Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mustard Rabbit with Prosciutto Asparagus Pasta

Finally a recipe for you - I apologize for the phone-quality photos, but there wouldn't be any at all if it weren't for my gracious French-German hosts who put me up in their apartment in Paris last month. This dish is easy, delicious, and can accommodate other spring veggies if you don't like asparagus. If you omit the prosciutto, add something salty like olives or anchovies. The rabbit part of this recipe is based on this brilliant Simply Recipes concoction.

You'll need:

1 rabbit, cut into 6 pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you) - reserve the head, ribs, and kidneys
kosher salt
4T butter
4 large shallots, sliced
1c white wine
1 1/2c water
3/4c grainy mustard
1t dried thyme
1/2c cream
4T chopped parsley
1 package fusilli
5 slices prosciutto
1 bunch asparagus

Put rabbit head and ribs in 1c water; bring to a boil, skim, then simmer gently until liquid is reduced to 1c (you can forget about this pot while you're cooking -- it'll be ready by the time you need it).

Salt rabbit pieces. Remove thin membrane from kidneys; salt the kidneys too. Let the rabbit pieces sit 30 min.

Cut asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 350 deg. oven for 20 minutes, until slightly browned.

Slice prosciutto into strips. Set aside with asparagus.

When the rabbit is done resting, heat the butter. Brown the rabbit pieces on all sides in batches. Remove rabbit.

Add shallot to the butter and brown well. Deglaze with wine.

Strain the rabbit stock and add it to the pan, along with the mustard and thyme. Bring to a boil, then add the dark meat and kidneys of the rabbit and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes, then add the white meat. Simmer 20 more minutes.

Remove rabbit from sauce. Turn heat to high and reduce sauce by half.

In the meantime, cook the pasta in copiously salted water.

When sauce is reduced, add the cream and parsley. Stir in the pasta, the rabbit pieces, and the prosciutto and asparagus. Serve.

Check out that gorgeous cookware!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Back in Berkeley Feast

It's been a very, very long time, but I have so many delicious things for you ahead that you might actually forgive the hideous post I left you with for the past year. Today we have a feast, made with my lovely cooking buddy Katie - you can see previous feasts we've done here, here, here, and here (these are worth clicking on, I promise). I'm back from a year (plus a few weeks more recently) in Paris, and Katie's back (unfortunately temporarily) from the UK. We put this whole thing together in 2 1/2 hours, which I still can't believe. But each dish is extremely easy - even the homemade gnocchi - and can even be done on a weeknight.

Quick-pickled carrots, radishes, radish sprouts, sunflower seeds, 
baby gem lettuce, oven-dried beet chips, chevre, anchovy

Corn soup, bacon, chives

Braised squid in Piperade

Ricotta gnocchi, lamb meatballs, fresh peas, mint

Friday, March 26, 2010

Matza Ball Gratin

Passover, one of my favorite holidays, is coming up, and most people start the meal with matza ball soup. Usually we eat up all the soup, but sometimes-- like the other night, when we did a pre-passover soup test run-- we had some matza balls leftover. They were particularly flavorful and I wanted to make something with them that was different and unexpected. We had been eating a lot of parmentiers lately and this was surely inspired by them.

You'll need:
4 leftover matza balls
2 cups milk
2T butter
2T flour
1c grated cheese (we used comte, which is like gruyere, but a mix of cheeses is fine too)
1/4c parmesan
1 onion
1lb ground meat
5 cloves garlic
1T cumin
1/2t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Make a bechamel by melting the butter in a saucepan, whisking in the flour, letting it turn golden brown and then adding the milk slowly. Let it bubble til it's thick, and then whisk in the grated cheese.

In the meantime (probably while the bechamel is thickening), chop and saute the onion and add the meat, crushed garlic, and spices. Add salt and pepper and saute until meat is brown, working it into small bits as it cooks.

