Elk Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I made these enchiladas with a use-up-what-we-have mentality and they turned out pretty good. I think they tasted better the second day, actually. They would be good using chicken and cream of chicken in the sauce recipe, too.

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Elk Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 2/3 lb ground elk/venison/meat
  • 5 medium flour tortillas ( I use Mission Carb Balance)
  • 1 c. shredded cheese ( cheddar / cheddar jack)
  • season salt
  • Green onions, optional

Homemade Enchilada Sauce:

  • 3/4 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 c. tomato puree
  • 3/4 c Mild Rotel
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper
  • cilantro

Preheat oven to 350.

1. First prepare the sauce. On medium heat combine mushroom soup with tomato puree, 1/2 c Rotel, and spices in a frying pan. I did not measure the spices, so add a little at a time until you get the level of desired heat.

2. Transfer enchilada sauce to a small bowl. Spray the pan with cooking spray and cook meat until no longer pink. Season with season salt.

3. Add half the sauce into meat and stir to combine.

4. Begin assembly: Scoop meat into each tortilla and top with a big pinch of shredded cheese. Roll and place into a greased 8×8 baking dish. Repeat five times or until all enchiladas are assembled.

5. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle the remaining cheese.

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5. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Gardening Tip-  These green onions are from the garden. After harvesting them, I washed and finely chopped the onions put them into a clean, empty pop bottle that I keep in the freezer. That way I can shake out however many onions I need throughout the year.

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Parmesan Broccoli Quinoa with Wild Game Sausage

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It has been remarkably cold the past three days, with lows at night down to -18 and daytime temps not getting above the 4-10 degree range. The nice part has been that the wind has stopped blowing though, so it’s not a bad tradeoff! I am having to chop ice out of the creek every other day now for the horses.

Before our snowstorm came in last Friday, I made a shopping trip down below on Thursday to the “big city” and stocked up for the month. The big city of 10,000 residents consists of Wal-Mart, Smiths, and Safeway, as well as feed stores and the like. We were out of several non-grocery items (dog food, paper goods, toiletries, etc) which would have made my 160-mile roundtrip worthwhile anyway, so I stocked up on groceries for the next four weeks while I was there. My plan is to save a little money in the budget to buy milk and the frozen yogurt that I like in town, and buy everything else I need for the month down below.

While I am all for supporting small town businesses, I have made the decision this month to once again make monthly trips down-country for groceries and supplies. Several ongoing factors over the course of the past year have led me to this decision, and at this time I feel like is the right thing to do financially and otherwise due to the price and quality of products offered locally (I am sick of buying expensive, expired and/or damaged food!). In mentioning my decision to others, I have realized that several others in the community are doing the same. I always take a list when I go, and I stuck to it pretty much completely with the exception of purchasing quinoa. I had planned on buying wild rice, and when I got to the isle I saw several types of quinoa blends nearby and decided to give it a try since I have been reading a lot about it over the past year.

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The box describes the Roasted Red Pepper and Basil blend of quinoa and brown rice as “a unique, versatile whole grain with a slighly crunchy texture and a light nutty flavor that is used around the world.” It is also Fair Trade Certified, and I feel good about buying products that benefit the producer and agriculture as well as the consumer. Fair Trade is a global movement that aims to give farmers competitive prices, improved trade terms and incentives to invest in their communities and help protect the environment.

Tonight I got done with work and did not have to go to my other job, and found myself with time to cook. This is what I came up with: Parmesan Broccoli Quinoa with Wild Game Sausage.

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Ingredients

  • 2 c fresh broccoli
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz. (about 1/3 lb.) wild game breakfast sausage
  • Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Quinoa, 1 box prepared
  • Kraft Salad Dressing & Marinade: Roasted Red Pepper with Parmesan (optional)

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1. Cook quinoa according to package directions until water is absorbed (typically you just have to add water, olive oil is optional and I did not add it). You can cook the broccoli right in with the quinoa if your pot is large enough, otherwise steam or boil the broccoli separately.

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2. Crumble wild game breakfast sausage in frying pan and cook until no longer pink. This is venison breakfast sausage we made this year with a kit from Hi Mountain Seasonings.

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3. Combine quinoa, broccoli and sausage together in pot and stir gently to combine.

4. Transfer to 8×8 baking dish and sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.

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5. Serve immediately while hot. Top with a drizzle of Kraft Roasted Red Pepper & Parmesan Salad dressing if desired.

ON BUYING LOCAL:
Something to Digest….
According to Susan Witt, Executive Director of the E.F. Schumacher Society, “buy  local” campaigns serve another function: alerting a community about gaps in the local market. For instance, if consumers keep turning to on-line or big-box stores for a particular product—say, socks—this signals an opportunity for someone local to make and sell socks. This is the way product innovations get made, says Witt.
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1903632,00.html#ixzz2I0mFBTAL
Something to Think About…
“We as a society and as an economy need to start optimizing for a large number of small things, not just relying on a small number of large things.”
Woody Tasch, founder of the Slow Money Alliance, a new nonprofit that is raising money to support local food ventures.

