Lake Trout with Morels

Any fish will work for this recipe. Just pick your favorite fillet and go with it. We just happened to have a huge lake trout in the freezer, so this is what I used. It is finally mushroom season, and morels are my favorite. Time to stock up!

Lake Trout with Morels

1 lb fish fillets 1/2 to 3/4 thick

2 Tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup green onion, sliced

Sea salt

1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dry thyme

  • Thaw fish if frozen. Pat dry and place in baking dish. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • In a saucepan melt butter and add mushrooms, onions and thyme. Cook until tender.
  • Pour over fish and bake in 450 degree oven for 12-18 minutes. Fish should flake easily with a fork when done.

If you are lucky enough to have a surplus of morels this year there are many ways to preserve them. I have tried just about everything, and several methods work.

1. I thoroughly rinse the mushrooms in cold water. Then sauté in butter for no longer than 3 minutes. Let cool and place in a zip lock baggie with juices from pan. When you are ready to eat, cut off the plastic bag and place the whole frozen block in a skillet. Cover and cook on low. Tastes just like fresh, with a slight difference in firmness and texture.

2. I have dried them on a string in the attic for a month, I have laid them on the oven rack and dried them at 160 degrees for about an hour. I have laid them on window screens out in the back yard until dry. I have never owned a dehydrator, so that’s the only method I haven’t used. Of everything I’ve tried, threading them onto a string (like a little mini-clothes line) was by far the best. When rehydrated the taste and texture was exactly the same as fresh out of the ground. Maybe because no heat is used?

3. I have washed and drained the mushrooms so they are almost dry. Then laid them on a cookie sheet and placed them in the freezer until solid. Pack into bags and vacuüm seal. This method changed the texture a bit, but the flavor was the same.

4. My least favorite method was packing a mason jar (or other freezer container) with mushrooms, covering that with cold water and freezing. They would be ok for soup, but the texture was too mushy for my tastes. And a lot of the flavor gets dumped out with the water after thawing.

Happy mushroom hunting!

Ham and Asparagus Strata

This is an easy make-ahead breakfast. You can mix it up the night before and then bake it the next morning. It also makes a fast and easy dinner.

Ham & Asparagus Strata

4 English muffins, torn into pieces

2 cups cooked ham

2 cups fresh asparagus, cut up

4-6 oz Gruyère cheese, cubed

5 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups milk

2 Tbsp onion, finely chopped

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

  • Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Spread half of the english muffin pieces on the bottom.
  • Top with ham, asparagus and cheese cubes
  • Top with remaining english muffin pieces
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, onion, mustard and pepper
  • Pour this mixture over casserole dish, coating everything evenly
  • Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours
  • Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees for 60-65 minutes

There are a zillion variations on this recipe. I have replaced the ham with chicken before. I have used broccoli instead of asparagus. I have used swiss instead of Gruyère. Let your imagination go wild!

The Worlds Best Barbeque Sauce (sugar free)

It is grilling season, so it’s time to whip up my secret weapon. I have been adapting and changing this recipe for so many years that I don’t remember what I originally started with. All I remember is that I had a half used can of tomato paste in the fridge I was trying to get rid of, and this recipe was somehow born. I love that it has no sugar, but still tastes sweet and has this great spicy kick that goes well with just about any meat. I also really love the base of nourishing bone broth, which you can never have too much of.  Tonight we’re grilling bone-in pork ribs from our local farmer with some cornbread. Mmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

The Worlds Best Barbeque Sauce

makes 2 cups

1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil

1 cup sweet onion, diced small

1 Tbsp soy sauce

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dry mustard powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock (or beef or vegetable)

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2-1 tsp stevia powder (or sweetener of choice)

Heat butter/oil in sauce pan and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. You can serve it just like this, but I like to boil it down to thicken it a while. I turn down the heat, cover the pan and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. I also find the longer cooking time melds the flavors, and it turns out even more delicious.

I have used this sauce on every cut of pork, beef and chicken that I can think of. It is a great marinade, basting sauce, oven baking glaze and dipping sauce. If you are feeding young kids or someone who doesn’t like spicy food you may want to add the chili powder a little bit at a time and taste as you go.

If you want to make this even healthier, you could let it cool and add 2 tbsp of whey and leave it on the counter over night. Then you would have a sugar-free probiotic condiment.

This keeps for 3 weeks in the fridge, and also freezes very well. If you eat as much meat as we do, it won’t last you that long 🙂

Related Posts:
Coffee Spice Rub

Tender Grilled Brisket

Real Food Taco Soup (in the crockpot)

Real Food Chili (in the crockpot)

Real Food Lasagna (SO Simple)

Stuffed Green Peppers in the Crockpot

Country Fried Steak

Real Food Meatloaf

The Worlds Best Chimichangas!!


Baked Beans in the Crock Pot

Baked Beans in the Crock Pot

This makes 1 quart of beans

1 cup dry kidney, navy or pinto beans soaked (see below)

2 sweet, yellow onions, chopped fine

1/2 cup raw maple syrup (or brown sugar)

1/4 cup molasses

1/3 cup organic or homemade ketchup

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 lb bacon (from pasture raised pigs)

To soak the beans: Place beans in large bowl or pot, cover with 1 quart of very warm water (110-130 degrees). Soak for 8-24 hours. I put mine in the oven with the pilot light and oven light on, to keep them toasty. They next day, drain the beans and rinse.

