Spring Recipes: Venison Burgers, Smashed Potatoes, Toffee Haystacks

Barbecue sauce and a couple of pantry spices turn ho-hum burgers into something truly tasty. Pair with a side of chunky smashed new potatoes for an easy-to-make taste of spring the entire family will love.

By Scott Jones | Photos By Jason Wallis

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Toffee Haystacks

Toffee Haystacks

Toffee Haystacks

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

1  1/2 cups, plus 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 cups toasted rice cereal (or chocolate rice cereal; we used Rice Chex)

Cooking spray

1 cup toffee bits

1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

  1. Combine corn syrup and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Once mixture comes to a boil, immediately remove from heat, and stir in 1 1/2 cups peanut butter and vanilla until blended.
  3. Place cereal in a large mixing bowl that’s been coated with cooking spray; pour peanut butter mixture over cereal. Stir until cereal is coated. Stir in toffee bits.
  4. Use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to drop cereal mixture of about 2 Tablespoons onto wax paper. Use hands to shape each mound into a haystack.
  5. Combine chocolate chips and 1 Tablespoon peanut butter in a microwavable bowl; microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
  6. Drizzle over haystacks. Refrigerate to harden. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 10 min. Chill: 2 hr. Yield: 8 servings

Barbecue Venison Burgers

Barbecue Venison Burgers

Barbecue Venison Burgers

1 (16-ounce) package ground venison

1 (16-ounce) package ground pork

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons barbecue sauce, divided

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

6 sesame seed hamburger buns

Toppings: lettuce, tomato, red onion

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350°F to 400°F).
  2. Stir together ground venison, ground pork, 2 Tablespoons barbecue sauce, garlic salt and onion powder.
  3. Shape mixture into 6 patties; place a quarter-size dimple in the middle of each patty.
  4. Grill, covered with grill lid, 5 to 6 minutes per side or until desired degree of doneness.
  5. Toast buns, cut sides facedown on grill, 1 minute.
  6. Spread remaining barbecue sauce over bottom buns; top with patties, lettuce, tomato and onion. Cover with bun tops.

Prep: 15 min. Grill: 12 min. Yield: 6 servings

Smashed Red New Potatoes

Smashed Red New Potatoes

Smashed Red New Potatoes

3 pounds red new potatoes, quartered

1 onion, chopped

3 Tablespoons salt, divided

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Freshly ground black pepper

Crispy fried onions (we used French’s brand Crispy Fried Onions)

  1. In a large Dutch oven, combine potatoes, onion and 2 Tablespoons salt; add water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
  3. Add remaining salt, cream cheese, butter and a dash of pepper. Mash together. Top with onions.

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 12 min. Yield: 6 servings