Alex and I went quail hunting on Sunday. He has been with me once before as an observer, but this was his first day to actually hunt. I was VERY proud of him. he was safe, courteous, and respectful, and he showed great judgment about when to shoot and when not to. Quail hunting is highly predictable, so I planned a dinner of fried quail, corn pudding, and spinach salad.
I’ve cooked quail many different ways, and fried quail is my absolute favorite, although quail and andouille gumbo is a close second. I split the quail down the backbone and prepared them by dipping in a simple egg wash, dredging in highly seasoned flour, and pan frying in small batches for about 3 minutes per side. They were delicious. Davis, by far the pickiest eater in the family, ate 2 whole birds and had to be turned away lest he spoil the planned ‘leftover meal’ for Monday night.
On an unrelated note, I recently came across the Ziploc Vacuum Sealer at the grocery store. I plan to try Grant Achatz’s ‘field expedient’ sous vide turkey at some point this year, so the vacuum bag concept intrigued me, and I picked some up. I must also admit that I was always intrigued by the FoodSaver vaccum sealer. Does anyone else remember that early 90’s era infomercial with the outdoorsy but dorky family accompanied on one adventure after another by their vacuum-packed provisions? To get to the point, I used the Ziploc sealer to prepare the extra quail for freezing, and I think it worked quite well.
The corn pudding was a bit zestier than the traditional southern version, livened up with the addition or goat cheese and reggiano parmesan. It was savory and delicious, although I think of it as a complement to, rather than a replacement for, traditional ‘custardy’ corn pudding.
The spinach salad was simple- baby spinach leaves tossed with grapefruit and tangelo segments, toasted pecans, and a citrus vinaigrette made from citrus juice, olive oil, and some chopped shallot. I typically add goat cheese or bleu cheese, but omitted it in this instance as the pudding was already ‘goat cheese rich’.