Soaked Oatmeal with Wild Honeycomb, Mascarpone and Fried Bananas

Steel-cut oats are soaked overnight in cool, filtered water with a little lemon juice before being cooked with cinnamon and freshly-grated nutmeg.  Topped with banana slices fried in cultured butter with Tahitian vanilla, mascarpone thinned with fresh cream and a sprinkling of wild-harvested bee pollen..

Soaked Oatmeal with Wild Honeycomb, Mascarpone and Fried Bananas

For the Oats

1 cup traditional, steel-cut oats
1 cup cool, filtered water for soaking
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups filtered water for cooking
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg

2 teaspoons wild honeycomb
1 teaspoon wild-harvested bee pollen (not propolis)

Combine oats, water and lemon juice in a non-reactive bowl. Cover and allow to stand overnight. Transfer oats to a heavy saucepan, add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and keep warm until ready to use.

For the Bananas

1 just-ripe banana, bias-cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons cultured butter
1 Tahitian vanilla bean, split and scraped

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-low heat.  Scrape vanilla into pan and swirl to disperse.  Add bananas and cook until golden brown.  Flip and cook until the other side is browned, about 8 minutes. Total.  Pour remaining butter into oatmeal.

For the Mascarpone

1 pint raw, fresh cream (ultra-pasteurized cream will not work)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon filtered water

Heat the cream in a double-boiler until it reaches 185 degrees. Mix water and lemon juice and add to the cream; it should thicken right away. Keep mixture at 185 degree for a full 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a clean bowl, refrigerate allow allow to separate 12-24 hours.  Mascarpone will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

To serve, spoon warm oatmeal into a bowl and drizzle cream-tinned mascarpone around the perimeter. Top with fried bananas and a spoonful of honeycomb and sprinkle with bee pollen.

Pan-Fried Rabbit with Creole Mustard Cream Sauce

Pasture-fed rabbit is dusted with Cajun-seasoned sprouted spelt flour, then shallow-fried in duck fat until golden brown.  Served in a sauce of stock, fresh cream, champagne vinegar, thyme, oregano and bay with creole mustard, bell pepper, celery, onions and garlic.  A delicacy, sautéed liver and kidney are served as an accompaniment..

Pan-Fried Rabbit with Creole Mustard Cream Sauce

For the Rabbit

1 fresh whole rabbit with giblets
1 cup sprouted spelt flour
2 tablespoons Cajun-style seasoning
2 teaspoons half-sharp paprika
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
rendered duck fat

Cut up rabbit into serving-size pieces (2 forelegs, 2 back legs and 2 thighs), reserving the loin for another recipe.  Rinse in plenty of cold, fresh water, then pat dry.  Season liberally with salt and pepper, wrap in butcher paper and refrigerate 2-4 hours.  Remove from refrigerator and wipe away salt, pepper and any accumulated moisture.  Dust with flour mixed with Cajun-style seasoning and paprika, shaking off any excess.

Melt duck fat to a depth of about 1/2 inch in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add rabbit to the pan and fry as you would chicken, turning frequently until golden brown and the juices run clear.  Transfer to a side dish, then sauté liver and kidneys in the same pan.

For the Sauce

1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, slivered
1 tablespoon duck fat
1/2 teaspoon champagne vinegar
2 cups light game, chicken or vegetable stock
1 sprig each of fresh bay, thyme and oregano, tied in a bundle
1/2 cup fresh cream
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Melt the duck fat in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery and sweat until slightly softened.  Moisten with champagne vinegar, then add stock and herb bundle.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced by about a third.  Add cream and mustard and continue to simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Discard herb bundle and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Eco-friendly and sustainable, pasture-fed rabbit is a very good source of Protein (63%), Niacin, Iron and Vitamins B6 and B12


This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!

Thai Spiced Mango Tapioca Pudding

Fresh ginger, Thai basil, kaffir lime, lemongrass, fresh mango, tapioca, cream, coconut milk and cayenne..

