Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday in the Kitchen

Wow, there's a lot going on here today. I will post the VRC roundup separately.

DH took over dinner duty tonight and created a venison chili. The venison was given to us by a friend of the family. DH does not hunt and we've never cooked with venision before. I have to admit that I was a little squeamish about trying it - it's just a mental thing - nothing wrong with eating deer meat and I have enjoyed a buffalo burger in the past, but I got sqeamish enough about meat at one point to stop eating it for 9 years or so and that old feeling still comes out occasionally, especially when trying a new meat.

Although I said I should normally stay out of it when DH cooks and not interfere, but since we have never cooked with venison, I thought I should do a little research and find something to give us some ideas. I searched the Internet and came upon this recipe from Bobby Flay over at Food Network. While it looked quite tasty, I think it called for INSANE amounts of heat and spices. Three jalapenos, 2 tablespoons of cayenne, 2 tablespoons of chipotle powder, and 1 whole can of chipotle chilis. All of that for a dish that serves 6-8! I truly think that if we followed the recipe exactly, it would have been utterly inedible. We scaled back the heat quite a bit, but used the recipe as a rough guide (one cup of oil was completely unecessary too).

Overall it was quite good. Our chili came out nicely spicy - it could easily have taken a little more heat without being overly spicy, but again, with the boys eating it, it's always better to err on the side of a bit milder than overly hot. I tried to eat it with an open mind and although the venison really wasn't gamey as I expected, I still had a hard time getting enthusiastic about it and loaded up on the brown rice, salad and chili veggies, with only two pieces of deer meat. The boys dug in with enthusiasm - fortunately they do not seem to have inherited my meat phobias.

I had wanted to make muffins, granola bars and marinara sauce today, but that was a little overly ambitious if I was to get any other household chores done. Darn chores, they just get in the way of my fun. The muffins did get done, but they are still in the oven as I type this, so I'll post about them tomorrow.

Along with the cooking chatter, I'd like to present my contribution to Sweetnicks WDB #23 (if I have the count correct). For this one I'm delving into the archives for an old favorite. This is a photo of Bailey at about 6 months, engaging in one of his many goofy behaviors.

That's it for today.

Stay tuned this week as I continue to cook from the freezer and pantry. I did pretty well last week - the only thing that didn't materialize was the Vodka Sauce. That will probably have to wait until next week since I'll be using my marinara sauce as the base and it needs 6 hours of cooking.

My ideas for this week are as follows:
  • Venison Chili (one package of venison gone, 4 to go) + salad
  • Mushroom Stroganoff (utilizing the whole wheat blend egg noodles) + asparagus
  • Red Snapper in Coconut Curry Sauce (using the two smallish pieces of snapper we have in the freezer along with the can of coconut milk in the pantry) + veggie???
  • Roast Chicken + stuffing + green beans
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  1. I hear you about the venison. I grew up on it, as deer hunting was a huge way to stretch a teeny grocery budget. I used to like it, then went through my veg-head phase, and I have such a hard time gulping it down now. But there are two ways I like it. One is in a basic stroganoff, and the other is sausage. Penzeys sausage blends go a long way in masking that "deer flavor" and turns them into great breakfast sausage. If you can mask the flavor enough... :-)

  2. DH wanted mentioned putting venison in my Mushroom-Spinach Stroganoff and I said no way! I needed a veggie night after being brave enough to try the deer meat. :) I'm trying to be open-minded. I have to say - it did look very lean, which is a good thing.