When I was first asked to write an article about springtime recipes, I stalled for a second. I can easily think of recipes that remind me of summer. With fresh veggies pouring out of our garden and smallmouth bass fried on a river shoal, summer is easy. Fall is another easy one. Roast turkey, sweet potatoes, pheasant, and pumpkin pie all remind me of the falling leaves. Winter is all about soups and stews for me along with maybe a Christmas goose.
However, spring is not so easy. I asked friends and family for ideas, most of whom are hunters and fisherman like myself. For me, seasonal dishes all come down to the ingredients. The time of year when the ingredients are available is when I will likely enjoy that dish. I sometimes freeze meats and vegetables, but I prefer to collect my bounty and eat it fresh. Thus I decided to focus on morel mushrooms collected in March and rainbow trout pulled from the water all spring. The one exception would be dove breasts that were harvested in the fall and saved to eat as Superbowl snacks. I hope you enjoy.
Morels in Cream Sauce
I love rich food so I am fine eating the morels right out of this sauce with a spoon. However, you can also pour this sauce over pasta or toast.
- 35-40 small fresh morels
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. chopped shallots
- 1 tbsp. Madeira
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Clean morels and heat a pan over medium heat. Melt the butter and add mushrooms and shallots. Cook until they soften or about three minutes.
- Add the heavy cream and Madeira to the pan and kick it up to high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat back to medium and cook for eight minutes while stirring constantly.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and let the sauce simmer until it starts to thicken. It should be about two minutes.
Lemon Seared Rainbow Trout
I love this recipe because I can make it on my stove or I can wrap the ingredients in foil and make it on a grill or in a campfire on the side of the river. For simplicity, you may want to use lemon slices instead of the juice and zest. You can also use this same recipe to cook the fish whole once it is cleaned. You would just need to cook it a bit longer.
- 1 lb of rainbow trout filets
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 1teaspoon lemon zest
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dried)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or butter
- In a bowl, mix the salt, pepper, lemon zest, and flour.
- Dip the fish in lemon juice and then coat it with the flour herb mixture.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add butter or oil.
- Cook the fish for six to eight minutes flipping about halfway through. The meat should be flaky when it is finished cooking.
Superbowl Dove Breast Poppers
Because the breast of a dove is so small, we have always had a hard time finding a way to make a meal out of them. Then we found this recipe. They are the perfect appetizer to enjoy while watching the big game.
- 20 dove breasts
- 1 pack of bacon
- 1 pack of cream cheese
- 1 jar of pickled jalapenos
- Cut each piece of bacon in half and lay them out on a sheet tray with a rack or parchment paper.
- Cut your pickled jalapenos into pieces about one inch square. Smear one side with cream cheese.
- Place the jalapenos cream side up on you bacon. Next add your dove breast on top of the cream cheese.
- Wrap the bacon around to create a tight bundle and secure it with a toothpick.
- Set your oven at 375F and cook for eight to ten minutes or until bacon is crispy. If the bacon is not crisping well, switch your oven to the broiler for a few minutes.
Dove meat is similar to duck and is fine to be served medium-rare.
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