RD's Rugged Recipes



Okay, here’s the scoop…

I don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to come across as some veteran chef who was trained in France or at The Culinary Institute of America, because I’m not and I wasn’t. I spent a little time in culinary school, I slugged it out “on the line” in a few kitchens over the years and I ran a small restaurant of my own for a while… but none of that makes me a certified chef. But, I am a kick-ass home cook and some of my stuff is pretty goddamn good! No-one has ever barfed on my floor after a meal, that much I can assure you! I do recall this one chick barfing off my back deck once, but that had nothing to do with food.

Most of the recipes below are pretty basic… I even added French fries and chicken wings to the list. I try to mix things up a little bit, so you might come across one meal that may seem a bit advanced if you’re just learning how to cook and then, the next one is simple dish of sweet carrots.

I don’t have a fancy food stylist either and none of these pictures were touched up. In fact, I take all the pictures myself in my own kitchen, with just a crappy little digital camera because I wanted this whole thing to be realistic and believable. I’m not overly concerned about presentation either. Just put the food on a damn plate and serve it. Food is meant to eaten, not looked at.

One thing to keep in mind is that I really don’t use actual recipes when I’m cooking. I rarely measure anything accept for when I’m baking. That’s when you must measure nearly everything… You must measure when you bake!

However, I felt that I had to come up with measurements for the recipes on this site otherwise it would look pretty lame if I said, “Well, throw in about a handful of this or a couple scoops of that,” or, “Just throw in some dry oregano.” My point is that when you make any of these dishes, sure, go ahead and measure most things to start off with. But, for the most part, don’t worry too much about precise measurements. Just “go by feel,” as they say, and taste it as you go. You’ll learn a lot that way and you’ll gain some valuable confidence. Anyone can read a recipe book and follow directions. That’s not as much cooking as it is assembling. You learn how to cook by cooking. Don’t get too technical and don’t freak out if you screw something up. We’ve all been there…

Below are a few links to some outdoor cooking videos I did not too long ago.

Fresh walleyes anyone?

How to Cook Walleye - One.
How to Cook Walleye - Two

How ’bout venison?

How to cook venison.


Wild Mallard Duck with Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mallard Duck with Mushroom Risotto

I love eating duck, especially wild duck.  Mallard is the most plentiful and the most popular, but others like the wood duck, teal, and widgeon are also excellent.  There are many other species of wild duck that are top shelf for the table.  And, with a beaver pond (and my duck blind) only 200 yards from my back door, eating duck is a common occurrence for me throughout the fall and winter. Wild duck can be dry as it’s very [Read More]

Sweet Carrots with Tarragon

Sweet Carrots with Tarragon

This is one you must whip out if you ever have someone try to tell you they don’t like carrots, especially – kids!  Spoiled little brats… Use your own discretion as to how many carrots you’ll need, but I normally go with two medium to large carrots per person, because they always ask for more.  This is a great side dish for almost any wild game or chicken, beef or pork dishes.  They don’t keep that well in the fridge [Read More]

Creamy Turkey Rolls with Basil Pesto

Creamy Turkey Rolls with Basil Pesto

This one of the items I made on the cooking show pilot we recently produced.  It is absolutely delicious!  I hope you don’t mind me bragging my ass off for a second or so…  this dish is crunchy, creamy and loaded with flavour, the way a good dish should be! Of course, this recipe will work with any white fowl and likely with the right cut of pork.  I used normally turkey because chicken, quail, grouse and pheasant are smaller making it [Read More]

Breaded Pheasant with Avocado Butter

Breaded Pheasant with Avocado Butter

This one is always a winner when I serve it to friends.  I actually had one of my dude buddies (who has a wife) actually ask me if I’d marry him.  Awkward…  I look at him a little differently now.  So does his wife. I think one of the reasons this one is so good is due to the crunch of the breaded fowl, and the contrast of the cold avocado butter.  You could serve it warm too, if you’d rather.   I [Read More]

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Banana bread is fairly easy to make and even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, it’ll still be damn good!  My mom used to make banana bread often and I remember using it for trade in the lunch room when I was a kid.  It would always yield excellent returns! And, as a bonus, banana bread is totally rugged if you eat it in a duck blind!  Do it… Ingredients:  1 cup butter or margarine 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 [Read More]

Rugged Dude Pizza

Rugged Dude Pizza

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t LOVE pizza… but, many people (me included) are tired of all the national pizza chains.  After a while, they all seem to be the same. I really love the homemade “ma & pa” places that make pizza the way it should be, the old way; rustic and delicious.  Sadly, the private, family run pizza shops are dying off for one reason or another.  This is such a shame. Where I live, there are no [Read More]

Bannock

Bannock

Now, before I get rolling here, I want to make it clear that although I think my bannock is pretty good, it pales in comparison to some I’ve tried.  I’m talking about the famous bannock that the People of the Ojibwe and Cree First Nations have been making traditionally for many, many years.  It’s really hard to beat “Koochum’s” (Ojibwe for Grandma) blueberry bannock. When I appeared on the Food Network show, Grill It, with Bobby Flay, I made blueberry bannock to go along with the venison [Read More]

Blueberry – Chocolate Sauce

Pork Cooked To Medium

Let’s use a popular meat for this application… venison chops.  Many people call them chops, but they’re actually rib steaks from the deer.  I think we sometimes say chops because they’re so small and about the size of smaller store bought pork chops.  They also look a lot like lamb chops. This is one of the dishes I grilled on the Food Network show I did back in 2009. Ingredients:  Olive oil 1 ½ cups red wine 1 cup blueberries ¼ cup chocolate [Read More]

RD’s Classic Fish & Chips

RD’s Classic Fish & Chips

Okay, as much as I hate to admit this, I just love deep fried fish.  I know it’s not the healthiest way to cook your food, but just like KFC… every once in a while, I just have to get that deep fried fix!  Speaking of KFC, wouldn’t it be cool if you could order a barrel of just the skin?  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… This recipe works well with most types of fish and of course, walleye is awesome, but I use [Read More]

Salmon Cakes with Honey, Lemon & Dill Sauce

Salmon Cakes with Honey, Lemon & Dill Sauce

This recipe works great with any kind of fish, but salmon is the best, in my opinion.  You could easily swap out the fish for shrimp, lobster or crab too.  Most restaurants serve a red pepper sauce with their crab cakes and it’s really friggin’ good!  But, for this salmon cake recipe I came up with something a little different.  And, who the hell doesn’t like lemon, honey and dill? Weird people maybe… Ingredients:  Cakes 6 ounces fresh salmon (canned salmon sucks, [Read More]