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