pancakes, in soft drinks or cocktails, or as a glaze for chicken or other poultry.

Making rhubarb syrup couldn’t be easier: Bury chopped rhubarb in sugar and let time do the rest.

It really is that simple. Chop stalks of rhubarb, put them in a glass jar, like a Mason jar, and bury them in white sugar. Put the lid on the jar and shake to remove any air pockets. Add enough sugar to cover the rhubarb by about 1/2 inch.

Overnight, the sugar will extract the moisture from the rhubarb, and you’ll have a syrup.

A few pointers:

  • As the sugar absorbs the liquid from the rhubarb, keep adding a little more each day, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Shake after each time. Stop when no more sugar can be absorbed. You’ll know this by seeing a layer of sugar at the bottom of the jar the morning after you’ve shaken everything all up.
  • If you don’t do this, you run the risk of the syrup not being concentrated enough, and if that happens, it can ferment.
  • Once the syrup is concentrated, let it sit on the counter a few days at room temperature. This will help darken the syrup from a light pink to a rosy red. The longer you let it sit, even in the fridge, the pinker it will get, up to about 2 weeks.
  • If you want a redder rhubarb syrup, add a handful of strawberries when you start. Some very red varieties of rhubarb will make a crimson syrup by themselves.
  • Strain out the rhubarb and discard, or use in rhubarb bread or muffins.
  • Once finished, the rhubarb syrup will keep indefinitely in the fridge.

How to Use Rhubarb Syrup

I initially made it to add to summertime gin and tonics. Make a G&T the way you like it, then add a spoonful or two of rhubarb syrup and you have a quintessential Upper Midwestern cocktail.

Or, skip the gin and tonic and go with a mocktail of rhubarb syrup, lime juice and seltzer. This is a baller afternoon refresher.

You can also use it as a pancake syrup, or wherever else you want a drizzle of springtime.

In a savory application, mix some rhubarb syrup with red wine or balsamic vinegar to make an easy gastrique sauce, which you can then use with chicken or any other white meat; it would even be good with a firm, white fish like grilled swordfish.

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/rhubarb-syrup-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

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Wild Game Cooking

Elderflower Syrup Recipe – How to Make Elderflower Cordial

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Elderflower syrup is sunlight and rainbows in a bottle. Golden, floral and sweet, this makes everything it touches better. Here’s how to make it at home. 

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Late springtime and early summer are the best time to gather elderflowers to make elderflower syrup.

Finding the buttercream flowers isn’t too tough: Elderberries grow everywhere near rivers, and other well-watered places. You can see them as early as April in the South and California, and as late as September in the high mountains or far north, like in Canada.

I’ve seen elderflowers all over the place in Georgia and Florida in early spring. The farther north you live — or the higher in elevation — the later you must wait. And keep in mind you are looking for blue or black elderberries, not red elderberries. You want Sambucus nigra or S. mexicana.

Elderflowers on the plant. Elderflowers on the plant.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Collecting Elderflowers 

Keep in mind that an elderberry bush is a large plant, and can even grow into a small tree. Study the leaves in the photo above: They are a lush dark green, slightly serrated on their edges, and form on stalks; each leaf should be opposite to another. The flowers are cream-colored, not white.

Sometimes over-eager foragers fail to look at the plant they are picking from and grab hemlock by mistake. This can be fatal. But hemlock looks nothing like elderberry, so I have a tough time figuring out how this mistake happens…

A good rule to live by is to not take more than a few flower heads from each elderberry bush: This ensures that the bush will have enough to spread itself, it makes you find more bushes — it’s never a good thing to have only one spot for anything you forage for — and, most importantly, selective picking means you can come back in a few months for the berries.

Only choose the most beautiful flower heads; you don’t want flowers that have yet to open or are past their prime. Collect them in a paper bag so they can breathe. Plastic will make them wilt and sweat.

You will need a lot of flowers to make cordial, so grab a big grocery sack full.

Making Elderflower Syrup

Keep in mind that elderflower syrup is not alcoholic. It can be anything from a light, ready-to-drink concoction, to a full-on syrup that can keep a year or more and is used as a base for other things, like elderflower champagne

If you want to make elderflower liqueur, this is my recipe for that

Elderflower cordial has a subtle flavor. What does it taste like? It is more of an aroma thing, although the elderflower “lemonade” I am drinking right now has a certain tannic backbone to it that says it is not just lemonade.

You make the base for elderflower syrup by preparing a simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water), bringing it to a boil and pouring it over lemon zest, a little lemon juice, lots of elderflowers, and a little citric acid, which adds flavor and keeps everything stable. You let this sit at room temperature for as little as a few hours, or as much 2 or 3 days to macerate, and the result after you strain it through cheesecloth is this lovely-looking syrup.

NOTE: If you just want to make a simple elderflower syrup, which will ferment quickly if you don’t keep it cold, skip all the lemon and citric acid. For a quart, boil 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water. Let it cool enough so you can stick your finger in it, then pour it over a quart Mason jar full of elderflowers. Steep 2 days in the fridge, then strain. Use within 3 weeks. 

Using Elderflower Syrup

I add about a tablespoon of the syrup to a pint of water to make an elderflower cordial with the level of flavor Gatorade has; add more syrup for a stronger drink. It tastes a lot like an Arnold Palmer (50-50 iced sweet tea and lemonade), but as elderflowers are known to be seriously good for you, I like this better.

elderflower liqueur recipeelderflower liqueur recipe
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Years ago, Holly added some syrup to vodka to make an “Elder-tini,” which, when added to some cherries, make a damn good cocktail. Elderflower syrup is also excellent mixed with Champagne (a classic), and its Italian cousin Prosecco. My friend Heather makes a drink called a Caddisfly Nymph, which is elderflower syrup, Prosecco and a touch of Peychaud bitters.

Elderflower syrup makes a great glaze for chicken or pheasant breasts, or, when mixed with a champagne vinegar, a helluva gastrique (sweet and sour sauce) for poultry, rabbit or fish.

  • Snip off the flowers from the stalks into a large bowl or jar that will hold everything. Try to remove as much of the stems as you can; they are toxic. A few stray bits of stems will not hurt you, but you want to minimize it.

  • Zest the lemons and add it to the bowl, then the citric acid and lemon juice.

  • Bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve. Let the syrup cool enough so that you can stick your finger in it without getting burned; you can leave it to cool to room temperature, too. Pour the syrup over the flowers, lemons et al and stir to combine. Cover the bowl or jar and leave it for 2 or 3 days.

  • When you are ready, strain it through a fine-meshed sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel into a clean Mason jar. Seal the jar and store in the fridge.

  • To serve, pour 1 to 3 tablespoons of the syrup into a pint glass and add water or seltzer. Or you can add a tablespoon to a glass of sparkling wine, or to a couple shots of vodka or gin.

This recipe makes about 1 quart. 

Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 50g | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.03mg

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

Source link: https://honest-food.net/elderflower-cordial/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

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