Rabbit Ragout


Rabbit ragout with quinoa dumplings. Super satisfying but light enough for warm weather. And super easy!

So I found myself with a rabbit from and was debating on what to do with it. Then memories of a divine rabbit ragout I had at Glass Onion came to mind. Being that ragout is a one dish dealio, I figured it was good for doing mid-week and would only get better as I picked on it over the next few days. I won’t lie, I totally picked the wrong time to delve into this dish. No, not because it was difficult or time consuming. Mainly because I had just watched Miss Potter, a movie about Beatrix Potter and all of her furry friends, including Peter Rabbit. Yeah, that made dismembering the ol’ rabbit a wee bit harder. Images flashed of that cute little bugger in his tidy blue jacket, chewing on perfect little carrots was really gettin’ to me.  I won’t lie, I think I told that rabbit ‘sorry’ about 100 times. Then, I realized I’d feel worse if I wasted the rabbit and got on with my business. The one good thing that comes from getting real about where your food comes from is you end up being all the more thankful for it.  So, if you find yourself with some rabbit and really want to appreciate your food sources, get on with making this dish. You could also substitute chicken (or veal for the adventurous; or beef in winter) if that makes you feel a little better!

  • 4 pound rabbit, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • Oil, for searing (coconut oil works well)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 28 ounces whole tomatoes, crushed by hand, and juices
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or marsala
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa flour (or omit and it still is delicious)
  • fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Heat oil in large skillet or dutch oven. Dredge rabbit pieces in quinoa flour for a light dusting.


Sear dusted (or bare) rabbit until golden brown or a good crust forms to seal in juices.


Now we’re talking!

Sear until golden brown on all sides. Remove rabbit from pan and drain on paper towels.


Add vegetables to pan and cook slowly until caramelized.

Add carrot, celery, and onion and cook until well caramelized (brown, but not burnt). Add 1/4 cup sherry or marsala and deglaze pan. Add tomatoes and tomato paste.


After you’ve made the base for your sauce, sink your rabbit back down in there for its braise.

Sink rabbit back into sauce, place lid, and put in 350 degree over until rabbit is fork tender, about 30-45 minutes (alternatively, heat sauce and rabbit until slightly bubbling and place in 175 degree oven overnight with lid slightly ajar, or about 8 hours).


Serve with its veggies and sauce, or serve over quinoa pasta or zucchini noodles.

Serve with rabbit, vegetables, and juices or over pasts (quinoa pasta or quinoa dumplings!) or zucchini noodles. Garnish with chopped parsley.  Serve with Amarone wine.

Totally Divine Duck Liver Mousse


Duck liver mousse..it’ll make you rethink liver! Served here with Dijon mustard, strawberry-balsamic reduction, and pecans.

Oh. My. Stars. You will want to try this no matter how much anything with the word ‘liver’ conjures images of shoe leather and palate-fumigating funk. I didn’t start out as a fan of liver. Even worse, my mind flashes images of those little blue-labeled cans of potted meat that my great-grandmother would eat (and you too, Shane!).  God bless her, she was a Depression Era gal and had grown to like it…but it just has never been my fancy if ya know what I mean.   Frankly, the 1950s version of liver (pan-fried with onions)  generally doesn’t look that appetizing either, totally funks out your house, and can taste horrendous. I was always wanting to eat liver…mainly due to memories of being a tiny tot sitting atop my Memaw’s washer (yes, in the days of simpler and functional houses, it was right next to the stove) watching her fry up liver in bacon fat and onions. Her version is the only calf’s liver that has ever tasted good.  Fried chicken livers abound in the South, but many are waaaay to funky for me to choke down.  Then I tried Glass Onion’s chicken liver mousse. It was a total deal changer.  I was hooked and began searching out ways to fit in some liver.  Seriously, eating just the prime cuts of an animal was starting to work on my conscience and I had found many ‘rooter-to-tooter’ foods were fabulous.  Further, I knew if I could teach myself to eat anchovies or pancreas and thymus (sweetbreads), for Pete’s sake, I could find a way to eat liver.

This duck liver mousse came on the heels of getting a boat load of duck livers from Wishbone Heritage Farms and having some dangerously good duck liver mousse at Glass Onion (if you haven’t been there, run…do not walk…and get yourself some good eats pronto).  This started with Chris Stewart’s basic chicken liver mousse recipe an added caramelized onions, a bit of bacon fat, and some sherry. You could easily substitute a port jelly on top during the cooling stage or just serve with a cherry compote or strawberry preserves and some great mustard. Pickles, pickled veggies (green beans or okra like the Glass Onion serves it), and pecans (as FIG does) work well too.

