By Mark Fike
My family lives off the land as much as possible. My wife and daughters join me in hunting, fishing, and raising animals for our food. We also grow many vegetables and herbs in our garden.
With that spirit in mind, we’d like to share some simple, yet tasty recipes that not only sustain us, but provide some fine dining in a very satisfying way!
Almost all of our ingredients come from the garden, the woods, or the local waters near our home—and we know you will enjoy these quick and easy recipes just as much as we do.
Breakfast tacos—recipe serves two, but can be multiplied as needed
- 3 fresh eggs
- 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese (any kind)
- 6 tortillas (corn or flour — your choice)
- 1 fresh garden tomato
- 5 stalks of cilantro
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 banana pepper
- 2 fresh garden onions
- 1 Tbsp olive oil per pan
Chop the onion and peppers (any type of peppers will work) into small pieces.
Dice tomato and set aside. Shred the leaves from a few stalks of cilantro and set aside.
Scramble eggs in a bowl to be cooked.
In a small pan with a dab of olive oil, heat the pepper and onion and cook until slightly soft. Then add the scrambled eggs into the pan and stir so peppers and onions evenly distribute.
Meanwhile, in another hot pan with just a few drops of olive oil, warm tortillas and place on a plate as the eggs near completion.
Once the eggs are fluffy and golden, scoop into warm tortillas, add a few shredded leaves of cilantro, a healthy pinch of cheese and top with diced tomato. An optional addition would be sour cream.
Adjustments—eggs can be seasoned with your favorite seasoning, different peppers can be used, or the amount of pepper can be adjusted to taste.
Lunch—Venison stir fry – makes for two-three people
We use a portable electric skillet or a cast iron skillet for this recipe.
- 1 ½ pounds of a lean cut of venison. Steak, roast, or loin works well.
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange or red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 large fresh onion or six garden onions with half the green stalks attached
- Your favorite steak seasoning to taste
- 3 Tbsp of olive or cooking oil
Slice the meat into quarter inch slices or strips.
Slice the peppers into half-inch wide strips the length of the pepper. Chop onion into small pieces.
Warm skillet on medium heat.
Once the skillet is hot with just enough oil on bottom to keep ingredients from sticking, add in meat first and season with your favorite steak rub or seasoning. (We like to use Creole seasoning on our meat.)
Once the meat is cooked to a nice rare, add in the peppers and onions and cover. Let cook for 6-7 minutes, but stir a couple times.
Uncover and check the meat and pepper to ensure the meat is completely cooked. (Pull the largest piece of meat and cut looking for pink).
Supper–Grilled or fried fish, chard or poke, red potatoes—Feeds up to four
- 8 bass (or other gamefish) filets
- 2 large handfuls of fresh chard or poke (this is approximately 4 -6 cups precooked)
- 4 large red potatoes or eight small potatoes
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- Old Bay seasoning to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 stalks of parsley
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 16 inches of aluminum foil if grilling fish.
Pat fish filets dry, set aside. Warm grill or skillet.
Cube potatoes, put in a covered pot on medium heat in an inch of water with a spoonful of butter and shredded parsley to taste. Season with salt and pepper.
Wash greens thoroughly and put in a covered pot on low to medium with enough water (1/2 inch) to steam them down. (I start the greens after the potatoes have been cooking ten minutes.)
As soon as the greens are started, put fish filets on the grill in a “pan” crafted of aluminum foil with just enough oil to keep from sticking or put in a cast iron skillet. Season with Old Bay. Roll foil shut to cook seasonings into the fish.
Pull potatoes when tender. Greens should be done when the potatoes are done. Fish is done when the meat flakes apart with a fork. Serve hot with your favorite cool beverage.
Note—Poke is gathered in the wild. Only choose the tops of the plant that is no bigger than 18 inches tall. The shorter shoots are far better. Be sure to boil the poke twice and drain each time as poke is said to have toxins in it. Rinse the greens after the second boiling with warm water.