Jeff’s Recipes

Crawfish Shakshuka


For the cajun seasoning:

  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • ½ Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

For the shakshuka:

  • Olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 serrano pepper, sliced into rings with centers/seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2½ Tbsp prepared cajun seasoning (above)
  • 28 oz can peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
  • ½ lb crawfish meat, peeled, deveined, and cooked
  • 1/3 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup parsley, roughly chopped (plus some for garnish)
  • 4 eggs

For the pita:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 6-8” pita bread


Prepare the cajun seasoning:
Mix together cajun seasoning ingredients. Keep leftovers in a sealed container.

Prepare the shakshuka:
Coat the bottom a large sauté pan (preferably with straight sides and large enough to hold all the ingredients) with olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, both bell peppers, and chili. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables on the bottom are deeply browned and beginning to char in spots, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. Add cajun seasoning and stir in.

Add the can of tomatoes, mashing the tomatoes into bite size chunks with a wooden spoon. Cook until simmering, then add the garbanzo beans, crawfish meat, olives, and water. Reduce heat to low let and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and stir in the parsley.

Using your wooden spoon, create a depression near the edge of the pan, crack an egg into it, and then spoon some of the sauce over just the white of the egg. Repeat 3 more times evenly spaced around the pan, each time leaving the yolk exposed. Cook for 7-8 minutes. The white should be just cooked with the yolks still runny. Garnish with additional parsley

Prepare the pita:
Heat enough oil to coat a small  pan until shimmering. Add a pita and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Slightly brush the top of the pita with oil and flip cooking for an additional 4-5 minutes. Repeat with another pita. Cut into sixths and serve.

Seared Venison with Mushroom Risotto and Asparagus


For the asparagus:

  • 1 standard bunch of asparagus, woody side removed
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

For the risotto:

  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine, we used vermouth
  • 3 cups chicken stock, low sodium
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated

For the venison:

  • 2x – 8 oz Venison steaks
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided into 4x – ½ Tbsp pats


To prepare, soak the venison in salt water overnight, minimum 6 hours. When beginning the cooking process, heat the stock in a small saucepan until boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer. You’ll want the stock to be hot when adding it to the rice.

Prep all ingredients beforehand as this is a multitasking recipe. You’ll  be cooking most of this simultaneously and it should all come together at about the same time. Start with the asparagus, then the risotto. Three quarters of the way through cooking the risotto, you’ll have time to start the venison and check the asparagus.

Prepare the asparagus:

Preheat your oven to 385°F. Lightly drizzle olive oil onto a lipped baking sheet. Add the asparagus in a single layer. Drizzle with additional olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Put in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. This should be just enough time to cook your risotto while you wait, but set a timer. You don’t want to overcook it.

Prepare the risotto:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add sliced mushroom and saute, moving occasionally until the flesh is dark yellow/slightly brown in color, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

In that same pan, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add the shallot and cook until slightly translucent. The shallot will continue to cook with the other ingredients so don’t brown it at this point.

Add the rice to the skillet and toss to coat. Cook until they turn completely white, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until absorbed.

Add ½ cup of the simmering chicken stock to the rice, stirring 2-3 times per minute until mostly absorbed. Continue to do this, ½ cup of stock at a time, waiting until the stock is absorbed after each addition, until all the stock is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. (Start cooking the venison after you’ve added 1½ cups of stock.)

Remove from heat and stir in butter cubes, cheese, and mushrooms. If it is too thick at this point you can stir in a little bit more stock.

Prepare the venison:

Pat the meat dry. Season with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add ½ tablespoon pat of butter to each steak and add steak to pan, butter side down. Cook for 4 minutes. Flip the steaks, adding ½ tablespoon pat of butter per steak, setting the steak down on top of the butter. Cook for an additional 4 minutes or until the center of the thickest part of the steak is 130-140°F (medium rare). Any hotter and the meat will become too dry.

Assemble your plates:

Plate the risotto and top with asparagus and venison. Enjoy!

Walleye Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Beer Beans


For the beans:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-oz cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz Mexican beer
  • 1/4 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander, and ground ancho chili powder

For the slaw:

  • 8 oz coleslaw mix
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

For the tacos:

  • 1 lb walleye
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Red pepper flake
  • 6″ flour tortillas
  • Prepared mango salsa
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced


Prepare the beans:

Warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent. Add the beans, beer, and spices. Increase heat to high and cook until liquid is thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare the slaw:

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Let sit at least 5-10 minutes.

Prepare the fish:

Warm the olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the walleye and cook 3-4 minutes per side, depending on size of fillet, or until cooked through. Remove the fish from the pan and season with the lime juice and a pinch of red pepper flake. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the tacos:

Warm the tortillas in a dry pan until softened. Add fish and top with slaw, chopped onions, and salsa. Serve with beans on the side.