Squirrel Country Sausage

4 ½ lbs. squirrel (approx. 15 fox squirrels)
1 Tbsp. sage
2 ½ lbs. fresh seasoned pork sausage (with sage)
2 tsp. basil
1 large onion
2-3 tsp. margarine
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. chili powder
4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. thyme
Bone the squirrel and grind or chop in food processor. (Squirrel leg meat is full of tendons and may not grind easily, but will be fine chopped in food processor.)

Mix together with fresh pork.

Mince the onion and garlic.

Cook the onion until transparent and add the garlic and sauté slightly.

Mix together meats, onion, garlic and herbs.

To test seasonings, form a small patty and cook.

Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Package and freeze in meal-size servings.

When thawing for use, form into small patties to cook or grill or use with your favorite sausage recipes.

Great on pizza, with pancakes or scrambled in eggs.

Squirrel Season Starts Soon, Recipe Time!

Well the squirrel season will kick off soon. So I thought I would toss up some recipes.

Rosemary Parmesan Squirrel

3 squirrels (or 2 rabbits), cut in pieces
2 c. flour
Olive oil
¼ c. white wine (white zinfandel or Liebfermilch)
1 tsp. rosemary
¼ c. sun-dried tomatoes
¼ tsp. salt (chopped coarsely)
¼ tsp. coarse black pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes
Brown rice (for 4 servings)
¾ c. cream or half and half
½ pkg. onion soup mix
1 c. fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Place flour in bag, add meat and shake until thoroughly covered. In large frying pan, heat olive oil until it’s almost but not quite smoking. Place meat in pan and brown on all sides. Just before meat is completely browned, add 2 pats of butter to oil to finish browning. Remove and drainandCook meat in wine in a shallow saute pan, covered, on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes to tenderize. Remember to turn occasionally.

Put chopped tomatoes, rosemary, salt, pepper, and bouillon cubes in water and bring to a boil. Add rice and cook according to directions on rice package. Stir and fluff to distribute rosemary and tomatoes evenly.

In a saute pan on low heat, blend cream, onion soup mix and half of the Parmesan cheese. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth and the cheese is melted into the sauce. Salt to taste. Use white pepper, if desired. Serve squirrel over a bed of rice, spoon sauce over top and garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Fried Squirrel

2 squirrels
2 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ c. red wine
½ large green pepper, halved
½ lb. fresh morel or button mushrooms, sliced
¼-½ c. sour cream
1 can, cream of mushroom soup
Dredge squirrel in flour and brown pieces in an electric skillet. Smother browned meat in chopped onions. Add garlic, salt, pepper, red wine, soup, mushrooms, sour cream and green pepper. Put the lid on and simmer until the onions are clear and the meat is tender (about 225F).

Personally I use a cast iron skillet to do these with. I just seems to give a better flavor to the dish.

Squirrel Noodles

Boil the squirrel with salt, pepper, garlic and diced onion. Cook until the meat falls off the bones. Remove the meat and bones separating the meat from the bones. Save the broth.

Make the Noodles:

1 egg
1/2 cup water or cooled broth
1 teaspoon salt
Mix ingredients with enough flour to make a firm dough. Turn out dough on a board and knead in flour until dough is stiff. Then roll out thin and leave for about one hour. Slice into either a diamond or noodle shape and drop into boiling broth.

Additional water may need to be added to the broth to handle the dumplings when all the dumplings have been added. Put squirrel meat in broth and simmer over low heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

Update: Augason Farms Meals

At the time that I bought the sampler pack of number ten cans I also purchased an 5 gallon bucket with a 30 day supply of food for one person.

We have tried several of the packets contained in the bucket. So far all have been fair to excellent.

An outstanding item is the Creamy Potato Soup. It is an truly excellent product. Reminds me of the soups my mother and grandmother used to make. Rich and very filling.

My daughters like the Macaroni and cheese. Packed as plain macaroni with a separate large package of cheese powder that you add a couple of tbsp’s of after cooking the Macaroni. Even though I detest Mac and cheese, (thank you ex wife) I found it to be pretty good.

I have read reviews that mentioned busted bags and packages caught by the lid and torn. I had none of that in my sample.

Items of note:

1. This is dehydrated food. You will need a lot of water and a heating supply capable of bring the water to a boil. It will also need to be able to sustain the heat for around 30 minutes to allow time for the food to properly cook.

