Veggie Herder’s Breakfast

IMG_9939

This recipe is a different take on the classic Sheepherder’s Breakfast, which uses bacon, hash browns, onions and eggs. I was looking for something different, so I threw this together this morning for breakfast and it was quite good. Give it a try.
Ingredients
Red bell pepper diced
4 ramps chop entire ramp into 1-inch pieces
Half a bag of shredded hash brown potatoes
1 cup whole cherry tomatoes
1 avocado sliced the chopped into large pieces
4 eggs
Oil
Directions
Heat oil in cast iron skillet and add ramps and peppers. Cook until ramp leaves are wilted. Add hash brown potatoes and cook until potatoes nearly done. Add cherry tomatoes and sliced avocados. Mix well and heat for about 2 minutes. Crack four eggs on top of potato mix, cover, and cook on low heat until eggs are done. Serve with salsa.

Sheepherders Breakfast

IMG_1133

This meal is best when made in a Dutch over over a fire. It is a perfect camping food and it can be used for breakfast, lunch or supper. It has bacon and eggs. How could it be anything but delicious? Total cooking time is about half an hour. To speed things up start the charcoal before beginning to slice up the onions and bacon.

Ingredients
1 lbs. bacon diced
1 large onion diced
1 or two packages shredded hash browns, or 6 to 8 potatoes peeled and diced or shredded
6 to 9 eggs
salt and pepper.
Paprika (Optional)

Directions

Heat Dutch oven and add bacon. Fry until crisp. Add onions and saute’ until translucent. Stir in potatoes and cook for a few minutes. With a large serving spoon, smoosh down potatoes, onions, and bacon so top is flat. Press spoon into surface to make an indent. Crack an egg into indent. Continue this process until eggs are spread around the the Dutch oven. Sprinkle paprika on top. Place lid on oven and add coals for medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes or until eggs reach desired level of cooking, i.e. soft yokes or hard. Can be served with hot sauce. If using fresh potatoes, soak in cold water for a bit to remove the starch. This makes for crisper hash browns.

Apple Pie

002

Ingredients
6 cups peeled and sliced apples
1 cup sugar (I use a sweeter apple and go light on the sugar)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg
1 table spoon butter- cut into quarters.
Pastry for a double crust pie
Directions
Place bottom crust in pie plate and fill with apples. Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Then sprinkle mixture over apples. Add butter pieces, Place top crust on pie and seal and flute edges. Place pie in Dutch oven on trivet or corner irons. Place coals on top of Dutch oven. Suspend oven over more coals. The heat on top should be greater than on the bottom. Do not over heat. Check frequently. Pie should be done in about an hour.

Chapatti

IMG_2531
When I was in Uganda , I got to sample many new foods. Chapatti is a flat bread that is widely eaten in East Africa. Chapatti originated in India and migrated to East Africa where it has become a staple food. The Ugandan version is made slightly different than the Indian version. I managed to have a phone conversation with Jennipher Makoye, who is the cook for the guest house that I lived in when I was in Uganda. She gave me her recipe for making Chapatti. The measurements are approximate since many ingredients are measured by the handful. A tip from the cook shack: This bread must be cooked on high heat so it gets puffy while cooking. But do not take your eyes off it, because the bread will burn fast. A large cast iron griddle is the best pan for cooking the chapattis.

This bread is simple and quick to make and cook. Add a bit for world cuisine to your meals today.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
warm water
cooking oil

Directions:
Mix flour, and salt in a bowl.
Slowly, mix in enough water to make a thick dough.
Kneed dough for a few minutes adding water or flour as necessary
Cover bowl of dough with a clean cloth and let sit for about a half-hour.
Pre-heat (medium high or high) and lightly grease a skillet or fry pan.
Divided the dough into tangerine sized balls.
Using a rolling pin, on a floured board flatten the balls into six-inch circles.
Lightly flour the chipatis before stacking while rolliing additional chipates.
Fry until each side has golden-brown spots, flipping once.
Cover the cooked chapais until served. To keep warm, wrap the stack of finished chipatis in a heavy plastic grocery bag or place in oven on lowest setting.

Ramps and Eggs

IMG_1921

The ramps are up so the wild food season is officially open. I went out and gathered some ramps and then used them to make my favorite ramp meal-ramps and eggs. Ramps can be found in the woods in areas with moist soils. Ramps have a flavor that is a cross between an onion and garlic. Ramps can also be easily dried for later use. As with any popular wild food, over harvesting is a concern so it is strongly recommended that ten percent or less of a patch of ramps be harvested.

