Rabbit in Mustard Sauce

This recipe is very special to us here at Chez Nous. You see, on our first date, Nico and I decided to get together and cook a rabbit (it’s not weird that that was our first date…we knew each other before, calm down). Rabbit in Mustard Sauce is his dad’s favorite way to cook it, he told me, but the last time he was in charge he burned the rabbit. I decided that we should try our own version of Lapin a la Moutarde. We looked up several recipes and decided on something. The flavor was great, but the meat ended up a little tough, we weren’t very experienced in cooking rabbit. The date went over well anyway.

Pork and Persimmon Terrine

I created this recipe for my 30th birthday this past fall, and it was a huge hit. For me, that meal was an opportunity to indulge in some of my favorite things! I couldn’t quite afford to serve foie gras to 16 guests, so I decided to create a terrine¬† paired with a delicious shallot jam. The terrine’s single most important ingredient is the chicken livers, which my friend Anwar (who runs International Grocery and Halal Meats Inc. on 33rd and Greenmount – go there it is amazing!) has been saving for me for a few weeks! The livers mixed with pork, chicken, and duck, create an amazingly complex flavor. The mustard and cornichon juice give it a bit of an extra kick!

Homemade Cannoli

I ate a cannoli almost every day in Sicily, they replaced my daily Italian Gelato during this trip. I sampled many different varieties and flavors, meanwhile judging them all and trying to create the optimal combinations for my own. I decided that my favorite flavor combinations were ricotta with chocolate chips, ricotta with pistachio, and ricotta with candied orange, so that is what I decided to make for the dinner.

Lamb Shanks Agglassatu

I love lamb, so when I read about braised lamb shanks with cheese…I was sold. This dish came out wonderfully, and I am excited to make it again. It starts out feeling very much like a French braised lamb shank until, after 2 glorious hours of slow cooking, you add in a few cups caciocavallo cheese!

Swordfish Caponata

You must try the Sicilian Caponata, every guide book told me. It is the flavor of Sicily, they said. I did. I tried many varieties of the quintessential eggplant dish, and all were delicious. Generally, the dish involves eggplant, although my research has shown that it is the sweet and sour dressing of vegetables, not the eggplant that make a dish a caponata. But let’s be honest, most of the time it is an Eggplant Caponata!

Sicilian Seafood Couscous

For our couscous, I paired monkfish with a quick stew of carrots, celery, and tomato with basil, cinnamon, and saffron, a perfect mix of Sicilian and North African flavors. The broth is very quick to make, so you do not need to labor over it for hours like you would the Lamb and Duck couscous. I am really happy with this dish, it will be a perfect dish for spring and summer meals as the weather warms up! 

Spaghetti Nero d’Avola with Shellfish

Spaghetti Nero d’Avola with Shellfish Daria Souvorova 1 hour, max if you need to clean and de-beard the shellfish, about 20 minutes if everything is pre-cleaned serves: 10-12 Earlier this week, I shared with you the dishes that we served for the Antipasti course of our big Sicilian dinner. Today, we continue with our primi…

Handmade Pasta with Ricotta Lemon and Squid Ink Sauces

Today, I wanted to share with you my favorite of the trio, my Homemade Pasta with Lemon Ricotta and Squid Ink Sauces. Yes, you heard that right! Two sauces! I had a dish in Catania where ricotta was paired with squid ink, and this inspired the sauce pairing. I wanted to elevate a humble pasta dish with homemade pasta and the aesthetic experience of mixing ivory and ebony. There is a subtle warmth to the color of a ricotta cream, and a bit of lemon juice and zest brings out the luxurious creaminess of ricotta. I served the pasta mixed with this sauce. On the side, I served a gorgeously complex sauce of aromatics fried and blended in with squid ink, cooked with pieces of squid. This black, velvety sauce, once poured onto the pasta with Ricotta cream, creates an instant contrast both visually and on your palette. I am so proud of this dish I can’t even explain how wonderfully it worked out.