Pour meat into a small baking dish. Slice matza balls into 1/4 inch thick slices and place in one layer over meat. Pour bechamel over and top with parmesan. Bake until brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Poitrine d'Agneau

I was attracted to this totally bizarre cut of lamb by a sign on the superbutcher's window advertising it for 1 euro/kilo. It turned out that that price was only if you bought 3 kilos or more, but it was still incredibly cheap. It's lamb ribs, but with the breast attached. I asked them how to cook it and they were vague-- on the barbecue, maybe, or in the oven. They cut it in half lengthwise, wrapped it up, and I was on my way. I spent quite a while researching recipes but didn't find anything too compelling-- a lot of people seem to ask their butchers to bone the meat, so that they can stuff it, but I hadn't done that, and now my meat was in two long pieces anyway. Most of the recipes called for a slow braise, after which you discard the liquid that's now full of accumulated lamb fat, and then a dry roast-- I decided to follow this basic process.

You'll need:
1kg poitrine d'agneau
1 onion, peeled and cut into eighths
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled but crushed
1 dried red chili
1t coriander seeds
1t cumin seeds
1t fennel seeds
3 bay leaves
1 preserved lemon
1T harissa or other chili paste

Cut as much fat off of the lamb as you can. Place onion, garlic, chili, coriander, cumin, fennel, and bay leaves in a large pot. Place ribs on top of vegetables and add salt and pepper. Add water to cover lamb and place in a low oven (145C/300F) for three hours.

Let lamb cool in liquid, then drain, discard liquid, and refrigerate lamb overnight. The next day, make a paste of chopped preserved lemon and harissa and spread over lamb. Place lamb in a baking dish and roast at 450 degrees until well browned, about 1 hour.

You can serve this as ribs, but I pulled off the meat and made a sandwich with some more harissa, some chopped preserved lemon and mint, and some of the tasty roasting grease to moisten things up. The resulting meat is delicious-- a perfect textural combination of soft braised insides and crispy incredibly flavorful outside.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken

We've been making this quick and tasty dish for a few years, based on a Charles Phan recipe. This time, we made it with fresh noodles and it was better than ever. We cut down on the sugar a bit, but otherwise follow the recipe.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Minestrone Soup

We found this recipe in an old classic Italian cookbook stashed in the kitchen of our new apartment. (This is an old post... just getting it up now... sorry.)

While the soup bubbled away, we snacked on rillettes d'oie with mustard and caperberries.

We ate the soup with grilled steaks (flatiron, blade, or paleron steaks) on the side.

Mushroom Duck Noodles

We used the leftover duck confit and rendered duck fat for this very easy, tasty one-pot meal. The veggie is frisee, but you can use any hearty green-- this frisee was a bit too hearty for salads, but cooking it down made it tender and delicious. The cilantro and mint brighten the rich duck flavor.

You'll need:
leftover duck meat from 2 legs, or confit some (see link above)
2T duck fat
1 large onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bunch frisee
1c oyster mushrooms
2T dark soy sauce
fresh egg noodles

Heat duck fat until melted. Add onion and sautee until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute until mushrooms brown, about 5 minutes. Add duck and saute until crispy. Add frisee; cook until wilted. Add noodles and dark soy sauce; stir to coat. Serve, topped with chopped cilantro & mint.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Duck Confit

I've always wanted to do my own confit, but had never really gotten around to it 'til now. Hank Shaw's post on Simply Recipes convinced me to finally do it: perfect confit in only two hours! How could I pass that up? And the best part is, this really was the best duck confit I've ever had. Tender meat, super crispy skin, plenty of fat leftover for future cooking.

You'll need:
duck legs (1-2 per person)
a pin or small sharp knife

Prick the skin on the duck legs all over with a pin or pointy knife. Don't go all the way to the meat-- you just want to make little holes for the fat to escape through the skin. Sprinkle pricked legs with lots of salt and let sit 20-60 minutes.

Place duck skin side up in baking dish that's just large enough. Put in oven at 300 degrees (don't preheat) and let cook slowly for about 90 minutes.

When the skin starts to look crispy, crank up the oven to 375 until it's really crispy-- about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before eating.

If there are leftovers, eat the skin off of them *now* because it'll never be as good again.

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