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Appetizers/ Entree/ Game/ HotApp

Jalapeno Quail Legs

Tiny little quail legs made fantastic appetizer.

Sometime last year I was visiting my daughter, Alexis, in Austin and one day her mother-in-law, Kittie took us to Jack Allen’s Kitchen for lunch. We ordered some quail legs for an appetizer and they were so delicious I knew I had to try and recreate the recipe. (Thanks for lunch Kittie.)

At Christmas we rented a house on Lake Travis and it was a nice big house where we enjoyed five nights of being together, playing our favorite game, Catan, and of course cooking. The kitchen wasn’t as well stocked with equipment as I would have liked but we made do with what we had. My son, Paul, and I are pretty hard to please when it comes to the way a kitchen is equipped; but we managed to do some Escargot and these quail legs for appetizers while there.

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Appetizers/ Entree/ Game/ HotApp

Duck Confit

So you say, “what is duck confit” and what are you going to do with it.

I tried to anticipate what we might be eating and tried a few French recipes. I’m sure I will be taking a lot of food pictures and I will post some of our favorite places and meals when we return.

In just a few more hours and we will be boarding our plane for France. A week in Paris and a week in Provence I’m sure the trip is going to be wonderful with breathtaking scenery, new experiences and lots of wonderful food. I am sure that we will be seeing duck confit on all the menus; so I decided to make it before our trip then I can compare my version to theirs.

I tried to anticipate what we might be eating while there and tried a few French recipes before going. I’m sure I will be taking a lot of food pictures while there an

Duck confit is a French dish made with the leg/thigh of the duck and it is prepared in a century-old process that consists of salt curing the duck legs and then poaching slowly submerged in its own fat for hours.

The duck legs are rubbed with garlic, herbs (thyme) and salt (I love using thyme because my herb garden is full of it), then refrigerated 36-48 hours. After rinsing off the salt and herbs the meat is slowly poached for 6-8 hours and the meat and fat are removed from the bone. After the meat has cooled it can be put into a container and submerged in the fat.  A sealed jar of duck confit can be refrigerated for up to six months or longer. You need to top the meat in the jar with at least 1″ of fat.

One weekend when we were in Austin visiting our kids, my son was chopping up some duck legs that he had confitted (if that is a word). Anyway, my grandson, Milo, who was only two at the time stood on his chair, watching his dad cook and ate a whole pile of chopped duck legs.

My duck legs were not easily found; I looked all over Houston for duck legs and finally found them at Central market (by phone) but at $6.99 lb. So, what I love most about the internet is that after searching just a little while, no driving, traffic, or gas involved, I found the duck legs at Maple Leaf Farms at $2.99 for 12 oz. leg/thigh. So I ordered six. Why not order more than I needed since I had to pay shipping anyway and on top of that I found a promo code for $5.00 off. So I ordered 6 legs for $25 and that included shipping. I search for promo codes on EVERYTHING I order off the internet. Usually one can be found for a percentage off, free shipping or at least $5.00 off. In this case I got $5.00 off so, what a deal; now I don’t have to drive into Houston. So if you need a promo code, just Google promo code for…. (whatever) and you may have to look through a couple of sites before you find one that works.

I did find whole duck at this Asian market in Houston ,BUT, the frozen and fresh ducks had their heads and feet still on and I just couldn’t bring myself to buying them; they kind of gave me the heebe geebies to look at them. I know I have eaten tripe, lamb fries, tongue and different organ meats that most people wouldn’t think of eating but there was just something about seeing the head and legs/feet still on the duck all curled up in the package made me shiver just to think of it.

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Entree/ Game

Fig Basted Cornish Hens

Oh, what good things come from cleaning my refrigerator.

So today I decided that it was time to clean my refrigerator. I don’t know about you, but I tend to find food hiding away under or behind things that I don’t even remember buying. I found a couple of swiveled up lemons, a really mushy tomato, some bottles of stuff that should have been thrown away months ago except for the fact that they calling to me every day “use me”…. and  I kept telling myself one day I was going to use them. Well, that day never came; so today I filled my trash can right before a hungry garbage truck pulled up to my curb.

But, tucked away in all this refrigerated garbage, I found a nice jar of fig preserves, one perfect lemon, some soy sauce and I knew I could come up with something to make with those ingredients and I also found two Cornish hens in my freezer — so dinner in the making.

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Entree/ Game

Game Hens with Tangerine Sauce

I love these little birds, they are so cute sitting on a plate.

Lovely! Is that a word that can be related to food?  I don’t know but these were beautiful.

Cool weather has come to Texas and it is making me want to cook, and what could be better than the aroma some type of poultry roasting in the oven filling the house.

What is it about those cute little cornish game hens that appeal to me? I have no idea but they look so darn cute on your plate and, hey, you get the whole thing all to yourself. Considering these little birds are normally $2.50-$3.00 each, I think this makes an economical meal and a ★★★★ recipe. Although, after eating one I feel like I have plowed the back 40. They are a lot of work to eat for so little meat. The little bitty legs and wings with an ounce of meat! This sauce and rub would be just as good on chicken breast. I wouldn’t use boneless breast and I would try to find breast with the wing attached. They make for a much prettier presentation than a boneless skinless breast. And besides, boneless chicken breast have no taste what so ever.

A cornish game hen is not a game bird but actually a type of domestic chicken. It can be either male or female and even though they command a higher price, they have a short growing span of 28-30 days unlike a chicken which takes about 45 days from hatch to your plate. I have never seen them fresh so look for them in your freezer section.

I’ve had this recipe laying around in my files for awhile and decided to start digging out some of those recipes and doing more cooking indoors since my husband cooked so much through the summer with his new Kamodo Joe smoker. I guess it is my turn to cook. There’s not a thing I would change in this recipe; it was very good and there was enough sauce for 4 cornish hens.

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Entree/ Food Stories/ Game

The Tortoise and The Hare

Slow but steady did not win their race this day!

We all have heard the story about the tortoise and the hare and how the turtle was slow but steady and won the race. Neither one was very lucky the day my dad caught this turtle and rabbit.

While visiting my sister a couple of weeks ago, she found a couple of bags of turtle in the freezer that she had gotten from our dad’s last year. So, we decided to have fried turtle.  If you didn’t know it already, turtle has 7 kinds of meat. These are the seven types that I came up with from researching turtle meat — turkey, fish, poultry, veal, pork, duck, mutton. After thawing the turtle she found that my dad had frozen a rabbit in with the turtle. Maybe that was my dad’s way of giving us one last laugh when we thought about him catching turtles on his fishing lines he put out everyday.

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