Venison Crock Pot Lasagna

Venison Crock Pot Lasagna

crockpot-lasagna
 If your a guy like me who can bring the wild game to the table but can’t cook it…Then a crock pot is what you need! It’s so simple, follow directions, turn it on and forget it. The meals taste great and there always hot. It’s the perfect way to end a long day sitting in the woods. This recipe for venison crock pot lasagna is one of my favorite meals!
Ingredients:
1.5lbs of ground venison
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
un cooked lasagna noodles
small container of cottage cheese
1 egg
1 bag of 16oz mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
small onion
garlic
Step 1: Brown venison with onion and garlic. Mix the sauce with browned meat.
Step 2: In a bowl mix cottage cheese with one egg.
Step 3: Mix mozzarella cheese and Parmesan in a separate bowl and keep on hand.
Step 4: Place small among of sauce on the bottom of crock pot, then start layering uncooked noodles,cottage cheese mixture, then sauce then mozzarella cheese. Keep layering like this til crock pot is full.
Cook on low for 2-3 hours. ENJOY!
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“To me taking someone out and getting them into what I love doing is just as rewarding as if I were to hammer a big buck, turkey or catch a huge fish. The smiles make it all worth it.” -Ryan Van Lew

Slow Cooker Venison Burritos

Slow Cooker Venison Burritos

Scott Emerick, EvoOutdoors Team Member

Are you sick of the same old venison recipes you have been cooking for years? Try these delicious and extremely easy venison burritos and I guarantee you wont just cook them once.

This recipe wins no awards for being the fanciest but is by far my family and friends favorite.

scottWhat you will need:

-1.5 – 2 lb boneless venison round

-1 (16 oz) Jar salsa (hot if you like spicy)

-1 (15 oz) Can corn – (drained)

-1 (15 oz) Black beans – (half drained)

-1 (8oz) Package cream cheese (4 oz needed)

-1 Package of your favorite flour tortillas

-1 (8 oz) Package shredded Mexican cheese

Lets get cooking!

  1. Place your venison into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Cover with the jar of salsa, drained can of corn and half drained can of beans.
  3. Set the slow cooker to LOW and cook for 6-7 hours or until the venison pulls apart easily with a fork. It is easiest if you remove the venison from the slow cooker and pull apart on a cutting board. Return the venison to the slow cooker.
  4. Cube 4 oz cream cheese and stir in until melted.

That is it, time to eat!

Place the desired amount on a tortilla, top with shredded cheese, along with sour cream and hot sauce if you prefer and simply enjoy!

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Scott Emerick was born and raised in Michigan. He came from an outdoors family but aside from fishing, they never hunted. “I always was and still currently am the only one out of my family who hunts. I was introduced to hunting from a buddy in college. After a few hunts I was beyond addicted.”

BBQ Shrimp: A Quick Cajun Favorite

BBQ Shrimp: A Quick Cajun Favorite

Sarah Fromenthal, EvoOutdoors Team Member

www.evooutdoors.com

Do you love seafood, spices, butter, and crusty bread and want a quick weeknight meal (approximately 20 minutes total)? Well this is a meal that will quickly grab your heart by the tastebuds! Unlike the name suggests, this is far from your traditional ” BBQ” and requires no grill or BBQ sauce. Also, be warned in advanced that this is a finger food that is NOT meant to be neatly eaten, but instead, it encourages finger licking.

Now the original version that I have indulged in over the years contains an inordinate amount of butter, but I have knocked the butter content down from a pound of butter to under an individual stick of butter. Its also traditionally served with crusty bread to sop up all of the juice, but since we are going healthier I chose to use lightly steamed cauliflower.

