There's an amazing book that was delivered to the Cold, Hard Football Facts cardboard-box world headquarters earlier this year called "After The Hunt
: Louisiana's Authoritative Collection of Wild Game & Game Fish Cookery" (Folse & Co. Publishing, 2007) by Chef John D. Folse.
It's an amazing book, filled with everything from the history of Louisiana cuisine and hunting traditions, to a look at the weapons historically used to hunt in the bayou. It's also one of the biggest cookbooks you'll ever find, weighing in at around 20 pounds (we sh*t you not here, folks ... this is one big book).
And, as most tailgaters know, Louisiana cuisine is like no other. The reason it's so unique has everything to do with the critters that crawl, swim and fly around the region.
Here's one simple dish for something many people in other parts of the country wouldn't even dream of eating, squirrel, but which is used in all kinds of dishes in the Bayou State and elsewhere.
But even if squirrel ain't your bag, we still couldn't recommend "After the Hunt" more highly. It's filled with every imaginable dish from Cajun country, from humble sauces to complex jambalayas to homemade sausages to please every palate.
- 4 squirrels, dressed and cut into serving pieces
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- 4 thin slices of ham
- 4 onions, thinly sliced
- 4 carrots, thinly sliced
- 4 potatoes, thinly sliced
- 4 slices bacon
- ½ cup apple cider
- ½ cup bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season squirrel chunks with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In an earthenware casserole dish with tight-fitting lid, layer ham at the bottom and top with squirrel chunks. Add a layer of onion, layer of carrots and layer of potatoes on top of squirrel. Repeat layers until all ingredients have been used and then layer bacon on top. Pour apple cider over the casserole and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Cover dish and bake 2 hours. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.