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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Recipe of the Day

Hunting, St. Francis Xavier Church, Terrific Cooking

If you are looking for a source of tested and proven recipes there is nothing like getting ahold of a church cookbook.  You can count on the fact that the church ladies are going to submit only those recipes that are proven successes - both in the preparation and in the consumption.  Anything less might invite a discouraging word.

I still have the St. Bernadette Parish Cookbook from the neighborhood where I grew-up.  And periodically I'll refer to one of mom's or Aunt Lois' or one of the other Christian Mother's recipes that were compiled into the ring-bound, and what has become a very dog-eared, cookbook.

This last weekend I had a couple of fresh pheasant breasts on my hands. What to do? 

I was thinking one pot meal.  

Recalling a successful pheasant cordon bleu casserole recipe I searched my file on the laptop. 

Nothing. 

I searched the accordion file. 

Nothing. 

Then it occurred to me that the cordon bleu casserole was a variation of a chicken casserole.  And it resided in a church cookbook.  

Fetching the Saint Francis Xavier Church cookbook I found it.  And a bunch of other chicken or turkey casseroles - all easily adapted to pheasant.  Between you and me it's a great cookbook.  Contained within you'd find everything from chicken booyah, Belgian jutt, five kinds of meatloaf and homemade soap.  With everything in-between.

Crispy Pheasant Casserole

4 C seasoned stuffing

1 C butter, melted

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 C milk

4 C cooked chicken or turkey, cut-up

2-4 t onion, minced

1 can sliced water chestnuts

Mix the stuffing mixture with the butter.  Put half of the mixture in a greased casserole dish.  Combine all the remaining ingredients and pour over the stuffing mixture.  Spread the remaining stuffing mixture over the top. Bake uncovered in a 350 oven for 60 minutes (more or less) or until bubbly and brown.

My variation - De-bone and cut-up a couple of pheasant breasts.  Sear on high heat in a pan with olive oil and a small (chopped) garden onion and a heaping teaspoon of minced garlic.  Grind fresh cracked pepper over-all.  When browned add a small package of sliced raw mushrooms. Toss all together.  Cover and allow to cook until the shrooms are only partially done.

About all that butter.  I cut the butter in half and substituted olive oil.

If you're a busy mom or dad you can make this ahead of time and throw it in the oven after work.  A batch like this is perfect for company or ideal for bring-a-dish-to-pass affairs.  It's too much for just Jill and me - so it's perfect for lunch leftovers.  If you're using leftover chicken or turkey - your leftovers can be reincarnated as, well, leftovers.

Edit to add:

About the leftovers.  Found this in my lunch:

House rules stipulate that I have do the dishes.

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