Monday, February 7, 2011

What about some food porn?

Rabbit and Merguez Pie

Pie Crust:

5 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

1 cup lard, cold and cut into small cubes

1 cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes

1 egg

2 tsp white vinegar

1 ¼ cup ice water

Sift together the salt and flour into a large bowl. Using 2 knives, a pastry cutter or your hands, quickly work in the fats to create a ragged dough with visible lumps. Beat together the egg, vinegar and enough water to obtain 1 1/3 cups total of liquid. Add to the dough and mix until it comes together loosely. Turn over onto the counter and separate into 2 balls. Form into discs with your hands and wrap tightly with saran wrap. Each ball will make enough dough for a bottom and top crust. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. Because this dough can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for several months, why not make a double batch and freeze half for later? Use some to try out our pear and pecan frangipane tart.


1 whole rabbit, try to find a local farm!

2 onions, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 branches of celery, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tsp coriander seed

1 tsp cumin

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

4 branches of thyme

1 dry chili pasilla

4 dry chili de arbol

1 bottle of beer

4 cups of water

1/3 cup maseca

6 merguez sausages

1 onion, finely diced

2 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp chopped tarragon and parsley

1 egg, beaten

fresh cracked pepper

Heat oven to 325F.

Cut the rabbit into its primals (front legs, back legs and saddle) and in a large casserole sear over high heat the seasoned pieces until well browned on every side. Remove the rabbit from the pan and add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic and sauté until tender. Add the aromatics and sauté 1 minute more. Put the pieces of rabbit back into the pan and deglaze with your bottle of beer. We used our home brew a Scotch Ale that added a lot of flavor and depth to the final sauce, we suggest using something similar but a Stout or a Brown Ale could be substituted. Reduce the beer by half and add enough water to mostly cover the meat. Cover and put in the oven for about 2 ½ hours or until the rabbit is very tender.

While the rabbit is cooking, sauté over medium heat the finely diced onion in olive oil. Once softened add the sausage and sauté together until cooked and well browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Once cooked, remove the meat and shred. Make sure to cover the meat with plastic wrap until ready to use to preserve its moisture. Remove the cinnamon stick, thyme branches and bay leaf from the sauce and puree every thing else in the blender. Pass through a strainer into a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in the maseca. Cook at a low simmer until you reach a nice, velvety consistency. Season to taste. Mix together the rabbit meat, meguez mix and enough sauce to nicely moisten the mixture. Add the herbs and set aside to cool.

Heat the oven to 400F.

Roll out one large circle of pie dough to fit in your pie tin with about 3 inches of overhang. Roll out a second circle for the top. Place the first circle in your pie tin and press into every corner. Fill pie with rabbit mixture. Cut a hole in the centre of your second circle of dough and place centered over top of the pie Pinch to seal the edges and decorate with scraps dough. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper.

Bake in the bottom half of the over for about 30-40 minutes until the crust is very well browned. Let cool for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve with a salad, grainy mustard and extra sauce on the plate.


2 cups rice vinegar

2 cups water

½ cup sugar

¼ cup kosher salt

4 branches of tarragon

2 tbsp dry chili pasilla

1 tbsp coriander seed

4 allspice berries

4 cups vegetables of your choice (we used cucumber, carrot, snow peas and onion)

Boil together all the ingredients except for the vegetables. Turn off and let steep for about 10 minutes. Cut the vegetables into desirable shapes and separate by vegetable into their respective containers.

Strain the hot pickling liquid over top of each container. We used tea balls to put the aromatics back in to the pickles while avoiding them sticking to our pickles. Chill immediately and serve cold.

4 cups arugula

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Toss the arugula with a mix of pickles, lemon juice, olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve along side a slice of pie to give some acidity and freshness to your meal.

Forelle Pear Crostata


7 Forelle pears, peeled and cored

1 cinnamon stick

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 star anise

3 cups sugar

3 cups water

½ cup sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup roughly chopped pecans

2 tbsp all purpose flour

½ tsp salt

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 pie dough for 1 bottom crust

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp brown sugar

Icing sugar

Boil together 3 cups water, 3 cups sugar the cinnamon stick, star anise and juice and zest of 1 lemon. Once boiled pour over prepared pears and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile in a food processor, pulse together the pecans to create a flour. With an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add the eggs one a time and then the vanilla. Using a spatula wok in the pecans and flour to form a smooth paste.

Heat oven to 400F.

Roll out pie dough to fit in pie tin with 3 inches of overhang. Leave edges rough to create a rustic look. Drain pears and place 1 blueberry inside the cavity of each one. Fill with frangipane. Using the rest of the frangipane, fill the bottom of the prepared pie crust. Sink pears into frangipane and decorate with the rest of the blueberries. Fold edges of pie crust over and brush everything with beaten egg. Sprinkle pears with brown sugar and bake in bottom half of oven for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is well browned and frangipane has puffed up.

Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.