This week I am sharing with you a couple of recipes we recently made that tasted like a gourmet meal enjoying the back straps from venison — the best part of the deer — fresh from the hunting season, and baked halibut from Alaska, thanks to our dear friend Genelle who caught it in Alaska. James and Jessica took tender chunks of venison, marinated it twice and wrapped it in thick bacon before grilling it until crispy on the outside — absolutely wonderful. We baked the halibut in a cheesy sauce that just melted in your mouth. This sauce would also be fantastic served over large shrimp.
■ The Best Venison Backstraps
Serving size: 4
● 2 lbs. venison backstrap, cut into 2-inch chunks
● 1 quart apple cider
● 1 1/2 pounds thick sliced bacon
● 24 ounces barbecue sauce, your choice
Place chunks of venison into a shallow baking dish and pour enough apple cider to cover them. Cover and refrigerate for two hours. Remove and pat dry. Discard apple cider and return venison to the dish. Pour barbecue sauce over the chunks; cover; and refrigerate for two to three hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill on high. Charcoal is best, but you can use gas.
Remove meat from the refrigerator and let stand for 30 minutes or until no longer chilled. Wrap each chunk of venison in a slice of bacon and secure with toothpicks. Brush the grill grate with olive oil when hot and place venison pieces on the grill so they are not touching. The bacon will kick up some flames, so be ready. Grill, turning occasionally, until the bacon becomes slightly burnt, 15-20 minutes. The slower, the better. Serve immediately and enjoy.
■ Mouth Watering Halibut
Serving size: 8
● 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
● 1/4 cup butter, softened
● 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
● 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
● 3 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
● 1/4 tsp. salt
● 1 dash hot pepper sauce
● 2 lbs. skinless halibut fillets
Preheat the oven broiler. Grease a baking dish. In a bowl, mix the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, lemon juice, green onions, salt and hot pepper sauce. Arrange the halibut fillets in the prepared baking dish.
Broil halibut fillets 8 minutes in the prepared oven or until easily flaked with a fork. Spread with the Parmesan cheese mixture and continue broiling 2 minutes or until topping is bubbly and lightly browned.
■ Broccoli Souffle
● 1 cup cottage cheese
● 3 eggs
● 1 1/2 cups cooked chopped broccoli (about 1 pound)
● 3 Tbsp. flour
● 1/4 cup butter or margarine melted
● 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
● Fresh ground pepper and salt
● 1 Tbsp. minced onion
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place cottage cheese in bowl; add eggs and blend well. Add broccoli and blend; sprinkle flour on top and mix well. Add butter and 1/2 cup cheese, salt, pepper and onion; mix well. Put into greased 1 quart souffle dish and sprinkle remainder of cheese on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until done.
■ GARY’S TIP: If you’ve added too much salt to a recipe, add a little sugar.
■ FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. -Mark Twain.