Verjus, or verjuice, is the juice of unripe grapes – wild or cultivated. It is a classic French alternative to vinegar, and it is pretty easy to make. Here’s how.
I learned French cuisine early on in my cooking career, so there are more than 60 French recipes for fish, seafood, wild game, edible wild plants and mushrooms here on Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.
French recipes find their way into the cuisines of many other nations, largely because for a long time, French cuisine was considered the greatest in the world.
A great many of the techniques in classic French cooking are still used today, often reimagined for modern times, but using the same bedrock skills, like making a consommé, or rillettes, or a terrine.
Fish, game and edible wild plants and mushrooms are featured in a lot of French recipes -- which is why you'll find more than 60 recipes here.
If you’ve never braised pheasant thighs, you’re missing out. Unlike the drumsticks, which can be fiddly, the thighs on pheasants (and wild turkeys) are sublime when slow cooked. This recipe is based on a French one and uses lots of mushrooms.
Belgian carbonnade flamande is one of that nation’s great gifts to world cuisine. It’s a dark, rich stew or braise that has a hint of sweet-sour-salty-spicy going on — and it’s fantastic with deer, elk or moose.
Stroganoff is a great example of what the Italians call brutti ma buoni, “ugly but good.” It ain’t the prettiest dish out there, but it’s pure comfort food joy. I make mine with venison backstrap, and it’s damn good.
If Porcini are the kings of the mushroom world, chanterelles are its queen. There are several varieties of chanterelle, ranging from the white to the cinnabar to the various yellow ones. Golden chanterelles are the most common variety of chanterelle here in the West, and those in the Pacific Northwest can start getting them in July. Here
Boudin, the ultimate Cajun comfort food. Not quite a sausage, boudin is more like jambalaya in a hog casing. You eat it on crackers or just by hand, right out of the casing. I learned how to make it at Legnon’s in Lafayette, and here’s my version.
Sorrel sauce. It’s so basic, yet so profoundly useful… and awesome. Sorrel tastes like lemonade in a leaf, and both wild and cultivated varieties grow like weeds in any garden. This rich, tart sauce is perfect with pasta, poached fish or poultry, or any other lightly cooked meat.
Fromage de tete. Coppa di testa. Presskopf. Brawn. Anything but “head cheese.” Only that’s what this is. This is the head of a wild boar I shot, cooked and pressed into a terrine pan. It’s actually damn good. No, really.