Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

"Where I work, we serve rabbit. It's a delightful dish, but when I describe it to guests, very often I am greeted with head-shaking, gasps of alarm, or-- sometimes-- the empathetic bunny-twitching of noses. 'Oh no, no, no,' I've heard more than once, 'I could never eat rabbit. They're so... adorable!' Some people just can't stomach the thought of eating 'cute.' Of course quite often, these are the same people who ask me to describe for a second time the lamb special.So when did lambs stop being cute? When their heads are removed? When they are slowly roasted over an open fire? When they are served with potatoes?"~Michael Procopio

In her article "How to Cook an Easter Bunny," Elena Ferretti counters objections to eating rabbit: "Rabbit is leaner than chicken, veal or turkey, with less fat and cholesterol. It has half the calories per pound compared to beef and pork and is the most easily digestible protein around. Since it’s both abundant and ubiquitous, low consumption has little to do with availability and lots to do with Thumper (a Cottontail) and Bugs (probably a Lop-Eared Gray.)....No one’s going to serve up a Flemish Giant or a Holland Lops, [rabbit farmer Stephen Edwards] says of 2 popular pet breeds. The Fryer, the Californian and the New Zealand White (it’s actually American) were genetically developed and are specifically raised as meat rabbits. They have good meat-to-bone-ratios, meatier legs, longer spines and grow faster than pet breeds." According to, "Rabbit meat is an all white meat, fine grained, mild in flavor and can be substituted for any veal or poultry recipe. Rabbit meat is higher in protein, but lower in fat, uric acid, cholesterol, sodium and calories than any other meat. It is easily digested and a lot of doctors recommend rabbit meat when red meat is restricted in diets." estimates, "From a small rabbit 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds, ready to cook, you may expect 2 to 4 1/2 cups of cooked meat. From larger rabbits you may count on about 1 1/2 cups of cooked meat per pound of ready to cook weight." notes that farmed rabbit is sold in 2 different categories: the fryer (up to 12 weeks old) and the roaster (over 8 months old). Recipes on suggest cooking rabbit on a rotisserie, in a crock pot, or on the grill. offers 232 recipes for rabbit, has 96, and lists 24. The traditional dish is hasenpfeffer, a rabbit stew, but my only taste of rabbit was as an appetizer. It was at room temperature and served in aspic and reminded me too much of - not bunnies - but cat food! I'd rather have lamb for dinner and a chocolate bunny for dessert...

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