Back in May I had several posts on dried beans. Here is a hummus recipe that is made with chick-peas. If you have someone who says they don’t like hummus, tell them that this isn’t hummus, it’s pureed chick-peas. Hummus is usually served with Arab or pita bread, but use it with whole wheat bread or as a vegetable dip.

2 c cooked chick-peas
1 clove garlic
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
cold water
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Using a food processor, blender or food mill, puree the chick-peas. Mix in the lemon juice and olive oil. If needed, add a little cold water to make a soft mixture. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and chill at least an hour before serving.

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Crock Pot Pheasant

Although this is a recipe for crockpot pheasant, it works well for other wild game birds as well.

Cut up 1 or 2 pheasants into chunks. Coat with flour and fry in olive oil to brown and then place in crock pot. Put 1 cup chopped onion and 1 clove of garlic into the reserved olive oil and sauté. Then add:

1-1/2 c chicken broth
1 c white wine
1 c mushrooms
1 small can chopped black olives
2 Tbsp butter

Simmer 5 minutes. Add to meat in crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours.

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What Makes Meat Tough?

I’m sure you have had a steak or other cut of meat that has just melted in your mouth. Likewise, you probably have had a like cut of meat that chewed like old shoe leather.You may not have asked out loud why the meat was so tender or so tough but somewhere in the back of your mind your inner voice was wondering what was going on. Let me shed a little light on this subject.

If you have processed a domestic animal, a deer or other large game, or if you’ve closely examined a cut of meat you will recognize what I’m writing about. The major muscle(s) tissue are surrounded by a mucous membrane (connective tissue or silver skin) which holds these various parts together. This makes it possible for you to separate the various muscles and keep them looking somewhat professionally ‘butchered’. These connective tissues are tied together by white strands (tendons) that connects the muscles to the bones. The more connective tissue and tendons the meat has, the tougher it is going to be. Another way to look at it is, the less connective tissue and tendons, the more tender the meat will be.

If the meat contains a lot of connective tissue, cook it for a long time to get the tissue to become gelatin. This will make the potentially tough meat soft and very tender. I can still remember eating a pot roast that Grandma had in the oven for hours. The seam fat and connective tissue melted in your mouth. The ole taste buds didn’t know whether to tell you to spit it out when you first encountered the softness or to savor the taste. Braised beef will give you the same experience.

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Mid-Atlantic States Succotash

Seeing all of the vendors who have lima beans at the Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market reminded me of this Mid-Atlantic States Succotash recipe.

1 c dried lima beans
1 Tbsp finely minced salt pork
Salt and pepper to taste
2 c cooked corn
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter

After washing the lima beans, cover with cold water and let stand overnight. Simmer in the water in which they were soaked until they are tender but not broken. Drain. (Fresh or canned lima beans could be substituted for the dried beans.) Add the corn, salt pork, sugar and butter. (Canned corn could be used in place of the cooked corn.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. You can add cream or water if the succotash is not moist enough.

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Nutrient Terms

You have probably seen fellow consumers pushing their shopping cart (down here, it’s called a ‘buggy’) up and down the isles trying to pick out the healthiest food choices. You can read all the food labels you want and every other form of ‘help’ provided and still may have to stand there scratching your head, trying to figure out which product to purchase. Let me add my 2 cents worth to the dilemma by providing these descriptive terms for you to remember.

  • ¬†Free – a serving contains very little or no amount: 5 calories, 5 mg of sodium, 0.5 g of fat, 0.5 g of saturated fat, 2 mg of cholesterol, or 0.5 g of sugar.
  • Low – a serving contains no more than 40 calories; 140 mg of sodium; 3 g of fat; 1 g of saturated fat and 15 % of calories from saturated fat; or 20 mg of cholesterol; not defined for sugar; for “very low sodium”, no more than 35 mg of sodium.
  • High – a serving contains 20% or more of the Daily Value (DV) for a particular nutrient.
  • Good Source – a serving contains 10-19% of the DV for the nutrient.
  • Less – a food contains 25% less of a nutrient or 25% fewer calories than a referenced food.
  • Light – has three descriptions: 1) an altered product contains one-third fewer calories or 50% of the fat in a referenced food;(if 50% or more of the calories come from fat, the reduction must be 50% of the fat) or 2) the sodium content of a low-calorie, low-fat food has been reduced by 50% (the claim “light in sodium” may be used or 3) the term describes such properties as texture and color, as long as the label explains the intent (e.g. “light brown sugar,” “light and fluffy”).
  • Healthy – a food is low in fat and saturated fat, and a serving contains no more than 480 mg of sodium and no more than 60 mg of cholesterol.

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German Meat Roll

Even if you don’t have a German heritage, I think you will enjoy this meat roll recipe.

1 lb ground venison or beef
1/2 lb pork sausage
2 eggs, beaten
1 c crushed croutons
4 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp Thousand Island dressing
2 Tbsp pickle relish
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp mustard
1 c sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained
1 (2 oz) package smoked ham slices
1 c shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the sauerkraut, ham and cheese. mix well and pat out on a 12 x 12 inch square of aluminum foil. Spread sauerkraut over this meat mixture; top with the ham slices and then the Swiss cheese. Roll up jelly roll style, pressing ends to seal and place seam side down on a roasting rack. Sprinkle with meat tenderizer and bake 35 to 45 minutes.

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Barbecue For Vension Ribs or Raccoon

With hunting seasons having started here in Virginia and probably many other states, hunters will be looking for new recipes to try. Here is a barbecue recipe that works well for both vension ribs and raccoon.

1 large bottle of catsup
1 c water
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Heinz 57 sauce
1/4 c vinegar
salt and pepper
2 or 3 drops tabasco sauce

Brown the meat. Mix all of the ingredients together and pour over the browned meat. Bake at 350 degrees until tender. Slice onions to serve with the meat, if desired.

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