Lepre Selvatica – Wild Herbed Rabbit alla Mrs BYF

2017-10-03 - Wild Rabbit

Today’s lunch

I was given a lovely, lean, young rabbit that was hunted yesterday. We decided to have it for lunch today, without marinating or ageing it. We had not shopped in a while and had used up all the home grown garlic, so Mrs BYF asked me to pick a few handfuls of all the herbs I have growing in the garden. This is a great pleasure to do, because herbs grow very well in Dunedin. The resulting dish, which she called ‘Herbed Rabbit’ was one of her memorable efforts. The meal cost us the price of a serve of polenta and the 2 Italian sausages (made by me) that were leftovers from a birthday party.
Recipe: Herbed Rabbit ( you can use chicken also)
 
1  rabbit skinned, cleaned  washed and cut up. Save the livers, heart and kidneys for
    killer pasta sauce later.
1  small leek, sliced finely, including the green tops
1  bowl (about 4 handfuls) of all the fresh herbs you have, chopped fine. I picked
    rosemary, thyme, marjoram,  sage, oregano and chives
    Salt, pepper and a tiny pinch of chili flakes
    A splash of red wine
    Juice of 2 lemons
    A splash of apple cider vinegar (made by me)
2  leftover Italian sausages. I have given the recipe elsewhere on the blog but you may
    want to just buy some
Brown the rabbit pieces thoroughly in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Use a deep pan that can fit the rabbit without overlapping. Remove the browned rabbit from the pan and keep warm. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the leeks and herbs and fry for a few minutes. Put the rabbit pieces and the sliced sausages on top of the herbs, add the vinegar and lemon juice and a bit of water to the pan and cover. Cook at medium heat, turning occasionally and adding a few spoonfuls of water to prevent sticking. The completed dish will have no water in the pan, just the rich green herby sauce. You can blend the sauce briefly if your don’t like the bits of herb under your teeth.
The taste of this dish made with what we had on hand surpassed our expectations by far. We finally used up a huge amount of the herbs, this time of the year and attained our goal of eating great food to almost no cost.
Enjoy with some heavy homemade red wine!

FORMAGGIO DI CONTADINI

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This Farmers Cheese recipe is a big favorite of mine and is very easy to make. The cheese is ready in four weeks and may be a bit flaky, but is very flavorful.

Heat milk to 32 C

Add Mesophilic Starter, dissolved in Distlilled Water, stir well

Cover and keep at 32 C for 45 minutes to ripen

Add Rennet, diluted in Distilled Water, stir gently up and down for 1 minute. Top stir for 1 minute

Cover and keep at 32C to set for 45 minutes

Cut the curd in 6 mm cubes

Slowly heat curds and whey in a double boiler to 38 C (About 30 minutes from 32 C to 38 C)

Stir curds gently to prevent matting

Cover container and keep at 38 C for another 5 minutes

Pour curds into cheesecloth lined colander

Hang the cheesecloth to drain for 1 hour, out of draft to keep curds warm

Put curds in a bowl and break gently with hands to walnut size pieces

Mix in 1 g of fine salt per liter of milk

Firmly pack curds into cheesecloth lined mould

Apply 5 Kg pressure for 10 minutes

Remove curds from mould, turn over and put into cheesecloth lined mould

Apply 10 Kg pressure for 10 minutes

Remove curds from mould, turn over and put into cheesecloth lined mould

Apply 20 Kg pressure for 12 hours

Remove cheese from mould

Air dry at room temperature on wooden board for about 2 – 4 days

Turn cheese several times per day until rind has formed

Wax or vacuum seal

Age for at least one month

 

 

PASTA AL LIMONE

 

If you have any lemons left after making  Limoncello, you may as well make some delicious PASTA AL LIMONE
When my friend joined me for an afternoon of cheese making Mrs BYF had collected all the leftover ricotta (1/2 cup) and about 1 cup of mascarpone (which had turned out a bit sour) I had made a few days ago and made a great pasta sauce. She melted the cheeses and a tablespoon of butter over a very slow heat while the pasta was cooking, added some lemon rind and a few squeezes of lemon juice, bit of salt and pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes. After adding a few spoonfuls of pasta water she added the drained pasta to the pan and served it with a generous dusting of parmigiano cheese. It was delicious and my friend wanted the recipe. As with a lot of her best dishes her passion for using the ingredients at hand it can never be repeated!

