Happy New Year! Hard to believe the holidays are already over and it’s 2013. I think this is going to be a fantastic year. It’s already off to a great start. I’m working in a job that I enjoy with great people, I’m cooking great foods, and I’m getting my health squared away. As far as the cooking great foods goes, I made these venison, pumpkin, and blue cheese mushroom caps for the New Year’s Eve party I attended this year.
I eat a lot of venison, as you know if you read this blog. I’m always trying to find new things to do with it. As with many of my recipes, this one was the result of leftovers in the fridge; specifically organic pumpkin. I’ve been on a pumpkin/blue cheese kick, so I figured if I added some venison to the mix, it’d be a winner.
I actually made two versions because I couldn’t find as many mushrooms as I’d like—this time of year, I can find locally grown mushrooms at the Maple Avenue Market. But I think there had been a run on them so I only got a dozen. Fortunately, I had some wonton wrappers in the freezer (alas, not local, not organic), so I was able to use all the stuffing by making little wonton pockets.
Finally, the blue cheese is also local, and raw. I was never a blue cheese fan until I started buying high-quality, local blue cheese. It is heaven on this Earth. I can not get enough of it. Mostly I’ve been crumbling it and eating it over greens with fermented onions and walnuts. But it was worth the sacrifice to add it to this recipe…the tang of the blue cheese pairs well with the pumpkin and the venison.
I actually think these would be great without the meat. I wouldn’t puree the pumpkin in that case. Rather, I’d roast it and then chop it finely, but still chunky. Try it, let me know!
Recipe: Venison, Pumpkin, and Blue Cheese Mushroom Caps
Summary: A tasty appetizer for a cold winter night.
- 1/2 lb ground venison
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup aged or raw blue cheese
- 24 medium Crimini (Baby Bella) or white mushrooms
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Brown the ground venison and set aside.
- Mix the venison, pumpkin, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Crumble the blue cheese and mix it into the meat mixture. Set aside.
- Wash the mushrooms and pat dry with towel. Remove the mushroom stems by gently twisting and pulling. Place the mushroom caps in a baking dish and spoon the meat mixture into the caps. Put enough meat in each cap so that the meat peeks over the top.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender, but still solid enough to hold the stuffing.
- Serve immediately.
Instead of mushrooms, you can use wanton wrappers. Place one won ton wrapper in each muffin cup of a mini muffin pan (oil first if you’re not using a non-stick pan), making a little nest. Fill each cup with about 1 tsp of the meat mixture.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
Copyright © Susan Rose
I first discovered celery root when I was trying to limit the amount of starches I eat. I have never looked back. It is, simply, one of the best foods on the planet. I eat it many ways, but mashed celery roots is a definite favorite.
To humor me, Rick planted celery root in our garden. Neither of us had any idea how to grow it, but that didn’t deter us. I had visions of mashed celery root and celery root fries dancing in my head. It did very well, which kind of surprises me. Alas, we never really did get a handle on when we were supposed to harvest it. Rick thought we needed to take it out of the ground before the first frost. Since it’s usually in season in the late winter, I thought we should let it go a while. Rick won. He wanted the space for something else.
So, I got only enough celery root to make mashed celery root. I will have to buy celery root for my fries later this winter.
I also got one of the three leeks that grew in the garden (I’m not sure if Rick just didn’t plant more or if only three survived). Rick was off hunting, so I took my opportunity to make a Susan dinner—mashed celery root with sauteed leeks and mushrooms. (I sauted the mushrooms and leeks in a little butter and red wine.) I was in absolute heaven eating it!
I make two versions of mashed celery root: dairy and dairy-free. For this meal I made dairy-free, mostly because I didn’t have any cream on hand. To be honest, I really can’t tell the difference between the two. The celery root has such a strong flavor, it overpowers the other flavors. And it’s plenty creamy with olive oil alone.
If you’ve grown celery root, I’d love to hear how long you left it in the ground…we’re very curious here.
Recipe: Mashed Celery Root
Summary: a creamy comfort food to substitute with potatoes
- 2 large celery root bulbs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- While the water boils, peel the celery root (I usually cut off the skin with my knife) and cut into chunks.
- Boil for about 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain off the water and transfer the celery root to a food processor (using your S blade).
- Add about half of the olive oil and process. Add more olive oil as need to get the consistency you want.
- Process until creamy (this can take up to 5 minutes). Add salt and pepper and serve.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan
Diet tags: Gluten free
Culinary tradition: French
Copyright © Susan Rose.
I continue on with my south-of-the-border themed meals this week. I had an emotional week, having just quit my extremely stressful job without having another job lined up. Actually, that’s not true. I’m studying to become a health coach, so I’ll have a job doing that…in about 9 months. In the meantime, I’ve got some bills to pay. So I spent a lot of time preparing to freelance and eating any and all chocolate I could get my hands on.
I’ve been a little stressed.