Sunday, April 08, 2007

Ever had hasenpfeffer?

Neither had I. In fact, I wasn't even sure it was real. I suspected that it only existed in Bugs Bunny cartoons and the Laverne and Shirley theme song. But it is, in fact, a traditional german stew of rabbit (hence the Bugs Bunny reference), historically prepared with wine and vinegar. I'd never eaten rabbit, as it happens. It definitely reminds me of poultry, but it's not particularly chicken-like, much more... lush. I'd describe it as almost a white meat version of duck. At any rate, it was excellent. The green sauce you see on top of the rabbit leg is a pesto made with a very liberal amount of vinegar, which is in keeping with the traditional preparation, but it overpowered the rabbit. It was very tasty on its own, however, and paired very well with the fava beans, and to a lesser extent, the potatoes.

I'm ashamed to say that I didn't eat the asparagus. I'm not fond of asparagus. I'm trying, I'm just not there yet. But it didn't go to waste. It's on its way to the compost pile.

My housemate Robert brought this back from his Easter potluck party this evening in a Tupperware container (forgive my amateurish plating). Many thanks, Robert, for expanding my culinary horizons!

Witness the Bounty!

Yesterday was a big day, my friends! It was the opening day of the downtown Portland Farmers' Market (an important thing to remember about the Portland Farmers' Market: Yes, you DO have to feed the meters on Saturday. Found this out the hard way...)! I didn't think I'd be able to control myself, but I actually came away with an amount of stuff that I could carry back to the car in one trip. Let's see, what have we got there... Looks like some leeks, shallot greens, a quarter pound of Juniper Grove Redmondo (aged about 9 months, mildly goaty, slightly pungent, nutty flavor), broccoli rabe, Rogue Creamery pesto cheese curds, a couple of Nikola potatoes, some runty early season carrots, stinging nettle and yellowfoot mushrooms. What am I going to do with all this, you ask? Well, when I got home yesterday I julienned one of the leeks, sauteed it with the mushrooms, added a little cream, reduced, tossed it with some whole wheat fettucine and topped it all with some grilled chicken for lunch (downing most of the pesto curds in the process). Right now I'm about to make some pesto with the nettles. I'm making inroads on the Redmondo (perfect, sliced thinly, with some crusty bread and good olive oil), and the rest is sitting in my crisper drawer awaiting future projects.

And speaking of future projects, allow me to show off my new toy:

I found this on Craigslist. It's the big one, the 500-watt, 6 qt model. I've been wanting one of these for a while now, but they're way too expensive new. I got a pretty good deal on this guy (thank you, Craig!). Sort of dwarfs the cordless drill, wouldn't you say?