Archive for July, 2009

rabbit stew

July 23, 2009

after a hearty approval from the fiancee on the roasted rabbit last night, i gave him two options for leftovers; rabbit picatta over linguine or rabbit stew. his eyes got all sparkly and he said, ‘well, i really wonder what it would taste like, and you do make awesome stew…’ ::sigh:: it seems he has figured me out. all you have to do to get me to cook what you want is flatter me. i’m weak.

for the stew:

3-5 pieces leftover rabbit meat (on the bone)

2 large carrots

1 medium yellow onion

2 medium red potatoes

herbs du provence

3 cloves garlic

handful baby bella mushrooms

clean meat from rabbit bones and reserve. place rabbit bones and any drippings you have left from the leftover container into a soup pot, cover with water, and put on stove over medium heat. quarter one carrot and place in soup pot. peel the other carrot, dropping the peelings into the soup pot along with the tip and top before thinly slicing and reserving. chop half the onion and reserve, placing the peelings, along with the quartered other half, into the soup pot. peel the two potatoes into the soup pot, chop, and reserve. crush two garlic cloves and place in pot. peel last garlic clove into pot and finely chop and reserve. slice mushrooms and reserve. put all your cut veggies and torn meat into the refrigerator and forget about them for a while.

add enough water to the soup pot to cover everything and have some swishing room. add a tablespoon of herbs. boil, covered, for about an hour, stirring occasionally because you want to smell it.

strain the broth and salt and pepper to taste. bring back up to a simmer, adding everything but the meat. simmer until veggies are tender. to thicken, pull out a ladle of the broth and whisk in a teaspoon of corn starch or flour at a time, mixing it back into the soup. you can do this two or three or four times to get to your desired stewiness. add meat and simmer until heated through.

i served this with leftover sour cream yorkshire puddings:

several tablespoons olive oil

two large eggs


two tablespoons sour cream

pinch salt

pinch baking soda

crack your eggs into a measuring cup and then pour into a mixing bowl. add sour cream to the measuring cup, whisking in enough water to get the same volume as the eggs. while beating, sift in the same amount of flour. cover and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer (i waited one hour).

preheat oven to 415F. in a muffin tin, pour about half a teaspoon of oil into each spot. place in oven until smoking and bubbling. uncover batter and whisk one last time. pour batter into sizzling tin, filling each spot about 1/2. immediately return to oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.


roasted rabbit

July 22, 2009

for those of you who shudder at the thought of eating a cute little bunny rabbit, please click here for the extensive research i have done on the little-known fact that all bunnies are suicidal anyway. let’s make their death delicious, shall we?

i had a small rabbit, a little over two pounds. i cut it into pieces; two legs, two arms, one back strap (which is a gorgeous little piece of meat!) and one breast. i dropped the breast on the floor, and since there wasn’t too much meat on it anyway, i threw it out. i have to stop doing that.

for the rabbit:

2-3 pounds rabbit pieces

leaves of two sprigs of rosemary

juice of one lemon

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 peeled garlic cloves

place rabbit pieces in baking dish. throw everything else in the food processor, and blend until chunky. pour olive oil mixture over rabbit, turning to coat all sides. sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover with foil, and place in refrigerator for 2 or more hours.

when ready to cook, preheat oven to 450. turn pieces once more for a good coat. roast for about 25 minutes, until all meat is tender and juices run clear. finish under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown.

i served this with yorkshire puddings and leftover lentils cooked in chicken broth, garlic, and onions. it would be really yummy with a nice green salad and a tomato vinaigrette or some parmesan mashed potatoes.

roasted chicken with gravy and cilantro yeast rolls

July 21, 2009

for the chicken:

coarse kosher salt

cracked black pepper

3-4 rosemary sprigs

1 lemon, quartered

1 yellow onion, quartered

1 carrot, eighthed

olive oil

1 2-3 pound fryer chicken

preheat oven to 450. rinse and dry chicken, inside and out. rub with olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper, inside and out. stuff with half of remaining ingredients, and if you have twine, truss chicken (i didn’t, but you’re supposed to). add remaining ingredients to roasting dish and drizzle entire dish lightly with olive oil. roast for one hour. remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

for the gravy:

