image courtesy of http://www.flags.net

You know that moment in youth, during your coming of age when you mother or father sits you down to have “the talk”. “Johnny”, they say, “it’s time we had a conversion that might make you uncomfortable, but believe me, it is a natural and beautiful part of life. It’s time we talked about…pirates.”

Then they go on to tell you that even though pirates seem cool, these days it is not a good career choice. Way back when however, it was AWESOME, and no other hub lives on in legend from the golden age of piracy like Nassau. For a span of about 15 years at the beginning of the 18th century, there was no government and the pirates outnumbered the islanders. Proclaimed as a pirate republic, many of the most well known buccaneers used it as a home base.

Although order was restored shortly after, the outlaw spirit lingered on. During prohibition, Nassau did a huge business in smuggling illegal liquor into the southern ports of the US. It was also the eventual home of modern “outlaw” King Edward VIII who abdicated the British throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson. The couple was eventually “relocated” to the Bahamas in 1940 where Edward was made Governor, as it was still under British rule.

Awkward segue.

The first time I ever heard the word Conch was in 10th grade while reading Lord of the Flies. Prior to that I just called it a shell…like a NORMAL person. The allegory in the 1954 novel is about man’s dark inner nature coming out when left without social order. I wonder how closely the “society” the lost boys create on the island resembled that of Nassau under pirate rule. It would be interesting if the pirates were able to coexist functionally, while the innocent boys descend so quickly into savagery and chaos. Maybe someone will write a paper on that.

I was looking for an ingredient that was very indicative of this nation without just being another fish. Prior to this, I had only had conch in fritters in the Carolinas. My amazing local fish monger, Frank’s Fish and Seafood Market, always has whatever I need. When I thawed the meat it looked like a cross between a clam and a cow’s tongue

Oddly enough the word itself is from Sanskrit through Portuguese. The original “shankha” became “concha” through several phonetic changes. As a mollusk it does produce pearls and they have been highly valued for centuries. When cooked, it has a subtle salty ocean flavor, but NOT fishy. A mild flavor that grows as you continue to eat it.

This is a very easy, one pot dish that delivers big on flavor and is very affordable if you can secure the main ingredient. This is another stew/soup/sauce dish that gets its body from tomatoes. Tomatoes are a new world crop, meaning that they originated on in the Americas. So while it is not surprising to find them heavily featured in Caribbean cuisine, the amount that they are showing up in European/Eastern European is impressive. Just an example of how Europe has embraced the fruit in the centuries since Spanish conquistadors brought them home from South America.

Next we visit Bahrain on the Persian Gulf…it’s Gulf, NOT golf…trust me.

 

   


Bahamian Conch Chowder

8 servings

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
¼ tsp ground allspice
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can clam juice
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb conch meat chopped fine and bite sized chunks
1 tbsp vinegar
6 sprigs parsley, chopped
4 scallions, minced
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste

——————————————

Directions:

In a large saucepan , medium heat, saute’ the onion, celery, carrots, red or green pepper, potato, thyme, red pepper flakes, allspice, garlic, and bay leaves for 5 minutes or more in olive oil until they begin to soften.

Add the tomatoes, clam juice, and broth. Heat to boiling, then reduce to simmer.

Add conch and simmer for 35 minutes, uncovered.

Add vinegar, parsley, scallions, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

 

 

Advertisements
image courtesy of http://www.flags.net

If you looked at a list of world countries by area, you would see our previous entry Austria, and one spot above: Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan. The name alone brings back the cold sweats of spelling tests. But what do we know of this land or its peoples? “It’s one of those Russian-y countries that’s not really Russia anymore I think”… “Isn’t it by like Georgia or something?… No, I don’t know where Georgia is.” These common refrains have stood for too long! Although to be honest, those were probably quotes I myself have uttered in the past, but no longer.

It is located on the Caspian Sea, is part of the Caucuses, and has the capital of Baku. The country name itself has an interesting history dating back to the time of Alexander the Great and often translates to “land of fire”. This is a reference to the oil fires burnt in the temples of Zoroastrianism. They briefly had independence from 1918-1920 before being incorporated into the Soviet Union, however those scant two years were very important. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic which existed has the distinction of being the first secular and democratic republic in the Muslim world. The country also proclaimed its independence two months before the official dissolution of the USSR in 1991. What I’m saying is, they have always been on the forefront of cultural change in a very static region.