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You will need:

  • About one stick of butter (my conscious only allowed me to use about 3/4 of a stick)
  • One can of your favorite beer
  • 1/2 Cup of green onion
  • 1/3 Cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of liquid crab boil (I use Zatarain’s)
  • 1 Tbsp if cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tsp of hot sauce (I’m partial to Louisiana Hot Sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp of kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp of black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of dried thyme leaf
  • 1 Sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 6 Cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 whole bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • 1 Lemon
  • Approximately one pound of large shrimp- de-headed but not peeled (the peelings enhance the flavor)
  • Juice sopping option (crusty bread, cauliflower, etc)

Melt the butter on a medium heat in a large saucepan. Once melted, add the beer and allow to simmer until some of the beer begins to evaporate. Once the beer is slightly reduced, add the green onions, garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire, crab boil, cayenne, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary sprig, and hot sauce.

Roll the whole lemon on the cutting board before cutting in half to release its juices, then squeeze the juice of the halves into the pan then drop in the whole lemon (don’t let the seeds fall in because it will add an unwanted bitterness).

Stir all the ingredients well and let them come to a low boil without allowing it to smoke. If for some reason you think it needs more liquid, add additional beer.

When ready, add the shrimp in but be sure they are laying in one flat layer to ensure they cook evenly. After approximately two minutes depending on size, flip them over and allow that side cook until shrimp is all evenly pink in color but not overcooked. Remove the bay leaves, then pour all this deliciousness into a large plate and serve with your favorite bread (or other option to soak up the juice) with a handful of napkins!

Enjoy!

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Sarah Fromenthal was born and raised in Southern Louisiana and has a strong passion for hunting, fishing, the outdoors and cooking.

 

Going Greek: Venison Gyros

Going Greek: Venison Gyros

Adam Parma, EvoOutdoors ProStaff

Kristin Parma, EvoOutdoors Media

“Gee-ro”

“J-eye-ro”

“Hee-ro”

I still don’t know how to pronounce it however, no matter which pronunciation you decide, the Gyro sandwich has been deemed an American-Greek fast food staple. Served at festivals, carnivals and a select number of Mediterranean restaurants around the United States, the Gyro sandwich is a delicacy that I don’t often get to eat, but absolutely savor when I do.

According to Whats Cooking America the Gyro type of sandwich has been known, and sold on the streets of Greece, the Middle East, and Turkey for hundreds of years. Greek historians believe that the dish originated during Alexander The Great’s time when his soldiers used their knives to skewer meat that they turned over fires. Even today, a proper gyro is made with meat cut off a big cylinder of well-seasoned lamb or beef on a slowly rotating vertical spit called a gyro.

I don’t know about you but I don’t have a slow turning vertical spit in my kitchen. Heck, I barely have a kitchen! If you’re anything like us, you like to think outside the box when it comes to your wild game meat. After all, you worked hard to harvest the animal and what better way to honor your hard work than to experiment with different recipes.

Here is our own take on a venison gyro, or as Adam calls it a “Deer-ro”

Ingredients:

2 lbs venison steak- any cut.

We used a package of deer venison steak at the very bottom of the freezer…you know, that package that is unmarked and questionable. The one that clearly you were either too tired to label during processing or didn’t even know what to call it. Any cut and type of venison meat will do, from deer to exotic game.

Olive oil

Unsalted butter

1 white onion

Salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, garlic and any other spice combinations you may like- oregano and mint would be good!

Pita bread

Feta Cheese

Tzatziki sauce

Typically you can buy tzatziki sauce in your local grocery store. Store bought has a very strong dill flavor and I like mine a little more diluted. Click on the link for an EASY TZATZIKI recipe which you can tweak to satisfy your pallet.

Roma tomato, sliced

Romaine lettuce, shredded

Hot sauce- Because we live in the South y’all

Directions:

1. Thinly slice one white onion and the venison steak.20151130_183658

2. Season with spices. 20151130_185330

 

3. Using a cast iron skillet, heat and coat pan with olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.  Add. venison and onion mix. Sear venison on both sides, making sure not to overcook but letting a crust form on the edges of the meat (that will give it the true gyro texture!). Add more olive oil/butter as needed. 20151130_1856134. Assemble sandwiches by heating pita bread. Layer tzatziki sauce, meat and onions, lettuce, tomato, feta cheese.

