Thursday, November 10, 2016

Gifts from the Grandmothers

Purchase in Print or eBook from Amazon
As the bright sunny days of summer fade into the past of another year we find ourselves moving towards fare more suited to cooler days and colder nights.  In Canada preparations begin in earnest for the first snowfall that stays, the lakes and ponds that freeze over, the ski hills that open, and of course for those of us feeding the cold weather enthusiasts, the crock pots come out of the cupboards and take their rightful place front and center on our kitchen cabinets.

Gifts from the Grandmothers is a collaboration between my husband John and my late mother Lillian, together they gathered traditional recipes, labored over old and new ingredients and updated many of them to suit more modern ingredients and cooking methods.

With their permission I'll be sharing some of these throughout the winter.  If you'd like to purchase the book and have all the recipes handy on your Kindle, you'll find it on Amazon


Roast Loin of Venison with Cranberries

2 thick slices of lemon
2 thick slices of orange
2 slices of peeled fresh ginger
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 small bay leaf
2 cups fresh cranberries
4 lb. boneless loin of venison,
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp salt
1-1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 tsp. finely chopped juniper berries
2 cups dry red wine, 2 cups beef or venison stock
2 T. cold butter, cut into pieces
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish


In a medium saucepan, combine the lemon, orange, ginger, sugar and bay leaf with 1 cup of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce to moderate boil, uncovered, until syrupy, 10 to 15 min. Stir in the cranberries, remove from heat and cool. Transfer mixture to glass container, refrigerate for 1 to 2 days, stirring once or twice during that time. Preheat oven to 400F. Rub venison with the olive oil, 3/4 tsp. of the salt, 1 tsp. pepper and 1/2 tsp. chopped juniper berries, press seasonings into the meat. Set on rack in roasting pan baste frequently with pan juices, cook to medium-rare, 25 to 30 minutes. Cover venison loosely with foil and set aside for 10 to 15 min. Remove bay leaf, lemon, orange and ginger from cranberries. In food processor puree half cranberries and half liquid. In saucepan, boil wine over high until reduced to 1/2 cup. Add stock and bring to boil. Add cranberry puree, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain the remaining whole cranberries and add them to the sauce with the remaining 1/4 tsp. each of salt, pepper and chopped juniper berries. Swirl in the cold butter. Slice the venison thinly (stir any juices into the sauce) and serve with sauce.


Apple Bread

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 cups pared and sliced apples
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. melted butter


Combine flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, salt and yeast in mixing bowl. Heat milk and butter over low heat, and add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add egg and 1/4 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead until dough is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Place in greased bowl, turning dough over to grease on all sides. Let rise until double in bulk (about 1 hour). Punch down and cover. Let rest 10 minutes. Pat out dough to fill bottom of greased 9 inch square pan. Arrange apples on top of dough. Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples. Drizzle melted butter over the top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled (about 30 minutes). Bake 40 minutes in 350 oven.

Elk and Barley Soup

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. chopped elk meat (may substitute bison or beef), cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2/3 cup chopped onion
6 cups beef broth
2 cups diced carrots
1/2 cup barley
1 tsp. Dried thyme
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 pkg. chopped kale or 1 lb. Fresh (steamed and chopped)
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

Heat oil in skillet. Add beef and onion, cook stirring occasionally, until meat is well browned. Add broth, carrots, barley, thyme and salt. Add all ingredients except Kale and Mushrooms to Crockpot and cook several hours on low setting.  Half an hour before serving add the Kale and mushrooms, move the setting to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Alternatively, combine ingredients in stew pot on stove, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour. Add kale and mushrooms and return to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer until vegetables are tender.

Easy Indian Fry Bread

2 cups flour
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 cup dried milk
1 tsp. Sugar (optional)
1 cup warm water (or warm milk)

Mix ingredients and knead lightly, then pat out in 8” x 10” circles on floured board to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into pie-shaped wedges. Cut small slit in the center of each. Fry in hot fat until nicely browned. (Don’t over-knead dough or bread will be tough.) Garnish with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

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