Thursday, September 1, 2011

Early Goose Jerky

Many parts of the country have an early season for Canada geese.  What a great way to kick start the waterfowl season, but way too many goose hunters just don’t like the taste of goose.  All too often, goose cookers go to extraordinary lengths to make their geese taste like something other than geese. 

Removing the blood from a big old honker will make a dramatic improvement in the flavor of the cooked birds.  The best way to remove blood is with a brine.  A brine is a mildly salty solution that will pass through the meat, replacing blood with brine and adding flavor and moisture to the meat.  Hi Mountain Seasonings Game Bird or Poultry Brine Mix is a great product for brining ducks and geese, whether you plan on smoking, smoke-cooking or just slapping the meat on a smoky grill.  In a pinch, dissolve 1/2 cup of kosher salt I 1/2 gallon of hot water.  Allow mixture to cool before adding the meat to the brine.

Cook your goose in parts.  That is, cook the breast fillets with medium heat until the middle of the breast is medium-rare or about 135 degrees.  A big, thick breast fillet will take extra time to cook.  If the heat source is too hot, you’ll find that the outside will be well-done by the time the middle is medium-rare.  Well-done goose is tough and livery.  Medium-rare goose is tender and not gamey.  Of course, properly cooked goose meat has a deep, pronounced flavor.  If your goose tastes like chicken, it’s not a goose.

One of the best ways to cook your goose is to turn it into jerky.  Transforming a pile of well-trimmed early season Canada goose breasts into delicious Hunter’s Goose Jerky is much simpler than you might think.  Not only will it free up a large amount of freezer space for the upcoming season, you’ll save a bundle of money over store-bought jerky.  New to Hi Mountain’s line of goose jerky kits is the Hunter’s Blend.  While I’ve always been partial to the Wild Goose Mesquite Jerky Cure and Seasoning, I do believe that the Hunter’s Blend is my new go-to blend.

Hunter’s Goose Jerky
Follow the instructions for preparing whole muscle meat jerky that is included in the package of Hi Mountain Hunter’s Blend Jerky Cure and Seasoning or click HERE for online instructions.  Take a few minutes to read all instructions and tips carefully and don’t try and cut corners or speed up the process.  You can’t rush jerky.

1.  Remove all skin, gristle and silverskin before slicing the goose breasts thinly across the grain into strips. 

2.  If you plan on making more jerky in the future, consider purchasing a kitchen scale so that you can weigh any meat before adding seasoning and cure.  If you don’t own a scale, 2 cups of trimmed, sliced meat weighs just over 1 pound.

3.  You don’t need any special equipment to prepare jerky at home.  Smokers are great, but an oven will work just fine.  Just make sure that you crack the door open by 1/2-inch to allow the moisture to escape.  The goal is to remove the moisture from the meat.  If your oven doesn’t have a mechanism to prop the door open a tad, roll up a small ball of foil and place it between the door and the frame of the oven.

4.  Don’t make the mistake of overcooking your jerky.  After the meat has spent an hour or so in a 200 degree oven or smoker, sample a piece and see if it needs some more time, but don’t get too far away.  Overcooked jerky is brittle, bitter and might give you the misguided impression that it’s the goose, and not the jerky-maker that is to blame for the unpleasant taste.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vidalia Onion and Mesquite Venison Burger

Ground antlered game meat is very lean and can suffer miserably from overcooking. To keep it moist and tasty when cooked, add some ground fatty meat and additional ingredients. In this instance, blend in naturally sweet Vidalia onions, garlic and Western Style Mesquite Burger Seasoning for flavor. You can also make a big batch, form into patties and freeze for later.

Makes 4 big burgers

1 1/4 pounds ground venison

3/4 pound 80/20 ground beef
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large Vidalia onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
3/4 teaspoon Western Style Mesquite Burger Seasoning

4 slices cheese
4 burger buns
4 lettuce leaves
4 slices tomato

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 4 – 5 minutes. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, combine cooled onions and garlic with venison, beef, breadcrumbs and Western Style Mesquite Burger Seasoning and mix well with your hands to blend. Form into 4 large patties. Grill, pan-fry or broil patties until browned. Top with cheese and cook until melted. Add to bun with lettuce, tomato and your choice of other condiments.

~Scott Leysath, Chef

Co-Host, HuntFishCook TV

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fried Whole Panfish with Parmesan Peanut Crust and Spicy Tartar Sauce

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of floating around northern Virginia lakes in a rowboat with my dad during the steamy, hot days of mid-summer. Way back before catch-and-release was the exception, rather than the rule, if we caught it – we ate it. The fish, mostly bluegill and crappie, hung over the boat on a stringer in 90 degree water. Then, drop the stringer into the rusty metal bucket full of lake water for the ride home. Today’s anglers fully appreciate the importance of keeping their catch on ice until they can be properly processed.

Frying whole, small fish sure saves time. Scale ‘em, clean ‘em and fry ‘em. This is true finger food, meant to be eaten with your hands, not a knife and fork.