Place beans and all other ingredients EXCEPT SALT in the crockpot, laying the bacon across the top. Adding salt to dry beans, keeps them from getting soft. Always add salt to beans after cooking. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

These are very good and very filling. I serve them with fresh cornbread right out of the oven and we usually eat way too much. This recipe freezes and reheats very well. I have made a quadruple batch before and froze it in individual containers (back when I had a chest freezer, geez I miss that!).

Salmon and Noodle Casserole (with homemade egg noodles)

Yesterday I posted a recipe for homemade egg noodles. This is the recipe I made with those noodles. I would guess the whole meal, including noodle making, took 35 minutes to throw together, plus another 30 minutes in the oven. It turned out creamy and delicious. Exactly like I wanted it to taste, I love that!

Real Food Salmon Noodle Casserole

1 batch of homemade egg noodles

1 large can (14 oz) wild-caught salmon with skin and bones (fresh salmon or tuna would also work)

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp flour + 2 Tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups raw milk

1 cup sour cream or thick homemade yogurt

1 cup shredded cheese of choice (I used raw smoked cheddar)

salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp dry parsley flakes to garnish

Place fresh noodles in boiling water for 12 minutes (or until tender). Drain and pour into 13 x 9 casserole dish.

In a heavy skillet brown onion and garlic. Push them over to the side of the pan. On the other side of the pan, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Stir the 2 Tbsp of flour into the butter to form a paste. Whisk in the milk and incorporate the onion mixture. Let this boil, stirring constantly until thick. Stir in sour cream and drained salmon. Add salt and pepper. Now is the time to taste it and make sure it’s perfect.

Pour this mixture into the casserole dish. Stir it up to mix in the noodles.

Sprinkle with grated cheese. Sprinkle with parsley.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

I haven’t tried it, but I imagine this would freeze well. We didn’t have any left over, so I couldn’t test out this theory 🙂 This is a great use for left over fish that didn’t get eaten the day before. It is also a great recipe for people who don’t really love fish, because you hardly notice it’s in there. We use canned salmon with the bones for lots of extra calcium and minerals. The bones and skin soften while cooking and you won’t notice them at all.

Potatoes Au Gratin


Potatoes Au Gratin

4 potatoes, scrubbed clean

2 Tbsp butter to grease baking dish

1 1/2 cup raw heavy cream

1/2 cup whole raw milk

2 Tbsp flour or arrowroot powder

3-5 cloves of garlic, minced

Sea salt & fresh ground pepper

1 cup raw cheddar cheese

8 pieces pastured bacon, cooked and crumbled

  • Cook and crumble the bacon. Slice potatoes into discs (don’t bother peeling them). Butter your casserole dish.
  • In a bowl mix cream, milk, flour, garlic and spices.
  • In casserole dish layer 1/3 of the potatoes, 1/3 of the milk mixture, and 1/3 of the bacon. Repeat until you are out of ingredients.
  • Cover dish with foil and bake in 400 degree oven for 35 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Cover with cheddar cheese and place back in the oven until cheese is melted. 3-5 minutes.

I could eat this by itself as a main dish, must be the Irish in me 🙂 This is a versatile side dish and goes well with just about anything. Try it with Country Fried Steak, Meatloaf, Venison Backstrap, or Fried Chicken. Next time I want to try a mixture of Gruyère and Parmesan cheese. Yum!

This recipe featured on Day 2 Day Joys  and Crystal & Co

Chicken Alfredo Bake

Chicken Alfredo Bake

4 chicken breasts

1 lb angel hair pasta-cooked

Sea salt & fresh pepper to taste

Coconut oil or butter for frying

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup Asiago or parmesan cheese, shredded

1/3 cup red bell peppers, julienned

fresh basil to garnish

In heavy skillet heat coconut oil. Brown chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to an 8×8 baking dish. While chicken is cooking pour heavy cream into a saucepan and whip for 2 minutes, until thick. Turn on heat and add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

Pour cheese mixture over the chicken. Top with pepper strips. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve over angel hair pasta.

This reheats very well, I usually double the recipe so I have leftovers for lunches. It is excellent served with crunchy garlic bread and fresh green beans. For a change, replace the chicken with shrimp and add 2 cloves crushed garlic to your sauce.


Real Food Shepherds Pie

Real Food Shepherds Pie

1 1/2 lb ground beef (or venison)

3 Tbsp butter or oil for frying

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

2 eggs, separated

1/2 cup butter

8 potatoes, cooked and mashed

2 onions

1 Tbsp ketchup

4 cups homemade beef stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic)

Sea salt & fresh pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese to top

Step One: Brown beef and onion in butter or oil. Mix in ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper. Add beef stock and cook covered for 15-20 minutes. Now is the time to taste it and make sure its perfect.

Step Two: Beat egg yolks until light. In a separate bowl beat egg white until stiff.

Step Three: Mix egg yolks, cream, 1/2 c butter and garlic into the mashed potatoes. Fold in the egg whites.

Step Four: Put meat mixture in bottom of large casserole dish. Top with mashed potato mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Step Five: Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until puffed and brown.

This is a huge hit in my house and I always make a triple batch. We eat one and the other two go in the freezer. You can freeze it before baking also, which makes it a very fast dinner during the week. I have also made this in individual lunch sized pirex dishes and baked them that way, then you have a fast and easy lunch food.

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