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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Get them Little Critters for Supper

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Roast Beaver, Baked Masala Squirrel, and Frog Leg Scampi

With my fortunate opportunities to travel and live in exciting places around the world, I have experienced the wonders of multi-cultural living on a first hand basis in over thirty countries. Consistent country is that most men and many women love to hunt. Like here in Kennett, many hunters bring their game home for someone else to prepare, for they may love the hunt but not the cooking. Important to those who love to eat, game has a wonderful and distinct taste.

These ideas will try to blend the many flavors from North to South, East to West and around the world. For those who love wild game, but finds the strong flavor sometimes overpowering, look at these ideas for full of flavors and are easy to prepare.

If you are buying game, you can almost be sure that it is farm-raised, which eliminates the concerns about age, flavor and texture. If you are a hunter, find a reputable processor to butcher your game properly.

Be sure that all possible fat is removed from the meat, as the fat causes a lot of the "gaminess" and strong flavor that can permeate the meat. If grinding game for burgers, meatloaves or chilies, be sure to substitute some beef or pork suet for the game fat.

Always wash game thoroughly, even if it has been dressed and frozen. If frozen, it is best to let it thaw in the refrigerator.

So be creative and don't be afraid to let your imaginations run wild!

Now let get after some of these wild little critters.

I. Roast Beaver

Look hard and find: 2 young beaver; 1/2 cup dry orange peel; ground black pepper; 1 onion, sliced; 6 carrots; 6 celery stalks, sliced. For 4 to 6 servings.

Preheat overnto450 degrees F. Remove tails from beavers, and strip all possible fat from the beaver meat. Season beavers with orange peel, salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a roaster. Place in oven and roast 15 to 20 minutes to sear the entire outside. Place onions slices over beavers on rack. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and roast 30 minutes per pound. No basting is necessary. Carve into serving pieces.

II. Baked Masala Squirrel, One squirrel per person.

Two squirrels cut in serving pieces; 2 tablespoons ground West IndianMasala;1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika;1 tablespoon flour; 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,1/2 cup bacon grease/oil; and one cup fine bread crumbs.

Preheat over to375 degrees F. Dry the meat. Mix dry seasonings of West Indian Masala. Combine black pepper, paprika and flour. Season meat with Masala and seasoned flour. Dip in bacon grease to completely moisten, then dredge in fine bread crumbs,. Arrange in baking dish. Bake 40 minutes on one side covered,turnandbakeanadditional30 minutes uncovered. Should be well browned and very tender. Ground masala can be made or purchased at your local specialty market.

III. Frog Leg Scampi. Five legs per serving.

10 pairs frog legs, split; milk; salt and pepper; paprika; 6 tablespoon unsalted butter; 2 tablespoon olive oil; 6 cloves garlic, minced, and chopped Italian parsley and lemon slices.

Split frog legs, so they are no longer joined as a pair. Soak legs in milk in a shadow dish, overnight, or for at least 12 hours. Dry the legs and lightly season them with salt, pepper and paprika. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter, stir in the olive oil and when hot, brown the frog legs on both sides. Add the garlic and parsley. Cover and simmer, allowing the flavors to blend and the legs to cook through. Remove legs and place on a heated serving dish. Place the butter/garlic mixture over the frog legs and top with lemon slices.

These ideas originated on my trip to Memphis, TN about ten years ago. A lady Chef Valerie Morris wanted everyone happy Hunting, or shipping, and Bon Appetit!

Have a Happy

Larry Eiker is a Kennett resident who enjoys traveling all over the world and experiencing great food, while bringing some of those ideas back home to the Bootheel to share with others.

Larry Eiker
Eiker's Burgoo of Food Ideas