Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spruce Grouse McNuggets and High Bush Cranberry Ketchup

My good friend and colleague Chris Pastro gave this wonderful recipe to me several years ago. During Spring Break, I cleaned out the freezer and found 3 lovely spruce grouse just begging to be cooked and consumed. After a frantic search for this quick and easy recipe I am on my way to making a great appetizer. I serve this wonderful delicacy with my own High Bush Cranberry Ketchup. In the fall I collect these stinky-feet smell berries from my own backyard and literally jar and can dozens of pints and half-pints of homemade ketchup to be given to friends and used throughout the year. This is a extraordinary dipping sauce for anything you would use ketchup. The recipe for this comes from the cookbook "Cooking Alaskan by Alaskans" ISBN:978-0-88240-237-6. The recipe can also be found in the cookbook, "Alaska Wild Berry Guide and Cookbook" ISBN: 978-0-88240-229-1. Ha ha, I just noticed I have both these books! The only change I made to the ketchup recipe was to add 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce.

Spruce Grouse McNuggets

Cut grouse into chicken tender sized pieces
Soak for at least 2 hours in milk in the refrigerator.
Drain milk, but don't rinse the meat.
Sprinkle pieces heavily with coarse-ground pepper
Roll in a mixture of equal amounts flour and Parmesan cheese
Bake in a 350 oven until brown and crispy

Highbush Cranberry Ketchup

6 lbs. highbush cranberries
1 1/4 pounds sweet white onions (2 large)
3 cups water
3 cups mild vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 TBSP cloves
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 TBSP allspice
1 TBSP kosher salt
2 TBSP celery salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Cook berries and onions in the water until soft. Put through a sieve and return the pulp to saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until thick and ketchup-like in consistency. Stir frequently to keep from sticking. Pour into sterilized canning jars and seal immediately. Process for 5 to 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

***Note: Do not crush the cranberry seeds. They are toxic.

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