Their cuisine shares characteristics with many others from that area of the world. Pilafs are very popular, as is the plenty of fresh seafood. That being said, mutton and beef are also indicative of Azerbaijani fare. Since I am clearly on a lamb kick…let us venture forth!

Now, if you had asked me to name the dishes that eggplant could be used in up until recently I would have said “Eggplant Parmesan”…then paused for a while and excitedly said “Oh! Baba Ghanoush!”. I feel as though most people would say the same, but as someone who prides themselves on being generally knowledgeable and a food lover to boot, that just won’t cut it anymore.

Here is another application of eggplant, once again in the same part of the world as we have seen it featured time and time again. Instead of simply being mashed this time, the vegetable in question is fully incorporated into the main dish and really shines. I like this dish for a few reasons. It is very healthy. If you choose your cut of meat wisely there doesn’t have to be an overabundance of fat, however some will of course lend unctuousness to the broth.

The most interested reflection I have on this is that when cooked correctly the eggplant takes on the gelatinous consistency of fat. I know that sentence sounded disgusting and I apologize, but I meant it in a positive way. It allows you to have the sensation and texture of fat without the detrimental health aspects. One of the nicest parts is that this is a one pot dish and very easy to make. You simply stack your ingredients and let the heat and steam do the work. I also continue to appreciate the use of peppers more and more. I would highly recommend this dish for any time of the year as it was delicious.

Next up…the Bahamas and a Lord of the Flies favorite! PIGGGGY NO!!!!!!

 

    IMG_3107IMG_3104


Adjab-Sandal

Serves: 4

1 lb (450 g) boneless lamb or beef
2 large eggplants
1 large onions
2 large tomato
1 large green bell pepper
½ bunch of parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)

——————————————

Directions:

Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. In a large saucepan, add butter and cook the meat over medium-high heat until it is lightly brown on all sides.

Then, add approximately 1/3 cup of water and season the meat with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer over medium-low heat until the meat is almost cooked. Stir the meat occasionally to prevent it from burning.

Remove the stems of the eggplants and peel the skin lengthwise in approximately ½-inch strips.

Slice the eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes into circles (approximately ½ -inch thick).
Slice the bell pepper and onion into half circles.

Place layers of sliced onion, potatoes and bell pepper on the meat.

Then place layers of sliced eggplants and tomatoes, and top it off with chopped parsley.

Cover the saucepan with a lid and steam over a low heat until all the vegetables are tender.

At the end, add salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

image courtesy of http://www.flags.net

After a lengthy break we are back! I have a stockpile of meals to write about so let’s start with Austria.On a side note I learned over the last few years that my ancestry is 1/8 Austrian and I would truly love to visit there someday.

Probably the only Austrian that anyone can name these days is Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose assassination is credited with triggering World War I. It is actually a very interesting lesson in diplomatic agreements if you examine the chain of alliances which pulled the whole world into conflict because of Austria and Serbia. That is for historians to discuss as this is a food blog. I will leave you with the fact that although he was heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, his children would not have succeeded him. He agreed to these terms so he could marry his true love who was not of royal lineage and thus could not take part in his royal privileges, or be seen with him at royal events.

When I saw the recipe for this dish, my mouth started to water uncontrollably. Lamb + Latkes (potato pancakes) = OMG. It was a difficult procedure to assemble but I did my best and there is no doubt that the flavors came through as they should have. For most of my life I have been averse to peppers. The bitterness always turned me off, even when eating one of my favorite American Chinese dishes Pepper Steak, I would often leave the peppers aside for my mom to enjoy. Throughout this culinary experiment I am slowly learning to appreciate the subtle use of peppers especially in sauces.

These are the kinds of dishes I am really having fun with. Even though it was a very difficult and messy assembly and procedure, it used techniques and culinary applications that are alien to me. The chicken and cream mixture as a buffer between the meat and the potato struck me as so weird. But I think it is a way to add another flavor profile as well as using the fat layer to protect the crunchy crust from any sogginess from moisture within.

