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Monday, December 31, 2012

Venison Chops and Ras el Hanout Butternut Squash

This is a new experience for me, crafting recipes, and relying on someone else to execute them. But, I am laid up with a foot in a cast, so I have to depend on my husband to do most of the cooking. 

I had been craving some red meat, and we have an entire freezer full of venison, but grilling this time of year is problematic. I also wasn't sure I could coach Ray through pan searing chops and finishing them in the oven. He did a spectacular job ! 

The side dish was really just needing to use up some squash, and wanting to try this new spice I purchased. The result was a restaurant quality dinner. Excellent work, sweetie !!

Venison Chops with Bleu Cheese Sauce and Ras el Hanout Butternut Squash

For the chops:
6 four ounce venison chops (cut from the backstraps)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400. Season chops on both sides with grill seasoning, and let meat come to room temperature. Heat a large, oven proof skillet over high heat, and add olive oil to pan. Sear chops approximately 2 minutes on each side, then place skillet in the oven, and cook 4-5 minutes to medium rare. Remove from oven and let rest 3-5 minutes before serving.

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup whole milk
6 ounces bleu cheese
In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, cook and stir until smooth and golden. Slowly add milk. Simmer over medium heat until thickened. Stir in bleu cheese, and simmer until cheese is melted. 

For the squash:
1 medium butternut squash (approximately 2-3 pounds)
4 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons ras el hanout
1 teaspoon fleur de sel 
1 teaspoon pepper 
Start 3 quarts of water to boil. Peel and dice squash into 1 inch pieces. Cook until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain water, and return to pan. Add butter, and spices, and puree with immersion blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning as you like.

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