Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Man Muffins

Recently, I decided to recreate something I enjoyed as a young boy... I can still remember watching my father mix up this funky brown stuff in a gigantic green plastic bowl, that he later stuffed into some muffin pans. Hearty and healthy, bran muffins make for a great mid morning snack on the mountain or during a lull in the duck blind. Don't forget to pack a thermos of coffee either. The term "man muffins" does not exclude these from the likes of a woman or anyone for that matter. It's simply a term I coined to describe these dense, flavorful creations. So come one or come all, these things are pretty tasty. 

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup Organic Greek Yogurt Vanilla
1/3 cup Apple suace
1 egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Blueberries
Some walnuts

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

2.Mix together wheat bran and yogurt; let stand for 10 minutes.

3.Beat together applesauce, egg, sugar and vanilla and add to yogurt/bran mixture. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into yogurt mixture, until just blended. Fold in blueberries/walnuts and spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.

4.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!

Wild Duck Scaloppine

Scaloppine is a traditional Italian dish that typically consists of thinly sliced veal or chicken (as opposed to duck) that is then dredged in flour, sautéed, then heated and served with either a wine/tomato sauce or a piccata sauce, which denotes a caper and lemon sauce. I paraphrased that a bit, so don't think I made all that up on my own. Anyway, this recipe calls for a sauce that is more along the lines both the traditional piccata and the tomato/wine sauce. Regardless, this recipe boasts massive flavors that are both sweet and tangy... the capers and Italian seasoning create a stunning aroma and succulent flavor that is unique and unlike anything I've ever tasted before... This is a magnificent recipe for those weary about trying wild game and even the seasoned veteran hunters that want to try something new for a change. I give it 4 stars out of 4 and can almost guarantee your personal enjoyment of such a dish as long as it is prepared correctly. I paired it up with a fine Cabernet Sauvignon, which really balanced out the flavors and complimented this dish quite well. The green onion is just an obsession of mine. Anyway, without further ado...

Wild Duck Scaloppine

3 servings

6 duck breast halves, skin removed
salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2/3 cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, divided in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons FRESH lemon juice, don't go lazy here.
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry red wine (Preferably a dry Marsala)
1/4 cup beef broth
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained (If you enjoy capers like I do, then feel free to add more)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or substitute fresh herbs)
1 cup tomato, seeded, peeled and diced
warm, cooked pasta
shredded Parmesan cheese

Place duck breasts between a zipper-lock bag and pound lightly until each piece is approximately 1/8-inch thick. Season with salt and pepper and press seasoning into the meat. Place flour in a shallow dish and dredge seasoned duck lightly in flour.

Heat half of the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck, a few pieces at a time, browning evenly on both sides – about 1 minute per side. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE DUCK. You want the meat to be pink on the inside in order to avoid chewiness. When cooked, transfer to a plate with paper towels to drain. Cover with foil and keep warm.

When all duck is browned, add lemon juice, garlic, wine and broth to pan. Stir to scrape bits and add mushroom, capers and Italian seasoning. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup. Stir in remaining butter until melted. Stir in tomato.

Mound pasta on plates, arrange cooked duck over pasta and spoon sauce over. Top with Parmesan cheese.

*Credit is due to the gentleman at "huntfishcook.com" for creating this recipe*