Making thin enough potato cakes to encapsulate the lamb seems nearly impossible to me, but I’m sure with enough practice it would be. The bright greenness of the beans offsets any grease from the entree. The red pepper sauce also cut the fat and provided a nice sweet and salty counterpoint to the light gamey character of the lamb. I would eat this anytime, anyplace…

Next we go to Azerbaijan, where you will learn about the history of the many names of eggplant…whether you want to or not.

 

 


Roast lamb in a potato fritter jacket

Serves: 4

14-20 oz Lamb fillets ( about 4 fillets)

  • 18 oz Potatoes (russet)

  • 5 oz Chicken breast

  • 2 Red peppers (pureed)

  • 11 oz Green beans

  • Tabasco sauce

  • 1 pinch Sugar

  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch

  • 3.5 oz Cream (cold)

  • 1 piece Egg

  • 1 tbsp Basil pesto

  • 1 tbsp Butter

  • Thyme (for garnishing)

 

Directions:

Peel the potatoes and either grate or cut length-wise into very fine strips. Salt well and leave to sit for about 5 minutes, then squeeze out the juice.

Add the nutmeg and cornstarch and make 8 thin patties from the mass (approx. 4.5”). Heat the vegetable oil, and place the patties into the pan, press flat and fry a golden brown.

Drain well on kitchen paper and, with a round cutter; cut pieces about 4” from the patties. Allow to cool.

For the stuffing, cut the chicken fillet into small cubes and mix with the cold cream, salt and egg. Push through a colander or sieve and spread some stuffing thinly onto 4 of the fritters.

Cut the lamb fillet into slices about ½” thick and season with the pesto, salt and pepper.

Place the fillets on the fritter and spread a thin layer of stuffing over the meat.

Spread the rest of the stuffing over the fritters and place these, stuffing side down, on the meat.

Press down and shape roundly over the top of the meat. In a teflon-lined pan, heat vegetable oil and fry the patties a golden brown on each side.

Place a rack into the roasting dish and put the meat on top. Roast for 10 minutes in a preheated, oven at 325 F. Remove and cover with foil. Allow to stand for 8 minutes.

In the meantime, simmer the juice from the peppers until it reduces to a third. Stir in 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, Tabasco sauce and sugar, making a thick sauce. Cook the beans al dente in salt water and toss in butter. Season with salt and pepper and arrange on warmed plates.

Cut the lamb in half, and arrange on the plates. Pour over sauce to serve. Garnish with thyme.

 

image courtesy of http://www.flags.net

Australia used to be England’s penal colony. Now that the one fact everyone knows about Australia is out of the way, let us proceed. They were actually discovered by the Dutch in 1606, but Captain Cook was the first to make contact with the eastern coastline in 1770, which is when the British claimed it. They became a dominion in 1901 which left England with nominal authority but really meant that they governed themselves. Following their involvement in World War I, a sense of national identity began to solidify.

A recent hot button issue (that it seems Americans feel like they have the monopoly on) is that of immigration. It has become more and more difficult to secure visas and ultimately relocate to this large island country. As it does to the past policies of the U.S., this runs counter to Australian history as well. The national anthem even contains the lyrics, “For those who’ve come across the seas, we’ve boundless plains to share, with courage let us all combine to advance Australia fair”. I imagine we would also have significant confliction if the Star-Spangled Banner contained a passage regarding opening our borders. The fact that this topic is so heatedly debated, and so many want to live there, just indicates the opportunities and high quality of life Australia has to offer.

Their cuisine has a heavy influence of fowl as well as coastal seafood. With their nearly endless grazing fields however, lamb is truly the culinary gem. Australia produces the second highest amount of lamb by any country in the world, and more than their neighbor New Zealand who is known for it. With the Ohio State Fair recently open, there was an abundance of lamb to be had so it was a logical choice. I went with a simple recipe from Meat & Livestock Australia themselves.

A nice sugary marinade allowed the lamb to caramelize deliciously. Grilling would also be a good way to cook the meat, but I did mine on the stove in a very hot pan. The sweet was offset by the sour from honey mustard, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. I was surprised when the side dish of rosemary carrots almost stole the show from the main course. The slight acidity of the carrot glaze again played nicely off of the lip-smacking lamb. Sometimes I play it loose with certain spice or herbs based on what I have, which I am not always proud of. However, this is one case where fresh rosemary was absolutely necessary, no compromises. There is nothing that could have made this dish faster to prepare or tastier to eat.

