Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap)

 I love my life but some days I just need a vacation from it - I'm sure we ALL feel that way at one time or another.  The weekends are my little vacation times, usually, but it really didn't happen that way this past weekend.  We were way too busy to rest up.  All that being said, I had to make this past Sunday into a little bit of a paradise for my family and me or someone wouldn't have made it to Monday alive (mainly me!).  So between running my daughter to a practice she had and then taking her shopping for her birthday, I didn't have too much time to relax.  We finally were home to stay around 4:00 that afternoon.  I had prepped the backstrap between the two events (I was able to run home for a bit) and then the grilling began.  I must say, this is probably my husband's favorite way that I cook backstrap.  He didn't mind the wait at all!

Bacon Wrapped Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap)

Venison Tenderloin (backstrap) about 2 pounds
1/2 onion, sliced
2 jalapenos, sliced
4 to 6 slices thick bacon
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp mustard powder
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
toothpicks or kitchen string

With a really sharp knife, split the meat about half-way down through the length of the tenderloin.

Place the jalapeno and onion slices in the slit.

Using either toothpicks or kitchen string, seal up the meat around the slices so they won't fall out.

Wrap the bacon around the outside of the meat, securing with toothpicks or kitchen string.

Gather your spices together and mix them well.

Rub the spices on the outside of the bacon.

At this point, if you can't cook it right then, wrap the tenderloin in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.  (I did this for about 3 hours.)

You can determine how you are going to cook this, oven or grill.  We prefer the grill.  I place the meat on a very hot grill so it will sear the bacon.  Watch this step closely because you don't want it to burn.  After the bacon has gotten a little color on it, I move the meat over to the cooler side of the grill and continue cooking.  Depending on the thickness of the meat, it can take about an hour.  

After removing the meat from the grill, tent it with some foil for about 15 minutes before slicing.  This will help keep the juices in the meat.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Panko Crusted Orange Roughy and Fried Rice

Well, I don't know about y'all but my family LOVES the Schwan man!  Every other Friday he comes to our house and occasionally has new and exciting things on his truck - along with an insanely amount of ice cream :)  Oh, and I forgot to mention, he's pretty funny too!  Anyway, this past Friday he stopped by and had some orange roughy.  I've never cooked it before but I'm always willing to try a new fish (at this point I guess you figured out that this wasn't wild game) because it's good for us and we like it! Luckily we had it too because I didn't take anything out for supper and this was easy to defrost in a sink of cold water in about 30 minutes.  I did it somewhat Asian style because we all like that - oh wait, let me rephrase that, my husband and I like it, our youngest won't eat anything with bread crumbs on it.  Why an 8 year old won't touch bread crumbs is beyond me because she'll eat grilled or baked salmon.  She's just crazy!!  Anyway, we liked it a lot and definitely will have it again!

Panko Crusted Orange Roughy

2 orange roughy filets (defrosted)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp Szechuan seasoning
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the bread crumbs, garlic, ginger, and Szechuan seasoning together.

In a bowl, mix the soy sauce and olive oil together.  Dip the fish in this mixture.

Roll the moist fish in the crumbs.  You might have to pat the crumbs on the fish to help coat it.  Put the filets in an oven proof container (I do love to use baking stones - NOTHING sticks to them).

Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes.  Fish is done when it flakes easily at it's thickest point.

This was fantastic!

Now on to the fried rice.  I've been making fried rice (I'm sure it's an Americanized version) since I was a little kid of probably 10.  My mom taught me how to make it and I, in turn, taught my oldest daughter.  It's one of those things we make for a nice side dish or add leftover meat to it and make it a main course.  Either way, it's pretty easy and very tasty.

Fried Rice

2 cups cooked rice (works better if it's cold but you can do it with hot rice)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small carrot, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
3 or so sliced mushroom 
1/4 tsp ginger powder
cooking spray
1 tbsp vegetable oil

* Please note, you don't have to use the exact veggies I use.  Some people like peas, I don't so I wouldn't use those.  We love mushrooms so I always use them! Also, if you're making this for a main course, double the recipe if there is more than one person eating.  It's really good leftover for lunch the next day. *

Preheat a large skillet (preferably non-stick) on the stove over medium heat.  Have your veggies cut up before you get started.  It's the only way to be successful at this!

When warm, spray the pan with cooking spray and put the oil in the pan.  Kinda swirl it around a little so it coats the bottom of the pan.  Put the onion and carrots in.  Stir fry it for about a minute then add the garlic.

After about 30 seconds, add the mushrooms and stir fry again for about a minute.

Next, add the rice into the pan.  You have to continually stir so it doesn't stick.  If it does, it's not the end of the world.  It will just stink having to clean that pan out after you eat supper!

