Courses: Main Dishes

Thai Basil Chicken

Thai Basil Chicken

I’m on a Thai food and Asian cuisine kick. It’s truly some of my favorite flavor combinations. When it’s about to freeze outside (we had our first frost last night!), I love to use tender garden herbs en masse in tasty meals like tomato basil […]

Slow Cooker Smoked Carnitas

Slow Cooker Smoked Carnitas

Oh man, you guys are in for a treat! These may not be one-hundred percent authentic Mexican but dang are they good. You will NOT be disappointed. This recipe originally comes from my sister so I have to give her credit for the basic rub […]

Confetti Fish Cakes

Confetti Fish Cakes

fish cakes

In an attempt to eat more fish and make it fun for the kids, I tried my hand at forming fish cakes, which are basically a hamburger patty but made with fish. They are not as difficult as one might think. These pretty little patties are full of colorful diced peppers making it look a little like a confetti cake when you cut into each delightful bite. The trick to making these stick together is to add moisture in the form of an egg and a little homemade mayo. I’ve also thickened them slightly by including flax meal (ground flaxseed) which not only helps them hold together similar to the effect of a flax “egg” but also adds omega-3’s making these even more healthy for you!

Lightly fried in olive oil, these confetti fish cakes form a deliciously browned crust perfect for saucing. The sauce I’ve created for these is just a tad spicy and has only two ingredients: mustard and harissa sauce. If you’re not familiar with harissa, it’s a simple Moroccan red pepper sauce consisting of red chilies, red bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt. In this recipe, I used the spicy harissa sauce but it is also available in mild with more red bell pepper added and less of the heat.

fish cakes

Confetti Fish Cakes
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Main Dishes
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound whitefish of any kind, cooked and finely flaked in a food processor (about 2 cups flaked)
  • ½ green or yellow bell pepper
  • ½ red or orange bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoon red onion or shallot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon flax meal (ground flax seed)
  • ¼ cup harissa sauce
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
Instructions
  1. Heat a sauté pan on medium high with a small amount of olive oil.
  2. Sauté peppers, onion and garlic a few minutes until the onions start to become translucent and lightly browned.
  3. While peppers are frying, combine fish, egg, lemon juice, mayo, and flax meal in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. Add pepper, onion and garlic to the fish mixture and combine.
  5. Form mixture into four patties and place into hot pan with a little more olive oil.
  6. Cook about 4 minutes on each side until golden on edges.
  7. While fish cakes are cooking, stir together to harissa and mustard.
  8. Serve fish cakes with the harissa mustard sauce.

 

Like fish cakes? Try this unique version using salmon with a blueberry miso sauce!

Olive Feta Chicken Roulade

Olive Feta Chicken Roulade

This morning, I broke out my mini-greenhouse and got my garden seedlings planted! That means that spring is here (along with allergies, ugh…) and now I’m patiently waiting for the real weather warm-up to happen so I can play in the dirt everyday and enjoy harvesting […]

Enchilada Casserole

Enchilada Casserole

Apparently, enchilasagna is an actual word. Well, at least it is on the interwebs. It’s simply the combo of enchilada fixings layered in a pan just like a lasagna. That word seems strange so I’m sticking with easy and uncomplicated and just calling this an […]

Marinated Venison Chops

Marinated Venison Chops

marinated venison chops

Over the river and through the woods, a lovely deer made it’s way into my kitchen, complements of my hunter husband. Every fall my man goes on multi-day excursion to hunt with a group of five other fellas, all of which are my immediate family or my sister’s in-laws who are like family to us as well. We all love the rewards of a successful hunting trip and look forward to meals of marinated venison chops or steaks throughout the season.

Venison is quite lean which can make it tough so a nice overnight marinade makes these venison chops super flavorful and tender. This marinade is Asian inspired and is very similar to the marinade I use for Korean Flank Steak.  A true Minnesotan pairs their venison with a wild rice side dish so in true homage to my roots, these marinated venison chops are paired with a wild rice and mushroom dish.  I’ve kept with the woodsy theme by using a mix of northwoods mushrooms but updated it with some added kale and a light kick of Asian flavor to blend with the flavors in the venison marinade. For added tastiness, reserve some of the marinade sauce (before the meat goes in it) to use as a dipping sauce or drizzle at the table!

marinated venison chops

Love venison? Try a hearty venison chili or venison stroganoff too!

