Turning Wisconsin Kinnickinnic River Catches into Gourmet Appetizers: Kinni Brown Trout Crostini

We have all been there: After catching a dink fish, we post the picture to our social media feed—a quick, innocuous attempt at humor. Within seconds, comments from friends start stacking up: “Unless you have hands the size of Shaq’s, I don’t believe that is a keeper,” or “Nice keychain!”

However, when fishing the Kinnickinnic River (“Kinni” for short), in northwestern Wisconsin, there is a great deal of logic behind adding smaller trout to your creel. Continue reading “Turning Wisconsin Kinnickinnic River Catches into Gourmet Appetizers: Kinni Brown Trout Crostini”

Build Flavor One Step after Another: One-Skillet Panfish Fry with Guinness Tartar Sauce

At 8:30 in the morning, after several sputters, our rental boat’s motor was completely dead.

On Lake Minnetonka, my dad and I sat floating halfway between Casco and Locke Point.

I kept quiet while my dad, a mechanic, fumbled with the motor. The complexity and frequency of his expletives grew with every minute spent stagnant. Continue reading “Build Flavor One Step after Another: One-Skillet Panfish Fry with Guinness Tartar Sauce”

Show Some Respect: Your Meat- and Fish-Eating Ancestors Gave You that Free-Thinking Brain

A video of an animal rights group accosting anglers and throwing back a caught 4-pound tilapia in St. Petersburg, Florida has gone viral within the past couple days and, in turn, created some very strong, polarizing responses. Of course, Braising the Wild had to weigh in.  Continue reading “Show Some Respect: Your Meat- and Fish-Eating Ancestors Gave You that Free-Thinking Brain”

Minimalism Should Be Your Mantra When Flavoring Wild Game for the First Time: Canada Goose

I contend the first bite of wild game should taste as authentic as possible. That first meal is as an extension of a memory—an unforgettable day, one of hard work and adrenaline and the calm sense of reverence following that first kill. In recounting the experience to friends and family, you won’t dare hide one single detail. You want to share the moment as authentically as it happened. So why would you wish for anything less than the real deal when initially tasting your trophy or having others flavor it for the first time? Continue reading “Minimalism Should Be Your Mantra When Flavoring Wild Game for the First Time: Canada Goose”

Think You Know Your Tenderloins? Wild Turkey Tenderloin and Gnocchi with Chardonnay Beurre Blanc

Ask most bird hunters and they might tell you there’s no such thing as a fowl tenderloin. After all, on the backside of any bird—where one would expect to locate a tenderloin, since that is where they are found on cattle and deer—there is little more than bone and gristle.

I myself doubted such a succulent cut existed on any wild bird until a few years ago, when a friend introduced me to a mouth-watering piece of bird hidden in an unexpected location. Continue reading “Think You Know Your Tenderloins? Wild Turkey Tenderloin and Gnocchi with Chardonnay Beurre Blanc”

Two Reasons Why Spring is Such an Exceptional Season: Wild Turkey and Pheasant Back Risotto

After the doldrums of late-winter—those weeks when the ice has started to thaw on lakes statewide, leaving little opportunity for fishing—spring is a welcomed reprieve from cold days with little sunshine. For us hunters and foragers in particular, spring represents the opportunity to pursue some of the rarest, most-elusive table fare the year will have to offer and serve it up in some classic or new favorite dishes.  Continue reading “Two Reasons Why Spring is Such an Exceptional Season: Wild Turkey and Pheasant Back Risotto”

Make It a Party: Pheasant and Roasted Poblano Tamales (and Don’t Forget the Tequila)

It wouldn’t be Cinco de Mayo without spending a few hours in the kitchen getting a crick in the neck making tamales. While this recipe can require a couple hours of prep work solo, tamale assembly is best enjoyed with a party–that means tequila, cervezas and friends and family. Tamales freeze easily and are readily available later for when hungry relatives arrive throughout the year. Continue reading “Make It a Party: Pheasant and Roasted Poblano Tamales (and Don’t Forget the Tequila)”