Sunday, July 20, 2008

Battle Rabbit - July 20, 2008

We all recall Fatal Attraction, the 1987 "sexy thriller" staring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. Dan, a married New York attorney, has a casual fling with an acquaintance, Alex. When he tries to end the relationship, trouble begins and Alex proceeds to braise Dan’s family bunny.

Well, that is how this Sunday began...with Sparks calling me on my cell, calling me Alex, the Fatal Attraction Chef, just as Susan decided to kick it up a notch on our Sunday morning, beach power walk.

Sparks continued on, telling us she woke up with a "wild hair" and wanted us to join her at the Turf Club for the afternoon. Kicking and scratching, I was forced to decline so I could braise my $32 Bristol Farms bunny. Yes, the going rate for bunnies is $10.99/lb., but the butcher did do a fabulous job of deboning him in one piece! I encourage anyone who has not yet visited Bristol Farms, La Jolla, to do so. What an incredible, gourmet market!

"That’s ok, says Sparks, we can leave the track early and be home by 4:30 or 5:00, how long do you need?" As you know, this was coming from I-only-have-a-Kitchen-because-it-came-with-the-House and I patiently tried to explain I am not one of the true Iron Chefs who can prepare even one dish, and do this rabbit justice, in an hour.

So, home I stayed, playing a mix of Nora Jones, James Blunt and Michael Buble loudly on the Zune, my laptop propped up on the kitchen counter so I could easily access my TVG online betting at Del Mar, while I simultaneously prepared my rabbit and dessert AND managed to bet on all the losing horses.

Brad came to my rescue, arriving promptly at 5:15 to assume Wagon Duty, and we loaded up his grill and all the tables, chairs, food and wine, and headed for Spreckles Park.

Although many of our Coronado kitchens were dark for the day, we did end up with three authentic rabbit dishes. Dean was first to plate his Faux Rabbit Potato Salad. Emeril Lagasse typically goes a little over the top with his garnish, but Dean definitely out-BAMMED Emeril with his plaster bunny plopped down in the middle of his salad.

Kai was next to unveil his Rabbit and Wild Mushroom Terrine with Onion Marmalade, another fabulous dish from the Schoettke kitchen. Kai also shared a priceless video of sous-chef Olivia bouncing the rabbit carcass up and down on the kitchen counter.

As Brad grilled his Rabbit on a Stick tableside, rubbed with Brad’s Secret Rabbit Rub, I dished out mini-servings of Mario Batali’s Braised Stuffed Rabbit with Walnuts, Prosecco, Dried Cherries, and Apricots. I’ve never cooked rabbit and had never heard of Prosecco. I found a selection of Prosecco at Cost Plus World Market and learned it is a variety of white grape grown in the Veneto region of Italy, and also gives its name to the sparkling wine made from the grape. My rabbit was very happy cooking in an entire bottle of this stuff, minus the itsy bitsy glass I siphoned to help soothe my loneliness without my man. As evidenced by the photo , Max was thoroughly enamored with the braising liquid and stood there for a full 10 minutes taking spoonfuls out of the pan. Daddy Kai was assured the alcohol had been cooked off and/or Max would sleep very well.

The Orrs joined us this week and Victoria shared a platter of Lemon Pepper and Buffalo Rabbit Wings and some gooey Garlic Cheese Bread. Pam and Monica joined us after dropping birthday boy Deano off at the boat with a supply of beer, and our Turf -Clubbers, Mary, Susan, Kerry & Jack, made it in time to relax after their day in beautiful Del Mar. Susan even had time to whip up a Rabbit Pizza!

I also made Giada De Laurentiis’ Almond Cake for dessert, with a touch of Amarretto in the icing. Of course, the cute, fuzzy bunnies on the top were there to remind us what we had eaten earlier. It was another successful Coronado Iron Chef Challenge with an interesting secret ingredient. The sexy thriller, aka DH on Palm, continued after the music stopped and the sun went down, but we won’t go there...

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