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Add hot sauce for a spicy kick!

5. If you are feeling really creative, wrap your Gyro sandwich in foil for that real street food feeling. Enjoy!

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Kristin and Adam Parma pose for Christmas portraits on their ranch in Adkins, TX.

Adam and Kristin Parma co-own the Czech Out Ranch in Adkins, Texas.

Simply Delicious: Pan Seared Dove

Simply Delicious:

Pan Seared Dove

 Kristin Parma, EvoOutdoors Media Coordinator

Recipe from Adam Parma, EvoOutdoors ProStaff

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Depending on where and what you hunt with (November is dedicated to falconry) dove season spans almost all of the fall period in Texas. While perhaps simpler than waterfowl or upland bird hunting, dove hunting does actually require being a good shot with your shotgun. Dove, especially Mourning dove, are fast little birds of quick deception. They can easily be coming in one direction and change their flight pattern quicker than a blink of an eye. Often times they will fly right past your head coming from behind or fall quickly behind the tree line.

Side note: The dragon fly is to dove season what the squirrel is to deer season. 

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My first dove!

460September 2014 was my first dove season. I shot my first white-wing less than 100 yards from my doorstep. For a girl who grew up in the suburbs of Eugene, Oregon I felt so very thankful to be living my dream on acreage in Texas. It felt better than Christmas morning. The emotion of providing my own food in my own “backyard” is more exciting than anything I could have ever hoped for. Non-hunting organizations will have you believe that hunters do not eat the dove they harvest. However, like other wild game birds, the dove is absolutely DELICIOUS .

Dove vs. Squab

In the culinary world a squab is referred to as a young domesticated pigeon. From what I gather though a squab can be referred to as a young dove, wild or domestic. According to Texas Parks & Wildlife there are five different types of dove/pigeon that can legally be hunted in the state. It is important to be able to identify migratory birds as there are several species of dove that are protected. For instance the protected Inca dove shares our home with us at the ranch. These dove are much slower, smaller and mostly ground dwelling. For more information on dove identification visit Texas Parks & Wildlife: Know Your Doves.

So, you ask- why is dove so tasty? Dove has VERY little fat and unlike a chicken, dove is a tasty flavor nugget of all dark meat. This gives it, to me, a beef-like quality.

Ah-ha! These are the “chicken nuggets” our future children will eat every fall in their homemade happy-meals.

According to Genuine Aide Natural Healthy blog the nutrients of one squab are packed with Vitamins A, B and C. Along with other essentials like protein, iron, calcium, potassium and Omega 3 fatty acids. These improve brain function, immune system, healthy skin and nails among other many beneficial attributes.

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My teacher, Mr. Parma!

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Dove Season 2015

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Our collie Jane enjoys dove hunting

Most Southerners opt to take the dove and bacon wrap it with a slice of jalapeño on the grill. I am NOT, I repeat not, in any way putting down bacon…But really? Is it necessary? Dove meat is tender if cooked properly and adding bacon is not needed for flavor or moistening purposes. In addition, there are many fancy “foodie” type recipes out there for wild game birds like duck, dove and pheasant. Any Google search on the internet will make you assume you have to soak, smother or baste an itty bitty dove for extreme hours. A turn off for many.  My husband Adam, A.K.A. “Boots” is my culinary hero. In my eyes he is an innovator in simple, delicious wild game cooking. It must be the beard that gives him those powers. While many of the recipes found online are no doubt delicious sometimes I think we have lost track of the simpler, equally tasty recipes that our grandparents and furthermore, pioneer relatives grew up with. After all, people have been eating wild game for a long time without fancy sauces…

At the ranch I like to think we live like pioneers- 21st century style of course. Currently, we live with very limited indoor space and do majority of our cooking in one very reliable and well-loved cast iron skillet. This year Adam’s first haul of dove inspired this bread crumb and pan seared dove recipe that had my taste buds tingling.