Next we do some country math: Australia – al = Austria.

IMG_3083


Caramelized Lamb with Grilled Rosemary Carrots

Serves: 4

Marinade Ingredients

4 Servings of Lamb

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or red wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Carrots Ingredients

1 bunch baby carrots, trimmed and peeled, leaving ½ inch of stalks
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Combine the marinade ingredients in bowl and brush over all sides of the lamb chops. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for flavors to infuse.

Drain excess marinade and cook lamb on medium high heat, turning frequently, about 10-12 minutes for medium or until cooked as desired. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

To prepare the carrots, place all ingredients in plastic bag and toss. Saute until carrots are cooked or wrap in foil and place on the grill, turning pouch occasionally until carrots are cooked as desired.

Armenia and Hammer

September 5, 2014

image courtesy of http://www.flags.net

Most of the time I feel pretty smart. A bit cocky but true nonetheless, and I enjoy that feeling. Other times, I feel like an idiot. And there are those rare times when I feel bad about being an idiot…this is one of those times. As Jews, and for good reason, I get the sense that we often feel like we have the monopoly on genocide angst. We spend so much time ruminating on our history that it can often make us belittle other events in the world. So it was a shock to me to learn that there was an earlier genocide in the 20th century, when the Ottoman Empire systematically killed 1 – 1.5 million Armenians in 1915.

Why? Vaguely because Armenia historically had close ties to the West due to their overwhelming Christian population dating back over a millennia. Didn’t know Armenians were mostly Christian? Me either. Ever wonder why the four quarters of Jerusalem are: Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian? Well now we know. In addition, they were thought to be too friendly with Russia whom the Turks were constantly at odds with. It didn’t hurt that the Ottoman Empire had also signed a secret alliance with Germany in 1914 which once again put them at odds with the Russians. But in all honesty, it just seems like the Arab empire wanted an excuse to cleanse one of the only large Christian populations in the area (Armenia is landlocked and surrounded on three of its sides by Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan). In any event, this lead to the Armenian Diaspora which continues to this day.

Diasporas can have strange effects on cuisine. When a people are forced to move, their food culture is one of the few things they can easily take with them. This can often strengthen the reliance on a shared culinary community to hold on to their identity. Another side effect is that the new area they are in may not have the same resources as where they left. One example would be chicken-fried steak in the Texas. This is the adaptation of German wiener schnitzel but using the available beef instead of pork or veal that would have traditionally been used. I wanted to find a dish that really represented Armenian food.

I made a three part meal as it was pretty simple and easy to assemble. The first part was the main course, a tomato based lamb dish that had a really nice sweet flavor. The starting base of green peppers and onions really brought out the meatiness of the lamb (beef would also work).

One side I did was a basic mashed eggplant. This turned out well but was a little bland on its own. When mixed with the sauce from the lamb however, it took on new life and was very delicious. To finish I made what amounted to a zucchini quiche with sharp cheddar cheese. This was very savory and I kept having to remind myself it wasn’t a spinach quiche, but zucchini with its own unique flavor. The only thing I would change is making sure I got all the seeds of the zucchini (it was freshly grown, not from the grocery which meant the seeds were larger and heartier). Overall this was a nice trio of flavors and textures, and maybe more importantly I learned something about world history I had no idea even existed.

Next stop…the old prison yard, Australia…(I promise it won’t be as depressing!)

 

IMG_3076


Mashed eggplant with meat (PATLIJAN/SEMPOOG HUNKAR BAYENDI )

Serves: 4

1 lb. cubed lamb (or beef)
2 large onions
2 tbsp. butter
8 oz. tomato sauce
½ green pepper (diced)
2 med. eggplants (firm and deep purple) – save for second part of recipe
1 tsp. salt
dash of red pepper
1 tbsp. wine
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. basil

Directions:

Brown meat in butter, add onions and green pepper, saute about three minutes. Add tomato sauce along with three-quarters cup hot water and all remaining ingredients (except wine). Cover and cook about one-half hour or until meat is tender. Add wine about fifteen minutes before done. Wash eggplants, pierce with a fork in several places, place in a shallow pan and bake in a 350F oven about 45 minutes or until soft, turning once during baking process.

