Dish of the Week: Rabbit Redeux with Spring Vegetable Quiche
Fiddleheads, ramps, nettles, English peas and favas all started arriving in the kitchen a while back, a pretty good auger of Spring, but with all that rain and gray skies it was hard to feel it. Then the white Clematis went into glorious, full bloom over the arbor and Chef marched in to announce the return of the rabbit. This dish is Spring incarnate: bright green color from the favas, peas, chives, and baby greens, sharp pickled ramps, sweet tomato conserve, and just enough heft to the succulent meat and the richness of the quiche to warm the chilly evenings that are part of the beauty of this most precious season.
We are doing the quiche in terrines ~ flaky edges, big chunks of bacon, favas ~ it's almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Rabbit is great stewed whole, but chef’s signature presentation is to break it down and cook each cut separately. A bit more time and labor but you get a perfectly moist sirloin, juicy little rack, whole grilled kidney. Perhaps the most flavorful part of the dish is the rillette, which uses the dark meat from the legs and shoulder. We confit them in duck fat for about four hours, then pull the meat off while it's still warm and falling off the bone. Lots of dijon, sherry vinegar, salt, pepper, chives, and just a hit of minced sweet red onion. Before forming patties the mix is rolled in plastic wrap and chilled, which also gives the flavors time to meld. Taking the dark meat on any animal and making rillettes is worth learning how to do; it's a great way to use the least expensive cuts with the most flavor. In our case we are buying whole animals ~ using everything goes with the territory. Rabbit is only one dish on the new Spring Menu, but it is always a favorite. The flavor is subtle and light, with a hint of grassy sweetness in the finish. Our menus change often this time of year, as delicacies like ramps and fiddleheads have an especially short season. I can't promise how long the clematis will be blooming either. The best part of spring is the worst part of spring: blink and you miss it.
They are going fast! Don't miss out on a chance to spend a great 'guilt free' afternoon of drinking, eating, and talking clothes as Studio Barndiva joins forces with the talented folks at Brush Salon to support the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure. Joining us with a wonderful runway fashion show will be four of Healdsburg's finest clothing shops ~ Susan Graf Limited, M Clothing, Outlander Men's Gear and Clutch. Barndiva will be doing the cocktails and food, Vin Couture will be pouring the wine.
The evening also includes an exciting live auction with auctioneer Lucy Lewand, KZST's Debbie Abrams as MC and DJ Fabian.
Come out and have some spring fashion fun while we raise money to help find a cure for diabetes.