Monthly archives "January 2012"

Rabbitouille

Rabbitouille

Rabbit meat is high in protein, and very dense, so really filling. A little goes a long way.

Ratatouille means something like “everything thrown in” in french. We strive to keep our fridge on a constant turnover without waste, so this type of dish sounded like a perfect fit. There were lots of random garden things sitting around and a couple cups of leftover roasted rabbit pieces from a few nights back that needed to get used up. We discovered EGGPLANT had actually formed on the big plants right before the frost, but we don’t even really like eggplant. (It’s…..well….blah. ) But they are tiny and so beautiful, and I wanted to do them justice. So Rabbittouille was born.

Take a couple chopped red onions and start to saute in olive oil. Add a few little eggplants, also chopped into chunks. 2 or 3 smaller bell peppers, and a hot one for fun, add to the sautee, then after a minute, add some stock. I used rabbit bone stock I’d made after we roasted the rabbits and took the meat off the bones. Always add some vinegar to your stock as it simmers, to pull out the minerals and calcium from the bones. You don’t need to use vegetables or herbs in your stock, you’re just making a nutrient dense broth, which you’ll season as you use it in your dishes.

You’ve sauteed the veggies and added broth. Now add a good handful of basil and parlsey, chopped. Salt and pepper to taste. Throw in a bay leaf or two. Grab a handful of green beans and chop and add to the pot. Or you could use zucchini chunks. Tomatoes- take all those weird ones on the counter, about 8 or so, chop and add to the pot. Lastly, toss in the rabbit meat. When it’s been roasted, it’s very soft and you don’t want to put it through much more cooking time. Simmer for about 20 minutes, and serve hot with crusty bread. Super Yum!

Chevre and Nettle Stroganoff

Chevre and Nettle Stroganoff – For 4 servings, creamy, tangy, nourishing spring food w/ a no-cook sauce method!

Flour, duck eggs, garlic, bacon fat or olive oil, salt, nettles, chevre.

First, gather nettles. (You can also use any other more tame garden greens as well.) Use gloves, and only take the top couple inches of fresh spring growth. Once you have a nice bowl full, use your scissors to cut through the mass of the nettles and make them smaller in length. No need to wash unless they are dirty. Now make your pasta- use 1 1/2 cups of flour, a sprinkle of salt and mix in 2 large duck eggs. Knead a bit until smooth and not sticky, sprinkling on flour as needed, then let dough rest as you prepare the rest. Put a pasta pot on to boil. Heat a medium sized cast iron pan with your oil of choice. Chop garlic (as much as you want, it’ll mellow as it carmelizes) and sautee on medium/low. Take 8oz or so of fresh chevre and smear into a big mixing bowl. Roll out your pasta, as thin as you can easily manage, don’t stress if it is thick, it’s just wonderful. Cut into ribbons with a knife. Add the nettles to your sauteeing garlic, drizzle a bit of the pasta water over the nettles, stir and cover. Back to pasta-  all at once drop the ribbons together into the boiling water, stirring immediately for a few seconds to prevent them sticking together. Cook about 4 minutes- taste test as the cut and thickness vary. Uncover nettles and they should look deep dark green and very wilted, toss them and bit, then turn off heat. Drain the pasta using a lid, not a strainer, leaving a bit (1/2 cup or so) of the cooking water in the bottom of the pot. Pour this all into the mixing bowl with the chevre, toss it around to soften the chevre. Add your nettle mix, some salt and pepper to taste, toss and serve.

The Farmstead Kitchen – Rendering Lard

Lard- organic lard is not really available in stores, but you can easily make it at home in your crockpot! The key to making snowy clear lard is to have long, low heat, which is nearly impossible on the stovetop. Crockpot to the rescue! Order organic pork fat from your local awesome butcher shop. Try the co-ops or Clancy’s meats in Mpls. Most people are fat-phobic, so this fat is often considered a waste product. So sad! Your first time, start with 3-5 lbs of fat, cut it up a bit, as this will help more fat separate from the cracklins. Put in your crock pot, cover and leave on high for 1/2 hour, then turn down to low overnight. In the morning, you’ll see a pool of liquid fat, which is very hot. Turn off and let cool for a bit before you want to strain into clean, warmed jars.

your larding set up doesn’t need to be fancy!

You don’t want to press the cracklins in the strainer at first, or a porky flavor will spread throughout your lard (which is not bad, just keep that last pressing aside for frying hashbrowns.) The cracklins left over are delicious added to marinara sauce, mixed into bread dough, made into cracklin cookies, etc. We package the precious bits into reused containers and store in the freezer. Mark what it is, or you might be confused later!

Fabulous Frittata

Fabulous Fritatta– what’s the difference between quiche and frittata, you ask? Quiche requires a crust, so frittata is a quicker meal solution. It’s so easy and quick, perfect any time of day. This is the basic concept and ratio we use.

4 duck eggs, whisked in a bowl with 1 cup of various liquid ingredients (soft goat cheese, milk, even kimchi juice can be added for super unique flavor!)

1 bunch of greens, chopped finely & sauteed with onion and maybe some other veggie bits too

1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped. Set aside to sprinkle on top if you like a strong garlic punch, otherwise mix in with the greens and sautee.

In a medium size cast iron pan, sautee veggies until they are done to your liking. Kale is really nice with a long, low heat sautee to make it melt in your mouth. Turn on your oven broiler, then pour the egg mix over the veggies, mix in slightly, and cook for 2 minutes on low/medium, undisturbed. Transfer the pan to the oven broiler and wait 2 minutes or so, until the mixture is coloring and the edges are slightly pulling away from the side of the pan. Bring out of the oven, slice and serve. Take any leftovers out of the cast iron pan to prevent an iron-ey flavor from soaking into the frittata.