2013, In Review

For the past few years while I have been writing this blog I have been putting together a yearly review that I like to post just before the New Year. This year has been a pretty great year for me and I have had a lot of fun with the dishes I have prepared. I will say that this was by far my most adventurous year and I tried more new foods this year than I usually do. As 2013 ends and 2014 begins I have no intention of letting up on trying new things. I have a beaver and 2 muskrats in my freezer that are going to get used and I have no idea how.
In the beginning of the year Pheasantfest was held in Minneapolis and I got to spend the day watching wild game cooking demo's and looking at shotguns I will never be able to afford. One of the highlights of the day and truthfully my whole year was getting to meet Georgia Pellegrini and talk to her about her book Girl Hunter, if you haven't read it I would highly recommend it, lots of entertaining stories and a bunch of great recipes for cooking wild game.
After Pheasantfest I was feeling inspired and felt like I should make something with pheasant so I made a very delicious sesame pheasant that I will be making again just as soon as I can get some more pheasants.

I really wanted to push my cooking boundaries this year and one of the first things I did was make try a couple Italian dishes with venison. The first was a venison Osso Buco that turn out way better than I would have imagined.

The second dish was a venison braciole that didn't disappoint either. It was almost as good as the osso buco.
I tried my hand at salt cured fish and it turn out to be pretty easy. After a fantastic meal at the Kenwood in Minneapolis I figure I should try and make a salt fish brandade out of some sunfish and bluegills that I had caught.
I figured it was time to start trying out some of my families favorite recipes only revamping them to include wild game my great auntie Boots used to make this French stew and I made it for the first time with venison. I think Boots would have approved.
I also made a hotdish for the first time, this was one of my dad's favorites and I never really enjoyed it growing up, but I tried it with ground venison and it was still underwhelming.
St. Patricks day was a lot of fun this year but the next day was even better when I got to make a corned antelope hash with the leftovers
With out a doubt one of my favorite dishes from this year was this roasted beet dish with salt cured antelope liver shredded over it.
One of the most popular posts I put up this year was for these scotch eggs made with an antelope sausage.
Goose pastrami, goose confit and a goose liver pate
I made one hell of a Bahn Mi sandwich this year with some of the goose I was given.
I made several different terrines this year using pigs heads but this one inspired by a polenta pigs head terrine I had seen on Bizarre Foods was my favorite.
I was given some salmon by a friend of mine and wanted to try making my own lox. I ended up making this beet cured salmon instead.
Guanciale wrapped dates
One of the most entertaining things I did this year was go out bowfishing for carp.
It took a lot of shooting but we finally got the hang of it and by the end of the night we had gotten enough carp to do a little experimenting with. I was pleased with the carp and how it tasted, the only issue I had with the carp was how boney it was. Lots and lots of crazy bones all through out the fish.
Buttermilk fried carp
Carp Ceviche
My favorite foraging partner and I were able to get out and walk the woods a couple of times. On this outing we were fortunate enough to find a bunch of morels.
I was also able to find a ton of ramps this year and was able to put them to good use.
Ramp and morel risotto
There is a new Lebanese joint that opened up the street from my home and they have this Kibbeh made with Bulgar and beef. I couldn't wait to try it with venison.
I expanded my garden this year and it produced  a lot of stuff, including these carrots.
I made a brilliant Curried Carrot relish and a couple of varieties of carrot jam.
A little dessert I made with the Carrot cake jam
The hardest thing I did this year was take on these two turtles. I wanted to try to make turtle and wanted to see if I could do the whole turtle thing from start to finish it turned out to be a lot harder than I imagined.
Barbecued Turtle
General Tso's Turtle
Turtle Soup

I didn't get as much fishing in as I wanted to do but what fishing I did get in was productive. It gave me the opportunity to perfect my own beer batter and my own fish breading.

Breaded fish
Beer Battered fish
I spent a day at the state fair this year hunting down all the wild game foods they had. There were a lot more options than I thought there would be. Some were good, some were bad but it was a great day at the Fair. My favorite is always the fried alligator and the alligator sausage.
Fried smelt
An assortment of wild game, starting on the left and going clockwise, the walleye roll, fried sunfish fingers, elk burger, and the walleye cakes.

I made these duck drumsticks for our annual glugfest.
My brother-in-law had been wanting to try some duck hunting so we finally got a day to go and there weren't very many ducks. Lucky for us there were a ton of coots and I was in the mood to try something new.
Cotechino made with coots

Cotechino with lentils
After reading The Art of living According to Joe Beef and Sugar shack I was inspired to try and make the ultimate breakfast sandwich. I think I nailed this one, Antelope breakfast sausage, foie gras a fried egg and some maple Dijon mustard.

A quick bowl of ramen made with a grouse I shot that day.

I love squirrel and I love squirrel hunting and after this Hot and Sour Squirrel soup I love them even more. I have every intention of doing some late season squirrel hunting in the new year if anyone is interested in joining me.

I was looking through the freezer and found a whole lobe of foie gras and wasn't sure how long it had been in there so I ground it up and mixed it with venison and made what I can only assume is the worlds first foie gras venison burger. It was awesome!
I was given my first taste of Moose this year and was blown away at how good it was. I made this moose bresaola and had a very tasty moose carpaccio.

2013 was a good year, I was able to do a lot of things I didn't think I would ever do. I made coot and carp taste pretty good. I had another great trip into the BWCA and I got to spend time outdoors with my daughter. I may not have gotten as much hunting and fishing done as I might have wanted to but that's OK. For me the pursuit of wild foods never ends and I will be out on the ice soon trying to catch some fish. Maybe I will finally catch an eelpout and put to bed some rumors I have heard about it tasting like lobster.

I may not have gotten this guy this year but that just means that hopefully he and I will be back next year bigger and better. Happy New Year everybody.