When done your baking dish will have liquid in it – drain this liquid. When eggplants have cooled, peel skins. Put peeled eggplants into a large skillet and mash. Add one-half teaspoon salt, dash of red pepper and one-half cup beef stock (I use bouillon). Mix and heat mixture thoroughly.

Place the hot meat mixture in the center of a platter and arrange the eggplant mixture around it.

————————————————————-

Zucchini pie (TUTUMOV BOERAG)

1 lb. zucchini, grated (REMEMBER TO REMOVE SEEDS : D )
1 Sm. onion, grated
½ to 3/4 lb. sharp cheese, grated
5 eggs
salt, pepper to taste

After grating zucchini, squeeze until dry. Add onion, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper.

Grease 9″ pie plate. Fill pie plate with mixture and cook 30-45 minutes in 350F oven or until brown. Insert knife. If it comes out clean, it is done.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

image courtesy of http://www.flags.net

Argentina still has real legit cowboys. They are called Gauchos and they live in the Pampas or Patagonian grasslands. This is a good sign, because where there are cowboys…there are cows. Argentinians love beef, I mean who doesn’t, but they REALLY love beef. So it was a given that I should choose a dish with the starting role going to el carne.

The traditional technique would simply have been to grill or roast the meat over a flame, which frankly sounds wonderful. But that is really the only thing people know about Brazilian and Argentine food so I looked for something a little more unique. Empanadas may not seem to be at first, but each region and peoples have their own filling combinations. The name means simply “breaded” but the magic lies inside the beautifully golden shell. One such mélange from the silver state includes paprika and hard boiled egg. This was certainly a flavor combination that I’ve never encountered but worked so well.

My first time working with puff pastry was…a mixed bag. From years of watching cooking shows I knew it was not going to be easy to manipulate and it was not. Practice helped me improve and the second batch I baked came out much better. Even so, the recipe made a huge amount of filling and even if I had done the pastry part flawlessly, I can’t imagine all would have been used. That being said, it makes excellent leftover filler for tacos, burritos, or simply to mix with rice or pasta.

To go with the empanadas, I made a quick bread recipe for indigenous cheese rolls called “chipás”. These buns are distinctive because they made with tapioca flour from the cassava plant. This flour has a very fine texture and the resulting roll has almost a velvety nap to it. They are soft and chewy on the inside and took no time to make and bake.

Oh yea, it is also the closest country in the world to Antarctica. Next stop, Armenia.

IMG_3057IMG_3061

 

IMG_3064

 

 


Argentine Meat Empanadas

Serves: 4

1/2 cup shortening

2 onions, chopped

1 pound lean ground beef

3 teaspoons Hungarian paprika (sweet if possible)

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup raisins (optional)

1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped (optional)

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

salt to taste

1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

————————————————————-

Directions:

    1. In a saute; pan melt the shortening and add the chopped onions. Cook the onions until just before they begin to turn golden. Remove from the heat and stir in the sweet paprika, hot paprika, crushed red pepper flakes and salt to taste.
    2. Spread the meat on a sieve and pour boiling water on it for partial cooking. Allow meat to cool. Place meat in a dish add salt to taste, cumin and vinegar. Mix and add the meat to the onion mixture. Mix well and place on a flat to dish to cool and harden.
    3. Cut puff pastry dough into 10 round shells. Place a spoonful of the meat mixture on each round; add some of the raisins, olives and hard boiled egg. Avoid reaching the edges of the pastry with the filling because its oiliness will prevent good sealing. Slightly wet the edge of the pastry, fold in two and stick edges together. The shape should resemble that of a half-moon. You should have a 2/3 to 1/2 inch flat edge of pastry to work with. Seal by twisting edge, step by step, between thumb and index finger, making sure to add pressure before releasing the pinch and moving on to the next curl. Other sealing procedures like pinching without curling or using a fork to seal will not prevent juice leaks during baking, and empanadas must be juicy.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be sure to prick each empanada with a fork near the curl to allow steam to escape during baking. Glaze with egg for shine and bake until golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.

