2014, Not a Bad Year

2014 is almost a distant memory and at the end of every year I like to put together a post of some of my favorite dishes. I had a pretty good year this year and had a few new experiences. In 2015 I am going to try to do more fish and spend some more time fishing, we will see if that actually happens. I am starting 2015 with something new. On the 2nd of January I am teaching a coking class featuring all wild game which should be entertaining. As far as resolutions go I am hoping to be more organized with my posts and plan on post more frequently, again we will see if that happens. Thank you all for reading and I hope you all have a good New Year. 

My fried crappie spring rolls were a big hit with the kids, they were so good that they are on the menu for my first class at Cooks of Crocus Hill on the 2nd of January. 
I really tried to expand my fish cookery this year. This Butter basted walleye was delicious.
Fried Blue Gill Po'boy, hands down the best fish sandwich I have ever made
I figured I would get a few off color remarks when I posted about cooking and eating beaver, what I didn't expect was to start a debate about ethical hunting and trapping practices.
This year was the first year I have actually cooked some smelt, I didn't catch any myself but I was given several bags of smelt to play around with.
It is no secret that I love Ramps, this year I took that love to the next level with a Ramp dip that will blow your mind.  
In an attempt to use pan fish in as many ways possible I tried Crappie Tom Kha.
I cured a lot of Guanciale this year

And used it in a lot of different pasta dishes, like this  bucatini all'amatriciana

I found a few new ways to use up all the duck gizzards I get.

I spent a lot of time with my fishing partner.

I am always playing around with new ways to use up some of the offal I get and dry cured a deer heart this year, it was a lot better than you might think.

I took my first trip over to lake Michigan and caught a couple of decent fish. I have eaten a lot of salmon in my life but having it that fresh has spoiled me an now I will be going every year to resupply my freezer.

salmon burger

Thin Fried catfish was new for me this year and will be a regular part of my cooking from now on.

I had a lot of duck gizzards to use up this year and was really pleased with these Fried Duck Gizzard Rilletes
I finally had a good crop of tomatoes and was able to can about 30 quarts of different tomato product. I made ketchup and pickled green tomatoes and chutney and sauce and salsa you name it I probably made it.

These golden pear tomatoes were my favorites.

The yellow pears made some of the best tomato soup I have ever had.

My Teryaki Salmon meatballs were a huge success
I spent a little time fishing this summer and thought I caught a few bigger fish, this one was probably my favorite.
Probably my favorite discovery of 2014 were dry cured egg yolks. Incredibly simple to make and they can be used on just about everything.

These walleye cakes are fantastic.

Early in the hunting season I got a couple of nice sized fox squirrels. I love eating squirrel and decided to try something different.

What I came up with was a Squirrel and dumplings recipe.

Not everything I made this year made it on to the blogosphere, these duck breasts were an experiment of sorts made with a peach habenero pan sauce and serve or blue corn grits with Pickled corn.

These duck breast were roasted with salt and pepper and served with a green tomatoes, Apple and squash chutney.

Sometimes I don't have to look very hard to find something wild to eat this chicken of the woods mushroom dish was found on a Willow tree in my neighbors back yard.

Walking through he grouse woods in northern Minnesota.

I shot my very first Sandhill crane this year, I haven't cooked it yet but will probably get to that early in the New Year.

I was given an elk heart and made elk heart tartare.

I have wanted to make a boudin Blanc out of pheasant for many years and thanks to a friend of mine giving me a bunch of pheasant I was able to.  

I had a nearly perfect day of duck hunting in early November. 

Pheasant salad

2014 was a great year, I didn't get to spend as much time as I wanted out hunting, fishing and foraging but I still managed enough time to continue writing this blog for another year. maybe 2015 will bring more time in the field. Until then I will sit back and enjoy a cocktail.
Thanks for reading.