Ingredients
10 ramps
1 yellow pepper chopped
Fresh mushrooms chopped
Small onion chopped
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 lbs pork sausage
1 cup grated Swiss cheese

Directions

Slice the bulb (white portion) of the ramp into 1/4 inch wide slices. Slice the purple part of the ramp into inch long chunks combine with white part. Crosscut the green leaves into one inch wide pieces and set aside.

Begin browning the pork sausage. When it is about ½ done add the white and purple parts of the ramps, green pepper, mushrooms and onions.

Mix eggs and milk and beat well in a separate bowl.

When sausage and fixings are done, add the egg and milk mixture, the green portion of the ramps and the cherry tomatoes.

When eggs are fully cooked, spread Swiss cheese on top, turn off heat and cover until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Ramps are not around for very long so run out and dig a few and cook up this dish. You’ll really dig it.

A Few Spring Wild Edibles

IMG_7344
When the marsh marigolds are in bloom, it is time to head to the woods with a pack basket to gather some wild foods. There are some delicious wild foods that pop almost as soon as the snow melts. I’ll describe four of my favorite spring wild foods below.
IMG_7317

Ramps, or wild onions, are one of the most famous wild plants in Wisconsin’s woods. This plant, which looks a bit like a tulip without the flower, is a very tasty treat. The entire ramp plant can be dug up and eaten. To prep ramps for eating, just wash off the dirt and trim the roots. The flavor is a cross between onion and garlic. Ramps go great in omelets and with venison. Ramps can be picked and hung to dry for future use. Ramps can be found in hardwoods with a damp soil. Ramps are vulnerable to over harvest so the entire clump of ramps should never be taken. I always leave one or two ramps from every clump.
a patch of wild onions

Watercress is another plant that is prime for harvesting in the spring. If you can find a cold clear spring in the spring, it may hold lots of watercress. It has a slight radish flavor that is great in salads and soups. I spray watercress with vinegar and rinse before eating to reduce the probability I am eating stuff like giardia.

watercress

Wild ginger is also in its prime in the spring. Ginger can be harvested from spring until late fall, but I think the flavor is best in the spring while it is flowering. Wild ginger is slung low to the ground and the roots are just under the surface of the soil. In the spring ginger has a small red flower. The root is the edible part of the plant. It can be used fresh, dried or ground up. It works great in pumpkin pie.

wild ginger

Late spring is the time to harvest the famous morel mushroom. This is probably the most commonly harvested mushroom and when it is in season, many people will be in the woods looking for dead elms and morels. Lesser known but equally delicious is the oyster mushroom, which also blooms in the late spring. These pearly white mushrooms prefer dead stumps and trees and grow in clumps. As always, when gathering wild mushrooms, make 200% certain you know what mushroom you are eating.IMG_20150512_172203

I’ll be publishing some ramp recipes under the Cook Shack page later.

Basic Wild Rice Casserole

IMG_9152

Wild rice is an amazing food. It is delicious and highly nutritious. It makes a wonderful component in a myriad of hot dishes. This recipe is my foundational recipe for multiple hot dishes that involve wild rice. It also makes a great side dish. With the ingredients in this dish, one can add venison, beef, chicken, rabbit or squirrel. Sauces like good ole’ cream of mushroom soup, chicken or beef broth, or milk gravy can also be used to enhance the dish for some very fine dining. The cooking time and amount of water added to the dish will vary depending if hand harvested rice or commercially grown and harvested rice is used. The hand harvested rice will take two times the amount of water to rice while commercially harvested rice will take three times water to rice. Hand harvested rice will cook in 15 to 20 minutes and commercial rice in about 45 minutes.
Ingredients
1 cup wild rice
Water as directed above.
2 carrots sliced
3 stalks celery sliced
1 medium onion chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning.
Optional
Fresh or dried ramps. Fresh ramps can be sliced and added to mix. Dried ramp can be crushed and cooked or be run through a spice grinder and added.

Directions
Heat oil in fry pan add carrots, celery, and onion. If Fresh ramps are available add them now. Sauté till nearly soft. Add rice and cook for a couple of minutes. Add water and cover and cook until the rice is done.