My Year in Review

2011 is in the books and ended up being a really good year for me and my family. I spent a lot of time cooking and a lot of time with friends and family.  I had a few triumphs and a few defeats but all in all came out on top.  In June My family and I moved into our new house, in September I got my new job at the Vets hospital in Minneapolis and on December 18th we welcomed my son, Charlie, into the world.  I would say that is a pretty  eventful year.

As far as food goes I spent a good amount of time learning how to make terrines and actually cured some pancetta and bacon from some wild boar I was given.

Duck poutine

I spent a lot of time making curries and trying to incorporate venison and other Wild games into them.

I made a lot of different types of sausage this year and am hoping to continue that into the New Year.  I have a good amount of venison, some duck and will be getting some wild boar shortly.

Five spice duck breast with butternut squash risotto

Barley Risotto with Toulouse style duck sausage

Halibut with tomato bacon ragu

I tried a lot of different recipes for venison, a cinnamon spiced venison loin, a coffee spiced loin and venison kidneys were just a few of my favorites this last year.

I experimented with anchovies and found that, if you buy good quality and use them correctly they can be delicious.

My first batch of wild boar pancetta was a big hit and I look forward to making some more this year.

Ramps were one of my highlights this past year.  I found a great place for digging them and was able to make  several dishes with them.  Including this Ramp and Asparagus salad which was picked up and will be published in a book about Ramps due out in the spring.

I pickled everything I could get my hands on this last year including Cherries, Rhubarb, Ramps, Onions, Eggs and watermelon rind.

I helped out with the festival on the farm this year again and had a very successful summer festival and roasted a beautiful pig at the fall festival.

wild game terrines

smoked salmon and goat cheese terrine

Smoked venison sausages 

Wild boar bacon

Vanilla scented pickled cherries

I made two different types of headcheese in 2011 this one was directly out of Fergus Henderson's book the second was a creation of my own for the fall festival on the farm and was equally delicious.

My favorite dish of the year was this sweet corn ice cream that was molded into little ears of corn.  This one took the most time to get right and was the most satisfying to complete.

I introduced a new person to hunting this year which  is one of my goals every year.  This young lady not only shot a squirrel and then learned how to cook it but later in the year shot her first deer.

Smoked deviled egg

I got to go fishing with my grandmother in northern Minnesota and fell back in love with pan fishing.  I made these Asian fish balls with the pan fish I caught.

 Ma yi shang shu

Coffee spiced venison loin

Smoked Chicken wings

Twice baked sweet potatoes

Roasted Venison loin with Cranberry sauce and grit cakes

Cranberry almond Macaroons 

And to finish my year off I thought I would go out with a bang, and made bacon wrapped scallops with herring roe, and a lobster thermidor with black truffles.

Last year was good to me and I tried to keep active and not have long breaks in between my posts but fell short of that several times.  2012 will be another interesting year and I am looking forward to all the new things I am going to try.  For my New Years resolution this year I am going to try to be more prompt with my post and not have long breaks in between then, But with two kids now I don't know if that is realistic.  Happy New Year everyone and thank you for reading.