If I hear another superstarred chef mention “fois-gras chewing gum”, “olive oil gelcaps” or some other weird parmaceutical, chemical and experimental concuction they pass for food, I am going to… Oh, I think this is a “G” rated blog… might have to change that someday.
Seriously, I LOVE food. You must know that. I am however a cave woman who believes in FIRE.
Nothing beats the caramelized reddish color that food acquires under fire. Or the crispy juicy taste that comes with slow roasting or pan searing.
The real title for this blog is
BACK TO BASICS
Our weekly trips to the markets were fun and producers are getting used to our weekly visit and François’ insanity, we are slowly meeting really interesting people. Farmers are setting aside good produce for me and I am falling in love with Brussels one stand at a time (and 1 kilo at a time).
Though spring is still slow to show its fruits and ramps have not yet sprouted, this week I found the first asparagus. Wohoooo!
At the Marché du Chatelain I bought:
The farmer told me she had made a zucchini soup… (ehem that’s my speciality thank you) BUT she said just before she puts in in the blender, she adds a bunch of watercress to add freshness and bitterness. I am definitely going to try this. Sounds like a nice variation to my classic. (my version was photographed best by Ann).
Next I went to the meat stand and bought a nice organic Prosciutto di Parma d.o.p. and a gorgeous free-range Rabbit (if you think of rabbit as a pet not food… please stop reading this blog).
After food shopping, we stopped for oysters and white wine.
Our architect was visiting from Catalunya to go over our project. He is an Italian man living in Spain. I knew he would love my back to basics simple meal, actually, he more than loved it, he inhaled it 😉
So here is what I made:
Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto with caper anchovies and mollica sauce
Slow roasted Rabbit with bergamot, olives, garlic and rosemary
Prepare the rabbit first as it cooks for about 3 hours.
Heat the oven to 257 °F
In your roasting pan add 1 whole head of garlic keeping the skin on the garlic cloves (in camicia)
1 onion coarsly chopped
The peel and juice of 1 Bergamot
1 cup of black olives (preferably niçoise)
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
10 sage leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
Cut the legs and shoulders of the rabbit and place all pieces including the center chest on top of your base ingredients. Add a drizzle of olive oil on top of the rabbit and sprinkle some coarse sea salt or fleur de sel.
Place the dish in your oven and cook until it is very nicely browned (actually more the caramel reddish color I mentioned above), all in all about 3 hours. Baste the meat at regular intervals with the roasting juices.
When your rabbit is in the oven, trim the asparagus and tie them in little bunches and cook them in salted boiling water just below the tops.
Prepare the sauce:
A bunch of parsley, some capers, a coupe of anchovy filet, stale bread softened with red wine vinegar and a 5 minute egg. I also added pink peppercorn for a kick. Squeese out the vinegar from the bread and add all ingredients to your food processor with some olive oil.
When the asparagus are cool, wrap each bunch in a slice of prosciutto and serve with the sauce.
In my rental apartment, my oven is too small to put the rabbit with any other dish so I could not make roasted potatoes. As a side dish, I boiled some kholrabi and mashed them with a saffron vegetable broth and a small shaving of nutmeg.
Sorry I have no pictures to show you of the finished rabbit. We devoured it ALL between the 3 of us as soon as it came out of the oven… ooops.
Well I hope you try this and tell me how it turned out. Maybe if you take a nice picture of the finished rabit, I can add it to the blog. 😀