3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons sour cream

roasting pan veggies and drippings

heat a sauce pan on med-low. throw all drippings and veggies from your roasting pan into a food processor and puree. strain puree through a tight sieve into sauce pan. this mixture will be thick; if you want more gravy, you’re really going to have to scrape and push through the sieve. whisk in milk and sour cream. salt and pepper to taste. if necessary, sprinkle in flour to thicken, cooking down (i didn’t have to add flour, but you might like a thicker gravy than i do).

for the yeast rolls:

.5 tablespoons active dry yeast

1 finely diced anaheim pepper

.5 bunch finely diced cilantro

4 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt


1 cup warm water

in a large mixing bowl, pour warm water. sprinkle with yeast and allow to sit for ten minutes. stir in peppers, cilantro, salt, and baking soda. stir in 3 cups of flour, forming a large ball of dough. turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in as much of the remaining flour as you can. knead until dough is nice and elastic (10-20 minutes). place dough in a buttered bowl, smearing all sides of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. let rest for one hour. turn out, punch down, and knead for a few minutes. butter all over and let rest one more hour. turn out and roll dough to about .5 inch thick. use a water glass to punch out rolls, placing on ungreased cookie sheet. preheat oven to 375. cover rolls with damp cloth and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. brush with melted butter and serve.

farmers’ market

July 21, 2009

so saturday morning, we drove up to the dallas farmers’ market about 9:30. first stop…breakfast. scott had to have some barbacoa (why, oh why will the health inspector release cow brains and bellies, but not pig stomach?), and i wanted some charro beans.

we came home with loads of fresh veggies, some lovely peaches, a chicken, and a rabbit. next week, we’re hitting the grass-fed beef farmer that never gives his cattle antibiotics, hormones, or grain, and he has cheaper beef than central market.

rosemary almond bread

July 17, 2009

2 1/2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons active dry yeast

8 cups all-purpsose flour

leaves from 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, pulled and chopped

butter (room temperature)

.5 cup crushed almonds

1 tablespoon water

1 egg white

1.5 tablespoon coarse kosher salt

Pour warm water into a warm mixing bowl; sprinkle with the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in about 2 cups of the flour. Beat well; add salt, rosemary, and gradually beat in all but about 2 cups of the flour. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and cover with a clean dish towel; let rest 10 minutes. Knead by hand for 20 minutes or until dough is very elastic, kneading in as much of the remaining flour as necessary for smooth dough. Place dough in a lightly buttered bowl, turning to grease all of the dough surface. Cover bowl with foil then cover with a dish cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

While dough is rising, measure 1/2 a cup of raw almonds and run through a ffood processor until mulchy. Butter cookie sheets and sprinkle almond dust.

Punch dough down and let rise to double again, about 1 hour longer. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and form each portion into a ball. Cover with dish cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half of the dough into a 15×8-inch rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Roll up tightly, starting with short side, sealing as you roll. Taper ends by rolling out with hands until loaf is 10 to 11 inches long. Place loaves seam side down on buttered, almonded cookie sheets. Add 1 tablespoon of water to egg white in a bowl and beat lightly; brush over and along sides of loaves. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth without touching dough — place glasses or cups around loaves and place towels on them. Place pans in in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk. Place a shallow pan on bottom rack of oven; fill with boiling water. Bake loaves in center of oven preheated to 375° for 20 minutes. Brush with egg white mixture again and continue baking for 20 minutes longer, or until well-browned and done.

flour tortillas

July 15, 2009

i poached rebekah’s flour tortilla recipe and futzed with it; the result was a slightly thinner than traditional flour tortilla, but one with quite a bit of substance still.

these little guys made me feel like i was six years old in minga’s kitchen again. i’ll be using them to fry for chips with tortilla soup this weekend, and if i wanted to be healthier, i suppose i could use wheat flour.

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons comino (because i FELT like it, that’s why)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
about 1 cup warm water

mix dry ingredients with a big fork. cut in butter with fork. add the water a bit at a time, kneading the dough together to form a big uncooked tortilla ball; it’s watered enough when it all sticks together. if it gets a little too mushy, no big, you can always add more flour.

roll and twist these into balls that will fit into your fist when you touch all of your fingers to your thumb. try to roll the dough under, twist, and push up so that when you roll them out, they don’t look like white elephants. if they do, just cook them anyway. they will still taste good. this made 13 tortillas…it would have made 14, but i dropped the first one and my sous chef licked it. i know they SAY dogs’ mouths are cleaner than ours, but i wasn’t chancing it.

