Posts Tagged ‘Dairy Free’


Oven Roasted Potatoes

   Posted by: anj68    in Dairy Free, Gluten Free, recipe, Vegetarian

When my assistants and I are performing demonstrations at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, we will often whip up soemthing to see what happens. We have lots of successful (experiments) and a few failed ones. This one was a popular success.

Oven Roasted Potatoes
1 lb of baby red potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp of fresh rosemary, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp sea salt

Optional ingredients:
chopped bacon
green onions, diced
red peppers, diced

Wood-Fired Roasted Potatoes

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a ceramic dish, add your uncut baby potatoes (very small potatoes). Drizzle the 3 tbsp olive oil on top of the potatoes and stir until they are completely covered. Sprinkle the rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and stir the potatoes again.

Place inside the oven and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir the potatoes and place back into the oven for another 10 minutes; repeat until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and let cool 2-3 minutes before serving.

Tags: , , , , ,


Decadent Pheasant

   Posted by: anj68    in Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Uncategorized

Native to Asia, pheasants were introduced as wild game in Great Britain during the 10th century by the Normans and the Romano-British.  Although hunted to near extinction in the early 17th century, pheasant was rediscovered as choice game 150 years later.  Since then, pheasants have been widely bred and managed by professional gamekeepers. Although pheasant was and still is very popular among nobles, it was illegal for commoners to enjoy the decadent and savory meat. In the case of pheasant, feathers were prized and reserved for nobility; anyone caught wearing pheasant feathers, were labeled as a poacher and were often put to death.

It is no secret that I love cooking and eating game.  I been very lucky obtaining pheasant at our local higher-end and Asian grocery stores; they are already cleaned and prepared for cooking, which makes my job as a cook easier. Preparing a pheasant for cooking is usually no easy task. It usually requires removing the skin and feathers, preparing the insides and removing the smaller joints.  There are a number of resources available that I like to use including

How to Prepare Wild Fowl for Cooking
Below is how my family has cleaned wild fowl for generations.  I am aware that many of my readers are may be faint of heart and could not deal with explicit directions on preparing wild bird game for cooking.  If you are one of my readers, I would recommend skipping the next paragraph and moving onto the recipe.

Cleaning pheasant is a lot easier than most wild game.  The first step of cleaning pheasant is removing the feathers.  This can be challenging at times as you would pull the feathers in the opposite direction that they lay.  An additional step is to use a torch or lighter to remove any extra smaller feathers.  Many people choose to save the feathers for their renaissance costuming needs as they make nice additions to hats and brooches, if your societal station allows it. Next, remove the head, wings and feet with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors.  To remove the entrails, carefully cut the abdomen and then carefully scoop out the organs out with a finger; taking special care to ensure the trachea and other neck structures are removed as well.  Once the bird’s chest and abdomen cavity are cleaned of the larger debris, rinse the inside and outside of the bird with cold water and it is not ready for the oven.


Pheasant wrapped in bacon before cooking

Pheasant wrapped in bacon before cooking

1 pheasant, cleaned and skinned

1 lb. of sliced bacon

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

½ tsp of black pepper, fresh ground

½ tsp sea salt

2 tbsp olive oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a shallow dish coat the inside of the pan with olive oil; the pan can be metal or ceramic.  In a small bowl, add the salt, pepper and minced garlic.  Remove the fresh thyme leaves from the sprigs and add the leaves to the small bowl with the other ingredients; dispose of the thyme branches.  Take a knife and split the pheasant in half the length way from neck to rear.  With your hands, take the spice mixture and apply it liberally to the outside and inside the cavity of the pheasant.

Lay strips of bacon evenly, surrounding the pheasant from top to bottom.  The bacon will help keep the pheasant from drying out and some additional flavor to the meat.  Lay the bacon-wrapped pheasant in the oiled pan and cover the pheasant before placing in the oven.

Final dish: Pheasant with Bacon and Green Beans

Final dish: Pheasant with Bacon and Green Beans

The pheasant should bake covered for 20 – 25 minutes.  Pull the pheasant out, uncover and put it back in the oven in the opposite direction it was cooking originally for another 10-15 minutes until the bacon is crisp on the outside.  The meat should be done, but one can double check by using a meat thermometer and the internal temperature should be 160-165 degrees.  The meat should rest for 5 minutes before serving.  I usually serve the pheasant with the bacon as they complement each other.

In the photo, I prepared fresh green beans with the pheasant.  In the past, I have served pheasant with oven-roasted turnips, parsnips, and carrots to add some additional color to the plate.  I usually serve pheasant with a robust red wine.

Tags: , , , , ,


Meatball Stew

   Posted by: anj68    in history, recipe

Several years ago, I wrote an article for Renaissance Magazine (issue #74 on meatloaf and how recipes could be traced back to ancient Roman cooking.  Back then, meatloaf was prepared in sheep stomachs like the Scottish haggis or in upper intestines like sausage and the meatloaf would be baked in a large oven.

