So, in case you don't know, I'm on Twitter. I've never felt the inclination to be all, "Hey everybody! Tweet me! Tweet me hard." Nonetheless, some of you good friends of mine have found me. Some of you are even good for a little smack-talk once in awhile.
Enter Peter Minaki (aka Peter the Greek, aka Kalofagas). He's been my home skillet since Day One, and eventually I think I showed him it's okay to cuss on a blog. Now you can't get the motherfucker to shut up. One day in Twittertown, he mentioned some duck he was gonna cook up, and said something about it being duck season. "Wabbit season," I tweet back.
Then, darlings, it was on.
I challenged Peter to a Wabbit Season versus Duck Season throwdown, hoping (knowing?) it would be the mother of all blog grudge matches. LET'S GET IT ON!
I cut a 3-lb. rabbit into its 4 limbs and saddle, and set the loin aside. After a slow braise with onions and parsley, I set it aside to cool and then pulled and shredded the meat. Mixed with fromage blanc, a splash of Mirabelle plum brandy and the cooked rabbit liver, and pulsed a few times in the food processor to mince. Taste, add salt and pepper, and fry some sage leaves to crumble in. A pan of slivered shallot and cipolline onions was caramelizing on another burner.
While the rabbit was braising, I was turning the carcass, kidneys and liver into an unctuous stock (I added a spoonful of veal demi to hurry it along - is that cheating?). After the meat had been pulled from the limbs, I tossed those bones into the stock pot, too. I thinly sliced my precious handful of store-bought (!) chanterelles on the mandoline and gently laid them into the finished, strained stock to reduce into a rich jus.
I whipped up some pasta dough, kneaded it for ten minutes, and after about a half hour rest, I rolled the pasta out into two thin sheets. I scooped the rabbit filling onto one sheet, egg washed the edges and topped it with another sheet. I used the useless Williams-Sonoma egg-cooking round molds (I got so sick of failing at cooking eggs with these things that I eventually just learned to properly poach an egg so I'd always have perfect sandwich-sized eggs).
To serve, I nestled a warm wad of caramelized onions into a small bowl, topped it with the ravioli, and ladled the piping-hot jus over the top. Enjoy with a nice Brooks 2006 Amycas - a blend of Pinot Gris (21%), Pinot Blanc (37%), Reisling (21%), Gewürztraminer (18%) and Muscat 2%) (which is, admittedly, an extremely sterile wine description. But it was delicious).
So, whaddya think? Do I win? Is Peter's duck dish better? YOU DECIDE!