Did you know that the part of a rabbit between the front and back legs is called its saddle? Yep, you don't eat rabbit breast or rabbit back, you eat saddle of rabbit. To me, staring at the cutting board with a knife in my hand, it looks like the rabbit has a back but the cook book clearly says, "Cut the rabbit into eight serving pieces: chop the saddle in half and separate the back legs into two pieces each: leave the front legs whole." This rabbit is already cut in two pieces, it came that way, and I wonder if this helps or hurts my ability to create "eight serving pieces.” I'm making Sunday dinner for Mom, Dad, and Brad and it's spring so the menu is casseroled rabbit with thyme and mustard, creamed cabbage and mashed potatoes. I considered braised carrots but decided that irony isn't tasteful. After risking my finger tips a few times I called Brad in--he got the cleaver out. We ended up with the required 8 pieces without damaging any fingers--then I a cut a chunk out of my thumb while slicing cabbage....
I used a Mark Bittman recipe for dessert.
Vanilla Pots de Crème
2 cups heavy cream, light cream, or half-and-half
2 vanilla beans or 1teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Pour cream into small saucepan. Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into cream. Put pod in cream, too. Heat cream until steam rises. Cover pan, turn off heat and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. If using vanilla extract, just heat cream and let it cool while you proceed.
2. Beat yolks and sugar together until light. Pour about a quarter of the cream (remove vanilla bean pod) into this mixture, then pour sugar-egg mixture into cream and stir. If you are using vanilla extract, add it now and stir. Pour mixture into 4 6-ounce ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish; fill dish with water halfway up the side of ramekins. Cover with foil.
3. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until center is barely set. (Heavy cream sets fastest; half-and-half more slowly.) Chill, then serve.
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