They scampered away and will probably be all over the yard tonight setting the lights off.
So as I am all about food, I briefly think of calling my friend M, whose family hunts, but nix the idea before it fully forms. But it does get me thinking about my wedding because we stayed at The Elms and ate venison with lingonberry. So here we are at full circular thinking - Norwegian food!
This is a good recipe for venison from The Kitchen of Light by Andreas Viestad who had a booksigning at Liberty Bay Books, which is across the street from me.
Four 1/2-pound venison fillets
8 juniper berries, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup game or beef stock
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 to 1 ounce gjetost sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 to 2 tablespoons aquavit
Pat the meat dry with paper towels.
Combine 6 of the juniper berries, the fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Rub the meat with the spices and place it on a plate.
Set aside at room temperature while you make the sauce.
Put the flour in a small bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup of the stock; make sure there are no lumps. Pour into a small saucepan, add another 1/4 cup stock, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. When the mixture has started to thicken, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup stock and bring to a boil. Add the sour cream and the remaining 2 juniper berries, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the brown cheese and stir until melted and incorporated. Set the sauce aside.
Heat the butter in a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over high heat. Sear the fillets for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer the meat to a plate and let rest for 4 to 5 minutes. Return the meat to the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, until medium-rare. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the aquavit to the sauce and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the fillets into 1/2-inch slices and place on four plates. Drizzle the sauce over the meat. Serve immediately, with lingonberry preserves on the side.
Andreas Viestad shares his tips with Epicurious:• Lingonberry preserves can be found at the Marina Market
Norwegian or other Scandinavian aquavit is available in most liquor stores. To make your own "mock" version, add the following spices to a 1-liter bottle of vodka: 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons dill seeds, 2 star anise, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 whole clove, one 1-inch cinnamon stick (optional), and 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (optional). Let stand 2 to 3 weeks, shaking the bottle occasionally, then strain and discard the solids. This infused vodka can be substituted for aquavit in recipes, and is also delicious drunk straight.
Another interesting element in Norwegian cooking is goat cheese gjet (goat) ost (cheese) gjetost (yeAt Oost) if it is pure 100% goat cheese it is Ekte (real) the other have some percentage of cow milk added to the whey.