Thai Spiced Mango Tapioca Pudding

Thai Spiced Mango Tapioca Pudding (adapted from a recipe by Elizabeth Falkner)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 tablespoon fresh galangal, peeled and sliced
4 Thai basil leaves
2-3 sprigs fresh cilantro
1-2 small kaffir lime leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemongrass, sliced
1 cup filtered water
1/2 cup fresh cream
1/4 cup organic palm sugar
1/3 cup Bot Bang (Thai pearl tapioca)
1/2 cup heavy coconut milk
1 small fresh mango, diced
cayenne pepper

Combine ginger, galangal, basil, cilantro, lime leaves and lemongrass in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3-4 times.  Transfer to a heavy saucepan and add 1 cup cold water.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to steep for 20 minutes.  Strain liquid into another heavy saucepan, pressing on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to release as much liquid as possible.

Add cream and sugar to the decoction and bring to a boil.  Stir in tapioca, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often until reduced in volume by about a third, about 1/2 hour.

Stir in mango, cover and allow to cool 10 minutes.

To serve, spoon pudding into a glass or shallow plate and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.  Garnish with basil and crystallized ginger.

Belgian Chocolate French Toast with Roasted Bananas and Whipped Cream

Homemade Belgian chocolate bread is soaked in custard, then fried in cultured butter and served with roasted bananas and whipped cream..

Belgian Chocolate French Toast with Roasted Bananas and Whipped Cream

For the bread (measure flour by weight, liquid by volume)

6 oz organic pastry flour
2 oz sprouted wheat flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 oz non-refined sugar
4 oz cacao powder
4 oz Belgian chocolate, shaved
4 oz filtered water
4 oz plain kefir or yoghurt
2 large eggs
4 oz melted butter

Mix the dry ingredients (except Belgian chocolate) together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, kefir and butter.

Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.  Don’t over-mix.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a buttered 4×8 loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees until just set, approximately 45 minutes. Don’t overbake.

Allow loaf to cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

For the Custard

2 pastured eggs
1/3 cup fresh milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and beat with a fork until frothy.

For the Whipped Cream

1/4 cup fresh heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt

Use a whisk or hand mixer to whip all ingredients together until thickened.

For the Bananas

2 small bananas, split lengthwise
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon granulated maple sugar

Place the bananas cut-side down on a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with maple sugar and roast in a 375 degree oven until golden brown and partially caramelized.

To Prepare

Soak thick slices of day-old chocolate bread in custard until completely saturated.  Carefully to transfer to a rack and drain for a few minutes.  Heat butter in a heavy skillet oven medium heat and fry soaked bread until light golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.  Place skillet and bread in a 375 degree oven and bake 7 minutes.

Place French toast on a plate and slide roasted banana on top. Garnish with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Conchiglie con Salsiccia di Pollo

Coarsely-ground pastured chicken, spinach, sweet onions, garlic and yellow tomatoes tossed with conchiglie pasta, cream, saffron, Grana Padano and fresh herbs..

Conchiglie con Salsiccia di Pollo

Serves 2

10-12 oz chicken meat (I use thigh meat), coarsely ground with 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
2 sweet bulb onions, sliced
2 fresh yellow cluster tomatoes, cored and choped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz spelt conchiglie
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in water
1/3 cup fresh cream
1/3 cup grated Grana Padano
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
fresh lemon

Grind chicken meat with fresh spinach and stir in 1 tablespoon cold rendered chicken fat.  Heat the other tablespoon of chicken fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Pinch off pieces of chicken sausage and sauté until lightly browned and crispy on the outside.  Add garlic, tomatoes, onions and herbs and sauté, stirring continuously until the tomatoes release their moisture, about 2 minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta al denté in 1 1/2 quarts salted boiling water, about 8 minutes.  Drain, then return to burner over medium-low heat.  Stir in cream and saffron, then slowly stir in grated cheese until sauce is thick and creamy.

Toss sausage mixture with pasta and sauce, brighten with a squeeze of lemon and serve immediately.