Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oyster mushroom pizza

Forgot to post this awhile back - disappointing yield from the mushroom crop, but those oysters I got were pearly white, and tasted vaguely of crab.

I sauteed them with garlic and herbs, and loaded them on a pizza with a pesto base.

Delicious.  I'm going to re-soak the mushroom log and hope for another flush.  I'm too cheap to buy these at the store, but I could get used to them. . .

Roast Confit Leg of Rabbit

(Many thanks to Richard Knight and James Silk at Feast (www.feasthouston.com), whose similar dish inspired me to try this.)

Many of you likely know that rabbit is about the healthiest meat out there - leaner, and with more protein and fewer calories than chicken or any other peer I can think of.  Of course, given the leanness, it is also difficult to cook properly.  Leg cuts in particular have a bit of connective tissue and require long, gentle cooking to tenderize.

Enter an ancient cooking technique, updated for current technology:  confit.

Dry cure rabbit legs (2 hind, 2 front) in a puree of garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme and peppercorns, and kosher salt.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove cure and pat legs dry:

Now, cryo-vac in a food-saver bag with a couple tablespoons of mangalitsa lard (or duck fat, if you have it).  Here is where your sous vide machine saves you money and mess - the traditional method would involve submerging your rabbit in a pot full of lard or duckfat and poaching in the oven.  This cuts back on the fat, and prevents you from being murdered by your wife for making the house stink of lard.

And don't panic - the fat just provides the cooking medium.  We remove it before serving.

Sous vide at 175 degrees for 10 hours.  Chill in an ice bath immediately.

To Serve:  Remove from bag, scrape off fat and confit jelly (save the jelly for later!! - think of it as super-concentrated rabbit stock).  Flash roast at 450 or broil - the office toaster oven worked for me.

I served on top of a garden salad.  You may serve with bread and German or Dijon mustard.

Flakes apart with a fork - tender and rich, and lean.  Tastes like the best chicken you've ever had.

Not bad for an office lunch.  What are you having today?