I have been thinking about the sorts of things I might cook over Easter weekend, and rabbit is something that seemed just perfect, in a perverse sort of way (don’t hit me!). I had a poke around some recipe books to see what I could see; and nothing I saw was compelling.
I thought some more. Stroked my chin; and pondered. Then it struck me: I could prepare rabbit loins using a tried and true method that I devised for chicken!
First: Create a marinade using a combination of verjus and honey with salt, and marinate the loins for an hour or so, stirring occasionally. I used two heaped teaspoons of honey and about 1/4 c of verjus making this dish for two people; but by all means vary this as you see fit.
Second: After the loins have finished marinading, heat up a cast iron fry pan. Once the pan is hot, take each of the loins out of the marinade, and place in the pan. Hold on to the rest of the marinade! Brown each of the loins.
Then: Once all of the loins are nice and brown; and the honey is starting to caramelise, add the rest of the marinade back into the pan, and continue to cook until the marinade is all caramelised and the rabbit is coated in a delicious sticky glaze.
That, is all there is to it.
Of course, every dish needs a name. With this dish, however, the name came first. This, will be forever known as….
Melt butter in a pan, and add chopped bacon. When the bacon is browned; add risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli), and fry until just starting to brown.
Deglaze the pan with a couple of glugs of vermouth; then add finely diced onion and saute until translucent.
If there is still fond on the pan (uh.. brown bits), use some chicken stock to deglaze further. Then, add enough chicken stock to just cover the rice.
When the stock has evaporated off; cover the rice with stock again.
This time, when the stock evaporates, add sliced mushrooms; and again, cover the rice with stock.
When the stock evaporates this time; the risotto is probably ready. Sample a grain of rice, and if it tastes about right; stir in grated parmesan cheese and serve. Otherwise, continue adding and cooking off more stock until it’s finished.
I had intended on making these on Tuesday; but with the cat, it didn’t end up happening. However, since it’s Jesses’ birthday on Saturday, and my co-worker Geoffs’ birthday on Friday, I made a batch of cupcakes this evening instead.
The cupcakes are made from the Night and Day cupcake recipe in Nigella Lawsons book; however instead of the icing in the recipe, I made one of my own devising – it’s a splendiferous bittersweet chocolate icing. The pink and white are both white chocolate.
– Marinate thinly sliced beef in a mixture of about 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of crushed garlic; a generous pinch of salt, and pepper for as long as you can bear.
– Slice up 3 spring onions quite small
– Chop the chunky stems off a bunch of pak choy; and cut the bigger leaves in half.
– (Here’s where most of the waiting for as long as you can bear takes place…)
– Heat up a wok with a bit of oil; then add the beef (leaving as much of the marinade behind as possible. The idea here is to brown the meat, not stew it.)
– When the beef has mostly browned; add the spring onions.
– Once the spring onions have wilted; toss in a package of noodles. I used hokkien this time; other times, I use singapore noodles.
– Once the noodles have had a minute or so to cook; add the pak choy, and the remaining marinade; and keep eveything moving until the pak choy has wilted, but is still a little crispy.
– Bowl. Eat.
This is just a fairly standard sort of risotto. I trimmed the asparagus tips off for garnishing, and chopped the stems thinly. I finely chopped the zest of a lemon, and set aside the lemon juice for deglazing. As an underlying flavour base, I used 4-5 shallots diced finely.
I blanched the asparagus stems in water, and once they were finished; cooled the water down with a block of frozen chicken stock from the freezer.
In the main pan, I heated some garlic infused olive oil; and added the lemon zest. Once that was fragrant, I added the shallots. When the shallots softened, I added four small handfulls of risotto rice to the pan; which I gently fried until it started to get a little colour. At this stage, I deglazed the pan with the lemon juice. Once the lemon juice evaporated, I started to incorporate the chicken stock. When the risotto was about half complete; I added the asparagus stems to the pan, and moved the asparagus tips into the stock to warm through.
Once the risotto finished; I put it into a couple of bowls, and topped it with freshly grated parmesan and the asparagus tips.
Next time around, I’m going to pass on blanching the asparagus – the idea behind that was to get some asparagus flavour into the chicken stock. It didn’t make that much difference flavourwise, and it was a bit brutal texture-wise.