A Little Something for Everyone…

Let’s get a few things straight here…

1. I love animals.
2. I really enjoy eating meat.
3. I have never, and will never watch Food Inc.

For those of you who may ask, “Why? Why haven’t you seen it, and plan to never watch it?”.
I answer your question with another, “Did you read numbers one and two on my list?”.

I know what it’s about, okay? I know that watching that movie will only disturb me, and taint my feelings towards eating meat. It’s like when The Notebook came out. Everyone said, “You have to see this movie! Go see it- I bawled my eyes out!”. Okay, well now I don’t want to see it (still have never seen it and will never see it). Why? Because I don’t want to bawl my eyes out! I need to save these tears for a good toe-stubbing or chopping up an onion, okay?

A note to people recommending movies: If you end by saying “It’ll make you cry so hard” or “It’ll make you never want to eat meat again”, you’re horrible at recommending movies and perfect at making people not want to see them…ever.

A note to my vegetarian readers: For the most part, I get it. I didn’t always understand why you choose to not eat meat, but a few years ago when I was making chicken soup and I was pulling the meat off of the carcass,  and I could see the legs, I could see the wings, and the ribs. I stopped for a moment and realized that this used to be a live animal with flesh and feathers and now I’m literally picking the meat off it’s bones to make soup. It grossed me out, and I honestly felt a little guilty. Everyone who has stopped eating meat because of Food Inc., I get that too. I don’t want animals to be tortured and abused, I certainly don’t want to see it! But that doesn’t mean that every cow, chicken and pig is treated that way, and it doesn’t make me a bad person for eating meat.

One final thing to the vegetarians: You’re probably going to want to stop reading this after the tapenade recipe. Seriously- it’s going to get graphic…

Alrighty, so I believe in my last post I promised two delicious recipes, the wait is over… well, almost. For those of you who don’t know, Tyler has an obsessive affinity towards cheese and olives (much like mine for potato chips). So it only makes sense that one of his Christmas presents was this:

olive you, kalamata olives

To be clear: Yes, that is a three liter jar of kalamata olives. Yes, three liters.

When trying to figure out what the eff we were going to do with these bad boys, we came across the idea of tapenade! For those of you who are not familiar with what tapenade is- it’s basically a spread made mostly of olives and garlic, best eaten with bread. If you love olives and garlic, then this recipe is for you my friends! My mom makes a tapenade with green olives that is just dee-lish! The saltiness of the kalamata olives really did it for me- and I’d have to say this tapenade is just as good, if not better (I’d have to have them side by side to know for sure). I ate most of this stuff, I’m not going to lie. Tyler loved it too, but I literally could not get enough of it, and I died a little inside when it was all gone. So without further ado…

minced heaven

Kalamata Tapenade

3 garlic cloves
1 cup kalamata olives
2 tbsp capers
3 tbsp fresh parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

If you have to, pit the olives first, I hope this would go without saying but…

Place everything into a blender or food processor (I used an immersion blender) and pulse to mince.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Typically, tapenade is made with anchovies. However, they are absolutely not needed in this one, the saltiness of these olives is enough!

Alright vegetarians, you’ve had yours! Time for the meat eaters to have theirs…

DISCLAIMER: I’m going to put up a picture of the rabbit carcass that we purchased. If you don’t want to see it then READ NO FURTHER. If it seriously offends you then DON’T LOOK AT IT, and also never go shopping at the Walmart in Port Elgin, because that’s where we got it. I’m not trying to offend anyone, or gross anyone out. My intentions are purely culinary and posting this picture, in my opinion, is no different than posting a picture of a raw chicken or turkey.

Phew. With all that being said- let’s do this!

So we were walking around Walmart, trying to figure out what to make for dinner. We knew we wanted to try a new recipe, and we had all day to make it if we needed that much time. We stumbled upon this rabbit in the meat section (obviously) and decided we had to try it. I don’t think either one of us had ever had rabbit before, so we had to give it a shot. Here’s what we got…

           There, I made it as small as possible to offend the least amount of people. Weird though, right? Weird that we found it at Walmart. It came much like a chicken or turkey would come. It was cleaned out, with the “giblets” (not sure if that’s the proper term for rabbit parts) still inside. We discarded those because we had no use for them. Of course, neither one of us has ever filleted a rabbit but, Tyler, being the manly-man that he is (I’m assuming you already knew that because of the earlier cheese and olives comment) took over the task. And I must say- he did a really good job! The recipe we found online called for “1 rabbit, cut into 6”. As clear as that is, we weren’t sure what it meant but decided to use the front and hind legs as well as the “fillets” located on the back. When all was said and done, and the meat was cleaned and floured, it came out looking like this:

See? I told you he did a good job! As I mentioned earlier, we found this recipe online, the measurements were a bit odd, so we tweaked it a bit. I’ll post our tweaked recipe here, hopefully it is clearer than “1 rabbit, cut into 6”.

Rabbit in a White Wine, Bacon and Onion Sauce

6 cuts of rabbit (front/hind legs & fillets)
1 onion, chopped
4 slices of bacon, raw and chopped
10 button mushrooms
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 tsp tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
3 springs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley to garnish

Season the flour with salt and pepper, and lightly coat the rabbit pieces.
Heat the butter and fry the rabbit pieces until they’re golden brown.
Remove the rabbit from the pan. Add the onion and bacon to the pan, fry until the onions are browned, but not burnt.
Add the wine, water and tomato paste, stirring to combine and lift any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme, bay leaf, garlic.
Return the rabbit to the pan, cover and simmer about 1 hour or until tender.
Slice and toss the mushrooms in oil and add to the pan for the last few minutes of cooking.

Remove the thyme and bay leaf before serving, sprinkle chopped parsley as garnish.

We served it on a bed of wild rice, with peas as a side. I threw those tomatoes in to add some color and make the picture look pretty. It was pretty darn good though- the rabbit was nice and tender. It did kind of taste like chicken, but it had a “gamier” taste to it. The sauce was great- not too oniony, bacony or winey- the perfect combination! Definitely something I would recommend to those aspiring chefs out there who love to try new things! Same goes for the tapenade- super easy and absolutely delicious!

Happy Cooking!

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