Archive for the 'Food' Category

A Coveted Culinary Experience

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
Chef Jesse Griffiths.

Chef Jesse Griffiths.

This is Passport to Texas

Llano Springs Ranch, an award-winning property at the headwaters of the South Llano River, is the site of a coveted culinary retreat with chef Jesse Griffiths.

We’ve partnered with Jesse and Explore Ranches to offer an opportunity to learn about foraging and preparation of wild game on the South Llano River.

Jay Kleberg is Director of Conservation Initiatives at Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the non-profit arm of Texas Parks and Wildlife. Anyone who becomes a foundation member by March 8th is entered in a drawing for the retreat.

On this particular retreat we’re actually going to harvest that animal before the group comes, but it will be fresh. And then all the additional items that we’ll pair with both axis deer and with fish from the Llano River, we’ll harvest while we’re there on the property.

The culinary retreat is April 24th – 26th.

If they don’t win this particular experience, they have the opportunity to be entered into raffles for future experiences [in 2019]. The dollars that they’re contributing to become members are going to projects that benefit all Texans and wildlife and wild places.

Become a foundation member by March 8th to be entered in the drawing for a culinary retreat with Chef Jesse Griffiths. Details at wewillnotbetamed.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Fish and Game Cooking with a Tropical Twist

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

A past dish prepared at Central Market Cooking Schools.

This is Passport to Texas

Learning to cook can be fun, especially when you attend a Texas Parks and Wildlife / Central Market Cooking School wild game and fish class.

We joined forces to introduce non-hunting and fishing food enthusiasts to the joys of wild proteins, and to help hunters and anglers learn a few new culinary tips and tricks to get the best flavor from the animals they harvest.

We hold classes the second Tuesday of every other month; we have one coming up in March. The recipes will have a tropical twist this time around, and feature crab, wild boar and shrimp with the flavors of coconuts, plantains and luscious fruits, like pineapple.

At each class a TPW volunteer shares information about wildlife management and conservation in Texas.

Classes take place in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas, Plano and Southlake.

Find a link to the locations, full class description and menu, as well as how to register at passporttotexas.org.

And you can also find wild game and fish recipes on the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

We record our series in Austin at the Block House, and Joel Block engineers our program.

We receive support for our show in part from RAM Trucks: built to serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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Here’s the menu for the March 12 class:

  • Cornmeal (polenta) with Crab, Tomatoes & Bell Peppers served with Green Plantain Chips
  • Oven-roasted Wild Boar with Jamaican Seasonings, Pineapple Salsa & Sweet Potato Mash
  • Coconut Shrimp with Lime

Class registration is simple. Just go the Central Market Cooking School main page, find the school in your area, click on the link, and then search the calendar for the TPWD class.

Follow the directions and you’ll be all set.

Helping Hungry Texans Through Hunting

Thursday, December 27th, 2018
Huinters for the Hungry

Hunters for the Hungry helps feed Texans

This is Passport

Texas meat processors can help feed fellow Texans by distributing hunter-donated venison to needy families through the Hunters for the Hungry program.

Well, this is a wonderful program that helps us both fight hunter and promote environmental stewardship.

Removing deer from the landscape each year promotes healthier habitat and deer populations. Celia Cole is Executive Director of Feeding Texas, which facilitates Hunters for the Hungry. She says the key to making the program work is an active network of processors.

We ask them to provide the processing at a minimal cost – we suggest around $40 – and then the hunter makes that donation. So, let’s say the hunter drops off a deer, the processor will package it. And then, we provide them with a list of hunger relief agencies in their area. And they can either contact that agency to come pick it up, or they can drop it off. And, of course, they receive a tax deduction for their donation, as well.

Hunters who donate deer to the program should check with their tax preparers to see if they can claim a deduction as well. Meanwhile, Hunters for the Hungry encourages meat processors to join the program. Find more information at feedingtexas.org.

And processors can go there to sign up. We also recruit directly off of lists that we have from the health department. So, we will reach out and ask processors to participate.

Hunters and processors who participate in the program are responsible for providing more than 9 million servings annually of venison to needy families.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Hunting to Feed the Hungry

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

Beautiful, yes. But also an important protein source for hungry Texans.

This is Passport

Feeding Texas is a non-profit association that represents area food banks. Hunters for the Hungry is one of the programs it oversees.

The way it works is, we recruit meat processors to help us get venison out to the families that we serve. For hunters it’s an opportunity to donate back to their communities. And, for our food banks, it’s an opportunity to have access to a really great lean source of protein that the families that we serve really need.

Celia Cole is Executive Director of Feeding Texas. Hunters for the Hungry enjoys enthusiastic hunter participation among deer hunters. Yet, Cole says they need more processors.

Our greatest challenge is bringing in enough processors. So, in all of the areas where there is a lot of hunting, we are in need of more processors. And that is the key to making this program work.

Cole says it’s easy for processors to sign up.

We have our website, huntersforthehungry.org, and processors can go there to sign up. Really, all they need to do is enroll with us
and show a copy of their inspection and be willing to package the meat in the packaging that we provide. So, it’s fairly simple for a
processor to register and become involved in the program.

Tomorrow: how Hunters for the Hungry benefits processors, hunters, and the community.

We receive support from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Food Week: Preparing Flavorful Venison

Friday, November 23rd, 2018
Chef Lou Lambert in the field with colleague.

Chef Lou Lambert in the field with colleague.

This is Passport to Texas Food Week

Even if you hunt for trophies, there’s good eating attached to those antlers. Don’t let it go to waste.

Cooking venison can be intimidating, but Chef Lou Lambert, author of the Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook, is here to help.

I grew up hunting and fishing and still do today. But I think most of the lessons I learned about cooking game were more failures than things that worked out well when my mother was cooking. Because I had two brothers, father – we all hunted. So, we always had quail, dove, ducks and deer. And I remember my mother struggling to cook deer, because (and the biggest mistake she made) was not realizing because game is, if you will, grass-fed, all-natural – it does not have the fat content. And, because it is more in motion – the muscles tend to be a little bit tighter, which means tougher. So, lack of fat and more movement tells you that you have to do a slow, moist heat cooking method, unless you have it ground into sausage, or pounded for chicken fried [steaks], most of that deer – 80% — you need to either do a braise or a very slow barbeque smoke method.

Find wild game recipes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.