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.


Moose (or venison) Stew

Moose (or venison) Stew

Okay, time to get back the basics of what I would refer to as “rugged food!”  Stew – whether you use moose, venison, grouse, rabbit or even chicken… a good stew is hard to beat.  As I type this on November 10, 2013, it’s a surprisingly cold day out there – minus 26 Celsius with the wind chill factored in.  Even though I’m sitting about fifteen feet from my woodstove, my nipples are hard just thinking about it… and my onions [Read More]

Venison Meatballs and Sauce

Venison Meatballs and Sauce

 This is a great way to use up some of the ground venison or “moose burger” that seems to stay in the freezer a little longer than it probably should.  And, besides… everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs.  Or, rigatoni and meatballs… or, penne and meatballs… or… or… These babies freeze well, so don’t be afraid to double up on the recipes below and make a big batch of ’em.  (Texan for “them.”)  The recipe below will make about a dozen really [Read More]