The hunt is about to begin… Hunt the Wumpus was a Montefalco favorite. We’d usher into the classrooms, fire up the Texas Instruments and check out a cartridge from Mrs. Franzinger – Wumpus or Alpiner? Wumpus, every time.
Years later with we’d grab the pellet bows, load ’em up, light a fire of excitement under Uncle Pate’s tail and play Hunt the Wumpus live action. This post is a tribute to you Wumpus! You delivered me from boredom as a child, and now by random association and word play you’ve resurrected an enthusiasm for a dish I previously associated with a dry and nasty casserole – Cacciatore, or Hunter’s Stew.
Cacciatore (hunter in Italian) is a dish traditionally prepared with game, onions, garlic, herbs and wine. My Wumpus Cacciatore allows you to imagine any protein as fantasy game. Today chicken has turned into Sumrukia nessovi – an ancient gigantic son of a bitch, which if it flew had a wingspan of 4 meters. Dan thought the Jordan Wings poster was amazing, well Samrukia puts Air Jordan to shame. This evil ugly mother is my Wumpus of the day, and it’s gonna make a damn fine stew.
Wumpus Cacciatore – based on Rabbit Cacciatore
- Wumpus of choice (today’s special is Samrukia, thanks to Magnar for the kill)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tbs fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 gloves of garlic, minced
- Big handful of mushrooms, chopped
- 3 cups of ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 bay leaf (I use California Bay Laurel from the local woods cuz I’m a hippie)
- 16 salt cured olives (green or brown) – optional but delicious
Salt and pepper your Wumpus of choice and rub the thyme into it. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven over high heat, and brown the Wumpus a few minutes on each side. Remove the Wumpus from the pan, turn heat to medium, and add the onions and garlic, mushrooms, and bell pepper (in that order) until softened. Now add the herbs, and put the Wumpus back in the pan. Cover with the tomatoes and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 40 minutes.
Now uncover the pan, add the olives, turn heat to high, and reduce the liquid by half. Season to taste…
What do you serve with Wumpus? How about polenta and a side salad? 1 cup of polenta to 4 boiling cups of water, 2 tbsp. of butter, some crushed garlic, and heat over medium to low heat until thickened. Then add 1 cup of parmesan cheese, stir and season. Add the Wumpus Cacciatore over the polenta, sprinkle with parmesan, throw on some tasty greens, plate and serve. Mrs. F would be proud.
For nostalgia, loving these arrow graphics…