“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone?” I bought a frozen rabbit a while back, nostalgic for France. It was so expensive! And I thought quite small.
When I thawed it today before cooking, it seemed so small that I wondered if it was squirrel instead of rabbit because you see, unlike in France, the head was missing. So now I understand the French obsession with head on rabbits. “One never knows, do one”?
Anyway. I had a long chat yesterday with Gina, owner of a furniture consignment store on Main Street. We discussed our concerns about the quality of food products in the U.S. She and her husband both grew up on farms and continue to feed themselves and their children from their own garden. She had great tips on meat and fish products. Such a nice lady! Guess what I found on the porch this morning?
The last thing I expected to find in the pantry of a Pennsylvania “home girl” was homemade hot pepper sauce. We had some with butter baked chicken wings last night that were delicious with the sauce! No vinegar overkill, just fresh, spicy, green delight! The local Mexican food restaurant should take note.
In addition, Gina canned some chillies and stewed tomatoes. I decided to use the tomatoes and her gorgeous onions and carrots in a “little” rabbit stew. I’m saving the chillies for nachos :)
Remember garlic bread? I finally did yesterday. I have not made it for years, but was inspired by the necessity to rescue a “baguette” I purchased on Main Street. Baguettes are hard to make and the only good ones I’ve had were in Niger and France.
Sprinkle in some garlic powder or crush fresh garlic cloves into softened butter, then slice the loaf, spread on the butter and bake in aluminum foil at 425F for 15-20 minutes.
A Little Rabbit Stew
1 rabbit, cut into quarters
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
2 carrots, halved and sliced
2 celery branches, halved and sliced
1 can chicken broth
Water to cover
1 bouquet garni
4 dried juniper berries
1 handful fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 carrots, halved and sliced
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 quart homemade stewed tomatoes
2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
Season the rabbit with salt and pepper, brown in a large stock pot with the olive oil, remove and set aside. Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pot and cook until the onion is soft. Pour in the chicken broth, water and add the bouquet garni, juniper berries, parsley, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the bouquet garni and toss. Remove the rabbit pieces, separate the meat from the bones, chop and put back into the pot. Add the carrots, potatoes and the stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add the green beans and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.