Venison Medallions with Blueberry-Sage Sauce and Compote of Leek and Wild Mushrooms

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You can definitely tell that deer season has started here. Our lives revolve around food plots, deer stands, and trail cameras. Right now it's bow season and my son hunts with a bow. My guys both eat what they kill, but they kill very few deer. They are members of a deer management club, and the rules are pretty strict.  I can usually count on at least one of two deer per season going into the freezer though. When I first married Greg, I hated the thought of cooking and eating deer. However, almost 29 years later things have changed a little. One contributing factor is the quality of the food we buy. Knowing that much of the meat in our stores has added hormones and antibiotics discourages me from purchasing it. For that reason, and the fact that I have figured out to cook more than venison chili, I have grown to enjoy venison. Today I'm sharing a fabulous recipe from The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cook Book. It looks fancy, and you would think it would be difficult. There are a few steps involved, but this recipe is very simple to prepare and delicious to eat.  
Blueberry-Sage Sauce
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 c. zinfandel
  • 1½ pints blueberries, fresh or frozen, rinsed and well drained
  • 2 c. brown veal demi glace
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Salt, to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon or to taste
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
Instructions
  1. Place Zinfandel in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced to about ½ cup.
  2. Add the berries, and return liquid to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until berries are soft.
  3. Add demi-glace and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Strain sauce nd whisk in butter. Season with salt and lemon juice to taste. Place sage in sauce and steep for 10 to 20 minutes or until ready to use. Keep warm. Remove sage sprigs before serving.
Notes
You can find Classic French Demi-Glace in some grocery stores. The brand I used was More Than Gourmet.

Compote of Leek and Wild Mushrooms
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 lg. leek, white part only
  • 1 c. chopped assorted wild mushrooms
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon or to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut leek into 2-inch sections. Cut sections into fine julienne strips.
  2. Combine leek strips, wild mushrooms, and cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the cream has thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Keep warm.
  4. Compote may be prepared several hours ahead. Keep warm or reheat gently.
  5. Sauce may be prepared several hours ahead. Keep warm or reheat gently if necessary.

 
Venison Medallions with Blueberry-Sage Sauce and Compote of Leek and Wild Mushrooms
 
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Ingredients
  • 8 (3-oz.) medallions from the backstrap of venison
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • Blueberry-Sage Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Compote of Leek and Wild Mushrooms (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. Season venison with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Bring oil to smoking point.
  2. Place medallions carefully in the pan and saute for 3 minutes, being careful not to crowd the pan. Turn and cook for another 2 minutes for medium-rare. Repeat as needed to brown all fillets.
  3. Spoon Blueberry-Sage Sauce over the bottom of each dinner plate Place with 2 medallions in the center of each plate and nestle a small mound of Compote of Leek and Wild Mushrooms above the medallions. Serve immediately.

 

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Blueberry Cheesecake Galette

blueberry gallette

I get so many emails that I often delete more than I read. I make sure they aren’t personal, and I scan the subject lines, but I end up deleting about 90% of the material in my inbox daily. However, when I saw the title for this recipe in the subject line I became interested. I knew from making them in the past that a galette was simple to make, and the cheesecake part had me curious.  A galette is described on Wikipedia as “a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat round or freeform crusty cakes.”
The ingredients in this recipe items that I typically have on hand at all times, so I ended making the galette just a few hours after reading the recipe. It was delicious, and I will be adding it to my list of favorites.  This recipe comes from foodnetwork.com. If you are looking for something fast and tasty, give this recipe a try. It’s easy enough for a weeknight treat and delicious enough to serve to guests.

AAA Amye Signature for blog

Blueberry Cheesecake Galette
 
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Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 1¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 lg. egg
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ⅓ c. plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 lg. egg, beaten plus 1 egg yolk
  • coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. To make the dough:
  2. Pulse the flour, granulated sugar, vinegar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size pieces of butter. Whisk the egg with 2 tbsp. water; add to the food processor and pulse until a dough starts to form. Turn out onto a pice of plastic wrap; shape into a disk, wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  3. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Roll out the dough into a 12-inch round between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Remove the top piece of parchment and invert the dough onto the prepared baking sheet; remove the other piece of parchment. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
  4. To make the filling:
  5. Toss the blueberries, ⅓ c. granulated sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl.
  6. Whisk the cream cheese, egg yolk, and the remaining 2 tbsp. granulated sugar in a separate bowl.
  7. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Top with blueberries. Fold the edge of the dough over the filling. Top the blueberries with the remaining cream cheese mixture; refrigerate 30 minutes.
  8. Put an inverted baking sheet in the lower third of the oven and preheat at 425°F. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Put the baking sheet with the galette directly on the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden, 20 - 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing.

 

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Grilled Pork Chops with Blueberry Basil Salsa

blueberry salsa

 

As far back as I can remember I was a daddy’s girl.  There are home movies of my dad hitting golf balls in the front yard; I was tagging along with him with my little club, at about one-year-old.  I hate it for my mother, but if there was ever a side to pick I was always on daddy’s side.  Not long after he retired, I quit my job to stay at home with Wes.  Wes and I, and then Savannah after she was born, spent many days with daddy, we were pals to the end.

Cancer was the cause of my dad’s death, but he had suffered from Alzheimer’s for years.  I suppose it was a blessing that daddy, or we, his family, never had to face the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  They are both terrible diseases, and I hate them!

