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Cooking

Deer Camp Dinner Diaries

Buckmasters Big Red Chili
Buckmasters annual Chili Cook-off is an event Buckmasters employees look forward to each fall. Everyone has a great time whether they're entered into the chili competition, the Halloween costume contest or simply standing by with a spoon, a judge's card and an empty stomach. In 2009, I took a chance with a green chili entry, but barely eked out a second place ribbon. For 2010, I decided to go big with my version of what a great red chili should be. I brainstormed on the recipe from my favorite thinking spot, the bowstand. While biding my time waiting for a big buck to graze by, I envisioned the perfect red chili. It had to be brightly colorful, layered with flavors, a tad on the hot side, with high quality ground sausage, small bites of seared beef to add texture, quality kidney beans and traditional spices. It should also have an indefinable certain something to add a bit of mystery. I discovered my indefinable certain something in a local Vietnamese restaurant in Montgomery, Ala. Although many have never heard of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, it's actually one of the most popular sauces throughout the world, especially Asia. Sriracha gave the chili a vibrant red col...

Cajun-Style Venison Tenderloins
Via Alabama, via Illinois, Via Missouri, via Louisiana... For those who love to eat wild game, hunting lodges can be far better sources for collecting recipes than cookbooks. Where else do you have full access to a chef or cook who specializes in preparing ...
 

Off-the-Grid S'mores
Making s'mores around a campfire should be a fun and simple activity, but the kids all too often end up with charred marshmallows, grit in their teeth and singed eyebrows. Raise your hand if you've ever gotten impatient and stuck your marshmallows too clos...
 

Creole Chicken & Okra
Sometimes I buy a cookbook just for one or two recipes. When I heard about "Cooking Up a Storm," I knew there would be dozens of recipes I'd like, which proved to be true. After Hurricane Katrina, there was risk of losing much of the old Louisiana food cul...
 

Tim's 'Mater Gravy
Before you country cookin' traditionalists look at these ingredients and start throwing tomatoes at me, I confess my recipe is a bit different than what most mawmaws make. Leave out the hot sauce, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper to make it more...
 

Alabama Red Beans & Rice
I've had a couple of friends from New Orleans ask me what made these "Alabama" red beans and rice. I reminded them that Louisiana isn't the only state with Cajun and Creole culture.  Alabama has plenty of Cajuns, too, down in our own bayou country. In ...
 

Winters Day Etouffee
Nothing Inspires a Heart-Warming Recipe Like an Icy Brush With Death. Cabin fever can be a dangerous thing, especially to a whitetail hunter who’s been cooped up for three days, waiting out an ice storm. Gale force winds were continuing to rip down ice-cove...
 

Sourdough Bread
A little ceramic crock sits on my kitchen counter, filled with sourdough bread starter from a recipe given to me by my mother many years ago. Once a week, I take a dipper of its content, mix it with flour, oil, yeast and sugar to begin filling the kitchen w...
 

White Chicken Chili
They say the sense of smell is the most powerful for recalling memories. That certainly seems to be the case whenever I make white chicken chili. Each step of the cooking process brings back fond memories of a happy day in October of 2001. That’s the day I...
 

A Break in the Clouds
Miserable day ends with muzzleloader GIANT and a classic Heartland meal. Southern Ohio - 2:35 a.m. With a gasp, I bolted straight up in bed, rubbed my eyes and fumbled for my digital camera sitting on the nightstand. Eventually, I mashed the right buttons an...
 

When It Comes to Dessert - All is Fair in Deer Camp
Dessert is a highly prized commodity in deer camp. I’ve seen scuffles, wounded friendships, multiple contusions and out-and-out thievery over something as trivial as the last squirt of Cool Whip. But I almost feel guilty about the apple pie incident that oc...
 
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