i rolled these out with a big german-looking rolling pin and cooked them on high (you do NOT need oil or butter) in a cast iron skillet instead of using a little rolling pin and a comal like a good little honorary mexican. fried eggs, crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, and refried chili beans with pork chops (it was the only meat i had left to put into chili yesterday)…my favorite kind of brinner.

adventures in baking – too chocolate brownies

July 14, 2009

summer tuesdays and thursdays are the best because scott sleeps in and we have brunch. today’s menu was filet and eggs benedict (see? tuesdays and thursdays ROCK), but i won’t bore you with those details because you already know how to cook a steak and mix a hollandaise packet and poach an egg. so instead, i will embarass myself by telling you all about how i futzed with rebekah’s sunday sweets because i didn’t have any chocolate chips.

(note to self: THIS is why you can’t bake. follow the recipe from now on.)

2/3 cup sweetened ghiradelli cocoa

2/3 cup hershey’s unsweetened cocoa

2/3 cup hershey’s syrup
3 Tablespoons shortening
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

melt together shortening and all chocolate on super low heat. mix and set aside. preheat oven to 350. cream eggs and sugar. mix in vanilla and baking powder. grease brownie pan (i used a 7×11) to give the chocolate just a little more time to chill out. mix in chocolate. mix in flour. pour and bake for about 22 minutes…i lost count because the first time i pulled them out at 17, they were not set.

to (attmept to) cover my flan-ier textured brownies, i made some icing:

3 tablespoons shortening

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

2 tablespoons sweetened ghiradelli cocoa

1 tablespoon milk

this icing on the brownies made them feel much better about themselves. all in all, definitely better than a mix. i promise to follow the recipe next time, though…::crosses fingers behind back::

rabbit stew, rabbit stew, it’s my favorite thing to do

July 13, 2009

my recent research on the dallas farmers’ market yielded one let-down and one discovery made of awesome.

the let down; pig stomach is impossible to legally sell in this country. apparently, my inability to find pig stomach is not fueled by the pure capitalistic nature of this country refusing to bother with the processing and packaging of stomachs because most americans find them icky. oh no, health inspectors WILL NOT CLEAR PIG STOMACH FOR SALE. if you have had the good fortune to taste a slowly-prepared pig stomach, you can sympathise with this pang in my heart. it just seems such a silly waste.

but yin and yang, man, every foodie cloud has a silver lining. my silver lining is made of rabbit. this saturday at the dallas farmers’ market, i will be picking up my very own whole rabbit. my ideas so far include braised rabbit in white wine sauce, roasted lemon and rosemary rabbit, and rabbit stew. i know it’s not stew season. sue me.

salad with tomato dressing

July 13, 2009

i love salads in summer. love. them. in 2002, i found a recipe in real simple magazine for a nicoise salad with a dressing of tomato juice, dijon mustard, lemon, and olive oil. i can’t seem to find the damn silly thing now, but it was lovely, and the basics of it totally stuck with me.

after being sufficiently grossed out by the meat industry yesterday afternoon while watching food inc, suffering a sick, sick coincidence at 3 AM this morning as my fiancee and i were both up because our bodies were doing the liquid veto of our ciabatta burgers, and pilates this morning, let’s just say i was feeling like a lighter lunch.

for the salad:

1 whole romaine heart, chopped

4 baby bellas, chopped

2 oz. white cheddar with dill and garlic, finely sliced

for the dressing:

1/4 cup v8

juice of 1/2 lemon

teaspoon olive oil (more if you want a creamier dressing)

teaspoon rasperry balsamic vinegar

pinch salt

cracked black pepper to taste

whisk together all the dressing ingredients and toss the salad (hehe) ingredients with the dressing. i’d show you a pretty picture, but i ate it all as i typed.

food inc.

July 12, 2009

while i can’t say i was terribly surprised by anything in my ‘food inc.’ mattinee a few hours ago, i can wholeheartedly say (and not be lying) that i am icked out.

this documentary had a different feeling than others i’ve seen on the food industry in this country, though. while it quite convincingly labeled the bad guys (monsanto, government ‘regulatory’ departments, mcdonald’s), it also carried this very strong undertone, made clearer with blatant directives at the end of the film, of anti-victimization. we have become victims of these disrespectful monsters of industry in large part because we have allowed it. every single day, we can take small steps toward making the world a better place.

‘you can change the world with every bite.’