Simple Marinade for Deer Loin

I like love game.

And I’m not afraid to say it.  I grew up with very few relatives, particularly of the male species.  When I say few, I mean, I can count them on one hand.  What the heck are “cousins”??  I most definitely was not subjected to hunting, except for one bizarre time when I was about 6 .  My dad went squirrel hunting with friends, and it was quite the occasion because it had never happened before, and never happened again.  I never had the opportunity to eat game until I was an adult.  I can’t believe I married a hunter.  Seriously, even my parents were freaking out about what I was getting myself into.  Imagine their response when their southern daughter, who loved high heels, announced she was marrying and moving to Alaska, all in one fell swoop.  Hum. . . .   I keep trying to forget the reactions.   Oh, I also don’t wear high heels anymore!

I respect those who do not hunt, and all I ask for is respect in return.  Our freezer is filled with all kinds of game, none of which contains hormones, is clean and fresh, and tastes better than anything I’ve ever purchased in a grocery store.  I am filled with incredible gratitude toward the trout that live in the river below our house.  The fact that I can crave trout and in a few hours be eating something people would pay big bucks for, is thrilling.

Whatever you choose to eat, enjoy it with gusto!

Simple Marinade for Deer Loin

¼ cup soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 t olive oil
1 pinch Chinese five-spice powder
1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk together all ingredients in a small pan and marinate deer loin (turning meat over occasionally) for at least 6 hours, or (preferably) overnight.  Delicious  grilled as kabobs alternated with onion and served with sautéed kale.

Road Tripping

I adore road trips.

Getting in a car and visiting new places, and even old, familiar places, is a thrill for me.  While living in Alaska that was the one thing I really missed.  Alaska is gorgeous, vast, and beautiful, but when you get in your car and drive for 5 hours one direction, turn around and drive 5 hours in another direction, and then turn another notch and drive 10 hours, each destination pretty much looks the same.  Don’t get me wrong, Alaska is awe-inspiring, but each quirky little town is eerily similar to all the quirky towns.  Mountains, rivers, oceans, homes with tarps, dogs, more dogs, more dogs, mountains; you get the picture.  Plus, there are only so many (actually, so few) major roads in Alaska upon which to travel.  Look at an Alaskan map and you’ll see.  No venturing off the beaten path there; no m’am.  There is a reason Alaskans have a lot of frequent flier miles.

Here, in most parts of the Lower 48, you can take off in a bazillion directions and just drive. You can go from rain forest to ocean, mountain to desert, rolling hills to flatlands.  You can visit the World’s largest rocking chair (been there!), see the Corn Cob Palace (been there!), drink wine straight from the vineyard, drink bourbon straight from the barrel, pick corn off the cob and cotton out of the field.

Road tripping is fun.  Different accents crack me up, and the different food regions are inspiring to a cooking fanatic.

Get outside and explore this beautiful planet while you can. Better yet, take a friend and take nothing for granted.  Good karma coming your way.

Asian Glazed Salmon

I’m a big-time salmon snob.  Can’t help it—that’s what happens when you have lived near Alaskan rivers where catching fresh salmon is a given (and a privilege).  Before that sweet life experience, I bought canned salmon in the grocery store and never gave it a second thought–shudder!  The summer before Better Half and I moved back to what we thought would be civilization (better known as the Lower 48), we fished like maniacs that last bittersweet Alaskan summer, and I canned (not the same as grocery store canned) over 12 cases of fresh and smoked salmon (I told you in an earlier post I love fishing!).  We ate on it for about 3 years.  Alas, no more.  Sad.  So very sad.  On a recent trip to the big city I packed a cooler and was thrilled when I found sockeye (aka red) salmon fresh from Canada.  It’s not Alaskan, but eh (Canadian pun- I crack myself up!), they’re neighbors!

Asian Glazed Salmon

1 pound fresh Alaskan (or Canadian) salmon
⅓ cup brown sugar
1½ tablespoons sesame oil
¼ teaspoon Mongolian fire oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
⅛ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
Garnish: sesame seeds and chopped green scallions

Preheat oven to 350° (these are also yummy grilled).  Cut salmon into four fillets and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Mix next 6 ingredients together.  Spread about 2 tablespoons glaze over fish and place fish in oven.  After approximately 10 minutes, spread additional 1 tablespoon glaze over fish.  Continue cooking until fish is done (about 10 minutes per inch thickness).  Arrange fish on platter and drizzle remaining glaze over fish.  Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.

I served this over a nice steamed Jasmine rice along with spinach sautéed with sesame oil and then drizzled with a smidgen of rice wine vinegar.  The next day I used chunks of the salmon in a nice green salad.  Delish, eh?!

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