Rabbit Polenta with Porcini Mushrooms

I wanted to do something special for Valentine’s day, so I searched through my pantry for amazing ingredients to serve as inspiration. I saw my reserves of Porcini mushrooms and started thinking of something to pair it with. Remembering a beautiful Rabbit and Porcini Bourgignon I created last year, I decided to mushrooms with rabbit, but to go in the white wine direction. I purchased a big hunk of prosciutto from the market and I had a plan! A delicious slow cooked stew of rabbit and mushroom flavored by white wine and prosciutto would fit the bill!

Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine is one of the quintessential quiches. The combination of leek and bacon is perfect. I have seen versions with onion or green onion, but the buttery sweetness of leek, I think, is unbeatable in conversation with egg, bacon, and Gruyere. Gruyere is the best cheese to use, but a freshly grated Swiss cheese will make a beautiful pastry as well. For this meal, I poured my filling into tart crusts instead of pie crusts to create a different filling to crust ration and we all loved it!

Lapin Bourguignonne with Porcini Mushrooms – Rabbit Burgundy

I love Boeuf Bourguignonne. It is an incredible rich and savory recipe. A while back, I decided that I could use rabbit instead, and it worked marvelously! It is now one of my mainstay fall/winter recipes. Instead of button mushrooms, I use Porcini mushrooms to pair an earthy flavor with the rabbit. It is a really wonderful combination. I use dried mushrooms and add the water I use to re-hydrate them into the stock, the flavor is amazing!

Duck and Apricot Terrine

For me, this meal was an opportunity to indulge in some of my favorite things! I am turning 30 after-all…so Escargot was a must for this meal, and so was beef wellington! 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!

Roast Tomato Braised Lentils

I wanted to create something hearty and reminiscent of the harvest. I have a plethora of tomatoes growing in my garden, and am actively seeking for ways to use them up. Nico has been talking about eating more lentils, so I wanted to incorporate lentil and tomato here. I decided to roast the tomatoes with some garlic cloves, onion, and bacon for about an hour before slowly braising with the red wine. If you are in a hurry, you can simply sauté the bacon, tomato, and onions for a similar result.

Asparagus – or Celery – Velouté with Bacon Croutons

Velouté means velvet, and that defines this soup perfectly! I have made several versions of this soup and each time, everyone loves it! This soup can serve as a starter for a heartier dish like Boeuf or Lapin Bourguignon, or serve a larger portion for a full meal. This dish seems really impressive, but it…