Stuffed Deer Burgers

Stuffed Deer Burgers

The hubby brought home some deer meat the other day and I thought for a long time about how to fix it because it’s deer meat; a very rare delicacy for us. I didn’t want to just throw it in some spaghetti or stroganoff. I wanted to do something special with it. 

Perhaps you recall my beer can breakfast burgers from quite a while ago. I thought it would be a good idea to do something like that. Instead of doing them that way, though, I decided to stuff them since the meat didn’t really want to hold a shape. 

Here is what I did:

I had my girls help me with quite a bit of the prep work because there was A LOT! Where I live we have a Grocery Outlet where I find all kinds of great cheese I can’t find anywhere else. They also have a fabulous selection of sausages. Here are the ones I selected for my stuffed burgers:

The sausages below were a tomato basil chicken sausage. (Writing this blog was an after thought so in the interest of keeping a clean kitchen, some of the labels and wrappers got tossed). Minced them all. I used just one link from each package. 

This was the tomato basil pesto cheese. This had a nice sharp taste with a really smooth texture and lots of Italian seasonings. I grated this finely. 
I chopped the Gouda super small. 

Filling:

I started with a package of cream cheese and mixed in the tomato pesto cheese and Gouda. All three minced sausages, cooked and crumbled bacon and minced red peppers. Oh and minced garlic and some basil. 


Topping:

White onion, red pepper and minced garlic. I sautéed them in bacon grease and butter. (I was going to cut the onion into rings and the pepper into strips but the person in charge of cutting missed that instruction hence the varying shapes and sizes lol). 


Meat:

I used 2 pounds of deer meat and mixed in this sausage.  I used this sausage because the grocery outlet didn’t have any other breakfast style sausage. 

So make a patty and put the filling in the center. Cover the filling with more meat and pull up the sides to seal it. I cooked them until the thermometer read 140 turning only one time. 


At Safeway, all the buns were too much money so I figured if I gotta pay an arm and a leg I might as well get something fancy so I went with cheddar rolls. They were a bit bigger than the burger but they were tasty and filling! 


Turns out I had a bunch of filling left over. Hubby will be having that tomorrow for lunch with crackers. Nom! 

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Homemade Pho…The Best You’ll Ever Taste

Homemade Pho…The Best You’ll Ever Taste

The image featured on my blog is of a bowl of homemade Pho soup. Strangely enough I don’t have my recipe posted for you all. Have you ever had Pho? Always wanted to try it? I have eaten Pho in restaurants and I have to tell you they just really don’t cut the mustard for me.

Fun Fact: Pho is pronounced fuh not foh.

Here is what you are gonna need:

Beef roast (I use tri tip cuz it stays nice and tender)

Yellow Onion

Green onions (couple Bunches)

Cilantro (couple Bunches)

Hoisin Sauce

Lime juice or fresh limes

Beef paste (Asian Market)

Fresh Rice Stick Noodles (fridge at Asian Market)

Giant Pot (mine is 16 qt)

Small Pot w metal Strainer

Oxtail Bones (1.5 lbs seems to work well for 16 qt of broth)

A wide slotted spoon

A ladle

Deep dish bowls

The pot I use for this dish is a 16 qt pot. One pack 1.5lb pack of oxtail works just fine for this size. I used to have a smaller pot and would add water to the broth because it was pretty concentrate so I giant pot like this is fine for one pack of tail.

I won’t tell you how to do anything in this recipe. I will just tell you how I do it and you can feel free to make any adjustments you want to your own liking. I will say this, though. The woman who taught me the art of making Pho soup learned from her mother in law who lives in Vietnam and speaks very little English. She was in the states visiting her son. The recipe is authentic and beats any restaurant Pho you will ever have.

The very first thing I do when I make this gold in a bowl is fill my giant pot with water and set it on the burner. I throw in the oxtails and cut the onion into chunks and toss it in along with a liberal amount of salt. I know my cutting board looks gross. I cut a lot of potatoes on it hence the black. Ima try to bleach it.

That pot boils covered all day. In the meantime, when I find time throughout the day, I get the cutting done cuz there is a fair amount of that. I slice the roast so it is as close to paper thin as possible, I slice the green onion and  chop the cilantro. All the meat and veggies are put in the fridge for later.

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Close to dinner, I fish the bones out and onions and set them aside. I then add a liberal amount of the beef paste. (Liberal amounts of everything in this recipe. Don’t be shy.) I will use half the jar for my pot cuz my pot is huge.

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In my smaller pot, I fill it with water and get it boiling with the strainer on top. Once its at a rolling boil, I add a big handful of noodles and stir with a fork. They only take a couple minutes to finish cooking. I then lift the strainer and dump the noodles into another strainer and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking. I do several batches of noodles until I have enough to fill as many bowls as I have. (I usually feed 5 but sometimes we have company cuz Pho is sort of a special occasion food around here).

