A Celebration of the Summer
I’m not an astrologist, but I might say that my stars have all lined up today. It is the last day in July. Walking out to the garden this morning, I found the first green beans ready to pick, and new potatoes just under the soft loamy dirt. A trip to the forest yesterday produced a basket of porccini mushrooms and my friend Zdena, arrived with a rabbit this morning, all dressed out and ready to cook. What more could I ask for.
A Celebration of the Summer
Braised Rabbit with Porccini Mushrooms Sauce
Potato Puree boiled in stock
Fresh Green Beans seasoned with Nutmeg
Meringue Islands in a Sea of Wild Plum Sauce
Braised Rabbit with Porccini Mushroom Sauce
The secrete to this recipe is in the stock. The spices and juniper berries compliments the porccini mushrooms by adding a nuance of piney forest flavor.
Rabbit Head Stock
(If you do not have a rabbit head, use chicken broth)
1 rabbit head
1 small onion
2 bay leaves
8 allspice berries
10 juniper berries
4 cloves buds
3 cups water
Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 30 minutes or longer.
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cups sliced porccini mushrooms ( other mushrooms can be substituted )
4 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup rabbit head stock
2 tablespoons flour mixed with a little oil
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
New Potato Puree with Rabbit Stock
5 medium potatoes
1 cup of rabbit stock
Clean, peel and cut potatoes in cubes. Place potatoes and 1 cup of stock in a sauce pan. Season with salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. When potatoes are tender, pour off remaining stock and reserve. Puree potatoes adding stock to potatoes until creamy.
Green Beans with Nutmeg
3 cups green beans snapped into bite size pieces
1 cup water
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
Cook green beans in salted water until tender. Drain water off beans. Add butter and freshly grated nutmeg.
Meringue Islands in a Wild Plum Sea
For Plum Sea
4 cups of wild plums
½ cup water
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 ½ cups sugar
3 egg yolks
Heat plums and water in sauce pan until tender. Plums will burst and skin will start to separate from pulp. Strain through a colander to remove seeds and skin. Measure 2 cups of plum puree and return to sauce pan. Mix together sugar and corn starch, stir into puree. Stir in egg yolks. Return to heat, stir constantly until thick. Remove from heat and cool.
For Meringue Islands
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Add salt and cream of tartar to egg whites and beat with rotary beater until foamy. Add sugar a little at a time and continue beating until very stiff. Add vanilla. Spoon onto lightly buttered parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Make each mound about the size of a cupcake. Bake in a preheated oven at 275F (125C) for 30 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove meringue from oven and cool. The meringue will be hard to the touch on the outside but soft on the inside.
Just before serving pour the plum sauce into a desert dish and float a meringue island on top. The sauce and Meringue can be made ahead of time.