Monthly Archives: March 2015

Peter Rabbit Munched on My Herbs, So I braised Him With a little Red Wine

We’ve been on a rabbit kick for a while. Its wonderfully lean, in fact its so lean, if you were, a hobo, living off only rabbit, you could actually starve from a lack of fat in your diet. It packs a protein punch, but that is all. Rabbit tastes a bit like a chicken mated with a wild bore, and instead of creating a misshapen little gargoyle, it made an adorable tasty treat.

Rabbit is tough, and if you aren’t going to grind it up into a tasty croquettes, most people stew, or slow cook them. Which is why I chose to braise, but if you know any other cool rabbit tricks, please done hesitate to pass them on.

For the Marinade

1 rabbit butterflied

1 shallot

4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup white balsamic

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tbs fresh thyme

1 sprig of rosemary

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp salt

4 bay leaves

pepper

For Roasting

1 purple onion sliced a few times width wise

1 bulb of garlic, top removed, and drizzled with olive oil

Those extra sprigs of rosemary and thyme

3 cups red wine

Take all of the marinade ingredients minus the rabbit and bay leaves, and puree them. Pop them all into a bag with your rabbit, and bay leaves.Let that marinate for 2-4 hours. After your time is up, heat up a cast iron skillet to high,  and seer the rabbit on all sides for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and add in the onions, bulb of garlic, and herbs. Place the rabbit on top, sprinkle with a little salt,  add in half the marinade, and the red wine. Cover it with a lid and roast it at 325 for an hour and a half, occasionally basting it with the juices. Serve that up with your favorite sides and enjoy.

brerrabit

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Roast Pork Tenderloin With Homemade Apple Sauce

I spent the weekend attempting to catch a few rays of sun. Unfortunately we made reservations before the weather report came out, and spent a very wet weekend in and around Leavenworth and Wenatchee. Its amazing how a little rain can completely hide a mountain that is very literally right in front of you. At least I got to spend the weekend stuffing varying kinds of wurst and beer into my mouth, which led me to remembering that I hadn’t written anything about my tasty tasty pork tenderloin roast.

Pork is indeed a nice sweet meat. When I was young it was always paired with my grandmothers homemade apple sauce. That’s still the case. I made this roast for valentines day and really cashed in on the whole pork theme, with a bacon spinach salad, and carbonara for sides. Enjoy!

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1 2 lb pork tenderloin, separated

1 white onion finely chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

1/4 cup romano or parmesan cheese

olive oil

salt

pepper

Preheat your oven to 400. Rinse, and pat dry your tenderloin. Coat it in olive oil, give it a generous sprinkle of salt and set it on a wire rack while you prepare your crust. Saute your garlic and onion until blanched with a little salt and pepper. Add in the thyme and half the cheese, and set it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, top the roast with it, and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145. Let it sit for 10 minutes, and carve it up!

For the Apple Sauce

2 apples pealed, cored, and chopped

1/2 cup of water

the juice of half a lemon

a smidge of lemon rind

2 Tablespoons sugar

Add your ingredients to a small pot, bring to a boil for a few minutes, then drop the heat to a low simmer (medium low), and let it sit there for about 30 minutes to an hour. Give it what should be a quick and easy mash, and set it aside to serve with your tenderloin.

pigjoke

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Dead Men Tell No Tales Black Risotto With Polenta Stuffed Squid Hoods. Release the Kracken!!!

This is one dark abyss you shouldn’t fear. Well… you can fear the prep as your rip your tiny krakens apart, cutting off it eyes, and squeezing the innards from its delightful hood. Risotto is rich. So is this stuffing. This makes enough for 4 people. I highly suggest serving it with a salad just to bring the rich down a notch. The whole thing is very involved, there is multi tasking. It might be a two person job, but its well worth the work.

