QUALIGIE ALLA GRIGLIA (Pan fried Quails)

Mr BYF regularly has to cull young male quail. They are tender and very tasty without adding any flavouring to the meat. Mrs BYF tried something new and it is good enough to share. 

4 Very young (seven weeks old) fresh cleaned and deboned quails. Salted a few hours before cooking

2 Tablespoons of butter 

2 Cloves of crushed garlic

4 Large fresh sage leaves

4 Strips of pancetta (bacon can do)

Pepper

Extra salt if needed as the pancetta is slightly salty

Stuff a sage leaf and a strip of pancetta into the body cavity and close with a toothpick. Add pepper to taste. Use a pan that fits all the stuffed birds all in one layer, melt the butter and fry the garlic until light brown. Add the quails to the pan and fry for about 5 min per side until golden brown.

We served the dish with fresh salad from the garden and roasted new potatoes from our neighbour’s garden. For vegetables we had a friend of a friend’s pumpkin, roasted with garlic, cumin and chilli. 

ENJOY and do not forget a glass of home made red wine !!!

FAGIANO ALLE CASTAGNE (Pheasant with chestnuts)

A friend presented us with two lovely pheasants, not the normal, much appreciated rabbit. Mrs BYF found a recipe for chestnut dumplings, and decided to make a stew and use some of the foraged chestnuts to compliment the dish 

RECIPE

2 pheasants – Plucked and cleaned. Keep the livers, hearts and giblets

150ml stock – Any kind will do but Mr BYF automatically makes stock out of the wings and backbone of any bird, so we used pheasant stock

150g butter

a few pinches of salt to taste 

Black pepper to taste

4 cloves of garlic crushed

100ml white wine.  I suppose you could use red or even Madeira. I used dry white because, again, the chestnuts are quite sweet.

Cut the pheasant in to serving portions. Season the meat, salting it well.  The seasoning should ideally happen a few hours before cooking. In a lidded pan that will take all the pieces of the birds in a single layer (use two pans if needed) brown the pieces.  Remove the pieces from the pan and keep them aside.  Sauté the garlic in butter until fragrant and brown. Add the livers, hearts and finely sliced giblets and sauté until brown, remove from pan and keep aside with the rest of the bird.  Turn the heat to high and deglaze the pan with the wine, boil for a few minutes. Return the pheasant to the pan and add the stock. Cover the pan and cook for 40 minutes, adding a bit of stock as needed. 

Heat the oven to 180 C 

Chestnut Dumplings

100g plain flour

50g butter 

Pinch of salt 

25g cooked and peeled chestnuts, mashed 

Whisk the flour and salt together to mix.  Rub the butter in to the flour until fine crumbs form. Rub the chestnuts into the crumbs and mix until combined. Roll small dumplings the size of a large walnut. Add more stock to the birds if the liquid has evaporated to make sauce. Put the dumplings on top of the meat, pushing  them under the sauce. Cover the pan tightly and cook for 30 min without lifting the lid. 

We served the pheasant with polenta

ENJOY and do not forget a good glass of homemade RED

Abalone con Riso allo Zafferano

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A dear friend gave us four abalones. We have not often cooked this before but we knew that we could not mess this up. Many videos were watched, shockingly some recipes included so many additives that one could replace the abalone with just about anything and not notice. Mrs BYF’s simple effort was absolutely delicious so here is the recipe:

Firstly, lock all the doors so no one can come in and share. Then tenderise the abalone by beating it with as mallet or, go the dramatic African way by tying it in a tea towel and smashing it repeatedly on the back step. Both ways worked beautifully.

Recipe

Heat a large cast iron skillet

4 Abalones tenderised and sliced in 2cm thick slices

150g Butter

2 Cloves garlic chopped

Handful of parsley

No salt was needed, so don’t be tempted lest the abalone goes tough

Melt the butter in the hot pan and add the garlic, then the abalone. Stir the abalone turning it over a few times and fry for about 2 minutes. The result was lovely soft abalone that tasted of the sea. We like raw fish so if some of it was a bit underdone we were happy. We ate it sprinkled with parsley, on saffron rice and with a fresh salad from the garden.

We opened a bottle (or two) of wonderful Prosecco for the occasion. After lunch we had to have a nap.

Kentucky Fried Rabbit

with Polenta and Zucchini

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Even though I am not a loyal KFC customer, I know lots of people who are (Obviously not close friends of mine). When I stumbled upon an Italian food site claiming to have “acquired” the famous KFC recipe (tongue in cheek off course from the Italians) and disclosed it all on their page, I was interested. I am often asked how to cook rabbit as I have AMPLE supplies in my freezer, my standard answer always is that you can cook it in any way you cook chicken. Having made the connection between chicken and rabbit and having the secret recipe at hand, I was determined to try some KFR (Kentucky Fried Rabbit) or DFR (Dunedin Fried Rabbit) in my mission to eat every one of these NZ PESTS!!!

It was my turn to cook Saturday lunch and I thought I may as well try my new adventurous recipe on Mrs BYF. Weighing out the ingredients to the closest gram and carefully following the intricate steps of the recipe, I had some food on the plates about two hours later and to my BIG SURPRISE it was very good (Some of my regular KFC munchers even seriously commented it to be better than the famous KFC!!!) Watch out Colonel here comes New Zealand!!

Scleroderma bovista (Potato Earth Ball)

I am a keen mushroom hunter and would frequently collect what is available. Every so often a new type shows up and today I bumped into Potato Earth Balls, which I did not know, but they looked delicious and I brought them home. Luckily, before I could cook and taste, I identified them as Scleroderma bovista which are poisonous. I had a suspicion that they were probably not good when I cut them and the inside was a dark purple.

I shall live to try another some other day