Ingredients (serving size for two):

8 deboned and breasted dove

Bread crumbs (We used store bought spicy breadcrumbs but you could make your own)

1 fresh farm egg

Sea salt to taste

Oil of your choice (We only use olive oil)

Steps:

  1. Remove the breast meat from the dove.

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    Adam teaching friend Melanie how to clean a dove

  2. Place cracked egg and breadcrumbs into shallow bowls. Add any other spices you would like to the breadcrumbs. Dredge the dove breasts into the egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture.

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    When I asked Adam about the egg wash his response was, “You take an egg, wash it and put it in the bowl- egg wash!” *smirk*

  3. Pour about 1/4 inch or less of olive oil to the bottom of a cast iron skillet and bring to 350 degrees.1905
  4. Sear the dove breasts in batches for about 2 minutes turning once during frying. You are looking for a good exterior crust. Remove the dove to a platter and lightly sprinkle with sea salt to taste.1906
  5. Serve with your favorite side dishes and ENJOY natures gift!

Adam and Kristin share their homesteading adventures on their Czech Out Ranch Facebook page as a way to honor all the people in their lives that aided them in following their dreams. They enjoy sharing their story with others to perpetuate the notion that if you dream it, it can happen.

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Dove season 2015

Venison Thai Lettuce Tacos

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This is my second spring in the great state of Texas and I love watching our garden grow at the Czech Out Ranch. Every day there is something new to report. A new blackberry blossom, a bean stalk, an onion trying to push up from the soil. When it comes to cooking I am inspired by our garden and love to take a walk through it prior to dinner.

My husband and I love Thai food and anything that accompanies a spicy palate is a plus. I was craving Thai lettuce cups one day when I forgot to go to the store for chicken. My husband Adam suggested using venison instead- genius! Since this is South Texas and all, Thai lettuce tacos seemed more fitting a title. Here’s how we made this simple dish.

**If you want to serve with rice I suggest starting your rice based on an hour cooking/prep time commitment. We use a rice cooker so we always start the rice prior to any cooking. In this case we used jasmine rice which classically accompanies Thai food. White rice, brown rice or any sort of starch would work just as good.

 

venison meat

Step one:

Thinly slice roughly two pounds of defrosted venison steak (we wanted leftovers for the following evening). Marinate in a bowl with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. Salt and pepper. A little goes a long way and I don’t measure. This is why Adam does all the baking. Any type of venison will work (deer, elk, exotics) but in this case we used black tail deer harvested by Adam in Oregon.

 Step two:

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Slice/chop your veggies and toppings. We used a variety of peppers, onion, cilantro and crushed peanuts. I added a little bit of chive, basil and parsley from the garden.  In addition, the garden peppers were calling my name so I added a few Serrano peppers for an added kick. Choose whichever veggies you enjoy!

 

Step three:

Add a touch of olive oil to a pan and sear the venison steak in batches. We do majority of our indoor cooking in a cast iron skillet. Don’t overcook the venison. A minute or so on each side and the venison will be ready. Transfer to a dish and cover with foil to keep warm while you sear the rest.

DSC_4203Step four:

Sautee onions, peppers and cilantro. You can either do this combined with the venison in step three or afterwards.

Step five:

Prepare lettuce cups. Traditionally in Asian food restaurants lettuce cups are served with iceberg lettuce because they provide a good vessel for all the goodies. I don’t readily buy iceberg lettuce so I used some romaine which worked just as well. In the garden I mostly grow micro-greens which aren’t sturdy enough but certainly would make a good warm salad version of this recipe. To prepare, tear off each romaine leaflet from the stem to be used as your “cup” or “tortilla” to hold the cooked mixture.

Step six:

Put it all together and enjoy.

