Looking Back at 2016

I think we can all agree that 2016 was a rough year. It was by far my worst year of hunting in a long time as far as putting meat in the freezer myself. But there were several highlights that made it tolerable for me. Probably the biggest highlight for me was that I started writing for Outdoorlife.com and am very proud of the work I have done over there. I also had a few of my recipes featured in the October issue of Outdoor life and another magazine called Make it Minnesota.

One of the other big highlights for me was that I got to spend a week in the mountains of Colorado bow hunting for Elk. I didn't get an elk this year but it was a great experience and definitely lit a fire in me to return the mountains and try again.

As I mentioned before I wasn't very successful in the hunting department this year but still managed to get some meat in the freezer thanks to some friends of mine. I should have plenty to keep me writing about for the next year. I was also very successful this last fall in the foraging department and found a shit ton of mushrooms. Hopefully my luck will change in 2017 and I can start getting some fish through the ice.  Here are a few of my favorite dishes from last year.

Gnocchi with a rabbit ragu

Wild game Cassoulet with wild turkey, venison and a duck sausage.

Smoked fish spread with horseradish

Smoked fish cakes

Buffalo Liver Braunschweiger

Vietnamese Buffalo wrapped in grapes leaves

Fish balls in a green pumpkins sauce

Grilled venison skewers while out ice fishing

Corned Buffalo Roast

Dry-cured buffalo Sauscisson

Nettle Agnolotti with a Ramp and ricotta filling.

Nettle Gnocchi with smoked fish in a lemon cream sauce.

Smoked Northern Pike brandade

Offal Ragu with gnocchi made with duck hearts, gizzards and livers.

Buffalo Heart tacos with homemade green tortillas

Nashville style hot squirrel, Might be my favorite thing I made all year.

My curried walleye with tropical fried rice was delicious but many people did not like that I would abuse walleye in such a way.

Fried rock bass spring rolls

I had a Great trip over to Lake Michigan that inspired many meals.

Pate de fruit made with a mixture of berries I foraged in my neighborhood.

Fresh from my garden and turned into zucchini relish and featured in Make it Minnesota Magazine.

Buffalo liver wrapped in caul fat. These were then seared in a pan and topped with a fig vinaigrette

Another one of my favorites, Wild turkey enchiladas.

I tried out pigeons this year and was amazed at how good they were.

My version of General Tso's chicken made with Chicken of the woods Mushrooms.

Wild Turkey Confit Aranchini

Roasting hen of the woods mushrooms.

Rabbit and Squirrel gumbo

Hen of the woods Mushroom and Swiss venison Burger

Kai Wot, an Ethiopian stew made with venison

2016 wasn't all bad it just seemed like it. I had a lot of good things happen and 2017 looks like it is going to be a lot of fun as well. I will be teaching some classes with St. Paul Community Ed and am going to be cooking on the Gander Mountain cooking Stage at Pheasant fest in February. I have already started planning an Antelope hunt in October and another Elk hunt in November. I still have some time left to get out after some squirrels and will be heading north for some ice fishing in the coming weeks. I can't wait to see what adventures 2017 brings.