The holidays usually mean lots of friends, family and visitors, and they will want to be fed. Many of us like to share our game we’ve harvested with folks who may not have an opportunity to enjoy wild game. I got this recipe from my friend Jim Zumbo, who is just about the last word in gourmet game cooking. It’s an easy recipe for what is supposed to be an appetizer but often turns into a complete meal with folks fighting over the last one.
2 pounds ground venison (I prefer elk, but deer, moose or pronghorn works too)
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons cooking oil
A package of eggroll wraps (usually there are about 20 per package, and they are in the produce section of your market)
1 or 2 eggs
3/4 to 1 cup chopped and drained green chiles
Longhorn or cheddar cheese cut into 1/4 x 3-inch strips
- Finely dice the onion.
- Beat the eggs and hold them in a small bowl.
- Brown the ground meat and onion in oil and crumble into a fine mix.
- Each eggroll will take about 2 tablespoons of meat and onions. Add some green chiles to taste and a strip of cheese.
- Fold the sides of the eggroll in first and roll it up. With your finger, dip into the eggs and moisten the edge of the eggroll. The egg acts like a glue to seal the eggroll and keep it from unraveling.
- In a hot skillet with oil, brown both sides of the eggroll until it is golden brown. You will have to add oil as you go along. Add just enough to keep them from sticking. Don’t drown them.
- Serve with salsa.
If you double the ingredients you can make about two dozen of these eggrolls in about an hour. They freeze well and can be reheated later.
A couple of variations: Since I grew up on Mexican food, I like mine a bit spicy. I’ll sometimes substitute jalapeno peppers for the green chiles, finely diced and seeded. It is the seeds in the jalapenos that make them hot. Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands after dicing or handling jalapenos, and don’t let your hands near your eyes until they have been washed.
I prefer the rather stout red onion, finely diced and raw, adding them separately from the ground meat. For more sensitive palates, brown a diced yellow onion in the meat.
As a change of pace, I often substitute shredded Mexican 4-cheese for the Longhorn. Mexican 4-cheese is an equal mixture of Monterey Jack, Queso Quesadilla, Cheddar and Asadero cheeses. It gives a slightly different taste to the eggroll that many find pleasing.
This is a simple and quick recipe. If you are planning on guests, err on the side of more since many find this so tasty that they can’t get enough of them and make a full meal of them. Besides, if by some chance you find yourself with leftovers, like I said, they’ll freeze nicely for a snack later on. Bon appétit!