Sorry the pics are a bit blurry :/

Once the noodles are done, using my hands, I grab a generous amount of noodles and flop them into the bowls. I do the noodles for everyone cuz I don’t know if their hands are clean enough to be reaching in there and man handling them the way they need to be man handled. Everyone is free to add whatever they want to the noodles ie. cilantro, green onions. Squeeze a crap load of hoisin and an equal amount of lime over the noodles in the bowl.

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Cooking the beef: This can be done two ways. The authentic method is to use the wide slotted spoon or a basket spoon and cook individual amounts for a few minutes in the boiling broth. If you don’t want to stand there and cook individual portions of the beef in a spoon, you could just dump some of it in and fish it out once its cooked long enough (typically just a few minutes). Put cooked meat into the bowl then add as much broth as is desired to the bowl and enjoy!

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I make enough broth whenever I make soup that we are able to eat this for two meals each day for two to three days. We love this soup enough to look forward to it for lunch even on the third day. Also, as a side note. We make so much that we can’t cold store the leftover broth. The broth remains in the pot the entire three days on the stove. Several times a day I bring the temp up so its at a rolling boil which kills any bacteria that may try to grow in it but honestly I keep the pan hot enough that bacteria doesn’t form. In Vietnam, they make such enormous pots that they never use refrigeration to keep their soup from spoiling. I have to admit, when I first realized that my first time eating second day soup that was still on the stove even overnight I was a little leery. But after having done it myself every single time I have made this meal, I can assure you it is safe. Keep the broth above 140 degrees and you are golden 🙂

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As a post note, in restaurants they give you various flavor options on a plate for you to choose from. I have seen fresh oregano, fresh basil, bean sprouts, different chili sauces, etc. This recipe is a reflection of how I like mine. You can change it up however you want it based on what flavors are good to you. 🙂

 

If you try this recipe and you really like the way your pho came out, tell me about it in the comments. Thanks!

 

Rhubarb Wine

Rhubarb Wine

This is not my work but I wanted to share it because it looks fabulous and I want to try it. Once I get established in our new home, I am going to grow my own rhubarb just so I can make my own wine 😀

Here is the link to this fabulous idea!

 

http://andhereweare.net/2014/04/make-rhubarb-wine.html/

 

If any of you get around to making this before I do, please post about it here in the comments.

Pepper Jelly on the 4th of July

Pepper Jelly on the 4th of July

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How about some fireworks in your mouth! My pepper jelly is always a hit at the parties. Today I made a bunch! The sweet and spicy of the jelly mixed with the creamy of cream cheese and the crunchy of your favorite cracker makes for a perfect balance of delicious in your mouth! Here is what I did:

Finely chop three red bell peppers, two green bell peppers and 10 jalapeno peppers. I find the recipe sets up best when I do the chopping by hand as opposed to using a food processor. This is the longest part. Toss em all into a bowl. Measure out 4 cups of the peppers. Set aside. Measure out 1 cup of cider vinegar and 5 cups of sugar. Get one 1.75 oz size pectin ready (I prefer no-sugar pectin since everything I use that with sets up so nicely but you can use regular too).

Get your jars ready. I always have three pints and one half pint worth of jelly when all is said and done so whatever combination of jars works for you. My next batch I will use all half pints cuz I know some people who want some of this jelly. I want to be able to give some away but when you are all finished after all the work it took to get JUST THREE PINTS a person just doesn’t wanna give a whole bunch of this gold away. 🙂

Okay, get your canner ready. Put it on high heat. It needs to be boiling by the time you are ready for the water bath part.

Okay, so, Toss the peppers into a large pot with the cider vinegar and pectin and bring to a boil stirring continuously.

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Add the sugar and bring it back to a boil stirring continuously.

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Let it boil for 60 seconds then remove from heat. Using a food funnel (if you don’t have one no worries just clean the rim of the jar with a damp rag when you are finished) ladle jelly into hot jars leaving an inch of head room. Wipe any mess that may have been left on the rim and add lids. Ring jars, tightening just slightly.

Process in water bath for five minutes. Use jar tongs to take the jars out of the water and set on cooling racks or dish towel to cool. The tops should pop within a few minutes. Check seal in twelve hours.

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The peppers may have gathered at the top. Just stir it all together before pouring over cream cheese. I have a friend who cooks her chicken in this jelly and makes sort of an asian dinner out of it. I suppose there are a million things that could be done with this jelly. Oh ya, I put it on a homemade sausage egg MacMuffin once. Hubby thought it was amazing!

What could you do with this?

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Happy canning!

Cheap Delicious Fresh Salsa

Cheap Delicious Fresh Salsa

Tis the season for the best stuff of summer to be getting cheaper and more abundant! Yay! My favorite time of year! I had a hankerin’ for salsa today so here is what I did:

I got my prep cook:

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She cut the tomatoes since my eczema is acting wonky today. We used about ten of them I think. Then I cut the onion and the jalapeno and the cilantro. We then tossed it all into the food processor.

