Sunday, May 27, 2012

Garden to Table Challenge: Venison Fiorentinis

"Girls, I'll be right back, gonna run out to the garden to get some food for dinner."

Oh man, I was starting to feel like I might never have the pleasure of uttering those words again. But alas, the time has finally come - we are starting to harvest little bits here and there, and the satisfaction of providing fresh vegetables for ourselves has returned. :::contented sigh::: Granted it's mostly spinach, and spinach isn't my favorite food, but right now, it tastes lovely!

And this means.... I finally have another post for the Garden to Table Challenge!

I have a deep, heartfelt love for hors d'ouevres and appetizers. I will happily read appetizer recipes in cook books, mark them and add them to my to-make list... and then realize we have no social life and I really have no reason to make fancy hors d'ouevres in real life. And then I decided there was no good reason not to be making them every so often for my family, just because they're good and we like them. Every so often, I'll make a plate of some kind of appetizer and serve it alongside baked potatoes or rice or salad. No one has complained yet, so I'm gonna keep doing it.

Tonight's dinner was just that - Venison Fiorentinis. The original recipe, which I changed quite a bit, came from The Colorado Farmer's Market Cookbook, one I suggest for anyone wanting to cook with fresh fruits and vegetables (and you don't have to be from Colorado to enjoy it.)

Venison Fiorentinis
1 lb venison steaks
4 cups fresh spinach
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese (the real stuff, not the powdery stuff.)
15 sheets phyllo dough
olive oil

Step one: fry the steaks in a bit of olive oil until medium rare. This takes about 8 minutes, turning once. Remove from pan and let cool a bit.

Step two: Chop the spinach into 1/2 inch bits. Toss it into a bowl with the parmesan cheese. Chop the steaks into tiny bits and mix those in as well. Season it with salt, pepper and garlic powder. This is your filling.

Step three: Fold a phyllo sheet in thirds, then cut this rectangle in half. You'll have two squares. Brush them with olive oil, then put a spoonful of filling on each square, fold it in half to make a triangle. Fill a baking sheet with these, then bake them at 400 degrees for 8 minutes or so, til the dough is golden.

No joke, these little things are pretty incredible. They even convince little girls to eat spinach without the slightest complaint. And as far as sinful appetizers go... well, there are more sinful things. If course, they're so little and cute that you don't feel guilty having "just one more"... several times.

If you don't have any venison steaks in your freezer, you could use regular beef steaks and they'd be just as amazing, I'm pretty certain.

I've never purchased or used phyllo dough before (I've lived a sheltered life.) It thrilled me more than it should have. As I was devouring these amazing bits of goodness, I was fantasizing about all the different things a girl could wrap in phyllo dough. The possibilities are endless. Go forth, my friends, and start wrapping things in phyllo. You will not be disappointed. Especially if it involves venison and cheese.


Wendy said...

ha ha- you always make me laugh. Wait till you discover store bought puff pastry! Your venison Fiorentinis looks amazing. I have no doubt any kid would wolf these down. Is this your own venison too?

Julie said...

LOL Wendy, I'll have to keep an eye out for puff pastry. That sounds fun! Yes, it's our venison, from the deer hubby got last fall. Hopefully we can make it hold out til hunting season comes 'round again...