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For the squid

2 pounds of medium sized whole squid

8 oz finely chopped crimini mushrooms

4 oz diced pancetta cubes (or/and bacon)

2 chopped shallots

2 cloves garlic minced

2 oz crab meat

1/2 cup yellow corn meal

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

Juice of 1 lemon

1 egg

salt

pepper

1 cup Flour, mixed with 1 tsp baking soda,  and a whisked egg for batter

Oil for frying

To clean the squid, pull the heads the hoods, and set them aside. Remove the gladius (Pokey, semi hard thing sticking out, and squeeze out the innards. Remove the skin layer, thoroughly flush the inside, and stick them in a bowl of lemon juice and salt. Take the head, chop off the eyes, pull off its tiny beak and give it a little squeeze just to make sure you got everything. I told you, its ok to fear this part. I have a low threshold for gross, and this got me a little. Give the tentacles a rinse, and add them to your hoods for about 30 minutes if you have a few squids that are too small for stuffing slice them up. When they finish marinating, pat the tentacles and the hoods dry.

Take the mushrooms, pancetta, garlic, shallots, and celery, and saute them in half the butter with a little salt until blanched. Remove it from the heat and let it cool. While its cooling, cook up 1/2 a cup of cornmeal. Bring 2 cups of salty water (add about a tsp of salt) to a boil and slowly whisk in the cornmeal until it thickens, remove it from the heat, stir in the mushroom mixture, and add in the crab meat, breading, and lemon juice. Once its cool enough to touch, stuff the mixture into the squid hoods. You can spoon it in (painfully messy), or take a pastry bag.. or a ziplock with a corner cut off, and squeeze it in. Secure the hoods shut with a toothpick. Dip each hood into a whisked egg, and dredge it in the flour. Set it on a floured plate while you cook the risotto.

For the risotto

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

5 cups chicken broth

2 packets squid ink

1 minced leek

4 cloves garlic

1 celery stock finely chopped

zest of 1 lemon

a small pinch of saffron

1 cup red wine

salt

pepper

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup Romano cheese

Heat up the chicken broth, and squeeze in the squid ink (try to get it all out of the packets). Leave that on low, so it stays warm and combines well with the ink. Saute the leak with the garlic, lemon zest, celery, saffron, salt and pepper in butter, until its blanched. (At this point heat up the oil for frying your squid) Add the rice to the onion mixture and let it simmer for just a little bit, before you add in the wine. Once the wine cooks into the rice, begin to ladle in the chicken broth, slowly stirring it in until it dissolves into the risotto. Continue to do this until you have about about 2 cups of broth left, and start frying your squid. I did mine only 2 at a time so I could multitask, You have to watch the squid, because if they get too well done, they pop, violently, and you don’t want that at all… mostly because its very scary. Once they are golden brown, place them on a paper towel, to absorb the excess oil.  When you finish ladling in the broth and reducing the liquid, add in a pad of butter, and the cheese, and let it sit for five minutes while you saute the remaining tentacles in a little butter until they stiffen and begin to curl. (They have flavor from the lemon juice and salt you set them in don’t add more seasoning). Sprinkle your little squid buddies on your risotto, and finally serve it all up. Gobble down that black richness till you’re out of breath. You deserve it. You defeated the kraken today. Sooo rich, sooo delicious.

heavybreathing

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A Radically Red Radicchio Beet and Quinoa Salad

One of my favorite couples got married last weekend, the wedding was amazing,  and their dinner menu was phenomenal. When the salad came out, after the first bite, my boyfriend quietly whispered in my ear, “Can you make this for me?”. So I made this little bad boy from what I could remember.

Radicchio is bitter. I’ve done many stupid things in my day, and because of those stupid, stupid things, I’ve learned to combat certain flavors, like bitter, or spicy. The sneaky trick is sweet and salty, and sour. I find that a combination of them really does the trick. That is why I made a honey vinaigrette to make it tasty again.

2 cups of red or tri-color quinoa

1 finely chopped head of radicchio

one can of sliced beets

1/2 a thinly sliced red onion

4 very thinly sliced radishes

one blood orange with skins removed

1 tsp salt

juice of one lemon

Rinse your quinoa, and put it in a small pot with 4 cups of water. Add in the lemon and salt, bring it to a boil for 1 minute, reduce it to a simmer and let it cook for 15 more minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat, spread it out over a large dish and cool it in the fridge for 20 minutes while you prep the rest of the salad. Once the quinoa has chilled, mix it with the rest of your ingredients, add a bit of salt and pepper, and serve it with the vinaigrette.

For the vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

Bring out a jar with a lid. Add these 3 ingredients, and shake it like a bad puppy until its completely mixed. TADA Vinaigrette!

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