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by Caroline Downs

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The goose is cooked, week 2 . . .

Posted 10/17/12 (Wed)

I’m continuing my mild protest against the forced decision to change GooseFest’s Wild Game Feed to this year’s BBQ Pork Feed in the name of food safety regulations. I just don’t believe an entree of steaming and tasty pork will generate quite the same conversation as roasters filled with savory bear, garlic-laced goose or barbecued elk.

That’s how I really met this year’s GooseFest North Dakota Goose Hunters Hall of Fame inductee, Larry Nore. The first year I was tapped for serving during the Feed, the committee put me right next to Larry, who showed up in his denim GooseFest shirt, lifted the lid of his assigned roaster, and asked, “What have we got here, Caroline?” as if I would know.

We read the signs attached to our roasters and started talking about the meat. By the time people arrived with their outstretched plates, I was laughing at Larry’s comments. Time passed quickly as we loaded hundreds of plates. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much as Larry kept up a running conversation with and about the folks passing through the line.

Every year I served after that, I ended up standing next to or near Larry, which meant a night of hilarious conversation. When I had the opportunity to interview him as the Hall of Fame inductee, I wasn’t surprised to leave an hour later with a stomach aching from laughing so hard. The man can tell a story all right, on himself or others. I hope we hear some at the Hall of Fame induction next week.

In the spirit of the former Wild Game Feed, this week’s recipe for a goose stir-fry is a tasty one. Again, start with meat from a honker, whitefront or snow goose. Make sure it’s clean and cleared of any fat or pieces damaged by shot.

Cut the meat into thin strips, more or less bite-sized. You can use fresh or frozen goose, but in my experience it’s easier to cut the meat when it’s still partially frozen.

Marinate the pieces if you like, using a teriyaki sauce, vinaigrette dressing, wine or other favorite marinade. Sometimes, I combine two or three flavors of marinade and sometimes I just use a little balsamic vinegar. You can also leave the meat plain.

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in your favorite large frying pan on a stove or grill burner, at medium heat.

Discard the marinade if you’ve used any and add the meat to the hot oil. At the point, I like to sprinkle some salt and pepper over the meat, just a bit. I like to use garlic salt, too.

Stir the meat until it’s coated in the oil, salt and pepper, then let it cook. It should be sizzling. Keep stirring every now and then to make sure the meat is fully cooked. Adjust the heat as needed.

In the meantime, with one eye on the goose, cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces. I like red, green or yellow peppers, carrots and onions, and I like a lot of them. As in, a whole pepper, at least half a large onion, several carrots. Sometimes I shred the carrots.

I have been known to include other vegetables, ones I have trouble enjoying, like broccoli and asparagus. It’s up to you. My husband does this with onion and potato chunks, and it’s fabulous.

Add the vegetable pieces to the meat (which should be almost crispy), with minced garlic if you like. Season with your preferred spices--parsley, basil or Mrs. Dash are mine. Then stir to mix the vegetables with the meat. Adjust the temperature as necessary,

I like to cook this on medium until the onions start to turn transparent and the peppers start to soften. My husband likes to cook it at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time--he says he gets crisper vegetables.

Either way, help yourself to a large portion. This can be a complete meal on its own, but you can serve it with a rice dish, green salad or fresh bread, too (those complement any goose entree).

You can also substitute duck for the goose, but be prepared--the meat will cook quickly.

This stir fry is easy, and the result is a healthy meal loaded with vegetables and delicious waterfowl. Add homemade chocolate cake for dessert and what could be better?