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There are many different ways you can put this concoction of ingredients together. We first placed a spoonful of jasmine rice on each romaine lettuce taco. Then added the meat/veggie mixture and uncooked toppings. I added extra cilantro as well as chive, basil, parsley and crushed peanuts for crunch.

Nut allergy? Bean sprouts work just as well. Caution: The more ingredients you add the messier the bite!

My first job in college was at a Hawaiian restaurant where sesame seeds were sprinkled on top of every dish. Therefore I have been trained to have toasted sesame seeds on hand. I buy them pre-toasted but you can easily toast them yourself. How to toast sesame seeds.

Singapore-Chili-Sauce-aFor spice Adam and I like to indulge with some hot chili sauce or you can make any Asian inspired vinaigrette. I am obsessed with Korean BBQ sauce. There is room to mix ethnicities for variation so have fun with it!

As hunters it is always fulfilling to know that you played a crucial part in the making of your meal. I also find that when you cook your own wild game it sparks a retelling of the hunt, the animal and the memories made. In a way, cooking your own wild game is a way to honor your harvest.

Happy hunting, gardening and eating!

 

Ingredient List:

Venison steak- 2lbs

Onion- 1

Your favorite peppers- 1-2

Cilantro

Chive, basil, parsley (or whatever added flavor you’d like)

Romaine lettuce

Salt and black pepper

Soy sauce

White wine vinegar

Sesame oil

Optional: Toasted sesame seeds, chili sauce, peanuts, bean sprouts

-Kristin Parma, Evo Media Coordinator/ProStaff

-Adam Parma, ProStaff

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Adam & Kristin Parma are owners of the Czech Out Ranch in Adkins, TX

The Quest for the Ultimate Jerky – By Ryan Degethoff

If most hunters are anything like me, they are constantly on the look out for the ultimate jerky, or jerky recipes. I have been a huge jerky fan from a very early age and over the years have tried my hand at making a few batches but have always went back to buying the pre made or store bought jerky.
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^A finished batch of homemade Jerky
For Christmas this year I received an incredible gift: the gift of being able to make my own jerky. My sister in law bought me a dehydrator, so for the last three month I have been searching the internet and trying to master the ultimate jerky recipe. Now, I know everyone’s tastes are different, but this one is a winner and I thought I would share it with the readers. By no means did I think this recipe up all on my own, but I have blended a few I have found online to make what I think is really good, well rounded jerky.
I have used this recipe on beef, deer and elk and have had great success. For best results, slice the selected meat into large thin slices.
Ingredients:
  • 2-3 lbs of desired meat sliced (deer,Elk Moose,Beef)
  • mix following ingredients in a large bowl
  • 1/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey (sweeter 1/3 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 Tablespoons red pepper flake (To desired heat)
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of jerky dust (Not Needed) But Awesome
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Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well until all ingredients are well blended. Place the sliced meat in the bowl and mix to ensure all meat has been thoroughly coated with jerky mix and then cover. Place the bowl in the fridge and let stand over night or 10 -12 hours.
Take the sliced meat out of the fridge and place meat flat, in a single layer, on the dehydrator racks. Once the meat has all been laid out, turn the dehydrator to 170 degree F. Let the meat dehydrate for 8-10 hours Check frequently for desired dryness, as the thinner pieces will finish first. Once the jerky is to your desired dryness remove from the rack and enjoy.
What is your favourite jerky recipe? We would love for you to share it with us! Post it in the comments or send it to us via email.

I ♥ Deer Heart

 grilled venison heart recipe photo by holly heiser

In the pursuit of big game a lot of hunters aim for the heart however, I try to avoid making a direct heart shot if possible. “Why?” you might ask. Many people are familiar with using deer quarters, the loins, the backstrap, etc., but have you ever tried the heart?  Yes, the good ol’ pump station! Now do not be quick to blame my Louisiana roots on this craziness. The crazy Cajuns down here have been known to eat just about any part of any critter. Even here in Louisiana not many people have been brave enough to try the heart, but those few brave souls that have are delightfully rewarded with a beautiful cut of meat.

