Rush Hour

I was raised in a rural area in northern Wisconsin. For us, November meant two things: Thanksgiving and deer hunting. Now, while the table was always graced by a big turkey when Thanksgiving rolled around, it was not unusual to see many weekday meals consisting of venison. It's a very lean meat that can be substituted for beef in almost any dish. If you're not lucky enough to have connections, you can still serve venison. Its healthy attributes are making it popular at many specialty food stores and even at some larger grocery stores. Just ask at the meat department about the wild game selections available and you're bound to learn a few things.

This month's recipe comes to you straight from my grandmother's kitchen. Unlike some traditional beef stroganoff recipes, this one's quite low in fat because it features venison and low fat ricotta cheese. I find that the ricotta adds an extra flair that gets lost with sour cream, especially the low fat and nonfat versions. I would suggest you refrain from using nonfat ricotta -- it usually imparts a slightly bitter flavor and the texture is not nearly as rich as the one you get with the low fat ricotta.

Having such a comfort food as venison stroganoff for a main dish is bound to impress your loved ones. Complete the picture with hot buttered rolls, fresh apple sauce, and a nice green salad. The rolls can be premade and warmed in the trusty microwave and use the apple sauce you made last weekend (hint-hint). In the time it takes to warm the stroganoff, you can have your green salad made! It's dinner time -- Enjoy!

Venison Stroganoff
  • 1 lb. venison steak, cut into thin strips across the grain
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 c. low fat ricotta cheese
  • Hot cooked egg noodles
  • Tomato wedges (optional)

In a large skillet, brown the venison strips and onion in melted butter until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is tender. Spoon off any fat.

Add the soup and paprika; heat through, stirring occasionally. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the ricotta cheese. Serve over hot noodles and garnish with tomato wedges, if desired.

Note: This recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Beef can be substituted for venison if absolutely necessary!

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes