Archive for the 'Food' Category

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.

Food Week: Respect for Wild Protein

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018
Holly Heyser and Hank Shaw at McKinney Falls State Park

Holly Heyser and Hank Shaw at McKinney Falls State Park

This is Passport to Texas Food Week

Journalist Holly Heyser didn’t grow up in a hunting family. She took up the sport to spend more time with her boyfriend who is a hunter, author and chef.

I got sick of being alone on weekends when he was out duck hunting all day long. He would get up at two in the morning and be out forever….well…it didn’t take that for me to join him. What it took was for him to cooking a lot of ducks, and wild ducks, especially where we live in the Sacramento Valley. Amazing. Really great food.

It seems appropriate that on Thanksgiving, Holly shares how she gained new appreciation and respect for all animals—not just wild game—and the meat they provide.

Since I started hunting, I am so much less wasteful of meat. Even if I’m at a restaurant, if there’s a burger on my plate, I will not leave one single bite of meat on my plate, because I know an animal died for that. And when it’s animals you hunt, especially…we invest a lot of time. We can spend 12 hours and a lot of money on gas, to go and maybe get two ducks one day. That’s a precious gift, and you don’t waste it. So it’s really made me understand the value of the food we eat. And, I appreciate it a lot more than I ever used to. And the fact that it’s wild food and it’s absolutely delicious is icing on the cake.

Wild game is free range, organic, sustainable, and nutritious. Find game recipes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Happy Thanksgiving and bon appetit from all of us at Passport to Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Food Week: Chef and Hunter Jesse Griffiths

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018
Grilling venison loin.

Grilling venison loin.

This is Passport to Texas Food Week

We have a culture of hunting game, but when it comes to eating it, a lot of people pass. Their reason: too gamey.

Jesse Griffiths is a hunter, angler, chef and author. He eats everything he kills. While game has unique flavor, he says it is crave-worthy when prepared properly.

He chronicled a year of hunting, fishing and cooking in Afield: a Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish.

We just tried to present this book that was a guide to getting more out of fish and game for people. We wanted it to be a field manual, a recipe guide. And we put step-by-step photos and descriptions of how to break everything down from a crab to a deer. Just to teach people who are new to it, or maybe even more experienced with it how to utilize these animals more.

Jesse told me he wrote the recipes in Afield to be simple, recognizable and accessible.

There’s a lot of tacos in there, and there’s a lot of things like pot pies. Squirrel and dumplings. Things like that. Very accessible. I just wanted people to see food that was recognizable and translate that into game, and then that way encourage people to have the confidence to get out there and do this themselves.

Find Jesse Griffiths recipe for Grilled Venison Loin with Herbs and Horseradish Cream on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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