Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Braised Rabbit with Almond Puree and Sauteed Swiss Chard

This somewhat complex dish is a traditional northern Italian preparation of rabbit. I added a few ingredients to customize the dish and add some earthy and delicious flavors. It costs about $30, takes 1.5 hours and fed two very hungry men.

Braised Rabbit
1/2 a farm raised rabbit, cut to three pieces
1/2 organic white onion, chopped,
2 large organic carrots, peeled and chopped
1 organic leek, chopped
1 organic jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 organic celery stalks, chopped
8 cloves organic garlic, chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tangerines, juiced and zested (optional, oranges are a good sub)
1 bunch fresh thyme, whole
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup flour

Remove rabbit from the package and clean. In a small pyrex bowl place the rabbit with 1/8 cup of olive oil, crushed red pepper, one tangerine juiced and zested, salt and 3 cloves of garlic and let sit for at least an hour. Start the oven at 350. Start a large dutch oven or LeCrusset on medium heat and add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Remove rabbit from marinade and pat dry. Dust the rabbit in the flour and shake off excess. Sear the rabbit till golden on each side, about 5 minutes. Remove and let rest on a baking rack. In the same pan add a bit more olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Add onions, carrots, peppers, leeks, celery and garlic and cook for 7 minutes or until onions become translucent. Deglaze the pan with some white wine or clear alcohol, I used cointreau to stick to the orange theme. Now add orange juice, tangerine juice, tangerine zest, chicken stock and thyme. Bring this mixture to a lite booil and then add the rabbit pieces. Cover the pot and place the whole thing in the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove the rabbit pieces and set aside. Strain the remaining liquid and place the strained liquid in a small saucepan. Place on low to reduce, add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon braising liquid sauce over the rabbit.

Almond Puree
1/2 cup blanched and peeled almond (you can buy them like this)
2 organic bartlet pears, halved and cored
2 organic gala apples, halved and cored
1/4 organic leek, thin sliced
1 tablespoon truffle honey
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons of water
salt and white pepper

Place the almonds and leeks along withe the pears and apples cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 or until pears and apples are soft. Peel skins from apples and pears and place all the cooked items plus the truffle honey in a blender or food processor. Start pureeing and slowly add the olive oil. Then add the water to get a smooth even consistency. Season to taste.

Sauteed Swiss Chard
2 bunches organic swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
6 cloves organic garlic, medium chop
1/2 organic red onion, medium dice
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoon olive oil

Start a large saute pan on medium low heat. Add olive oil and butter then onions and garlic. Let cook for 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally until the onions and garlic are soft and lightly golden. Add chard and toss, let cook 7 to 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

Plate it all up and get to grubbing! Buon Apetito!!

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