2. Be careful how you open the pouches. Many of them if not all have built in zip locks. A slip of the knife or of the scissors could ruin this making resealing them difficult if not impossible.

Augason Farms Meals

I ordered a sampler pack of number 10 cans from Sams Club. The box on arrival was undamaged.

However upon opening the box we found that all of the cans inside were so bent as to make resealing them to be impossible. I’m talking inch deep bends in the cans. As I had bought them merely to test and taste I was not overly concerned by this. The seals were still good. However it would not be a good thing if they had been purchased for long term storage use.

Now for the IMHO taste results to date.

The Chili Mac was good in my opinion. However my wife was in a rush mood and didn’t allow it to cook long enough so it was rather chewy.

The Orange Teriyaki chicken was excellent in my book. However the 14 y/o was put off a bit by the “sweet chicken”. One item to note. These foods require a longer time cooking then the directions state. Also do not forget to start with boiling water.

My opinion so far is that these a worthy of consideration as emergency foods. They store easily and take up a small amount of space in the bottom of a cabinet. If you have heavy snows like we do they could well be true life savers.

One item to note. It would be advisable to open the box and check the cans before tucking the product away against that snowy day.

Big Rig Cooking: Asparagus & Broccoli

Turkey Barley Skillet Supper

2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon chicken seasoning base
2 cups low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 cups cooked pearl barley, cooking directions below
2 cups cooked and cubed turkey
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; sauté 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Cook additional 4 minutes. Stir in water and chicken seasoning. Blend together sour cream and flour. Stir in sour cream mixture, cooked barley and turkey. Continue to cook over low heat until heated through. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired and serve. Makes 8 servings.

To cook pearl barley
In medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1 cup pearl barley and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Makes about 3 to 3-1/2 cups. NOTE: Pearl barley may be cooked ahead of time, placed in an airtight container and refrigerated or frozen for up to a week. For best results, bring refrigerated or frozen cooked barley to room temperature before using.

Dill Batter Bread

1 envelope active dry yeast
1/4 cup sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 tablespoons dill weed or dill seed
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup 120°-130°F water
1 cup lukewarm cottage cheese
1 lightly beaten egg
2 cups flour divided into 1/2 c and 1-1/2 c
Melted butter
Kosher salt or sea salt

Mix together yeast, flour, baking soda, sugar, salt, onion, dillseed.

Combine the butter and warm water and gradually add to the yeast mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping occasionally.

Add cottage cheese, egg, and 1/2 c. flour. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes.

Beat in 1 1/2 c. flour to make a stiff batter.

Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Stir down and transfer to a well-greased 1 1/2 qt. ovenproof casserole. (I use a 9″ non-stick cake pan)

Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

Top with melted butter and a sprinkling of salt.

Baked Chicken with Apples and Barley

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium tart green apple, chopped
1-2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup pearl barley
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3 tablespoons orange marmalade or apricot jam

Heat oil in large skillet; sauté onion, bell peppers and garlic 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped apple and curry powder; sauté 4 minutes longer. Stir in barley and chicken broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Pour barley mixture into large baking dish or casserole. Arrange chicken breasts over barley and season with garlic salt. Cover and bake in 375º F oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover; brush chicken with marmalade. Continue to bake, uncovered, 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

German Beef and Barley Bake

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup pearl barley
4 slices bacon, diced
3 cups tomato juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 to 4 cups sliced green cabbage
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In large saucepan over medium heat, sauté ground beef, onions and garlic until beef is browned. Pour off drippings. Add barley and bacon; sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato juice, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in cabbage and caraway seeds. Spoon mixture into 2-quart casserole. Bake in 350° F oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: calories 423, protein 32g, fat 18g, carbohydrates 38g, cholesterol 91mg, fiber 4g, sodium 774mg.

NOTE: To save on last-minute kitchen prep, this casserole may be made ahead of time and refrigerated. To reheat, bake at 350° 20 to 30 minutes or microwave (in a microwave-safe casserole) on Medium High until heated through.

Russian barley and vegetable soup

Take a half cup of coarse barley and two quarts of water. let boil for about
1 hour and skim. then add 2 onions, a bunch of carrots, parsley, 2
turnips, one green pepper and six tomatoes (all chopped fine). add a few
green peas, lima beans, two ears of corn cut from cob; pepper and salt
to taste. cook for 1 hour or more until done. then add a small piece
of butter, quarter teaspoon of sage and thyme, if you like, and if soup
is too thick add more water.