_________________________________________________________________________

Chipas:

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

6 ounces shredded Italian cheese blend

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 3/4 cups tapioca starch

1 cup self-rising flour (super easy to make your own, google it)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Oil a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Stir together egg, milk, cheese, and butter in a large bowl. Sprinkle in tapioca starch and flour; stir in to form a dough. Knead dough for two minutes on a lightly floured surface, then roll into golf ball-sized pieces, and place onto prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of http://www.flags.net

This week we head to the Caribbean, to the twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. Like many countries in this part of the world, their names come from the Spanish explorers that laid claim to them; in this case, their names mean “Ancient” and “Bearded”. There are actually several islands that constitute part of the nation, but the primary two are the largest and most inhabited. Though named by the Spaniards, the islands were settled by the English, first Antigua in 1632, then Barbuda in 1684. They remained members of the British Empire until 1981. Thus, like many countries, they recognize the British Monarch, but conduct their own parliamentary system with a Prime Minister.

The British influence continues in the culinary tradition of the islands. The largest animal in the Eastern Caribbean is the Antigua Barbuda Fallow Deer, which are descended from those which were brought over from England by the original colonizers of Barbuda at some point in the early 1700s. Growing up on an island myself, I always found it interesting when non-indigenous animals become a part of the landscape. On Long Island, for example, both fox and deer seem like animals that are more at home in vast wooded areas, and though L.I. has forests, I couldn’t figure out how they got there (I can’t picture a deer swimming the Long Island Sound), and that was only a few miles from the mainland. Picturing a deer on a remote Caribbean island seems almost magical. Nevertheless, the population has ebbed and flowed throughout the centuries, as is often the case with invasive species.

Finding a recipe from this country was surprisingly difficult, as the cuisine of the Caribbean is often indistinguishable from locale to locale. So when I came upon the anomaly of a venison dish in the Caribbean, I knew I had found the one.

Coincidentally, I had a pound of venison in my freezer, courtesy my wife’s grandfather, which had been waiting for the ideal usage. This was especially lucky, as in Ohio it is illegal to buy or sell deer meat. With one challenge averted, I went on the hunt for an ingredient I knew nothing about: sorrel petals. This spinach-like plant proved impossible to acquire on short notice, even after inquiring with gourmet food markets. In lieu of this, I used… you guessed it, spinach. The resultant sauce was savory, yet a little sour. I can honestly say it’s unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before.

The deer was marinated for two days, which made it tender and flavorful. The marinade included a Cajun spice blend, which the deer was then again coated with prior to cooking. I really enjoyed the flavor of the deer, as well as the texture. It’s a protein that I rarely eat, but applications like this make me realize it doesn’t have to be gamy or just a big slab of meat.

As a side dish, I prepared what I would call polenta, which is almost identical to an island dish called fungi (fun-gee, not fun-guy like mushrooms). Zucchini was also recommended as a native vegetable, so I prepared baked ribbons, which went with the venison very well. The garnish of roasted garlic was also a nice accent to the meal. Overall this dish was easy to make, extremely quick to come together, and enjoyable to eat.

Next we journey south to the Land of Silver: Argentina…

 

 

 

 


Barbuda Deer

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS FOR MARINADE:

2 lbs venison

1 tbsp Cajun spice seasoning

3 oz soy sauce

4 oz vegetable oil

SEASONING FOR TENDERLOINS:

2 tbsp Cajun spice seasoning

2 tbsp (2 oz.) butter

SORREL SAUCE:

½ lb sorrel sepals (fresh or dried) – substitute with spinach

2 cups beef/chicken stock

1 cup aged red port wine

2 shallots, fine diced

3 oz heavy cream

Dash cumin powder

Sea Salt and pepper to taste

————————————————————-

Directions:

Method for marinade:

In a glass dish season the tenderloins with Cajun seasoning and soy sauce, then rub with oil. Cover dish with cling film and refrigerate meat for up to 2 days.

Method for sauce:

In a saucepan over a medium-high heat reduce the port wine and sorrel sepals. Add the shallots and stock and reduce the sauce by half. Once thickened, reduce the heat and continue to simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Add the cream, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce for a further 5 minutes. Strain the sauce and keep warm.

Method for tenderloins:

Remove the meat from the refrigerator and from the marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel and roll to coat in Cajun spices. Heat a sauté pan with the butter over high heat. Wait for the pan to get hot. Place the meat in the pan and allow to sear for about 3 to 4 minutes each side. Spoon over the sorrel sauce. Serve with roasted garlic and grilled zucchini slices.