Monday, February 23, 2009

Squirrel Derby Pie

Sportsmen Clubs throughout Seneca county are sponsoring organized squirrel hunts. Though not everyone thinks of eating this bounty, the squirrels' diet of nuts and seeds make them tasty and healthy. Here is a good first time (or anytime) squirrel recipe.

Squirrel Derby Pie

2 1/2 cups boneless cooked squirrel meat, cubed (you may simply boil/simmer the meat until cooked through and the bones are easily removed)
2 cups of diced potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup peas (you can use mixed frozen veggies)
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove minced fresh garlic (or 1/2 tsp dried garlic powder)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp ground pepper
For the crust:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup butter, melted

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a 12 inch skillet, combine the first 10 ingredients (all but the crust ingredients). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then remove from heat. Spoon this mixture into a greased 8 inch square baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the milk and melted butter with a fork until the dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon this batter evenly over the squirrel filling to the edges of the pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Snows are here

With the brief thaw, the snow geese have been feasting in the fields by day and roosting on the lakes at night. To learn more about this beautiful, and abundant, waterfowl check out Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology.

Snows are a bit smaller than Canada geese, but their flavor is similar. Here is a healthy recipe to try:

Marmalade Glazed Snow Goose Breast
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 boneless, whole goose breast
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1/2 cup apple cider
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted (or boil 1 cup of orange juice until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup)
1 to 2 tsp grated orange peel
2 Tbs orange marmalade

In a medium glass or ceramic mixing bowl, combine milk and vinegar. Add goose breast. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight, turning the goose a few times.

Drain the goose breast and discard milk mixture. In a medium glass or ceramic mixing bowl or baking dish, combine wine, cider, orange juice concentrate and peel. Add goose breast, turning to coat. Cover and chill 4 to 6 hours, turning once or few times.

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking dish with heavy duty aluminum foil, allowing foil to extend about 10 inches on each side of pan (enough to make a foil pouch over the goose). Drain goose, reserving 1/4 cup of the wine mixture. Place the goose on the foil and pour reserved wine mixture over it. Fold the foil over the goose breast and crimp to make a pouch. Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes or until meat is desired doneness. Carefully fold bake foil, so as not to get burned by the steam. Brush the marmalade over the goose breast and bake with foil open and additional 5 to 10 minutes until meat is browned and glazed. Carve the meat across the grain into thin slices and serve over rice, if desired. This would also make a nice salad, by placing goose slices on mixed greens and drizzling with a citrus salad dressing.
Serves 4.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rabbit hunting

With the weekend thaw, hunter's are able to take their Beagles out for rabbit. Even without the dogs, the weather is nice to "take a walk", or hunt, in search of a rabbit dinner. The season goes until February 28th in Seneca County, . Rabbit has a very mild flavor and can be substituted for most chicken recipes. A nice collection of recipes can be found at, though I cannot vouch for any of them in terms of flavor, technique, source or their nutritional content, many look good. Below is one of my family's favorite rabbit recipes, which is very easy and tasty.

Rabbit in Apple Cider

1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 dressed wild rabbit (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), cut in quarters
1 medium onion, cut in large chunks
1 cup diced carrots
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 apples, peeled and quartered

In dutch oven or braising pan, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Add rabbit and brown well on all sides. Remove rabbit and set aside. Add onion and carrots to the pan and cook, stirring now and then, until vegetables are tender (do not let them get too brown, adjusting heat accordingly). Stir in cider, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Heat to boiling, scraping up the bottom of the pan. Add browned rabbit pieces back to pan, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until rabbit pieces are tender 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add the apple pieces to the pan, re-cover and simmer just until apples are tender, maybe 10-15 minutes more. Discard bay leaf and serve. Makes 2-4 servings. Calories 237, fat 7 grams (if 4 servings).