Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.
Looking Forward to 2013
I suspect that many of us start the new year with good intentions for developing new habits and meeting specific goals. I'm no different, but my kitchen and food resolutions may not be typical.
1 My first kitchen goal is to do a major culling of my clipped and printed recipes. If you are unfamiliar with my method, you might want to check out the post I wrote in 2010 about getting organized. I love my self-made notebooks and use them often, but every few years I have to toss the recipes I know I'll never make.
2 Next, I want to check out some apps, reassess my Pinterest boards, and generally think about transferring my loose recipes to an electronic form. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up paper, but I'm also not sure I've given online sources a fair try. If you have suggestions, I'm happy to hear them.
3 I really must learn how to take better food photos. Making a simple light box is step one. Then I need to practice, practice, practice. I often get so caught up with cooking, I forget to stop and pick up my camera. Then I hate to hold up dinner so I can get a good photo. So you see I have conflicting desires here. I'll need to work that out on my own.
4 Finally, I hope to use Weekend Cooking to showcase more of my cookbook collection. I own quite a few food and cooking books and would like to share more of them with you. I've held back because I know many of my books are no longer in print; on the other hand, they may be available from the library or you could spot one or two at a flea market or yard sale or in a used-book store.
We have two new wines to add to our buy list. These are both a little more money than we spend for everyday dinner wine but quite nice for company or a special occasion. (True confession: We hate to spend a bundle on weeknight table wine.) The first is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Merlot from Argentina: 2009 Paisaje de Tupungato from Finca Flichman. The other is a Shiraz from Australia: 2011 SW102 Reserve from Barossa (though it appears to be bottled in St. Helena, California).
Winter Recipe Adventures
I hesitated to share the following recipe because I know many Americans avoid eating rabbit, but this is a dish I've been having fun with. It's still not quite where I want it, but I thought I'd write it out. Substitute chicken if it interests you and you don't want rabbit or can't get it.
This started out as my attempt to re-create a beer-braised rabbit dish that is very popular in Belgium. But somewhere along the way, I got sidetracked by both French and American influences. We like this as is, but it's missing the wow factor. I'm thinking of going much more American next time and adding in onions and garlic.
International Rabbit Stew
- 1 rabbit cut up into stew meat
- 1 bottle of dark Belgium beer or ale (not light wheat beer)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- a couple of shakes of thyme
- 1 small sprig rosemary
- 4 to 6 prunes
- 1/4 cup butter (50 grams)
- 1/4 cup flour (50 grams)
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- 2 baking potatoes
- 2 carrots
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Drain the rabbit, reserving the marinade. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and brown the rabbit. Remove the meat to a dish. Add the flour to the skillet and whisk until smooth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mustard and the reserved marinade and stir until combined. Add the rabbit and accumulated juices and transfer to an oven-proof casserole. Cover and cook 1 hour.
Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut in to chunks. Add to the rabbit and return the covered dish to the oven to bake for 1 hour more, or until the rabbit and vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary before serving.
If you have any suggestions for the next time I make this stew, let me know. I'm still perfecting it.