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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Venison Loin Chops and Cheese Stick Appetizers

The weather remains quite cold here even though we have had no new snow accumulation for the past twelve hours. I decided to experiment a bit with venison for dinner. We only have a little left and it needs to be used up. We also need to free up freezer space for the soon to arrive beef so I'm back to preparing meals with at least one or more foods from the freezer as much as possible. Later I fried up cheese sticks served with ranch dressing. Overall this effectively used up eight venison loin chops, side pork and a half package of cheese sticks from the freezer.

Venison Loin Chops

Venison loin chops are small but quite filling. Don't let what appears to be a small amount of meat on the plate fool you. Venison is very low fat and can have a tendency towards being tough and gamey in flavour. So, I always pair venison with pork of some kind. It is best could much the same way you would tougher cuts of beef, long and slow or in liquid.

In this case I used about 1 tbsp of bacon grease and four strips of side pork. Side pork looks like bacon but has a very different flavour because it isn't cured or smoked. I marinated the venison loin chops in sun roasted tomato and oregano dressing then placed on top of the side pork and bacon grease with a little of the marinade to slow roast. Accompaniments were Calrose rice cooked in chicken stock, home canned yellow wax beans and steamed asparagus. It wasn't a fancy meal but it met the goal of using two foods from the freezer.

Cheese Sticks

During the holiday season it is surprising how many little extras you end up with. Some of these like cheese sticks while not a regular part of our diets make for nice snacks. I had a half bag of cheese sticks left over from entertaining so decided to make an evening snack. These can be bought already breaded and ready to fry. One of these days I will try making my own from scratch but for now I had these to use up. The trick to frying cheese sticks is to use hot oil then fry until you can just see a bit of cheese oozing out. Remove from the fryer, drain on paper towels then arrange on sandwich plates or a platter. Individual serving bowls of Ranch dressing go nicely with cheese sticks.

Today's cooking wasn't particularly creative but it was good and used up three foods that freed up freezer space. Sometimes this style of pantry and freezer cooking is a necessity. Be sure to check back here as I share other pantry and freezer cooking ideas.

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