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  • July 29, 2011

    Food Fight Friday: The Battle of Venison Backstraps

    By David Draper

    by David Draper

    Congratulations to Dan S. and his incredibly delicious looking photo of top-round venison steaks with chimichurri. In a battle of deer steaks, he bested Robert Millage’s bacon-wrapped venison and wins last week’s Food Fight.

    Bacon-Wrapped Venison Backstrap with Duck Sausage


    Pan-Seared Venison Backstrap with Pumpkin and Prunes

  • July 27, 2011

    How to Make Better Grilled Fish

    By David Draper

    When it comes to grilling, there are few things that foster fear like fish. Cooking fish well can be challenging indoors, and when you enter the variable nature of a hot fire into the equation, even the most experience backyard barbequer can go weak in the knees. The delicate nature of fish fillets, or even a whole fish, can cause a grilling disaster if it sticks to the grate or falls apart when you try to flip it.

    I’ve heard all kinds of way to make grilling fish easier, including wrapping it in wet newspaper before you lay it on the flame. I don’t know about that one, but here are a few tips I’ve used to avert a fish and flame disaster.

  • July 26, 2011

    The Best Fish I Ever Ate

    By David Draper

    I think I’ve mentioned before that it took me until adulthood to really warm up to the flavor of fish. And although I do like it now, I don’t eat fish nearly as often as I probably could or should. Whether that’s from bad childhood memories of eating fish sticks drowned in lemon juice or just a product of a freezer full of venison and waterfowl that leave little room for fish, I don’t know.

  • July 22, 2011

    Food Fight Friday: Grilled Venison Galore

    By David Draper

    It seems like Wild Chef readers can’t get enough of deer steaks on the grill this summer. To prove it we’ve got a head-to-head battle this week between two past Food Fight Friday competitors and faithful fans of the blog.

    Grilled Venison Top Round Steaks with Chimichurri


    Bacon-Wrapped Marinated Deer Steaks

  • July 21, 2011

    What's the Best Way to Fillet Fish?

    By David Draper

    First off, I’m going to admit that I haven’t had much practice filleting fish lately. I don’t really have any good excuses either. Seems like summer has gotten by me, and I haven’t fished as much as I wanted to. But then again, who does get to fish as much as they’d like?

    I do typically get plenty of practice carving up panfish in the winter when I’m lucky enough to bring home a bucket full of bluegill and perch from a day on the ice. It’s those days, when I’m wind-burnt and half-frozen that I’d probably pay someone to clean my catch. But instead, I dive in with a sharp knife and try to get through the pile of panfish as fast as possible.

  • July 18, 2011

    Recipe: The Perfect Fish Taco

    By David Draper

    Since I first discovered fish tacos just a few years back, I’ve been on a continual quest to find the best recipe. The most recent rendition, which I featured in last Friday’s Food Fight, was pretty good, but still didn’t meet the standards of my very first fish taco, which was a riff on a recipe I cut from Salt Water Sportsman back when former F&S dog blogger Dave DiBenedetto was running the ship.

    Though I admit to being a bit hesitant to my first taste, I’ve been hooked ever since and now cut or copy every fish taco recipe I come across. There seem to be as many renditions as there are fish in the sea, but I go back to the classic of batter-fried fish with cabbage and some sort of cream sauce. Cheese is an optional, yet good addition, as are sliced avocados. One thing that is not optional, for me, is a healthy squeeze of lime juice and a shot of tequila backed by a cold beer, preferably Pacifico.

  • July 15, 2011

    Food Fight Friday: Walleye Ceviche vs. Halibut Fish Taco

    By David Draper

    I expected Wild Chef reader Steve Peifer to run away with last week’s Food Fight thanks to a delicious looking Outer Banks seafood boil. While Steve did eek out a victory, it was closer than I thought it would be, which goes to show Wild Chef readers really love their red meat. For winning, we’re going to hook Steve up with a cool Cabela’s 50th Anniversary Barbecue Tool Set.

    Walleye Ceviche with Pico De Gallo


    Halibut Fish Taco

  • July 13, 2011

    Weeding Around Your Crops: Use A Chicken Tractor

    By David Draper

    Back in April I filled you in on my plan to convert to square-foot gardening and I figure it’s probably time to give you a mid-summer update. The truth is, a late, wet spring (and summer) along with the two weeks in May I spent bear hunting, put me way behind in my planting schedule. Normally, I shoot for my first crop of radishes by Memorial Day, but this year I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t even have my little red bombs ready by 4th of July. Sad, I know.

    We’ve had (very) few really hot days this year, but the garden is finally starting to hit its stride. Of course, so are the weeds. The square-foot plan has helped me keep up with weeding in the beds, but the areas surrounding the raised beds are carpeted in weeds of all types, from common mallow to chickweed, which isn’t near as hot as it sounds.

  • July 11, 2011

    Essential Tools, Utensils, and Ingredients for Camp Cooking

    By David Draper

    If you don’t make a habit of reading The New York Times, you might have missed this article about camp cooking. It is a bit high-brow, what with its talk of crème fraiche and fava beans, but it does illustrate a few good points, most notably that a well-stocked, yet minimalist kitchen is key to camp cooking success.

    Years ago, I picked up a bargain bin chuck box and filled it with a few essentials, including a Coleman camp stove, coffee pot, skillet, and 2-quart saucepan. I also carry my trusty and dusty Boy Scout mess kit wherever I go and it’s come in handy over the past 25 or so years. Utensils are simple and multi-functional: a spatula, wooden spoon, and tongs. Throw in a good knife and an odd assortment of silverware, and I’m ready to cook and eat most anything, anywhere.

  • July 8, 2011

    Food Fight Friday: Seafood Boil vs. Elk Backstrap

    By Colin Kearns

    Summertime is all about cooking, and eating, outdoors, so this week’s food fight celebrates the upcoming season.

    Outer Banks Seafood Boil


    Bacon-Wrapped Elk Backstrap

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