Similar recipes have existed for meatballs and have been discovered in German, Belgium, and Holland cooking. In Europe, they use pork, beef, and/or horse meat.  In Asian cooking they would use pork, fish or seafood. Unlike meatloaves that had to be shaped and then cooked, meatball recipes were more versatile – could be baked, boiled or fried.

The meatloaf and meatball recipes add various fillers including bread, rice, or oatmeal to chopped, minced or ground meat, and would allow anyone could stretch a small amount of meat to feed others.  My mixing the meat and the fillers, cooks could use their hands or spoons to drop the meat in boiling water, hot oil, or bake and choose to serve them immediately, use in another recipe or wrap up to be eaten at a later time.  Because of its size, it was very portable and could be used when traveling.

Modern eaters are accustomed to seeing the meatball used in Italian dishes and can be used in other recipes or eaten as a snack. The meatball stew recipe  below is simple and is a great people pleaser for the fussiest of palates.  It can be adapted for any guest and any ingredient and travels well to potlucks and family dinners.

2 lbs. of ground beef (or turkey)
1 cup of raw oatmeal or breadcrumbs
2 eggs

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Form 1.5” – 2” balls and bake for 20 minutes in the oven at 300 degrees.  These may be frozen for future use or used in the recipe below.

Meatball Stew
2 lbs of meatballs (Can be pre-prepared or home-made)
4 cups of beef broth (use chicken or turkey broth with ground turkey)
1 cup of baby carrots or regular carrots thickly chopped
One medium onion, coarsely chopped
10 green onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of rice
1 sprig or rosemary
1/2 tsp of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: red potatoes, turnips (peeled), green beans, pea pods, or sweet potatoes (peeled)
Serves 3-4

In a cast iron Dutch oven, add the meatballs, broth and add enough water to covered the meatballs.  Cook on stovetop or open flame for 20 minutes and add the onions and garlic and let cook for another 20 minutes.  Add the carrots and stir occasionally.

If water is getting low, add more water so the meatballs remain covered.  Continue cooking for 10 more minutes and add rice, rosemary, and thyme.  Stir it up and the rice will settle near bottom to cook. Add optional ingredients.  Keep an eye on the pot to make sure the rice doesn’t burn.  Cook for 20 – 30 minutes and when rice is done.  Garnish with the green onions and serve hot.



Tags: , , ,


Wood Fired Bacon Hash

   Posted by: anj68    in Dairy Free, Gluten Free, recipe

This dish was made during the 2013 Siouxland Renaissance Festival on a cooking fire.  You can great this dish at home either on a stove top or on a cooking fire.  I used a cast iron pot and would recommend using the same.

Bacon Hash made at the Siouxland Renaissance Festival

Bacon Hash made at the Siouxland Renaissance Festival


1 lb. bacon, cut up in 1 inch strips
1 cup fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
4 large carrots, large julienne cut
4 medium red potatoes, washed and 3/4″ cubed
2 medium gloves of garlic
sea salt (to taste)

Over medium heat add the bacon.  The fat will render quicker than it will cook.  When the bacon is half done, remove it from the pot and pour the bacon fat into a bowl (do not dispose of it yet).  Put the pot back on the heat and add 4 tablespoons of bacon fat (olive oil may be used if you are watching your fat content).  Add all the vegetables at one time to the pot and stir constantly for two minutes.  Add the bacon back in to the pot and continue cooking for 4 more minutes.  Add a 1/4 cup of water and continue to stir.  The dish is ready when the carrots and potatoes are tender.  Remove from heat and let it set for 2 minutes before serving.


Tags: , , , ,


Mushroom Pâté

   Posted by: anj68    in Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

This past weekend, I did a small catering event that required a lot of finger food.  Below is a recipe for mushroom pâté, a vegan friendly recipe.  It looked like real pâté, but tasted even better.  My apologies for the lack of a photo; the guests began eating it before I could document my work. 

1 lb sliced portabella mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
½ cup pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cup water
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme
Pinch of fresh rosemary, minced
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Sea salt to taste

Begin heating a pan on medium heat.  Add the olive oil, garlic, shallots, and pine nuts and begin to sauté.  After about two minutes, add the thyme, rosemary, black and cayenne pepper and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes.  While stirring, add the mushrooms.  Keep stirring so that everything is covered in oil and will not stick to the pan.  Add 1 cup of water and cover the pan and continue to let it cook. 

The goal is to let the mushrooms cook down a bit so that they are soft.  If the water is evaporating too quickly, add more water. When the mushrooms are soft, drain off most of the extra water and place the cooked mushrooms and spices in a food processor or mortar and pestle and begin to mix and pulverize the cooked ingredients.   Place the mixture into a mold and refrigerate for two hours until firm.  Place the mold upside down, onto a plate and release it from the mold.  The pâté is ready to serve.  It is best served with roasted garlic or caramelized shallots on toasted bread or crackers.

Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: