Saturday, September 13, 2008

Braised rabbit ravioli with caramelized shallots and chanterelle jus


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!

35 comments:

Peter G said...

It's bad enough being on Facebook...I couldn't cope with Twitter as well! I'm loving the whole "autumn thing" going on here Heather. Again (sorry for the repetition) but you've really matched the flavours of the rabbit with the shallots and chanterelles! great stuff!

Brittany said...

OOoooooh! So fall-ish! I think you have it in the bag. Easily the best looking wabbit dish I've ever seen. You should do this professionally. Seriously. You already have the pre-requisite potty mouth required for restaurant work. How do you feel about shitty hours and a tiny paycheck?

Thinking of joining the twit-- I just joined facebook, so what the fuck, why not?

Zen Chef said...

Heather, just received your wire transfer. Thanks.

You get my vote!

Manggy said...

Ooh, restaurant-quality! (Sorry, that line from First Wives Club will stick with me forever.) I've never done a stock reduction before, but it looks so dramatic and flavorful. Okay, one more confession: I've never made stock before anyways :P Okay, another confession: I've not had rabbit before. They just don't roam the wild here-- always found as pets. But it won't stop me from trying your dish if ever I would be so lucky as to be offered it :)

Foodycat said...

That is an amazing looking dish! Did you need to overcompensate after the microwave popcorn confessional? I love eating rabbit but the only time I cooked it, it sucked arse. And I am scared of pasta. So I might have to just yearn for this one!

Peter M said...

It's duck season! Despite you pulling off this mighty fine rabbit dish, I'm going to have to show you a lesson or two in kitchen manners and when I'm done with the duck today, you might - just might shut up for a day or two! ;)

Bravo...the ravioli looks awesome and I HAVE to pull off an awesome dish.

Helen said...

Hi Heather, I'm loving the bunny wabbit ravioli. I just made a rabbit lasagne so it seems great minds think alike!

Brittany said...

You win, you totally win, that looks amazing and seriously, I could eat 20 of those, not just the two pretty ones you dolled up.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Hard to say having not seen Peter's post yet, but that raviolio looks incredible! I'd be willing to part with at least 32 bucks for that in a restaurant (maybe more if I got a chance to smell them passing by on the way to someone else's table)

Tom Aarons said...

Perfection indeed! But it's hard to tell whether it's better than Peter's duck, because he doesn't seem to have posted anything! Has he just given up and gone home? Is he running scared? :)

Leigh said...

nice, veyr nice. great colour, great flavour. I like rabbit braised slow as hell and dumped on paperdelle or some other thick, heavy pasta, now im gonna try some ravoli. nice work, heather.

Heather said...

Petah - I have managed to avoid Facebook completely. I have enough Dark Sides. :P

Brittany - Fall is my favorite season! As soon as my tomatoes finish ripening, I care fuckall what happens to the weather.

M. Zen - Shhh! Quiet! Now everyone will know it's rigged!

Mark - The rabbits here are also farm-raised. Make your own stock! Nothing better on a rainy day than having a pot of chicken bones simmering away with a mirepoix and a bouquet garnis.

Foodycat - The best part (not shown in the picture) was the little loins, which I seared and served rare in the middle, with the hot broth to cook them the rest of the way through. Nom!

Peter the Greek! - Well, well, well. Look who's come to check out the competition! Changed your whole menu after seeing this, didn'tcha! (I really thought shredded duck confit woulda made the better ravioli, fwiw.)

Helen - Ooh, that sounds goooood. Great minds think alike indeed.

Brittany - I didn't just doll those up, that's how I served them. :D

Marc - 32 bucks? Those are east coast prices! Although, now that I know the trouble ravioli are to make, I'll scoff less for sure.

Tom - Maybe he has! Or, knowing him, he got up early on a Sunday to start cooking up a storm.

Leigh - That is also how I enjoy eating rabbit. The best way, I think. Although this came pretty close.

Nik Snacks said...

Now, that's just pretty. Real real pretty.

So I'm all about some Twitter right now. Apparently, it's what all the cool journalists are doing these days. I can't miss this wagon. So...yeah, this is very pretty. I can just taste it. And no, adding veal demi isn't cheating. It's what must be done to get shit crackin'. I'm just sayin' is all...

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Solid dish -- next time, just to gild the voodoolily (couldn't resist) add a small square of sweet butter on top of the rabbit filling. This will then melt when you cook the ravioli and everyone will wonder in amazement at how rich and delightful they are! I do this trick with wild duck liver ravioli.

Alas, I must buy my chantrelles, too. No rain down here in Cali yet. Maybe by Thanksgiving...

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, nuts. I'm never cooking again.
My death by starvation will be on your... wait, I can still go to Burger King?

MrOrph said...

This dish is so totally full of WIN!

Bookmarked!!!

Norm Schoen said...

Americans need to eat more rabbit. What a great combination of flavors

glamah16 said...