How much do outside factors play into the decisions you make regarding the food you choose to buy and the food you choose to produce yourself? How important is it to shop local?

Spicy Venison Sausage Pasta

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I have been wanting to make this recipe for the past few weeks since I came across it on Pinterest, and tonight was the night. This dish is a winner and I will definately be  making it again. The original recipe uses turkey sausage, and can be found over at Kevin and Amanda’s blog. I made a couple tweaks and  followed the recipe using venison bratwurst made with my deer last year. The brats were made with a sausage kit and have hash browns and onion mixed in with the venison to add flavor. This pasta was delicious but it does pack some heat, but nothing overwhelming as long as you stick with the mild Rotel. I was skeptical about using the entire can, but am glad I did. If you don’t like some spice, this is not for you : )

Spicy Venison Sausage Pasta

  • (2) venison bratwurst
  • 1  1/3 c uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 can Rotel, mild (10 oz.)
  • 1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz)
  • 1/2 c Half and Half ( I use fat-free)
  • 1 c. Three Pepper Cheese= colby jack
  • 1 c. diced yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 T. diced Green onion
  • 1 T. olive oil

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1. Pour 1 T. olive oil in medium saucepan and saute diced onion and garlic with brats. I kept my brats whole at this point, as in the past when I have sliced them into round pieces first, they have gotten burnt and chewy.

2. Once onions/garlic are tender (3-4 minutes), remove from pan and set aside. At this point, the brats should be expanding and beginning to brown.

3. Now it is safe to slice brats into 1/4-inch round pieces and return to frying pan. Add about 1/3 c water to pan so that brats continue to cook for 7-10 more minutes without burning.

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4. Add onions/garlic back into pan, along with the can of Rotel, can of chicken broth, half and half, and pasta, salt and pepper, and allow to rise to a low boil. Your half and half will curdle slightly and then combine into the mixture–I was worried at first adding the cream here, but it turned out fine.

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5. Keep at a low boil until pasta is tender, about 8 minutes.

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6. Remove from heat, sprinkle with 1 c. cheese, and cover with lid to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with green onion* and enjoy!

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*Garden Tip!! Green Onions can be diced and the extra can be frozen in an empty plastic water bottle so that when you need just a sprinkle, you can pour the onions out frozen and be on your way with zero waste! I used green onion left from our garden this summer in this dish.

Creamy Italian Antelope & Artichoke Casserole

This was the first meal I made using my antelope from this year, and both Joe & I agree that this recipe is one of the best ways to eat antelope! It was incredibly tender, and had NO game taste. Although it requires a few steps, it is a fairly simple recipe, but does take some planning–you need to give yourself 2-3 days to marinade the meat before you make this meal.

Creamy Italian Antelope & Artichoke Casserole

Serves 2

  • 1 lb. antelope steaks (backstrap)
  • 1/2 c. Italian dressing
  • 3/4 c. (6 oz.) rotini pasta
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/2 c. diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. quartered and drained artichoke hearts
  • 1/3 c. diced yellow onion
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/4 c Half & Half ( I use fat free)
  • 1  c. AP flour + dash black pepper
  • Vegetable oil (enough to cover bottom of frying pan)
  • 1/2 c Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 1/2 C Italian Blend Cheese or mozzerela, shredded
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic salt
  • Garlic pepper

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  1. Marinade the meat in Italian dressing in a ziplock bag for 2-3 days.
  2. Boil water to cook pasta in a saucepan. While pasta is cooking, sautee the onions, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts in 1 T. butter in a medium frying pan for 4-5 minutes on medium-low heat. Season with Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and garlic pepper.
  3. Turn heat to low and add in 1/4 c half and half. Simmer and reduce for another 10 minutes on low.
  4. Drain pasta and add vegetable mixture to it into the same saucepan you used to cook the pasta. Sprinkle with 1/4 c parmesan cheese (or more!).
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  6. Rinse out the frying pan with water. Pour enough vegetable oil into the frying pan to cover the bottom completely and begin to heat the oil to fry the meat. It is ready when it bubbles steadily.
  7. Pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup of flour into a ziplock bag and add in a few dashes of black pepper.
  8. Remove the antelope from the marinade and onto a cutting board. Cut the antelope steaks into thin strips (1/2 inch) and place directly into the ziplock bag with flour to coat each piece of meat entirely.
  9. Fry meat for about 3 minutes in oil and lay out on a paper towel. It took me two batches to fry the meat. Watch carefully and do not overcook!
  10. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray (8 x 8 inch worked for me) and dump in the pasta and vegetable mixture. Layer the streak strips on top. (NOTE- I had about 10 extra strips of meat leftover that I did not use in this dish.)
  11. Sprinkle another 1/4 c parmesan cheese and 1/2 c of Italian Blend cheese onto the casseole.
  12. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 15 minutes at 350.

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