The secret is home made cheese. The ricotta we can buy here is not edible, whereas one can buy reasonable mascarpone made by Tatua. Having lovely organic lemons from a neighbour’s mum’s tree in Wellington is also an inspiration to make this simple but elegant dish.

Quail Eggs with Truffle

It will be hard to find a better light dinner than quail eggs topped with truffles and home cured salmon on the side. All washed down with good hand crafted Home Made Wine (organic and preservative free)

 

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Only drink Council water if you want to get rid of worms

This makes me think of the old story about the priest whose flock had a higher than average alcohol consumption habit – a problem he could not resolve. He however thought to give it another go during his next sermon and as a demonstration at the beginning had two glasses, one filled with water, the other with wine and he dropped a couple of worms in each. At the end of the sermon he pointed out to the congregation that the worms in the water was still wriggling whereas those in the wine were dead.  Hopefully, he asked the attendees what conclusion could they come to from this and soon an old gentleman in the front row rose to a stand and said ” Yesh, to get rid of worms in ones intestines one should avoid water and drink a lot of wine”

Yesterday was cheese making day and  I discovered that I had no home made distilled water to re generate the frozen starter cultures. Instead I used tap water, with disastrous results. The milk would not even begin to form curds. After a lot of soul searching, I concluded that DCC must have put such a lot of chlorine and whatever other chemicals in the water (after the water contamination scare of last week) that their water obviously killed any bacteria, enzyme and other living matter in my cultures and in the milk. I took half a day and made some distilled water and tried to make cheese again, but now using CLEAN water – eureka!  Perfect cheeses made for the cheese safe!

Needless to say, as always, I am not surprised at the poor state of health of the general population. Agricultural pollution, faulty pipes, and bad government all contribute to polluted drinking water.  I can only imagine what the chemically laden dirty water does to our gut fauna and flora and subsequent health.

ONLY drink council water if you want to get rid of worms – I have already ordered my rainwater tank.

 

2017-08-31 - Polluted River

Cappelletti Romagnoli di Magro

I invited a few friends over and had to decide on a Primi Piatti as I had all the other courses sorted. After a walk in the garden and an inspection of the fridge, I decided on Capelletti Romagnoli di Magro. Cappelletti means little hats.

This is little hat shaped filled pasta. On holy days conservative Catholic households would normally not eat meat and this meatless pasta is a favorite in many households on such occasions. This is generally what is meant by magro (direct translation means thin or lean) and in this instance it refers to be without meat.

Standard pasta dough is made using only flour and eggs – nothing else. The dough is rolled out and cut into 60 mm squares and filled with the filling, then boiled in brodo (stock) and served with sage butter poured over it and dressed with lots of grated parmigiano.

The filling

Blanch 500 g fresh spinach and cut very fine. Mix the spinach with 150 g ricotta cheese and 100 g of mozzarella cheese. Also ad a pinch of nutmeg and salt. Set aside until needed.

The pasta

Plain white flour mixed with enough beaten egg to make a pliable soft dough. Roll out very thin and cut into 60 mm squares.

Place one teaspoon of the filling on the centre of each square and fold over to form a triangle sealing the edges with some egg. Wrap each trianlgle around your index finger and join two of the corners together with some more egg. Fold the third corner over to form the hat.

Bring some strong brodo (stock) to the boil and dump the cappelletti into the broth. When they float, leave for another 1 minute and remove with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately while still hot (in pre heated bowls) and pour over some melted sage butter (not burned) and black pepper and dress with parmigiano. Keep the brodo and tomorrow re heat it and ad a handful of risoni to make a wonderful lunch.

ENJOY and do not forget the home made red wine!!