Marinated Venison Chops
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Main Dishes
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ - 2 pounds venison chops or steaks, sliced 1 inch thick
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (leave seeds in for a little more heat)
  • WILD RICE:
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (cremini, oyster, baby bella, etc), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup wild rice blend (I used Lundberg's wild rice blend)
  • 1¾ cups chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 stems kale, stem removed and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Combine green onions, tamari, lime juice, ginger, honey, garlic and jalapeño in a small bowl.
  2. Reserve 2 tablespoons to use as a dipping sauce or drizzle when serving.
  3. Place venison in a zip top bag and pour remaining marinade over top. Massage gently to evenly coat the meat.
  4. Let marinate in the fridge at least 4 hours but preferably overnight for best flavor.
  5. When ready to cook, drain marinade and discard. Arrange venison on a broiler pan and broil about 10-14 minutes until desired doneness, turning once halfway through. You can also grill them on medium heat if you prefer.
  6. While venison is cooking, prepare the rice.
  7. Sauté mushrooms in a saucepan with the butter until they've browned.
  8. Add all other ingredients and simmer, covered, about 40-45 minutes until all liquid has absorbed.

 

 

Cajun Herb Roasted Cornish Hens

Cajun Herb Roasted Cornish Hens

The first snow of the season (happening now!) always makes me a bit giddy. This can only mean one thing…that the holidays are approaching and spending lots of meaningful time with family is just around the corner.  The hubby and I have been hosting his family for Thanksgiving […]

Pork Tenderloin with Tomatillo Sauce

Pork Tenderloin with Tomatillo Sauce

I can’t believe I’m constructing a rooster tail out of chicken wire and feather boas right now. The hubby has a work trip next week which includes attending a costume party so in true form, he wants to go as a giant, ahem, “rooster” except […]

Chorizo Stuffed Peppers

Chorizo Stuffed Peppers

chorizo stuffed peppersI walked into the kitchen last night expecting to start dinner late since I had been outside enjoying the early evening with my neighbor. What I found was a delightful surprise.  My husband was deep in the trenches of chopping vegetables and spiralizing a zucchini for our stir-fry.  My jaw dropped. After I regained my composure, I refilled my red solo cup and went back outside. I didn’t want to disturb this precious moment by stepping in to help.  I let him be the king of the kitchen for the night and it turned out amazingly delicious.  I’ll have to let him cook more often!  Most of the produce used in his stir-fry came straight from our garden of wonders. This recipe for chorizo stuffed peppers also uses peppers picked minutes before and combines a touch of sweet corn and fresh tomatoes to use the last of my garden’s abundance.

chorizo stuffed peppers

Getting the produce out of my garden and using or preserving it all has been quite the challenge. I’m happy to use the ingredients fresh as often as I can in recipes like these chorizo stuffed peppers. Chorizo is a Spanish style sausage that you can purchase ground or as links. If you can only get it in links, simply remove the casing and remove the ground chorizo. The filling starts with an easy skillet mix of chorizo browned with onions.  Add pre-cooked quinoa, black beans, corn and diced tomato for a south of the border twist.  Stuff each half of the peppers with a generous amount of filling and bake.  You can top with cheese and cilantro if desired. These are flavorful, filling and mild enough in the spice department for kids to enjoy them too. If you want to kick up the heat, add a minced hot pepper (like serrano or jalepeno) to the filling while it’s cooking to meld the flavors or use a hot salsa in place of the diced tomatoes!

chorizo stuffed peppers

 

Chorizo Stuffed Peppers
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Author:
Recipe type: Main Dishes
Ingredients
  • 6-8 ounces ground chorizo
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup pre-cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup sweet corn (about 1 cob, kernels sliced off or use frozen sweet corn)
  • ¼ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 3 bell peppers, seeded and cut into halves
  • cilantro and cheese to garnish if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a skillet, brown chorizo with onion.
  3. Add tomatoes, quinoa, sweet corn and black beans to the skillet.
  4. If desired, add chili powder and season with salt/pepper to taste.
  5. While chorizo is cooking, arrange bell pepper halves on a lightly greased baking dish (9x13 works well).
  6. When filling is completely cooked, spoon generous amounts into the bell pepper halves.
  7. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. After baking, top with cheese and cilantro to serve.

Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Yogurt Sauce

Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Yogurt Sauce

Ahhhhh. That’s the sound of a happy mom who’s getting a little bit of a break! My two daughters are away for the week spending time with their grandparents on the farm.  They will be showing goats and exhibiting their culinary and artistic creations at the […]


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