Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ode to Kevin

Ode to Kevin - why? Read further.
We went shopping this morning (we are talking Saturday here) to the Prahran market. Melbourne has been really wet in the mornings when I like to get out on the bike but not today. Probably not a bad thing considering we were out at a trivia night and home late last night.
The last time we went to the Prahran market I bought Sue the Jacques Reymond book at the Essential Ingredient Foodie shop. She said to me, "I'm just going to have a look around, why don't you just pop off to the cook book section". So devious that woman.

His Book.

The Recipe

How it should look (from the book). Go Sue.

Did I tell you - Sue speaks green........
Although he is a Frenchman and a French trained chef, his food frequently uses Asian ingredients. The reason he gives for moving to Australia are twofold. One, that he has access to fantastic Asian  ingredients and two, that Australia doesn't have set views on how dishes should be cooked. In other words, he feels free to mess with what are otherwise traditional recipes and of course make up new ones. I dislike the term fusion food, but it's probably correct for many of his recipes. Anyhow, his food is wonderful.
This dish maybe less so, or maybe it was my cooking of it.
I found 3 books I would have liked to buy for Sue at the shop but instead, I took photos with my phone and purchased them from the Book Depository from the UK at half price. Tell you more when they arrive but they are about the historic Paris bistros and restaurants.

Getting back to the shopping - Rabbit, duck, quail were all on the list but it was mainly the rabbit (Lapin for you Francophiles) Sue had in mind for a recipe from Jacques' book. It may be because a friend of ours whom we caught up with at the Trivia night was distressed because Kevin, her rabbit was missing. Now I don't know if she suspected Sue had snuck in earlier in the day BUT!
Anyway Kevin did turnup thye next morning snuggled up in their garage - cut little thing he is with those floppy little ears - I met him Sunday morning. He's very cute and sociable and at a guess he would be very tender.
The shoulder and forelegs of the rabbit are browned to make the slow cooked sauce

with veggies

The sauce has quite a lot of ginger, with a balsamic reduction and then hoisin sauce, Dijon mustard and a few other bits and pieces. I'll post the recipe if anyone wants...the sauce was quite nice, but not fabulous.

It reminds me of the joke about Watership Down. You've read the book, seen the movie, now try the stew.
Does anyone know who sang the soundtrack song "Bright Eyes" to the movie - no prizes???????

Reymond is a Frenchman who came to Melbourne in 1983 and became one of us. I remember Sue and I going to a Mornington restaurant (on the peninsula) where he was the head chef and I tried for the first time - Oeufs en Meurette or poached eggs in red wine sauce. I've never been big on eggs but I tried this again at Auxerre, France in 2009 and absolutely loved it.

I've posted on M Chapoutier wines before. He's from the Languadoc region in the south west of France. His labels have braille. Recently he has invested in winemaking here in Victoria and so we tried one of his Shiraz or Syrah varieties.

Ready to cook with the sauce and resting on a bed of sliced potatoes.
Ready to eat - Couldn't wait

All gone and for me (Leon that is) sooo enjoyable with the wine.
 Leon really enjoyed this dish, but I don't think I'd bother making it again. I wasn't overly thrilled with the sweetness of the hoisin as I think it masked the beautiful flavour of the rabbit. It was very tender, the potatoes had good flavour, but...nah, not a favourite. Especially when a farmed rabbit costs about $20. It's not too difficult to get wild bunnies which are cheaper, although they are still not generally carried in supermarkets or most butchers, and while their flavour is, in my opinion, superior, they can be tough and not suitable for  relatively quick cooking.

This afternoon I intend to make some gougeres also from a recipe in the book, so hopefully they turn out well. I bought a beautiful Gruyere type cheese made in Tasmania to go into them, and they should go nicely with a nice glass of bubbles this evening. Tasmania makes some very nice cheeses and has some lovely cool climate wines also. A beautiful part of Australia. Leon and I honeymooned there, many, many moons ago.With coffee we shared a very nice and smelly washed rind cheese and a soft blue cheese from Tasmania along with some quince paste and thin crackers. Mmmm, yummy.

As we post this, its Sunday night and we are ready to relax in front of the telly and have an early night. We'll catch up with you on "Wednesdays in France" when we discover a Brocante in Le Bugue.
Hope your weekend was enjoyable.

Maybe we'll cook pork next weekend.


  1. The rabbit does look lovely Sue! But I agree, you've got to love a recipe, not just like it, to do it again.
    Art Garfunkel is the answer I think...

  2. First and fastest Craig - you win.
    The prize, a visit from us, one day maybe.

  3. Oh, um, in that case, I mean Paul Simon.... :)

  4. My neighbour often brings me a rabbit round, yum yum. Great cook book. Diane

  5. Recipes straight from a book are great but even better when "tweaked". It could be the case for this one.
    "See you" on wednesday.

  6. we never liked rabbit, too many bones, until we ate it cooked to perfection and completely boned by our wonderful Italian neighbour.

  7. With the price of rabbits I would have to love the end result to contemplate making it again! Thanks for sharing the experience with us.
    The gougeres would be delish with gruyere - I'm a cheese lover my very favourite being the delectable soft blue -St Agur- a thin slither (it retails at about A$89- per Kilo) with a slice of crisp pear is my favourite taste sensation.

  8. Craig - no second guesses - you had it right the first time - cheeky!!

    Diane - I know its selfish but I love the spin-off to buying Sue cook books.

    Nadege - Sue agrees on the recipe thing and often does her own thing after the first time.

    LLM - Yes, you need to be careful of the bones - How do you go with Quail - That's next weekend I think!
    How lucky you have such a nice neighbour who shares rabbit with you.

    Dianne - we are already salivating on the cheese and pear. BTW, we are now just planning our May 2012 trip which may take us back to St Remy de Provence and then the Loire before ending back in Paris for Sue's 60th. What about your next trip?


Love to get feedback so no reason to be shy - have your say.