Douglas & McIntyre
Araxi

Book details:

October 2009
ISBN 978-1-55365-367-7
Hardcover
8" x 10"
80 colour photographs, 40 b&w photographs
Cooking / Food and Wine
$45.00 CAD

Awards

Douglas & McIntyre

Araxi

Seasonal Recipes from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant

Excerpt / Additional Content

Chilled English Pea and Mint Soup

The season for peas seems to get shorter every year, but this is a great recipe for celebrating when they are in season. English peas are also known as garden peas or simply green peas. Mint enhances the sweet pea flavour.

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 12 as an amuse-bouche

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 60 mL
  • 1 medium onion, diced 1
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced 2 cloves
  • 4 cups vegetable stock 1 L
  • 3 cups fresh, shelled English peas or thawed frozen peas 700 mL
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream 60 mL
  • 3/4 cup spinach, washed and trimmed 180 mL
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves only 3 to 4 sprigs
  • 1 bunch pea tops or mint leaves, for garnish 1 bunch

In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, sauté the butter, onions and garlic until the onions are softened and garlic is lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cream, spinach and mint. Season lightly with salt.

Fill a large bowl with ice. Allow the soup to cool slightly, then transfer it to a blender and purée until smooth. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Set the bowl of soup over the ice to chill quickly.

To serve: Divide the chilled soup among 4 or 12 small chilled glasses or cups. Garnish with pea tops or mint leaves and serve immediately.

Wine: Flavourful soups like this are often best without wine, but a delicate sparkler would be good, as would the complementary flavours of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Saddle of Rabbit with Buttered Noodles, Carrots and Mustard Sauce

Sous-vide is the method I use to cook a lot of meats at Araxi and it involves vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it gently in a water bath at low temperature. For example, I usually cook the rabbit for this dish for 48 minutes at 136F/58C for the perfect result. Here, weve adapted the recipe to suit conventional ovens. The saddle is the part of the rabbit that runs between its fore and hind legs. The carrots are as natural a pairing for rabbit as the phrase Whats up, Doc?

Serves 4

Buttered noodles

  • 1/2 recipe fresh pasta dough 1/2 recipe

OR

  • 9 oz fresh store-bought pasta (preferably fettucine) 250 g
  • 1/2 cup vegetable nage 125 mL
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter 45 mL

Buttered noodles: To make the fresh pasta, divide the pasta dough into 3 equal portions. Following the instructions on your pasta machine, roll each portion of dough into a sheet with the thickness of a quarter. Use your machines cutter attachment to cut the pasta sheets into fettuccine. Set aside.

Saddle of rabbit

  • 2 whole saddles of rabbit, each 10 to 12 oz/285 to 340 g, bones removed 2
  • 8 baby carrots, blanched or honey-coated 8
  • 2 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, leaves only 2 sprigs
  • 12 thin slices pancetta or bacon 12 thin slices
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil 30 mL
  • 1 cup mustard sauce 250 mL

Saddle of rabbit: Preheat the oven to 350C/175C. Place the two rabbit pieces on a clean work surface. Trim and discard any excess fat, then use a sharp knife to scrape the belly flaps and trim them so they are even. Gently score the flaps in a cross-hatch pattern. You will notice that the loins are quite wide at one end and thinner at the other. On each saddle, pull off the small tenderloin piece that is at the wide end and place it beside the thin end of the loin. (This will even out the cooking time.)

Arrange 4 carrots between the two loins of each saddle and season them with salt and pepper and lemon thyme leaves. Roll up the rabbit as you would a sushi roll and cut each roll in half widthwise to obtain four portions.

On a clean work surface, arrange 3 strips of pancetta (or bacon) with a short edge toward you and the long sides just touching each other. Place a rabbit roll across the pancetta strips, at the end closest to you. Tightly roll the pancetta around the rabbit. Repeat with the remaining pancetta and rabbit rolls.

Cut 4 pieces of plastic wrap, each 5 8 inches/12.5 20 cm. Set the sheets of plastic wrap on the work surface and place a rabbit roll in the middle of each one. Fold the bottom half of the plastic wrap over the roll, then tightly roll the rabbit in the plastic wrap, forming a nice log shape. Cut 4 pieces of aluminum foil and wrap each of the plastic-wrapped rabbit rolls in a sheet of foil. Place the foil packages in the oven and cook for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the rabbit from the oven and test for doneness using a meat thermometer (the internal temperature should be 155F/68C). Allow the rolls to rest, unwrapped, for 5 minutes until serving.

Carrot purée

  • 3 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled 1.6 kg
  • 1/2 tsp mild curry powder 5 mL
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 15 mL

Carrot purée: Cut the carrots in half widthwise. Separate the thicker top parts from the thinner bottom pieces. Cut the top parts into chunks, place them in a juicer and juice them for about 2 cups/500 mL of juice. (If you do not have a juicer, cook half the carrots in water until tender.) Slice the bottom parts into thin rounds and place them in a small saucepan. Cover the carrots with the carrot juice (or cooked carrots) and add the curry powder. Cook on medium heat until the carrots are very soft, about 10 minutes. Drain the juice into a small bowl and transfer the carrots to a food processor or a blender. Purée the carrots, adding enough of the juice to obtain a smooth consistency. Mix in the butter, season lightly with salt and set aside.

Finish rabbit: Unwrap the rabbit, discarding the foil and plastic wrap. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat, add the rabbit and sear for 2 minutes to crisp the pancetta. Transfer the rabbit to a plate, pour off any excess oil in the pan and add the mustard sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce until it is warmed through.

Finish noodles: Heat the vegetable nage in a medium saucepan on medium heat.

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil on high heat. Add about 1 tsp/5 mL of salt for every 4 cups/1 L of water. Drop the fettucine into the water, stir it once and cook for 2 minutes. (If you are using store-bought pasta, cook it until it is al dente, or according to package directions.) Drain the pasta, then add it to the nage. Stir in the butter and lightly season the noodles with salt.

To serve: Slice each rabbit roll into 3 pieces. Spin a quarter of the noodles on a carving fork and place them on a plate. Repeat with the remaining 3 plates. Spoon a quarter of the carrot purée beside the noodles. Top each plate with 3 slices of rabbit and spoonfuls of the mustard sauce.

Wine: I love to pair rabbit with Italian reds, from Barolo and Barbaresco to Chianti Classico and Brunello.