Anglers beat the heat

The Pig Trail

NWA’s Roads Worth Riding: The Pig Trail

July 25, 2017 Comments Off on Outdoor chefs hunt for summer recipes Hunting, Latest

Outdoor chefs hunt for summer recipes

It’s the height of summer. You’ve fired up the grill so much you’re keeping the local charcoal company or propane supplier in business. Maybe both.

Deer hunters clearing room in their freezers for next season have fixed venison steaks and chops for the umpteenth time. Family and friends love your burgers, brats, smoked chicken and the usual grill fare, but yearn for something different to come off the coals.

Portobello mushroom pizzas fill the bill. They’re quick and easy to fix. Even those last cuts of venison can be used as part of the topping. Fire up that grill and, while it’s heating, have a peek at this simple recipe.

Take four large portobello mushrooms. Clean the inside with a spoon to remove the gills and stem. Brush both sides of each mushroom with olive oil or vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper and, if you like, garlic powder.

Place the mushrooms open-side down on the grill and cook for seven or eight minutes. Take them off the grill and coat the mushroom caps with pizza sauce. Then add any pizza toppings you like, such as sliced pepperoni or cooked ground beef, venison, turkey, sausage or bacon. Add some chopped onion or peppers if you’d like. Top each with mozzarella cheese. Place the mushrooms back on the grill, cover and cook another seven or eight minutes until the mozzarella cheese is melted.

That’s all there is to it. We found the recipe a few weeks ago in an advertising supplement of the Sunday Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and couldn’t wait to try it. It’s five-star dining. These mushroom pizzas aren’t very big, so allow two pizzas for each person at your table. They’re great with grilled sweet corn or whatever side dishes you like.

Need even more room in your freezer for next season’s deer harvest? Shake up your standard venison cheeseburger by grilling blue cheese burgers.

Put a pound of ground venison, beef or turkey in a large bowl. Add your favorite seasoning. Then add crumbled blue cheese to the ground meat. The more blue cheese the better. Squish everything together with your hands so the blue cheese is mixed well into the meat.

Form patties and grill just like you would any cheeseburger. When done, blue cheese oozes from the meat for a delicious and different burger.

If blue cheese isn’t your thing, use chopped cheddar, Swiss or whatever cheese you like. I like to chop some jalapeno pepper and add it to the meat, too. If you want even more cheese, add sliced cheese to the top of each burger.

Grill some potato wedges while the burgers are cooking and you’ll have burgers and steak fries. The ultimate feast is topping each burger with a slice of tomato fresh out of your garden.

Grill jockeys are always on the hunt for new dishes. Portobello mushroom pizzas and blue cheeseburgers are sure to please.

Flip Putthoff can be reached at fputthoff@nwadg.com or on Twitter @NWAFlip

Sports on 07/25/2017