 

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Tips on Preparing the Heart (think back to your old anatomy classes):

  • Remove all of the blood and blood clots by rinsing thoroughly. Be sure to get deep down into the chambers of the heart and even submerging it in cold water while giving it a few squeezes will help flush any remaining blood out.
  • Cut away the “crown” of the heart leaving behind the main muscle. Cut away excess fat and connective tissue from the outer part of the heart, then butterfly and trim the remainder of the main artery, valves, and the fibrous tissue. What you are left with is gorgeous, filet-like meat that lacks the grainy, fibrous texture of the more traditional cuts of venison. The overall misconception is that it has a liver-like flavor when infact it does not.
  • Need step by step instructions? Click here!

 

 

 

“The Instant Grill”: Because what better way to enjoy your fresh wild game then on an open fire after skinning and quartering it?

IMG_5666Simply prepare the heart as previously mentioned, then season it as you would your favorite steak. I like to use garlic powder, season all, salt, pepper, and olive oil ( I also sometimes marinate it in beer, but its not required).

Light up the fire pit and sit back and relax until the embers and coals are nice and evenly hot. Throw the meat on the grill and cook to a medium rare and then remove from heat.  Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing to ensure that the juices do not run out. Enjoy! Best served with some awesome garlic mashed potatoes!

“I ♥ Fajitas”: Bring your typical boring fajitas to a new level with all fresh ingredients and a little venison love. 

Fajitas can be as extravagant or as plain as you like but this is my favorite way to eat them! After preparing your deer heart, slice into strips and season with your favorite fajita/taco seasoning mix and a little bit of garlic and cilantro. While that is resting, slice up some green onions, purple onions, yellow and red peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and more cilantro. Toss the mixture in lime juice and sear the veggies in a screaming hot skillet and cook until they are barely limp, then remove from the skillet. After the veggies are done, toss in the heart slices and cook until medium rare. Best served on a corn tortilla with the heart, veggies, avocado/guacamole , fresh cilantro (yes, I use a lot of am obsessed with cilantro), pico de gallo, and a drizzle of sriracha sauce on top.

Over the years I have had venison heart prepared in a few different ways, so be adventurous. Above are a few of my favorite ways to prepare the heart. In addition, a couple other good ways to prepare the heart include smothering it with onions, stuffing it with sausage or another stuffing of choice, and this awesome looking bruschetta recipe.

To those that have never tried it or were afraid to try it, would you be open to the idea of keeping and cooking your next big game heart? If so, which recipe would you indulge in first?

 

Sarah Fromenthal
EvoOutdoors Prostaff

Game on the Go: Quick and Easy Meals for the Busy Hunter

As many of you know,  I am ALWAYS on the go between working full time as a Medical Technologist and being an outdoors obsessed woman.  Although I do not always have a large amount of free time, cooking a home cooked meal using the game and fish that I have harvested/caught is always preferred over a fast food burger or boring salad.  So here are a few of my favorite “quick” meals that I throw together when in a time crunch.

Crock Pot Wild Game Spaghetti:

Deer Spaghetti What you will need:

2 Large onions, 2 bell peppers, and garlic (chopped)

Wild game meat of choice (my personal favorite is to use green onion seasoned ground deer and deer stew meat together to have varying textures)

Can each of tomato sauce and tomato paste

2 Cans of stewed tomatoes

Mushrooms (canned or fresh)

Seasonings: Italian herb blend, garlic powder, “Tony’s” Season All, Salt and Pepper

Large Slow Cooker and a Large Skillet

 Before bed, brown your wild game thoroughly and saute the vegetables until tender. Throw this along with the cans of  stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, paste,  mushrooms, and two cups of water into the slow cooker and stir well.  Season to taste using the above seasonings (for added spice I throw in cayenne also).  Set the slow cooker to low and get some rest it will be there waiting for you after the morning hunt!

