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Archive for the ‘Rabbit’ Category

I have this dream. Of creating a dish that is jet black but tastes amazing. Squid ink could do that trick, but that is cheating. The idea is really a jet black sauce to go with already jet black squid ink pasta. I have been playing around a little with the idea, seeing what sort of ingredients could get me a black sauce. I first make flour out of black rice and black quinoa but that didn’t get me the color I wanted. I am thinking that black beans or black olives could do that trick in the future. But as for now I made an attempt with raisins and unsweetened chocolate, turned out brown not black but I did get a chocolate bunny.

I had never made a savory chocolate dish before. But I have had mole and did hear about a recipe for rabbit in a savory chocolate sauce. Rather than look up a recipe I just tried to figure it out on my own.

I first browned the rabbit in butter with onions, figuring the butter would work better than any other fat with chocolate. Then I added some water, cloves, the chocolate, and raisins along with salt and black pepper. On first taste I got worried. Not at all what I was expecting. Tasted like bitter chocolate and onions. It needed something else. So flip flopping between sweet and savory I added honey, tomato paste, chili powder, and dried ancho chilies until it tasted right.

It actually tasted pretty good. Some bites were more bitter than others but some had a really good, hard to describe flavor that went well with the lean rabbit meat. At the end I did puree some of the left over sauce to blend in the raisins, adding sweetness, and it actually tasted a lot better.

It looked like shit on the plate, literally, not the most appetizing effect but that is kind of the point. Rabbit and chocolate doesn’t sound very appetizing either.

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I, like pretty much everyone else, had only carved pumpkins and eaten pumpkin pie from a can. But a pumpkin is a perfectly good squash so rather then wasting it to carve I figure I would eat it. Having the last of my rabbit on hand I figured to put the two together. I roasted the pumpkin with olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper then browned the rabbit in the pan and roasted it along with the pumpkin.

The rabbit was cooked perfect but the pumpkin was surprisingly flavorless. I was expecting a pumpkin kick, like in the canned pie, but rather got a pretty bland squash with a slight pumpkin taste. I got half the pumpkin still so lets see what else I can do with that.

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I love when my friends are around when I whip up food because I usually don’t just cook something boring. I make it simple only have an hour to cook and eat but I make it flavorful. Today I sautéed rabbit loins with yellow squash, hot Italian red peppers, celery, and onion and put it over fresh whole wheat pasta. Amazing, simple, and sexy colorful.

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While butchering my rabbit I noticed a flat of muscle running along the side that was not attached to anything. Rather then throwing this thin piece away I got a crazy idea. I could use this thin flat of flesh as a wrapper to a dumpling. Keeping it simple I made a stuffing of carrots, celery, and onion with a little chicken fat. Then I pounded the rabbit flap out and stuffed it with the mixture, tying the top closed. I then browned one side in olive oil then steamed it like a potsticker. I then made a dipping sauce of scallion, ginger, and soy sauce.

Amazing and conceptually mind blowing to me. Has anyone done anything like this before? I know meats I often rolled around a stuffing but made used as a dumpling skin?

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Rabbit Soup Fail

I had big plans for this soup. It was supposed to be a clear rabbit broth flavored with sweet onion, fennel, and lemon verbena. But nothing went right. I didn’t have time to do it right and had to rush through things while multitasking. In the end I got over cooked vegetables, undercooked chicken, a cloudy broth, and took much lemon verbena flavor. Not what I wanted and I had to get a slice of pizza later in the night.

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There is nothing a cute and equally tasty as a rabbit. Like a whole chicken a whole rabbit can make about a handful of meals. This week I bought myself a whole rabbit to get through the week. After breaking it down I took the first two legs to make dinner that night. First sautéing them then roasting them until cooked through. I sautéed tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, and onion, adding a little chicken stock to make a sauce, and put that over rice.

Similar to chicken, rabbit is white lean and delicious, but way better then chicken and more controversial. People have problems eating something they or their friends had as pets. I never had a rabbit as a pet so I have no problem eating it.

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I finally achieved my goal of buying and cooking a rabbit. Growing up watching Elmer Fudd’s failure in catching Bugs Buddy to make “wabbit” stew I always wanted to get my hands on one. The other day while on Arthur Ave I saw them and went for it. It was a lot more expensive than I was expecting though, cost me $20 for one. But I am going to get three meals out of it though so its ok. On the walk home I ran into a friend and she nearly cried when she saw it. People have a problem with eating cute animals.

Stew

Obviously the first thing I made with the rabbit was stew. Combining a handful of recipes I found online I cut up the rabbit and floured the legs and chest cavity, sautéed them with onions and garlic, then covered them with chicken stock and red wine. Threw in some carrots, celery, and potatoes, then seasoned it with parsley, thyme, and a bay leaf. Putting it on low I let it simmer for two hours before adding a roux to thicken the sauce. It was amazing. The only problem was we only had small bowls or plates so I had to eat the stew out of a plate. It is a miracle I did not spill only carrying the plate over to the table. I refuse to be cliché and say that the rabbit taste like chicken. Yes it has a similar taste but it was entirely different from chicken. A completely different white meat with a more earthy taste. By slow cooking it to the point where it was falling off of the bone it was extremely moist, and I know that rabbit is often dry since it is so lean.

I should have held off in putting it the potatoes because they were falling apart and mushy. Also I did not make enough roux and trying to cut corners just threw in flour which clotted and added ugly white chunks to the stew. Over all though it turned out pretty good. In retrospect Cabernet Sauvignon was not the right type of wine to use because it is too strong. So next time when cooking with white meat I’ll use a lighter red or a white.

Roasted

The next way I cooked the rabbit was to roast the loin. Just drizzled it with olive oil and seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley. Along with it I made mashed potatoes and willed spinach with lemon. I tried something new with the mashed potatoes this time. I put a bay leaf in the pot while boiling them. It didn’t have as much of a change to the flavor as I had hoped. Next time I think I will put more bay leaves in the water. I think I just have crappy bay leaves. Also the spinach was way to lemony. I used the juice from about a third of a lemon which was way to much. It over powered the taste of the spinach and made it turn brown in some spots. Now the important portion of the meal, the rabbit was cooked perfect! It was so moist and I did not over season it to mask the taste of the rabbit.

In conclusion, the rabbit turned out good. The only time I had ever had rabbit before it was extremely dry. So I am proud of myself for succeeding in not drying it out. Rabbit will not be a common ingredient in my kitchen, it is just to expensive for me right now. But I enjoyed the challenge and seeing the faces on my roommates when I pulled out a full skinned rabbit. Also I must give my roommates credit, two of them tried it. One I tricked into trying one of the kidneys which I cooked in butter and he actually enjoyed it saying he would have been more hesitant to try it if he knew was it was before hand. I also got my other roommate to try some of the roasted loin which he too agreed was cooked perfect and not the same as chicken.

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