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City Palate Recipe: Aidas Dawood Basha served with Couscous

Meat

Stuffed Alberta Rabbit RisottoŁ with Roasted Vegetables

Sep/Oct 2008
Menu courtesy of chef-in-training Karyn Sunohora from SAIT’s School of Hospitality & Tourism

Stuffed Rabbit
1 rabbit, legs removed and saddle (loin) deboned, keeping it in one piece (ask a butcher to do this), reserve bones
2 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 c. whipping cream
¼ c. chèvre
¼ c. finely chopped chives
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 t. garlic, minced
¼ c. dried red currants, soaked in water 15 minutes
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the bread in the cream. To make the stuffing, chop the rabbit leg meat in a food processor. Add the chèvre, herbs, garlic, currants and salt and pepper. Mix well. Squeeze the cream from the bread and add the bread to the mixture; mix just until smooth. Refrigerate.

Pound rabbit loin with a mallet until it is flattened. Place the loin on a large piece of plastic wrap and season with salt and pepper. Place the stuffing on the centre of the meat, roll the loin, securing the stuffing inside, and wrap tightly in the plastic wrap. Wrap again in foil and place in a preheated 325°F oven for 35 minutes.

Rabbit Jus
Reserved rabbit bones, cut up
2 T. olive oil
1 each carrot and celery, chopped
½ onion, chopped
1 T. tomato paste
8 c. water
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. each chopped shallots and green peppercorns
½ c. red wine
2 T. cold butter

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bones and chopped vegetables and cook gently 20 minutes or to a golden brown colour, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste and stir. Cook another minute.  Add water, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Stir well, bring to a simmer, skim any grease and cook gently, skimming, for about 1 hour. Strain, return to pan and reduce to 2 cups.

In a smaller saucepan, sweat the shallots and peppercorns in a little olive oil. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the rabbit stock and cook gently until reduced a bit. Pour the jus through a strainer, adjust seasonings, and stir in the butter. Reserve and keep hot.

Potato “Risotto”
6 T. butter, melted
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ yam, peeled and cubed
½ onion, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 c. whipping cream
½ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss the cubed potatoes and onion in 4 tablespoons of the butter, season with salt and pepper and put on a baking tray. Bake about 25 minutes, until the potatoes are almost cooked but still a little firm. Transfer potatoes to a saucepan and add the rosemary and cream and stir constantly over medium heat until the cream begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and adjust seasonings. Reserve.

Roasted Fall Vegetables

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place on a baking tray 1 cubed banana squash, 1 cubed zucchini, 2 cubed carrots and 1 parboiled beet, cubed. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons Highwood Crossing canola oil, 5 tablespoons Alberta honey and salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes. Reserve.

To Finish
Place a spoonful of the potato “risotto” on the centre of each plate. Top with roasted vegetable. Slice the rabbit loin into ¼-inch slices and place slices on top of the vegetables. Pour rabbit jus around, garnish with fresh herbs and serve. Serves 4.