Foodie Friday: Side Dishes For Your Venison

Venison dishes are great, whether you’re grilling burgers or backstraps on the patio or whipping up something in the kitchen with some heavy cream, blueberries and mushrooms for a little more flair.

By Alan Clemons, Southern Managing Editor

Either way, however, you’ll probably want something to go along with that great meat. Side dishes never fail to please as long as they’re tasty. These two staples from Stacy Harris, author of Happy Healthy Family, are not only incredibly easy to make but are super with your steaks, roasts, burgers or whatever you prepare.

The upside, too, is right now with summer vegetables in season everything will be fresher and taste better, too.

Last weekend I was in Tunica, Miss., for the annual Professional Outdoor Media Association conference and sat with some pals who were judging the Camp Chef cookoff. The cooking teams had a basket of unknown fixins’ similar to the popular television show “Chopped” and were dealt a hand of Mississippi catfish, vegetables and peaches.

Needless to say, my pals judging the contest got a nice array of grilled peaches. Suffice to say, I had mop-up duty after their judging duties were completed and was able to sample the food. Holy cow! Mississippi’s vittles are pretty dang good!

Millions of peaches, peaches for me ...

One easy thing to do with your peaches, I learned, is to pop ‘em on the grill for a few moments. You’ll get a nice flavor with a firm — not hard, and not mushy — peach that can be dolled up with a little cinnamon butter glaze, too.

Cut the peach in half, remove the pit and clean out the middle (core) area. Slice the peaches width-wise in quarter-inch slices. Pop those babies on the grill and leave them for a couple of minutes, then flip to the other side. If you want to glaze with the cinnamon butter or just a dash of cinnamon, do so before serving or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a dusting of cinnamon. Yum.

One other thing you can do with peaches is pit and peel, then dice finely and put that into a skillet with a little heavy cream and pinch of salt. Cut a fresh jalapeno pepper in half (stem off, of course), and remove the seeds. Then julienne and follow with a fine chop before adding to the heating peach-cream mix. Stir to warm and then drizzle over backstraps or maybe asparagus or al dente green beans.

You’ll get the hint of heat without mind-blowing “OMG!” heat. Try it on that Mississippi catfish, too. Mmmm …

 

Check out these great sides below from Stacy Harris and her comments about each one, and then go try them this weekend!

Cucumber Salad

My mother in-law is a great cook and I have learned so much from her. She introduced me to this wonderful recipe for which I have found so many uses. It is excellent over warm fish. (Serves 10)
Ingredients
4 cucumbers (approximately 4 cups), diced
1 large squash
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup salad vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ pepper
5 tomatoes (4 cups, diced)
½ Vidalia onion
1. Mix well vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in salad bowl.
2. Peel cucumbers and trim ends. Cut cucumbers lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon, dice cucumber, and place cucumber pieces in the salad bowl.
3. Dice tomatoes, squash, and onions and place in bowl with cucumbers. Add basil and mix well.

 

Perfect Potato Salad
Serves 6
This is the potato salad my granny used to make to go as a side with her famous vegetable soup. I have tweaked this recipe several times and always revert back to her original potato salad. It really cannot be improved. (Serves 6)
Ingredients
8 small new potatoes, boiled
2 boiled eggs
4 Vidalia onions, minced
½ cup dill pickles
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 celery stalks, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1. Cut the new potatoes into four pieces roughly 1½-inch pieces. There
is no need to remove the skin. Place the potatoes into medium saucepan and boil until a knife will easily go through the still-firm potatoes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl add the onions, pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, celery, salt, and pepper.
3. Drain potatoes until they appear to be dry and place them in a bowl with the mayonnaise mixture.
4. Place chopped boiled eggs onto potatoes. Mix gently (I use my hands) so as not to crush the potatoes. Serve hot or cold. Garnish with parsley.

Homemade mayonnaise always beats store bought mayonnaise, but if you do not have time, Hellman’s is a great mayonnaise to use instead.

For these and other outstanding dishes for venison, sides and desserts, click here NOW to buy Happy Healthy Family!

 

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