by Kris Winkelman
The right side dish can make a great meal even better. This recipe for Parmesan gamebird with Parmesan-roasted garlic mashed potatoes is a good example.
I'm not going to use amounts in this part because it depends entirely on how many meals you're making. First, beat the skinless breast fillets from pheasants or ruffed grouse with a meat mallet. Next, brush them lightly with extra-virgin olive oil, and season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
Roll the breasts in fresh grated Parmesan cheese, patting the cheese onto the meat. Save the unused Parmesan for the potatoes. Next, roll the breasts in egg wash, then coat with fresh toasted breadcrumbs. Take some time to pat the breasts with a heavy coat of breadcrumbs.
When the meat is thoroughly coated, place the breasts on a plate, cover with Saran Wrap and put in the refrigerator for half an hour or so to set.
Next, prepare the potatoes. For each potato you plan to make, put one clove of garlic in a sheet of aluminum foil. Douse the cloves with a tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, fold the foil and place the packet in a 350-degree oven until the garlic is soft. You'll know they're done when the kitchen fills with that wonderful aroma of roasting garlic. Remove and let cool.
Next, peel and boil the potatoes in salted water.
When the potatoes are halfway cooked, heat a large skillet and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Take the meat from the refrigerator and, when the oil is hot, add the meat to the skillet. Fry to golden brown on all sides.
When the meat is cooked, place the skillet in a 200-degree oven to keep warm while you finish the potatoes.
Remove the roasted garlic from its peel and place in a dish. In a small saucepan, heat one cup of heavy whipping cream.
Boil the potatoes until they're fork-tender, then drain completely. Add the garlic and, a little bit at a time, the cream. You want the potatoes to be stiff, not mushy, so add the cream a little at a time. When you have the desired consistency, mash in about half a cup of fresh-grated Parmesan"”more if you have a really big batch of potatoes"”and a pat of butter.
Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and plate with a piece of the game bird. Sprinkle a bit more Parmesan and some chopped parsley over the dish and serve.
Kris Winkelman's "Ultimate Wild Game and Fish Cookbook"¯ is for sale. Cost of the cookbook is $19.95 plus $6.00 shipping & handling. To order, log onto www.winkelman.com or call 1-800-333-0471.