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Added some lime (I am not shy about the lime!) and some salt. As you can see in the pic, that is a lot of salt. You can use less. (I recommend it.) I added a butt load more tomatoes (hence ten) to take out the saltiness. So That much salt is good for about two batches. Maybe add a little and taste it till you find how you like it.

Turn on the processor.

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Pour into a bowl and enjoy.

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If you have never made your own salsa before, it’s really all about your own taste preference. Make adjustments as needed. Salsa is usually pretty forgiving. It is easy to fix and adjust.

I took some of this salsa (since I had to make so much) and put it in the freezer. I know most people can their salsa but I wanna see how it thaws and if this is something I can make in huge batches of to save. I don’t like the idea of canning because that cooks the salsa which defeats the concept of “fresh” salsa; not that frozen is “fresh” but it’s not cooked. I will update the blog on how it turns out.

I should also say, I used one single jalapeno for all of this salsa. My mouth is very warm!. Winco sells these monstrosities they label as jalapenos but they are huge! Not like any jalapeno I have ever seen! I suppose I could have gotten away with half of one!

UPDATE: 

Frozen fresh salsa thawed, tastes just fine, however is a bit thin and watery.

Stir Fry To Die For

Stir Fry To Die For

Tonight’s dinner was so amazing! I went all out on the meat (hoison marinated pork tenderloin), budget on the veggies and pre made on the sauces but who cares? It was delicious and that is what is most important. My belly feels like it might explode! I am so full. Okay here is what I did:

First, I got my prep cook and cut up all the veggies and the meat. The meat, of course, I sliced super thin. Here is my prep cook:

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Veggies and meat are now cut.

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There are a few things that I didn’t pull out of the fridge til after this was shot like tomatoes and bean sprouts. Now the sauces:

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Of course the main sauce was still in the cupboard when I took this. I use the stir fry sauce you can get from any supermarket. I think it is Kikoman. Same brand as the soy sauce and rice vinegar. Notice the soy sauce as well as the liquid aminos. I have a gluten freebie in my house so we have cut as much soy from her diet as possible as well as gluten. In fact, my prep cook, is the one who struggles with gluten.

Next, heat the pan to super hot with oil already in it then drop in some onions, green peppers, red peppers, and celery.

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Let those cook while stirring till they start to change color and look translucent. Add in your big veggies like broccoli, carrots (if you like em), snap peas, etc. Add a few tablespoons of water. I continually add water (A tablespoon or two at a time) while I am cooking to keep everything steaming and to keep that stir fry noise nice and loud throughout. After a few minutes, add the fast cooking stuff like mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc. Cook for just a few more minutes and remove it all from the pan. Now add some of your meat to the pan and cook on both sides about 2 minutes total

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then add all the veggies back to it. Add a smidge more water if you need to. It is now that you add the last few items like noodles and tomatoes if you like em. I like tomatoes in my stir fry. I have been told that is weird. Whatever.

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Cook for just about one more minute and add the stir fry sauce to taste. I also added a smidge of sesame oil and a smidge on rice vinegar. I dished it up.

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Added a few drops of fish sauce. Let me tell you! This dinner was A MAZE ING!

Post note:

I usually add yellow squash and zucchini to my stir fry and I am not sure why I didn;t this time. I guess I forgot but that is another way to beef it up and stretch it out. I like the way the zucchini and squash take up the flavor of the stir fry. It is usually a nice addition.

Been A While!

Been A While!

Good day to you! I have been so busy lately that food has taken a backseat for me in my house. We have been unenjoying such delicacies as grilled cheese and tomato soup and bbqed hamburgers and hot dogs while I have been finishing up the year of school with my kids. I have also written my first novel and am hoping and praying to get it published! Update on that later. I have a brand new book idea that has taken hold of my ability to concentrate even while part two of my first novel awaits all of my attention. I foresee my summer being full of writing, and putting next year’s curriculum together. I will try, I promise to cook some delicious foods and post pictures and directions so you all can drool and then make them yourselves. By the way, if you do decide to make anything I post and you love it, let me know. If you hate it, I suppose let me know that, too.

Tonight I will be stir frying. Stir fry is one of my favorite dinners but we don’t get it often cuz it can get costly. One would think that produce is cheaper than buying ready-made meals but let me tell ya, it adds up. It doesn’t help that I am using hoison marinated pork loin for the meat, though. That alone was $5.99 a pound. For my family of five I bought about 3-4 pounds. Yikes! But we don’t splurge often so it’s okay to do it sometimes. It doesn’t have to be expensive, though. If you are on a tight budget, you could easily use chicken and whatever veggies are on sale. Farmer’s market season is almost here! Get the veggies from them for less and they are healthier! I can’t wait!

I’ll post tonight the process and the deliciousness of my stir fry oh and pot stickers. No stir fry would be complete without them.

Have a great day!