Thursday, October 13, 2011

[Real Detroit Weekly] Battle of the Bulge

What with all the tailgating going on, here's a little game day gourmet for 'ya. Also, these foods go REALLY well with beer.

Truffled Deviled Eggs
Why have regular deviled eggs when you can throw some truffle oil in there? (IKR???) These little picnic staples are easy to dress up by just adding some truffle oil (easy to find in specialty stores), then they get an extra fancy-pants kick with the addition of smoked salmon, parmesan and grape tomatoes. Make the eggs at home, transport them in a sealed plastic container or a plate covered in shrink wrap, then top them off when you're ready to eat for some easy game day gourmet that will put others' potato salads and taco dips to shame!

-12 eggs
-3 cups mayonnaise
-2 Tbsp truffle oil
-4 Tbsp finely chopped black truffle peelings (optional)
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/4 cup thin-sliced smoked salmon (you don’t need to smoke it yourself, over-achiever)
-1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
-6 grape tomatoes, washed and cut in half length-wise

-Place the eggs in a pot and cover with tap water. The level of the water should be about 1 inch above the eggs.
-Bring the pot to a boil and cover. Then turn off the heat and let sit for 13 minutes exactly.
-Uncover and run the eggs under cold water if using right away, or refrigerate until ready to use.
-Peel the eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks from the whites. Mash the yolks with a fork.
-Add the mayonnaise, truffle oil, cayenne and truffle peelings.
-Whip until very light and fluffy. *If you want a little more truffle flavor add a little more truffle oil. Proceed with caution, it is very easy to over-truffle.
-Spoon the yolk mixture into the whites. Store in fridge until ready to use. Top with a single slice of smoked salmon, parmesan shavings, and grape tomato half.

Bacon-Wrapped Venison Burger
This is Michigan, where deer hunting is a $500 million annual industry. Chances are if you're not a hunter yourself, your Uncle Teddy/Bobby/Larry/Jerry/Kenny is, and you know when he comes home with a fresh load of Bambi that meat will fill up four freezers for the next year, so you might as well start enjoying it. Venison meat is lean, mild and extremely flavorful. The saltiness of thick, smoky bacon will offset the venison's mild gaminess, leaving you with a beautiful bacony burger and that manly sense of accomplishment that comes from "living off the wild." The patty mixture can be made in advance and refrigerated overnight, ready for you to fire up on your portable George Foreman and grunt along with the other meat-grilling men.

-6 slices applewood-smoked bacon
-2 minced shallots
-2 lbs. ground venison
-1 tsp minced garlic
-1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
-1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
-1 beaten egg
-6 firm hamburger buns (stop by a proper bakery for these; those wimpy grocery store plastic bag buns won’t do this justice – try Avalon International Bread’s 313 Burger Buns)
-salt and pepper
-crumbled bleu cheese (optional)
-arugula (optional)

-Slightly cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat (cook only long enough to get some drippings; the bacon should still be limp enough to shape around burger patty and finish cooking with the burger).
-Use the bacon drippings to sauté the garlic and shallots until softened. Empty into large mixing bowl and let cool.
-Once cooled, add the ground venison, Worcestershire, parsley, salt, pepper, and the beaten egg until evenly combined. Refrigerate the whole mixture for about 20 minutes (or until ready to use).
-Preheat your outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
-Shape the meat into 6 patties (this will make 6 LARGE patties). Wrap a slice of bacon around each patty and hold in place with toothpicks. Grill to desired temperature. Add bleu cheese and arugula to taste.

German-Style Made In Michigan Sampler Platter*
Nothing says "Pig Skin Party" like actual pig in skins. The sausage-and-cheese plate is an art form; the idea is to get a quality sampler of different sausages and cheeses together with various accompaniments and bread for a simple crowd-pleasing spread. In Germany this is actually called "Abendbrot" and is a standard evening meal shared with the family. Use fresh bakery bread to make sandwiches or just sandwich cheese and mustard between two slices of sausage. And much like any other German dish, this is meant to be enjoyed with BEER. Not like foofy France and their high-falutin' "charcuterie" plates and wine pairings. You eat sausage? You drink beer. There is no wine in football. The best part is, it's easy as hell to make: just slice and serve.

Fixin’s (for 4-6 people):

3 packages of sausage – try to get a mix of pork and beef. Dearborn Sausage Co. makes a wide variety of pre-cooked and smoked sausages.
-Mild Hunter’s Sausage
-Smoked Sausage
-German Knockwurst

3 blocks/wedges of cheese – you’ll want firm cheeses with sharp flavors that are easy to slice.
The British Invasion (three firm yellow cheeses similar in body to cheddar though smoother and creamier): Red Leicester, Double Gloucester, Shropshire (a blue-veined yellow cheese, like stilton smashed into cheddar)
Made in Michigan (warning: these may be a little difficult to track down but Gahblessya for trying): Zingerman’s Creamery Great Lakes Cheshire, Grassfields Farms Gouda, Traffic Jam and Snug’s Blue Asiago

3 small jars of gourmet mustard – do a tasting of all Michigan-made mustards!
-Charley’s Ballpark Mustard (original flavor)
-Sansonetti Sauces’ Spicy Curry Mustard
-Sweet Lorraine’s Honey Bee Mustard

6 fresh-baked medium-large dinner rolls – try Avalon International Breads Russell Street Rustic Italian
1 jar pickles – we recommend McClure’s Garlic Dill Pickles
2 sticks unsalted butter (for spreading on bread)
6 large heirloom tomatoes (sliced for sandwiches)

*All local products are available in area specialty markets, such as Holiday Market in Royal Oak.

Read the full article (with more recipes) here.