6 – 8 panfish, cleaned and dressed, heads removed

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Western Style Gourmet Fish Seasoning

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup buttermilk

peanut oil for frying

Spicy Tartar Sauce

2/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard

1/4 teaspoon Western Style Cajun Campfire

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

To prepare tartar sauce, combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs, cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, ground peanuts and Western Style Gourmet Fish Seasoning. Coat each fish with flour, then dip in buttermilk, then coat evenly with crumb mixture.

In a large skillet, heat 1 – 2 inches of oil over medium high heat. Add fish and fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with additional Western Style Gourmet Fish Seasoning.

-Scott Leysath, HuntFishCook TV

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pan Seared Fish with Avocado, Tomato and Butter Sauce

‘Warm weather makes me think of lighter dishes using fresh,
seasonal ingredients. Of course, we know that the
“vine-ripened” tomatoes we find in most grocery stores are
anything but ripe. They’re picked green to keep from squashing
during transport and they taste, well, green. Since the season
is young, you might consider planting a few tomato plants in the
sunniest location you can find. There’s nothing like a real,
homegrown tomato.
This recipe works with any semi-firm fish like halibut, mahi-mahi,
yellowtail, sturgeon, striper or even salmon.’

4 servings
4 6-ounce fish fillets, skin on or off
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Western Style Gourmet Fish Seasoning
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 6 pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 lemons, juice only
6 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 large, ripe avocado
warm, cooked pasta or rice

1. Rub fish with olive oil. Season with Western Style Gourmet Fish Seasoning. Heat a large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter, garlic and onion. Once butter is melted, add fish
and lightly brown on one side, about 3 – 4 minutes. Flip fish over and cook for 3- 4 minutes more or
until fish is just cooked and still moist. Transfer fish to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm.
2. Add wine and lemon juice and stir to loosen bits in the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce liquid to 1 – 2
tablespoons. NOTE: If the liquid is not reduced enough, the sauce will be thin and runny!
3. Remove pan from heat and whisk in remaining butter pieces until melted. Peel, seed and roughly chop
avocado and add to the pan with the quartered tomato.
4. To serve, place fish over cooked rice or pasta and top with tomato, avocado and butter sauce.

Recipe by Scott Leysath
Chef & CoHost of HuntFishCook TV

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Microwave Salmon

2 or 3 small fish filets
Lemon juice
Hi Mountain Alaska Salmon Seasonings
Other seasonings to taste
A sprinkling of breading or cracker crumbs (optional)

Place fish side by side in microwaveable dish (flat with shallow sides) sprinkle with lemon juice, followed by seasonings and topped by crumbs, if you want them. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, spoon juice over fish, and microwave on high for one more minute or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Do not overcook. (Fish is cooked when flesh is no longer translucent and flakes easily). Enjoy!

From Patricia in Salcha, Alaska

Thursday, March 31, 2011


* 2 lbs. of one or more of the following (chicken breast, pork, beef, deer, elk, antelope) cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
* 1 tsp. Western style Steak
* 1 tsp. Western style Trail Dust
* 1 tsp. Western style Cajun Cowboy or Cajun Campfire
* 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
* 2 tbsp. soy sauce
* 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
* 1 large red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
* 2 large green peppers, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
* 10-15 cherry tomatoes
* 10-15 mushrooms
* 1 can pineapple chunks

Mix all of the 3 Western style seasonings together in a small bowl. In a large bowl add cubed meat, veggies, pineapple. Pour Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce over the top and add ? c. of the reserved pineapple juice. Sprinkle with Hi Mountain Seasonings, mix well together. Alternate the meat, veggies, and pineapple on skewers. Place in grill basket and grill to your desire. Serve with a side salad using Hi Mountain Bleu Cheese Dressing and white rice sprinkled with Western style Gourmet Fish Seasoning.


* 2 skin on baking potatoes, about 2 pounds each
* 1 t. Western style Seasoning (Steak, Deer, or Elk)
* 1/2 c. olive oil
* 2 t. Dijon mustard
* 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Pierce potatoes all over with fork. Microwave for 6 minutes on high until almost tender. Cool slightly. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; cut each half lengthwise to yield 4 spears from each potato. Blend remaining ingredients in small bowl. Pour over potatoes in baking dish or zip-top plastic bag. Let stand for at least 1 hour, turning occasionally. Place on grill over the edge of hot coals; cover grill to prevent flare-ups. Grill until brown and crispy, turning occasionally and dipping in left over marinade, 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Open-faced Egg Sandwich

6 soft boiled eggs ( you’ll want your egg yolks really soft but not runny)

1 loaf French bread

Hi Mountain Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Dip Mix


2 to 3 T sour cream

T chives

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the French bread and grill until crisp , prepare the pesto according to directions and spread on hot bread. Place a good amount of arugula on top. Cut eggs in quarters and mix the sour cream and chives. Mix easy so you don’t break up the eggs. Place egg mixture on top and season with salt and pepper.