Week 5: Thursday, Baking beans and boning rabbits

The day started out with a pâte à choux demo and I followed with a rabbit fabrication demo. Rabbits are always the first animals to get people a little freaked out when they have to butcher one. The boys always start to make thumper and bugs comments. Hollywood and Disney have done the culinary world a big disservice by trying to humanize these different animals. This group was not too squeamish, so we proceeded with the demo. I wanted to be sure to show all of them the technique to ballotine the saddle (remove all the bones from the saddle) and how to stuff it into a nice cylinder using caul fat to keep it nice and tight. Each group of two had one rabbit to fabricate. After each group had finished theirs, the Hot Line group had to fabricate what was left. Unfortunately, that was another 9 bunnies. Way more than we needed for the day. I still wanted to make mousseline out of some of the legs and stuff the remaining legs and saddles. It was a tall order and I really worried that we weren’t going to be able to present much for lunch.Not long into our boning session, Deb whacked the cutting board with a cleaver trying to cut through the vertebrae and broke it in half. That brought some comic relief, but didn’t buy us any time. We had pomme Dauphine yet to do and broccolini to prepare. I went to Chef Dale and bought us another 30 minutes.  Unbelievably. we finished on time and really came out with a nice looking product, using the classic French technique of cooking a Salmis.

GM came up first with a lentils salad using Puy lentils. Very nice acidity, earthy quality and multiple textures.img_0177.jpgNext came out our dish.  Almost perfect except that the saddle could have been cooked just a hare less.img_0180.jpgI won’t mention what the students were calling the pomme Dauphine on the plate.  Since we haven’t had enough pâte à choux for one day, we finished the meal with chocolate Éclairs.img_0179.jpgWe washed all this down with a Pinot Blanc from Alsace.

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