I love a good dinner party: the friends, the music, the drinks, the food! And nothing makes for a better dinner party than introducing your friends to a new recipe. I also like to use my dinner parties as a forum for letting my friends experience new foods, such as a new fish or seafood, or unique vegetables like dandelion greens, fiddleheads, or jicama, but mostly I especially like to showcase wild game!
As I’m sure every wild game meat fan has found, not everyone is fond of it. Not only does wild game meat have a lot of stigmas around it, such as it is too “gamey” or it tastes like sage brush or its texture is too tough, but also few people have even ever eaten it, and it is a brand-new dining experience. For these reasons, one of my favorite approaches for sharing my game meat is through an appetizer.
Appetizers provide a giant pack of flavor, texture, and culinary experience in a single bite. They are the perfect option for introducing friends, family, and especially newcomers, to wild game meat. Appetizers allow the diner a taste of wild game without their own fears of having to finish an entire plate of something they may not like getting in the way. Someone may feel overwhelmed at the idea of an entire elk filet filling their plate, but may be excited by the idea of trying a bite-size piece of elk tenderloin wrapped with a thin slice of bacon.
For my latest dinner party, I wanted to serve stuffed mushrooms. I like stuffed mushrooms because they truly fit the mold of giant flavor packed into a single bite. Many stuffed mushrooms are filled with garlic and onions, a variety of herbs and seasoned breadcrumbs, different grated cheese, and delicious meat bites like sausage. The mushrooms themselves create perfect bite size containers for the appetizers, but they also add flavor and texture to every bite.
I like my appetizers to be reminiscent of an entrée meal. I think it is fun when an entire meal fits into a convenient, single bite. Elk stroganoff served over a bed of egg noodles is one of my favorite ways to prepare elk or deer, and I think one of the reasons is I love the way the mushrooms add to the dish. So, I thought a single bite of elk stroganoff served in a little mushroom cap would be perfect. Stroganoff is a very savory and rich meal, and I must admit that I get full on it very quickly, but this intense, over-the-top flavor is the kind of meal that makes for a great appetizer.
Makes: 24 individual mushroom bites
Time to make: 1 hour
Also works with: venison, moose, bear, boar
Looking for more elk appetizers? Why not try these Elk Shank Tagine Canapés?
Try our Delicious Wild Fish and Game Spice Blends!