November 2011

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play with your food Going Wild for a Good Cause Steenbock's on Orchard prepares a menu of wild game with a side of giving By Michael and Jean Muckian The New World's first Thanksgiving din- ner, say historians, occurred in November 1621, when a band of Wampanoag Indians and members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony met for what may have been the first and last cordial meal between Native Americans and European colonists. Turkey may have been on the menu, but there also would have been boiled lobster, roasted swan, cod, haddock and venison, all part of the area's bountiful harvest. Chef Michael Pruett of Steenbock's on Orchard—a Food Fight Inc. restaurant located within the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on the UW campus—will of- fer his own take on the fall harvest dinner on Nov. 8, with a portion of the proceeds going to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. Pruett's goal is not to recreate the first Thanksgiving but draw on his own back- ground, offering a wild game dinner of impressive proportions. "My family began preparing wild game dinners after my father's hunting trips in Minnesota, Texas or out west," says the 37-year-old Minnesota native who stud- ied at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, Calif. "I loved prepar- ing dinners with ingredients we normally wouldn't be able to find." Pruett plans to revisit those memo- ries with a selection of farm-raised game Smokin', Spicy Turkeys! Kevin "Tex" Tubb, former chef/manager of Food Fight's Eldorado Grill, Tex Tubb's Taco Palace and Cactus Ranch, recently left Madison to return to his native Austin, another victim of too many Wisconsin winters. As a going away gift to Madison friends and fans, he is sharing his secret recipe for a Thanksgiving turkey. Eldorado Grill's Pasilla-Rubbed Turkey 5 pasilla chiles, seeded and stemmed 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 15 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste 1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns 16- to 18-lb. pound turkey, defrosted 84 BRAVA Magazine 1. Toast chiles, turning once, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with boiling water about 20 minutes. Transfer chiles and half their liquid to a blender. 2. Mix together softened butter, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and chile mix. Rub over the whole turkey, making sure to rub the outside of the turkey, under the skin and the inside cavity. 3. Conventional oven: Cook 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees or until internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove from oven, cover with tinfoil, and let turkey rest for 10 minutes. Uncover for 5 minutes before cutting. Smoker: Cook 25 to 35 minutes per pound. Remove from smoker, cover with tinfoil, and let turkey rest for 10 minutes. Uncover for 5 minutes before cutting. November 2011 (the FDA does not allow game harvested from the wild to be served in commercial restaurants) during his nine-course feast. While there won't be any swan, he plans to offer duck consommé and foie gras, rabbit with turnip and celeriac, and roasted squab stuffed and served with squash, orange and pearl onion. There also will be bison, deer, elk and pumpkin. As a rule, game meat is leaner and some- times tougher than beef or pork, a condi- tion Pruett will remedy through braising. The leaner meat's increased nutritional value will make $100-plus feast—$40 of which goes to Second Harvest—not only healthy but a unique treat for many diners. Visit Michael and Jean Muckian have covered the local food and arts scenes for over 25 and 15 years, respectively. Find their blog, Culturosity, at Photo by Shanna Wolf

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