I'm on my Blackberry, enduring a shop a thon with CS, so I'm just tuning in because I'm shopped out.. Me want some rabbit raviloi . I have never cooked rabbit and this will inspire me. CS loves rabbit. Plus I ran across a recipe calling for rabbit liver, so I need to invest in a whole rabbit and get cooking!

Brittany said...

Please note that by dolled up, I mean took them out of the pan, which is what I would be eating them out of...on the couch...in my sweat pants...

peter said...

You sure know how to make a homesick man feel inadequate.

Twitter is like having bees live in your head.

Núria said...

I haven't seen Peter's yet, but your conejo is F_______ great!!!!!! You are the MasterFly of the kitchen, girl!!! See me bowing at you ;D

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

That there wabbit wavioli is a work of art. I'd eat it gladly. And then have seconds. Which is tough on the wabbit population, but at least they'd be meeting a worthy end.

Lo said...

I absolutely WUV Wabbit. And you can't fail tempting me with a wild shroom. So, I'm definitely listening, Heather.

As for Twitter, I'm with Peter. Yikes -- how to keep up??

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I slipped in a pool of my own drool, but managed to drag myself up off the floor in order to be able to write this comment...

You could wake me up for this dish, any time and anywhere! GORGEOUS, I can almost taste it from here!

p.s. I LOVE the lard badge.

Heather said...

Nikki - You're a Tweeting machine! Like the fabled robotic nightingale, you are.

Hank - If I really had my druthers, I'da slipped a sliver of foie gras in there, too. ;)

Cookiecrumb - Burger King counts, I guess, but wouldn't you rather have a Double-Double with Animal Fries?

Donald - Yay! It's worth the trouble, I swear.

Norm - It's the other white meat! Kinda spendy, though, depending.

Courtney - Fresh rabbits always come with their liver and kidneys, so the best way to get a liver is to buy a whole bunneh.

Brittany - I love that you are unabashed about your sweats-as-pregnancy uniform.

Jube - I always feel like I have bees in my proverbial bonnet, so now I can just make everyone else see the stupid shit that goes through my head.

Núria - The MasterFly? That sounds pretty good!

Sketti - Luckily, you can get about 30 ravioli and a gallon of stock out of one wabbit, plus there's the whole "breeding like rabbits" thing they do. So you should be okay.

Lo - Rabbit might be one of the only animals whose meat doesn't smell weird raw.

Mevrouw cupcake - Glad you dropped by! It'll never be this exciting again.



Courtney -

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I'm envious of anyone who can do good ravioli. My last attempt was traumatizing and I've made fresh pasta plenty of time before.

I'm afraid I can't vote on whose is better due to bias. I love duck, but I'm afraid I just don't like rabbit. Can't get into the taste, although I'm sure your creative hand would make it taste far superior to any other rabbit I've eaten.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

That is a really beautiful dish through and through. I tend to get worked up even making pasta dough (let alone ravioli--THAT almost always puts me in a foul mood), but this is a wonderfully put together meal.

I left one thing out on Twitter that would bias my vote though...fond memories of my dearly departed childhood pet rabbit, lol. Although I guess I had a duck for a brief period as well, but it drove me batty, so I feel no remorse eating them. ;-)

tammy said...

Sweet mother of Jesus, that looks good. Well done.

Emily said...

You win - hands down. This looks incredible! We're having a chanterelle mushroom recipe contest and would love to have you enter this recipe. Besides bragging rights and winning twice with one recipe, the prize is 2 lbs. of fresh chanterelles and a set of biodegradable plates. Check it out at marxfoods.com

Tina said...

The duck looked marvelous, but the rabbit ravioli is most definitely the winner here.

GOD I could lick my screen.

Jude said...

Wow... That ravioli looks so impressive. So elegant.

maggie said...

This looks incredible.

I'm really enjoying your blog—I'm originally from Portland!

maggie said...

one question—do you roll pasta by hand? or with some sort of machine? I'm a homemade pasta virgin...

We Are Never Full said...

well, i did find out about this on twitter (which i can't fucking keep up w/ either - i can't keep up w/ the blogs now that my job is back in full swing!) and i was intrigued by the smackdown.

i will not declare either of you a winner, but i will say that those raviolis look unfuckingbelieveable. give me one... no four now!

and i totally noticed peter throwing in a 'shit' here and a "crap" there on kalofagas! now, all we need to read is a 'cunt' and a 'fuck' on there and he'll really have come a long way! you were my cussing hero too... tear.

sorry if i offended anyone w/ writing the "C" word - i'm married to a brit and they use it often to mean something different. i'm immune to it now.

PPC said...

I ran across this post looking for a recipe for rabbit ravioli to use for a family meal I was going to host. We made the same basic meal but used homemade duck stock for the jus and braising liquid (which was added to the sauce anyway). FABULOUS MEAL! The caramelized shallots really make the dish. With all the deep, mild flavors they are the perfect strong yet soft flavor to send it over the top. Bravo.