On a VERY personal note… I now live in fear of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Not a day goes by that it does not enter my mind at some point.  If I misplace my keys or sunglasses Alzheimer’s is the first thing that comes to mind.  If I forget to do something I secretly freak out a little bit.  I am constantly reading articles about foods you should eat or vitamins you should take to prevent it.  I can’t make it through The Notebook without crying hysterically.  I avoided seeing the recent movie, Still Alice.

Because of this I try to incorporate blueberries into my diet daily.  They rank the highest of any fruit for antioxidants.  Studies show that they improve memory and provide protection against Alzheimer’s, and they are delicious!

From scientificamerican.com: Emerging research suggests that compounds in blueberries known as flavonoids may improve memory, learning and general cognitive function, including reasoning skills, decision making, verbal comprehension and numerical ability. In addition, studies comparing dietary habits with cognitive function in adults hint that consuming flavonoids may help slow the decline in mental facility that is often seen with aging and might even provide protection against disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Here is a great way to serve up fresh blueberries.  This blueberry-basil salsa is amazing, especially served with grilled pork, chicken or fish.  If you do not care for basil or cilantro feel free to adjust to your taste.  It will still be delicious!

Grilled Pork Chops with Blueberry Basil Salsa
 
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Ingredients
  • 3 c. fresh blueberries
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
  • ½ scallions, chopped
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3½ tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ c. basil, loosely packed and very thinly sliced
  • ½ c. cilantro, loosely packed and roughly chopped
  • pinch of sugar or drizzle of honey, if desired
  • 2 lb. boneless pork chops
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1½ quarts water
  • ½ tbsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tbsp. granulated sugar
  • cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine 1½ quarts water, ½ tbsp. salt and ½ tbsp. sugar. Whisk until salt and sugar have dissolved and add pork chops. Cover and refrigerate for about 8 hours.
  2. For salsa: Place 2 cups blueberries in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped, about five times. Transfer to a medium bowl, add chopped jalapeño, scallions, red onion, lime juice, salt, basil, cilantro, and remaining blueberries. Stir to combine and taste. If desired add a pinch or two of sugar or a drizzle of honey. Stir and taste again. Cover and chill a few hours before serving.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high.
  4. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry. Drizzle both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through.
  5. Serve immediately topped with a generous spoonful of blueberry salsa.

 

 

 

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Patriotic Frozen Delight

2015Jun29_6184 copy

If you are like me, you want to do the Fourth of July cookout. However, there’s nothing less appealing that being stuck in the hot kitchen! Especially if this fourth is as hot as a few days these past couple of weeks.

I plan to make it easy on myself this year. I will prepare the sides salads at night when it’s cooler. Then we will throw some corn on the grill with the burgers and for dessert, I plan to make this refreshing berry treat. There’s no baking, and you can mix it up in a matter of minutes. It’s cool, refreshing and delicious! The strawberries and blueberries will look perfectly patriotic but for occasions in the future, try other fresh fruits instead.

 

Patriotic Frozen Delight
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅓ c. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 2 c. vanilla yogurt
  • 2 c. miniature marshmallows
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
  • 1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon peel, and yogurt. Stir in marshmallows and pecans.
  2. Spread half of the mixture in an ungreased 8 x 8-inch square dish. Sprinkle with half of the strawberries and blueberries. Cover with the remaining yogurt mixture; top with remaining berries.
  3. Cover and freeze. Remove from freezer 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

 

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Blueberry Scones

 

 

blueberry scones 3

 

I have tried my hand at sweet scones for years. Through the years, I have never produced a scone this tender and delicious. I’m so excited that I finally have a recipe that I want to keep forever! I already have a list of different flavors that I’m dying to try.
I found this recipe on babble.com. The first time I followed the recipe to a tee. Although it was good, it still wasn’t what I wanted. So I made a few changes and came up with the most delicious, tender scone I’ve ever had. I love the fold method they used and will use it from now on when making scones.  Be sure to comment if you decide to try this recipe with anything other than blueberries!

Blueberry Scones
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 lg. egg
  • ½ c. whipping cream + extra to brush on top of scones
  • 1½ c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. Demerara Washed Raw Cane Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. If you are using fresh berries place them in the freezer for a little while.
  4. Place the butter in the freezer for about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from freezer and shred, using a cheese grater. Return the shredded butter to the freezer until you are ready to use.
  5. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest, set aside.
  6. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, whipping cream, and vanilla extract, refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. Add the frozen shredded butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers to coat with flour.
  8. Stir in the cream mixture just to combine. Transfer dough to a well-floured board and dust top with additional flour. Working quickly, knead the dough a few times. Flatten, using your fingers and knead a few times. Flatten the dough into a 12" x 12" square. Sprinkle with blueberries and lightly press them into the dough.
  9. Fold ⅓ of the dough over, then the other ⅓ over the top of that piece (fold like you would a letter). Press the ends together and shape, if needed into, a 12" x 4" rectangle.
  10. Cut crosswise in the middle, then again in the middle of each piece. You should have four even squares. Cut each square diagonally into two triangles. Place on prepared pan. Brush tops with whipping cream and sprinkle generously with Demerara sugar.
  11. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks for about 10 minutes.
Notes
These are best the day they are baked. If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container. To reheat, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place scone on prepared pan and heat in a 250°F oven until heated through.

 

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