Tag Archives: meat

Pinto Squili is Illin!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 20.5 oz can pinto beans
  • 2 squirrel legs
  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida

squiliNo, we’re not that poor — but I’ve lived in South Carolina my entire life and have never taken advantage of what’s right in my back yard. All over my back yard. Because I am mostly homebound, I hear them all day every day using our gutters as freeways. Maybe now I will feel as though I was able to exert more control over the tiny creatures who don’t know I am lord of their dominion than fist-shaking can communicate. Damnit.


Dramatic recreation of how LouLou approached us this morning.

Have you ever dressed a squirrel? Because I’ve never even cleaned a fish, and this inadequacy is why I’m only using the legs. They were plump and easy to remove; the crock pot handled the rest of those hairless gams’ day. Chop up your onion and garlic for the event and throw it all in the crock pot. The longer you can let it simmer, the more tender your meat will be. Make sure to reach into things and take out any bones before serving. This wasn’t as terrible an idea as the wife told me — when cooked this long, the meat really resembles any other. Apart from the cultural finger-waggling that comes with eating rodents, this gets 4 spoons and will have leftovers frozen.

I will forever remember this small animal by the not-very-flashy name I gave him while ripping off his limbs: Pinto.



Spicy Crockpot Chicken with Parsely-Walnut Pesto (or, “The Corned Beef is All Yours Today”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c chicken tenders
  • Ancient HarvestĀ® garden pagodas
  • 1 c parsley sprigs (stems removed)
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 3 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Start your chicken out on the train to Easytown — plop it in the slow cooker with 2 tbsp garlic paste, cayenne and black pepper and cover with water. Set the cooker on L and walk away for a few hours. It’s a great set up, actually, because your pesto will only taste better after it’s sat a minute:

Put parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, salt, flax, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp garlic paste into the food processor and puree the heck out of it. When it’s good and chunk-free (even the little chunks! be vigilant!), move it to an airtight container in the fridge and pray your patience will bring a huge, delicious payoff.

At dinnertime, boil water and cook your gluten-free pasta; drain. While it’s still hot mix in all but 1tbsp of the pesto, making sure to get a little all up in the crooks and spirals of your self-proclaimed “pagodas” — really, they taste nothing like a Buddhist or Taoist temple of worship, but the flavor of your earlier endeavor should eclipse this misnomer. Strain your chicken and mix it up with the remaining tbsp of pesto, then marry the pasta and the meat. Mazel tov, 4 spoons!

And because it is St. Patrick’s Day, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Please note that, despite often having my Irish red hair belie my Italian heart (and that birthmark on my head that grows black hair), I did not make corned beef today. Did I just forget? Not have it in the pantry and have no vehicle with which to go procure some from a grocer? No and yes. I have never liked it, and even if I wasn’t dead-set (so to speak) on getting to an animal-free diet you would never catch it on any plate of mine. And a day that forces it down your throat (along with copious amounts of alcohol)? I am no fan. Despite the red damn hair. Here, let me have another disenfranchised genetic Irish speak:

“I have never been greatly tied emotionally or sentimentally to my own Irish background. The Irish in America are sometimes more Irish than the Irish and I suppose some of my indifference is a reaction against that.” – Flannery O’Connor Letter, 7/25/63

To summarize: I have red hair and a genetic heritage linked in part to the Irish culture but will consume neither corned beef nor copious amounts of alcohol. Happy St. Patty’s!



Raspberry Beef MexiSoup (or, “Not Every Experiment Works”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1lb beef stew meat
  • 2 c fresh raspberries from your backyard
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can of corn, drained
  • 1Ā  14 oz can beef broth
  • 1 packet au jus mix
  • 1 packet onion gravy mix
  • 1 packet chili seasoning
  • 3 c frozen crowder peas
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 c water
  • 1 c minced kale
  • 3 tbsp diced onion

My apologies for another recipe with which I have personal ethical and medical concerns — but in this case, various gravy and seasoning mix packets saved it. Again. I’m talking to you, rescue chili. Why don’t I cotton to using many of these packets? Delicious, yes. Sodium content? Abhorrent. I might as well just call recipes that use more than one of these types of packets “salt soup.” A little salt soup is always called for before the game ends if there is need for thickening and/or flavor. This is ultimately what happened, and I am not proud. But dinner? Really, really tasty.

Start a frozen packet of beef stew in the crock pot on L with raspberries, garlic paste and beef broth. Upon coming back the next morning, the rest of the ingredients were added after the meat was found sufficiently flavored and back-of-a-teaspoon smashable. Once all the kids were in the pool, the crock pot was covered and left on L for another 6 hours.

When served, this soup was topped with minced kale leaves that had been massaged with a smidge of safflower oil and mixed with diced onion. It was an excellent dance of color and flavor… and then a terrible texturturous turn. Seeds. Raspberry seeds. Oh no, why didn’t I remember that fruit sometime had those? And why hadn’t the slow cooker made them any less like industrial gravel? So the raspberries that were meant to save the stew meat instead betrayed said stew. And me. And it was, for that, a shame upon my house. Without the spitoon rocks, this would easily have gotten 4 spoons.

I did learn that minced massaged kale and onions are a great meal topper, so isn’t that what really matters here?