Sunday, October 9, 2005

A slice of Heaven, and a real challenge today!

I have to start with the challenge of the day. Yesterday I was presented with 3 pheasant to make for company dinner tonight. Um, yeah. Like I know what to do with pheasant. But never one to shy away from a challenge, I set the little buggers to thaw overnight. I went back and forth on how to prepare them. Part of me thought that a lemon-pepper marinade would be good, and part of me thought they'd be perfect for a cacciatore style braise. Well, the lemon pepper marinade one, and I found a pre-made one that was lemon juice based, versus the usual water, corn syrup and flavorings that are so common.

Then I unwrapped those pheasants.

I was greeted by these tiny skinless bodies with their feet still attached! They really were rather disgusting looking, yet they were tiny and delicate. Chicken shaped, but much smaller and darker, and well, yucky. I set my kitchen shear to removing those nasty clawed feet and in the process discovered many a clump of feathers. I had such a hard time cleaning them up. Yuck. I have no problem with chicken, but this... So after further examination, I realized there was very little fat to these little birds, and decided they probably needed some, or they would dry out in no time. That was an easy fix- on to the applewood smoked bacon! After a soak in the marinade, I wrapped the pheasants in bacon and popped them in the oven.

Unfortunately, I still overcooked them, and they did end up a little dry, but the flavor was quite good. I would be tempted to order pheasant out, I think, and I would prepare it again IF I could get them from a butcher properly dressed- not from a hunter. When it came down to it, there was very little meat on one pheasant, and for three families there was hardly enough for much more than a taste, so Andy and Al headed out for a quick bucket of chicken to round out the entree part of dinner.

Then we had dessert. :-) All I can say is hail to Valchemist on the CLBB. She has shared the most wonderful dessert- Gooey Apple Sheet Cake. This is a pan of pure perfection. A moist layer of a spicy apple cake topped with a creamy cheesecake-like layer, yet bits of cake poke through the cheese layer and get all crunchy and yummy. It really is super simple- and it is a definite WOW in the kitchen- and will impress, to be sure. So here is the recipe, make it! It is so easy.

And finally, if you are reading this Lizzie, and haven't done so yet after camping, CALL RACHEL!!!!!!

Gooey Apple Sheet Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter -- melted
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c buttermilk
2 c chopped apples -- (1/4-1/2 inch pieces)
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
For the Topping:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 oz. lowfat cream cheese
2 eggs
1/4 c oats

Mix melted butter and sugar with a mixer. Add eggs and beat well. Combine the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing well. Fold in the chopped apples. Spread batter into well greased (or sprayed) 13 x 9 baking pan. Mix Topping ingredients and put over cake BEFORE baking. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 40-45 minutes. You can store this on the counter or in the refrigerator. Great warm, cold, or at room temperature.
Source: "shared by valchemist on CLBB" - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1 comment:

Lizzy said...

Did that! :) But thanks for the smile. :D