  • 1 pound of duck livers
  • 2 cups of buttermilk (for soaking livers)
  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 5 farm fresh eggs
  • 3 tablespoons rendered duck fat (yes, I keep a stock in my fridge, can substitute melted and cooled butter)
  • 1 large onion, caramelized with 2 TBSP bacon fat and 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 2 TBSP Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp curing slat (can leave this out, top of mousse will turn a bit brown)
  • 1 TBSP ground white pepper



Soak livers in buttermilk for an hour or so (or overnight) to reduce any bitterness.

Soak livers in 2 cups buttermilk for an hour or so (can do overnight) to reduce funk. Drain and rinse. Pulse in food processor until smooth.


Add the eggs, salts, pepper, caramelized onions, and blend until smooth.

Add eggs, duck fat, caramelized onion, kosher salt, curing salt, and white pepper. Pulse until smooth.


Add 2 cups of the heavy cream.

Add 2 cups heavy whipping cream and pulse a few times. Push through fine sieve (bouillon strainer works well!).


Straining through a fine sieve to get a super smooth texture.

Whisk in remaining 1 cup heavy cream.


Whisk in remaining 1 cup cream and pace into ramekins in hot water bath.

Place in ramekins (mine filled 6), and place in roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water and place in 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until mousse is firm but jiggles in middle.


Lift these guys out carefully and chill completely.

Lift ramekins out carefully and cool completely. Add your favorite accoutrements:  French bread crostini, pickled vegetables, mustard, cherry compote, strawberry preserves, rhubarb jam, pecans, or roasted walnuts. Pour yourself a big ol’ glass of Suaternes wine and go to town. You’ll be delightfully surprised how much you might like liver!

Gluten Free Fried Green Tomatoes




See that fried green tomato poking out? Yep….I ate the other ones too fast to take a pic! Yeah…they’re that good!

I love, love, love me some fried green tomatoes.  You can find green tomatoes all summer long, but especially in the spring. What a testament to not wasting food….or is it a nod to Impatience? After all, green tomatoes will turn red given the chance. They’re simply the unripe versions of their ruby-red brethren.  In fact, I have a red tomato, once green, sitting on my windowsill at this very moment.  The difference between a red and green tomato is the green is firm and tart. They make a great sandwich, a fantastic pickled relish, and a great accoutrement to fried eggs and pimento cheese.  Usually you find them coated in wheat flour or corn flour or a combination of both.  I set out to find a version that would let me ‘get my eat on’ without wheat or corn. I tried several different substitutes–almond flour, rice flour, quinoa flour, and coconut flour.  I thought almond flour would come out on top since it had performed well for me with making a crust for tomato pie, but no such luck. Quinoa flour worked like a dream–fried up nice, stuck to the tomato, and didn’t leave a huge aftertaste.  Rice flour didn’t stick and coconut flour tasted terrible. If you don’t have a wheat or corn issue, feel free to use 1/2 wheat flour and 1/2 corn meal.  So here ya go, fried green tomatoes…gluten-free!

  • Green tomatoes, as many as you need, 2 or 4 slices per person
  • Quinoa flour
  • 2 eggs, scrambled/whipped
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings–red pepper chutney, fried eggs, pulled pork, blue crab, hollandaise, remoulade sauce, etc.

Wash, dry, and slice your tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick. Melt coconut oil in pan at medium high heat (Mama’s cast iron works well).  Dip tomato slices in egg, dredge in quinoa flour. Place in hot oil and fry until underside is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and fry again until opposite side is golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel-lined plate. Serve with your choice of accoutrement–my favorite is a fried egg and remoulade or jalapeno pimento cheese and pulled pork.

Easy Chile Verde….or just Damn Good Pork


Chili verde with jalapeno pimento cheese (Palmetto Cheese brand), fried egg, and a fried green tomato!