Cook for about 5 minutes, maybe more if you're using cold rice.  The final step is to put in some soy sauce.  I can't say how much because this sure is a personal choice.  I give it a few (well, maybe 4 or 5) good shakes and put the bottle out for anyone that wants more.

Ta-da!  The final product!

** One final note, I don't use a lot of salt when I'm cooking with soy sauce.  It's so salty anyway.  I just let everyone else put on what they want.  **

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sweet and Sour Venison Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Venison Meatballs

I was going through my old recipes and found this.  I made this up a few years ago when I had a little extra time in the summer.  We all love Chinese food in this house, especially my youngest.  She'll get mad at me for saying this (she's fixing to be the ripe old age of 9 on Friday), but she used to call it "hiney foo".  The name has stuck.  It's just too cute not to use!  My oldest daughter also had her moment in the sun, too.  One night while I was making Chinese food, she asked me what we were having for supper.  I told her and she said, "great, I want to eat pork chops!".  I had to say again and again, "no, we're eating Chinese food!".  She was so frustrated telling me she wanted pork chops VERY ADAMANTLY!! Finally, a light bulb (somewhat dim, but it did pop up) came on and I realized she wanted CHOP STICKS :) 

1 pound ground venison
 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup minced onion
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons corn starch
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 can pineapple tidbits
juice from can of pineapple tidbits and water to equal 1 1/2 cups

Mix the first seven ingredients together.  Form small meatballs.  Let rest in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes.  Brown in a pan with a little olive oil.  Drain well on paper towels.  Make sauce out of the next five ingredients EXCEPT for the pineapple.  Place sauce and meatballs into the pot you used before (after draining any fat that was left).  Slowly simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the amount of pineapple you want the last 5 minutes.  Serve with white or brown rice.
 Originally made with venison, this could easily be made with beef!

Sweet and Sour Venison Meatballs

Saturday, February 9, 2013

OMG Venison Tacos!!

 OMG!  These were so awesome!  I actually had a bunch of poblano peppers that I was trying to find something to do with.  I started looking around and came across a Mexican dish called Chicana.  What I was finding was different on each one so I kinda combined a bunch of them and this is what I came up with....

OMG Venison Tacos

1 pound Venison round steak cut into 1/2" cubes (don't get out the ruler, it's not THAT important!)
1/2 large onion sliced 
3 poblano peppers sliced (I didn't roast them first and peel of the skin - that's for sissies)
2 cloves garlic
2 - 3 tsp flour
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1/2 cup (or so) of beer
non-stick spray 

Heat a large skillet on medium heat - I used a non-stick and it worked great!  Sprinkle salt, pepper, and the flour on the cubed meat.  When the skillet is pretty warm, spray some non-stick spray in it (or a little olive oil) and put the meat in.  Let it sit for a while, probably about 3 - 4 minutes.  Stir and add the garlic, onion, and peppers.  Stir fry this for about a minute.  Add the canned tomatoes (don't drain), the tomato sauce, cumin, and chili powder.  *Please note, I'm real bad about measuring spices, so if you need to add more/less - DO IT!*  Stir and reduce the heat to low.  Put a lid on it and let it cook for 15 minutes.  Grab yourself a cold beverage and before you drink it, pour about 1/2 cup of it in the skillet.  Stir and cover again.  Let this cook for approximately 45 minutes, stirring every once in a while.  I did have to add beer again a couple of more times.  I wanted it moist, but not soupy.  

This is what it looked like while it was cooking.

The finished OMG moment!

This made quite a bit.  Husband sure won't mind the leftovers, though!


Why am I starting a blog you ask?  Well, for me the reasons are too numerous to list but one stands out above all others....I love to cook!  Cooking, for a lot of people, is a chore, one of those mundane tasks that we all have to do at one time or another to sustain our lives.  HA!  For me cooking is a release.  It's a time when I can get into my zen and concoct all sorts of interesting (sometimes tasty) bits of food.  It's also a time (when I feel like it) that I can spend with my youngest daughter and let her make a total wreck of my kitchen! 

Oh, I guess another real important reason...I love to eat and my hips show it!  I guess with cooking comes tasting which leads to eating which leads to more cooking.... I'm sure you see where I'm going here. 

One special thing about this blog, other than my ramblings, is that I'm the wife of a hunter - deer mostly, however we do have turkey or wild hogs occasionally. Thus the name of the blog, "You game? I'm game!"  I've had to learn to be very creative and made it my mission NOT to have chicken fried deer steak all the time!  Hey, I've only made it once this year and hoping to stay with that.  Therefore, a lot of the recipes that I've either found, or come up with, are not your run of the mill, plain Jane, wild tasting dishes.  They've definitely been approved by my bunch here at home and any others that may wonder in. 

Hope you all enjoy!