Saturday, January 30, 2010

Feral Feastin'

We stopped at The Big Cheese again yesterday to stock up for a cheese and "O Brother, Where Art Thou" party. But the big find was a splendid new book (only $4!) - Gourmet Cooking for Free, by Bradford Angier (1970).

Within its pages are recipes for things I can only dream about eating - animals and plants that most people haven't even seen, let alone munched on. Beaverburgers anyone?

I'll have to acquire some serious hunting skills to tackle many of these dishes:
Woodcock with cream
Roast coon
Porcupine liver
Pheasant hash
Beavertail soup
Fricasseed lynx
Crow with rice
Grouse alone can be broiled, creamed, roasted, and spitted. Oh yum! (and I mean it)

Here is one recipe to give you a taste:

Older Squirrels
... Or, particularly if you have a brace of squirrels that are among the elders of their clan, cut them into pieces. Brown these in 3 tablespoons of butter in an uncovered, large, heavy frypan.
Meanwhile, dice 1/2 dozen slices of bacon and bronze these in another pan, tipping the accumulating fat to one side so the bits can tan more deeply. Then add a diced onion, 1/4 diced green pepper, and a cup of chopped fresh mushrooms. Saute to a rich brown. Season to taste with salt, paprika, and freshly ground black pepper.
Cascade all this over the sizzling portions of squirrel. Add 3 tablespoons of flour mixed smoothly with a cup of dry sherry. Cover and simmer about an hour or until a sharp fork inserts and withdraws from a test piece of meat without binding, by which time it will whet the most jaded appetite. Serve with bountiful mashed potatoes.

I know what I'm eating for lunch tomorrow. I just have to remember to pick up a couple elderly squirrels on my way back from the Stop & Shop.

It's a real shame what's happened to cookbooks these days - they're just so tame.

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