Sunday, December 18, 2011

Venison, Wild Rice, and Squash!

A new job means new adventures, right? Well at least it means new colleagues—and, as it happens, a new window on the world of food.

My colleague Angi’s family are deer hunters, and they shot one this season. I’d been hearing about this dead deer for days: it was hanging in the garage. Angi had to bump past it every day to and from work. Her kids wanted to play with the legs. Her husband made sausage, which she did not want to help eat.

I must be doing something right, because guess what Angi brought me!

And I have a lot of little squashes piling up from my CSA, too. How fun would this be: squashes stuffed with a sausage and wild rice filling thing?

I chose three Sweet Dumpling squashes, each about the size of my two fists. I cut them in half, scooped out the seeds, and set them cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. I propped up each squash half on the rim of the sheet—like propping up a lid on the edge of a pot—so they weren’t flat on the metal.

While they were baking, I made a half recipe of fruited wild rice pilaf from a recipe card I found at Kowalski’s Market. I cut the recipe in half, fried up a cup of sausage, and mixed it in.
Then I stuffed my little squash friends full of fruity venison sausagey wild rice pilaf. Aren’t they cute? There was rice left over, so I could have made more or bigger squashes.

The dish was rich and sweet with a bit of tang from the fruit, chewiness from the wild rice, and crunch from the pecans in the recipe. Sage, stock, and aromatics permeate the rice. This would be good with a crisp salad of bitter greens. I pronounce it yummy. Thanks, Angi!