**CAUTION: IT WILL BE HARD TO SLEEP WITH YOUR HOUSE SMELLING SO AMAZING**

 

Grilled Fish with Creamy Crab and Mushroom Sauce

RedfishBluegill
Fish and Veggie NoodlesWhat you will need:

Fish of choice ( my favorites: redfish “on the half shell” or scaled whole bluegill)

Can of  low fat cream of mushroom soup

Lump crab meat

Onion (chopped) , Garlic (minced), and Mushrooms (now is a good time to use the morels you’ve been collecting)

Butter and Lite Italian Dressing (I prefer using the Olive Garden Light dressing)

Seasonings: Garlic powder, Louisiana hot sauce, “Tonys” Season All, Cayenne, Lemon juice

The fish: Marinate the fish with the minced garlic, hot sauce, Tony’s Season All, Garlic powder, lemon juice, and a little Italian dressing.  Make a basting sauce of softened butter, Italian dressing, hot sauce, garlic, lemon juice, and Tony’s/Season All. Grill until fish is thoroughly cooked basting regularly throughout the cooking process.

The Sauce:  Saute onions and garlic until tender, then add cream of mushroom and a half a can of water. Toss in crab meat, mushrooms, and desired seasonings then simmer on low while you grill your fish.

I like to serve the fish and sauce along with fresh vegetables from the garden such as squash and zucchini which are delicious grilled on the pit or cut into “noodles”.

Back Strap Salad

Back Strap SaladWhat you will need:

Whole Deer Back Strap (or for the brave… same recipe can be used on deer heart)

Baby Spinach or Spring Mix Salad

Red onion and garlic

Feta cheese and Parmesan cheese

Beer or wine (or for the non alcoholic version… Italian dressing)

Seasonings: (I think you get the hint by now that I put Tony’s, hot sauce, and garlic in everything)

Marinate the back strap with garlic and seasonings along with beer/wine/Italian dressing.  Sear the back strap in a skillet until cooked medium/ medium rare.  Set strap aside and DO NOT CUT until the meat has rested 5-10 minutes to allow for the juices to soak back into the meat. In the same pan, add a handful of chopped onions and some garlic and cook down until tender then add any remaining marinade and more of the beer/wine/dressing and reduce by half.  Mix together your salad, cheese, and raw red onions. Top with the sliced back strap and the reduced pan mixture.

 

Sarah Fromenthal – ProStaff EvoOutdoors

Hog Wild: A Porky Predicament

Wild Boar

 

After seeing many posts on social media such as ” You are so lucky to have so may hogs” and hearing of people hunting hogs that were “brought into the area”, I was completely blown away! LUCKY?! TRANSPORTING HOGS?! YOU’RE KIDDING ME RIGHT?!? So I figured a little education on hogs was in order.

Most Wild hogs originated from escaped free range domestic pigs that turned feral over time or European boars imported in for the hunt. They can weigh on average 150 up to 400 lbs and will live about 4-8 yearsWith a wide variety of habitats from marsh to timber land, they can thrive just about anywhere with access to water, cover, and food supply, but become very nomadic when food supply or human pressure changes.  Originating in the southern and western parts of the US, they have spread into new territories because of both legal and illegal introductions into new territory as game animals. (NEVER TRANSPORT LIVE HOGS!!!) Also a very rapid reproduction also leads to invasion of new regions to support growing population.  A sow can reach reproductive maturity after only 6 months, can have up to 10 piglets after a 115 day gestational period.

 SO THEORETICALLY :

365  days a year÷115 day gestational period ≈ 3 litters a year

3 litters per year × 5.5 years (avg life span of 6 years minus maturation time)

≈  16.5 litters over a lifetime

16.5 litters over their lifetime × average of 8 piglets per litter ≈ 132 piglets 

All from a single sow!