My love affair with pork…it’s a long-standing one.  Frankly, it’s in my blood being a Southerner and all.  I like it all…bacon (bacon!!!!), pork loin, smoked pork, pulled pork, cracklins’…you name it, I love it. Chili verde, simply braised pork chunks in a green chili and/or tomatillo sauce,  is some seriously good pork eats. I frankly have never had a bad chili verde.  It really goes well with ev-e-ry-thing. Slap some on a fried egg or fried green tomato or make yourself a little taco salad with a chipolte dressing.  Roll that goodness up in a burrito (or lettuce or kale wrap) or throw it in some soup (white bean chili!). It pairs super well with jalapeno pimento cheese (what the hell doesn’t???). Or my favorite….straight off the fork! Good news is this recipe is super easy and can bypass any slicing and dicing.  It even cooks while you sleep! My kinda business. Now you know where the ‘slap it on a fried egg’ comes in…waking up to a house full of porky goodness begs one to immediately fry up an up an egg and go to town while standing over the kitchen counter in your housedress. Yep, it’s that good.  Here goes…

Easy Chili Verde

  • 5 lb Boston Butt (do not remove fat pad)
  • 1 jar green salsa (as spicy as you like it)
  • 2 cups Mojo Crillo marinade (get the ‘crillo’ since it has no MSG)
  • crock pot

Rinse pork. Throw it in the crock pot fat side up (for Pete’s sake, don’t cut the fat off!!). Toss in the whole jar of green salsa and 2 cups of Mojo Crillo.


Dressing up the pork!

Put the lid on your crock pot and set it on low and let it simmer away overnight.  I usually set mine on low for 10 hours and it’s perfect.  You can get all fancy and add sliced peppers and onions in the beginning–they’ll add flavor, but will completely break down. Not to worry.  Shove the juices (after cooking) and peppers/onions through a fine sieve and you have yourself a serious sauce. Plunk the pulled pork/pork chunks back down in that sauce and you’re in business! If you want to keep the peppers and onions intact, you’ll have to wait and add them a few hours from the end.


Too delicious!

Now go forth and slather your porky goodness over whatever you can think of—you won’t be disappointed.

Noodle-less Lasagna


It is possible–tasty and noodle-less!!

I mostly gave up all wheat and grain products about 3 years ago (um, you still need to celebrate birthdays people!).  For the most part, I haven’t looked back because I feel so much better.  It’s pretty easy to find substitutes for crackers (cucumber rounds, red peppers, vegetable crackers), but living without pasta can get a bit difficult.  I found ways to use vegetables for spaghetti, but often missed a big ol’ pile of lasagna. That is until I used butternut squash as the lasagna noodles.  If it is sliced thin enough, you don’t even notice it.  You get to enjoy your lasagna and not roll around the next day with joint pain, puffy fingers, and a headache (seriously, no one likes a wheat hangover!).

Don’t worry, this is super easy and you can pick up a handheld mandolin for super cheap.  If you’re trying to cut down on carbs, increase your vegetable intake, or are gluten intolerant, you’ll be super pumped to get your hands on this lasagna.  You won’t regret it!


  • 2 medium or 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 bunch swiss chard (spinach or kale would work too), blanched
  • 32 ounce container ricotta (or make your own)
  • favorite lasagna sauce/filling (I prefer a Bolognese)
  • 2 cups mozzarella
  • 2 cups aged Asiago


Peel your butternut squash. Slice in half lengthwise.  This might require you rearing back and hacking the knife into the middle of the squash and then beating it on the cutting board until the knife runs through.  Hey, that’s at least what I do!  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard.  Cut each half in half again crossways to make two smaller pieces.


Your ‘noodle-less noodles’ in the making.


All sliced up!

Now get to slicing–CAREFULLY–with the mandolin (these things can take a fingertip off in a skinny minute!).



Place your slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so, flipping once about 1/2 way through.  You want them to be soft and to release some liquid, but not be mushy. They’ll cook more later.


Put a little ‘glue’ in the bottom of your casserole dish.

Place a bit of your sauce (Bolognese–you won’t be sorry!) in the bottom of your casserole dish.


Layering your junk. Get creative, use different cheeses, or veggies. Got nuts!


Again, get creative! Here is a noodle-less lasagna layered with fresh mozzarella.

Layer your slices in a single layer, overlapping slightly.  Spoon about 1/3 of the ricotta on top.  Layer 1/3 of the swiss chard.  Spoon about 1/2 of your sauce (Bolognese!) on top.  Layer again with squash slices, ricotta, chard, and sauce (Bolognese–are you getting the hint?).  Repeat one more time.  Top with cheeses.


Layer it up!

Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and the cheese is just starting to brown.


This is the molten lava stage–do not…I repeat…do not dive in. You will regret it 100% and then not be able to taste anything for days.  Trust me, I am impatient!

