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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You call it rabbit, I call it delicious...

No pictures today... where did I put that camera cable?

I am constantly bemused by the fact that the average American could go their whole lives with eating basically three terrestrial animals: chickens, pigs and cows. Throw in a once a year turkey to liven things up, and that's pretty much what you can buy in the supermarket. Of course I know there is lamb, but it's hard to find good lamb, and there are some others too...

I, for one, have become obsessed with eating "different" animals. I have no qualms with believing I am toward the top of the food chain, so I don't think I will ever be a very practical vegetarian. And, well, if I were in the forest in India and a tiger ate me, well, okay, I guess I had it coming.

I've eaten a lot of weird things that some of you would prefer I didn't mention. Dog. It's not bad, it's not good. It's just dog. The obligatory escargot (snails) from when I lived in Paris. Rancid yak butter tea from the Himalayas. All the unmentionables: tongue, brain, sweetbreads (a gland), Rocky Mountain oysters (if you have to ask, you don't want to know). Oh, and my personal favorite: it's not a food, it's a medicine, but it's bear bile. It is what it sounds like. They use it as an immune booster in Asia. It is illegal, but I was given some by a family in Vietnam. It's pretty disgusting, but it works.

So, I was at the Co-op in Moscow and came across a few delicious things: elk steaks, bison steaks, goat meat (halal!) and rabbit. Naturally, I bought all of these, and we have slowly but surely been eating them. This weekend we made rabbit. I had rabbit once before in Paris and it was amazing, so I decided to try my hand at it.

It was incredible! The texture of the animal is kind of different, for they have such powerful legs! But I really highly recommend it.

As dinner was cooking my mouth watered, and I decided to make chocolate soufflé as well. I have a no-nonsense easy recipe to follow. The biggest thing to know about soufflés are do NOT open the oven until that timer goes off! Soufflés are very shy and they will collapse if you open the door before they are ready to see the world!

School is going okay. My agent-based modeling class is great but difficult. K and I spent 2 hours trying to work through 3 mathematical modeling problems today. I have abstracts due for the Society for American Archaeology meetings, and just generally too much to do. To top it off I had some pretty intense nightmares last night, so I'm guessing I'm stressed. It's unfair: it's only the 2nd week of school!

In other news I really want a French country tablecloth for my round table upstairs. I can't believe they're $100! I wish I hadn't left mine in Paris 7 years ago....

Chocolate Soufflé

2tsp butter
1/2 c sugar in all
8 oz semi sweet chocolate
4 large egg whites
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup grand marnier
3/4 cup chocolate grand marnier sauce (to follow)

preheat oven to 400*
great ramekins with butter and sprinkle 1 tsp sugar throughout each to coat all sides

In a double boiler melt the chocolate.

Meanwhile, using electric mixer beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar until very stiff.

When chocolate is melted add egg yolks in 1 at a time. Add the grandmarnier and then whisk in 2 tbsp sugar. Fold in the egg whites and whisk till blended.

Pour chocolate in ramekins. Bake until puffy, 20-25 minutes.

This recipe will at least double in size, so make sure you don't fill those ramekins above halfway! Glass works best, though I have used muffin tins in a pinch, they just shouldn't cook for anywhere near as long. Turn the light on in the oven at the beginning so you can periodically check on your desserts as they are cooking. Once the middle of the soufflé is no longer bowed they're pretty much done.

Run a knife along the edge and flip the soufflé onto a plate upside down.

Okay, the sauce:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1.5 tsp grand marnier
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 oz semi sweet chocolate (though this weekend I ran out of chocolate chips so I used hersheys syrup and it turned out okay)

Heat cream in small saucepan. Add grand marnier and sugar. Whisk in chocolate, bring to a boil. Whisk constantly. Remove from heat and drizzle over the soufflées.

Okay, someone else try this recipe and tell me how it works! :)

Without further ado, the rabbit!

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a 2 1/2- to 3-pound rabbit, thawed if frozen, cut into 7 or 8 serving pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • In a large bowl stir together flour and salt. Add rabbit and toss to coat. In a heavy kettle heat 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown rabbit in batches, transferring pieces to a bowl.

    Add onion and remaining tablespoon oil to kettle and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned. Stir in garlic and rosemary and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, wine, and rabbit with any juices accumulated in bowl and simmer, covered, 1 hour, or until rabbit is tender. Remove lid and simmer until sauce is thickened slightly. Stir in parsley.

    1 comment:

    1. The chocolate soufflé sounds unbelievable. Um, wow on all those other things you've eaten around the world (rocky mountain oysters...really?! Yuck). The funny thing is, I know you can whip up a vegetarian meal to die for (still remember that Vietnamese meal you made me for my birthday a few years back!). It seems you must have a very open mind and a very weak gag reflex in order to travel the world and not offend everyone out there.