Mature boars usually live a solitary life and the sows and their piglets will stay in groups called “sounders”. Even alone and in small sounders, their extremely destructive rooting and wallowing can demolish more than a football field size area in a matter hour a few hours. All those piggies cause major havoc on the agricultural and forestry industries causing over 1.5 BILLION dollars in damages annually (not including the damage to wildlife, person property damages, and destroying the sensitive wetlands we fight to conserve).  . 

They can totally push out other wildlife populations from a desirable habitat because of their aggressive nature and ability to eliminate food sources. The best part? They have no natural predator except for humans … and themselves. That’s right hogs are omnivores! So besides eating up crops, acorns, saplings, and just about anything else they come across,  they also will eat other young and/or wounded hogs, turkey poults, fawns, turtles, fish, snakes, and other assorted small mammals and reptiles. They have even been known scavenge for diseased, wounded, or dead animals and have also known to attack and eat adult livestock. They will actually consume the entire carcass and not leave behind a shred of evidence.

Not only do hogs destroy property and consume livestock, they are a significant source of disease (usually without showing any physical sign). These diseases can be passed onto wildlife, livestock, humans and pets.

Cleaning the Hog

ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES!
Just because a hog appears healthy, doesn’t mean it isn’t infected.

Brucelosis: A bacterial infection that is transmitted to animals and humans through infected tissues or fluids (specifically reproductive organs, tissues, and fluids).  Symptoms: severe flu-like symptoms along with possibly crippling arthritis and/or meningitis.

Trichinosis: Microscopic intestinal round worm found in pork. To prevent infection be sure to cook meat thoroughly by allowing meats to reach an internal temperature of >170°F or by freezing at the meat 10°F for at least 10 days.

 Leptosporosis: bacterial infection transferable to humans via infected tissue/fluid causing flu like or hepatitis like symptoms

Pseudorabis Virus (PRV): Not a type of rabies; Viral infection transferable to animals only which can be spread to livestock and pets through contact with infected tissue or contaminated clothing, footwear, equipment, etc. PRV attacks the central nervous system, common cause of death in mature hogs. 

MORAL OF THAT STORY IS: ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES, WASH HANDS AND EQUIPMENT WITH SOAP AND HOT WATER, AND COOK MEAT THOROUGHLY!

While their keen sense of smell, wariness of humans, and aggressive nature make them an ideal challenging big game animal to hunt, they are not to be hunted as you would a trophy whitetail or elk.  With all the negative aspects of the hogs presence, there is only one thing to do: reduce their numbers humanely and by any means possible (snaring, trapping, shooting, dog hunting, etc)! BIG OR SMALL–KILL THEM ALL!

Many states (Louisiana included) have made hog hunting a year round season and even have special designated times of the year where they can be hunted at night in effort to control the population.  Even with constant efforts to reduce numbers, it is nearly impossible to totally eradicate them (see previous astounding number of piglets per sow).

Erik's First Hog

 

 

photo 2

 

 

My Largest Bow Hog

 

 

So besides all of the negatives, there is one positive aspect of them: THEY ARE DELICIOUS! Besides the occasional extremely musky boar, wild pork tastes very similar to and can be prepared much in the same way as the store bought variety and can be just as tender.  A great way to eliminate any “wild” taste the pork (or any big game) may have is to “bleed” the meat in an ice chest for up to a week, adding ice as needed and draining the water.   Just be sure to take the proper precautions when cleaning and cooking to keep yourself safe from the previously mentioned bacteria/parasites.

Feta, Red Onion, and Spinach Stuffed Pork

Stuffed Pork:
-Marinade Pork loin/Roast with olive oil and seasonings
– Butterfly pork and top with fillings of choice (I used feta, spinach, and red onions)
-Roll the pork back on itself and secure with twine or toothpicks
-Sear in a hot skillet then roast in the oven until pork is cooked thoroughly.
-Enjoy