For a lot of Texans, we are coming to the end of our Religious Pilgrimage. Sure there is always a spring turkey to shoot or a big redfish to land, but for all intents and purposes, hunting season is all but over. We must now return to our familial responsibilities and hope that the return of the season comes sooner than we might expect.
It has become a tradition within my group of hunting buddies to have a “Man Dinner” at the close of every season. A time to bring families together and enjoy the fruits of our labor. A time to enjoy the company of our wives, our kids and……blah, blah, blah. Who am I trying to kid. The Man Dinner has very little to do with bring our families together. No, the Man Dinner has everything to do with drinking beer, eating good food and telling lies about all the good and bad hunts we had. And from what I can tell, though I have never asked, I think the women folk may enjoy it too.
At past Man Dinners, I have impressed the crowd with Twisted appetizers like Dove Poppers, White Trash Hors d’ Oeuvres, Billy Ray’s Boudin. By all means, good eats; but, by no means a full meal. However, this year, dinner is at mi casa and the main grub is my responsibility. A big porterhouse on the grill sounds good, but where is the fun in that. Venison tenderloin is an excellent choice, but when you fall asleep in the stand like I do, it is hard to take a deer. As a result, this year’s Man Dinner will feature…………..
8 Bobwhite quail, partially deboned
1 8 oz bottle White Lake Beer B Que sauce
½ c Steen’s cane syrup
Goat Cheese Grits:
2 c water
¾ c heavy cream
2 T butter
2 t garlic, chopped
1 t kosher salt
½ t black pepper
¾ c stone-ground white grits
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
6 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 yellow onion, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 small package white mushrooms, sliced
4 slices bacon, diced and cooked
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small skillet, sauté jalapenos for 2 to 3 minutes and set aside. Next, add water, cream, butter, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, pour in grits and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Once grits are tender, stir in goat cheese and jalapenos. Warm grits are a must. If not serving immediately, cover with lid. If grits cool down before serving, add a little milk and reheat over medium-low heat.
While grits are simmering, pour White Lake and cane syrup into medium sauce pan, over medium heat. Reduce liquid by half and reserve for basting quail.
Next, heat grill to medium. Drizzle quail with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, breast-side down, over medium heat, for about 7 minutes. Flip and brush breast side with White Lake reduction. Continue grilling, flipping and basting until just cooked through.
While grilling, sauté onions, garlic, peppers and mushrooms over medium heat for approximately 5 to 6 minutes or until peppers are tender. Place spinach and cooked bacon in pan and sauté for 5 minutes.
To serve, spoon a generous helping of grits into middle of plate, add small amount of vegetable sauté, place two quail on top of grits and sauté. Drizzle with White Lake reduction and serve.
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