Practice all restraint and patience to avoid cutting immediately as it is molten lava right out of the oven and will burn the bejesus out of your mouth.  I speak from experience.  No throwing your head back, rolling the molten food around in your mouth, and huffing while trying to exclaim explicatives and laughing at yourself.  You.  Can.  Do.  This.  Just wait.  Your patience shall be justly rewarded, I promise!


Holy Lasagna! It is good, good, good!

Slice after about 10 minutes and dig on in.  No blistered mouth in site….just eye rolling and a happy stomach!

Garden Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Cool and refreshing mint chocolate chip ice cream!

My love affair with ice cream goes way back. Sometimes on Sundays my Grandparents would pack my brother and I up in the car and take us ‘over the bridge’ to an ice cream parlor that had all the toppings under the hood of an old red ’57 Chevy (aptly named ‘The Ice Cream Machine’).  I stared in wonder as they ate ‘weird’ flavors like pistachio, coffee, or butter pecan.  I mean why wouldn’t they be eating the bubble gum filled variety with sprinkles, gummy bears, and chocolate???  Despite a long love affair with ice cream, let me say I’m not a huge fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream…pistachio, yes. Brown sugar ice cream, yes. Even beet lemon (it’s good, I swear!), yes. Mint chocolate chip, meh. Why then, you ask, would one go through all the trouble of making fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream?  Simply, a massive overload of mint springing forth from the garden and a guilty conscience for throwing it away.  Well that, and a little boredom and a bit of time on my hands.  Then there’s the challenge of homemade ice cream in itself.  When a batch of homemade ice cream turns out really good, it’s like The Culinary Gods have shined down upon you. Sometimes I’m so happy with myself after a batch turns out good that I’m almost too proud to eat it. Then common sense kicks in. So, you could also say I was up for the challenge.

Now, those that know me know I don’t really jive with processed food. So, why the light corn syrup? Well, there’s some molecular chemistry involved and it basically has to do with how the ice cream freezes–the corn syrup prevents the ice cream from getting all crunchy from ice crystals.  Yes, it doesn’t go with my ‘no processed food’ philosophy, but frankly, you’re not dining on this stuff all that often, so it’s not a deal breaker for me. You can make your own corn syrup if you’ve got a vat of corn and some serious time and patience, but I have to draw the line somewhere!  You can try other techniques, like using a corn starch slurry or using honey or other emulsifiers, but this seems to work the best for ice cream in a home machine.

Don’t be daunted, it’s pretty easy and you’ll be glad you did it once you take a bite!  It’s not like the stuff from the store–all fluorescent green and mint-extract flavored. It’s a creamy, herbal-mint with just the right amount of chocolate.  You can certainly taste the nature in it! As much as I generally scan right over mint chocolate chip ice cream in the store–this one makes me take a bit of a pause!


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups packed fresh mint leaves
  • 10 large egg yolks, whipped
  • 8 oz dark chocolate, melted (Lindt Dark Chocolate with a Hint of Sea Salt used here)

Fresh mint leaves are a must!


Heating the leaves in the milk releases the oils.

Place milk, sugar, light corn syrup, 2 cups of cream, salt, and mint leaves in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until steaming, stirring occasionally to prevent curdling.  After it’s good and steamy, put a lid on your pan and let it steep off of the heat for about an hour or so.


The mint has released all of it’s flavorful oils.

After steeping, pour through a fine mesh strainer  while pressing down on the leaves to release more oils (a bouillon strainer works wonders!). If you get a few little leaf bits in there, don’t worry–it’s homemade! Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and reheat.  Very slowly pour about 1/2 of the hot milk mixture over the egg yolks while constantly whisking to prevent cooking the egg yolks. Combine the hot milk and hot milk-egg mixture in the saucepan and heat slowly, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.


Cool the ice cream batter by mixing back into the last cup of heavy shipping cream.

Pour this mixture into the last 1 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Let cool and place a piece of plastic wrap over the top, pressing into the surface.


Chill the batter with a piece of plastic wrap pressed into the surface to prevent the ‘skin’ from ruining your texture.

Chill overnight.


Freeze the batter in 2 batches (drizzling chocolate in between) in a home ice cream machine according to directions.

Place 1/2 of  batter in home ice cream machine and freeze according to machine directions.


Preparing for layering of chocolate–this makes the chips!


Making the chips!

Place frist half in flat container and drizzle 1/2 of melted chocolate over the top. Put the lid on and place in freezer. Run the second half of the batter according to machine directions. Layer on top of first batch and drizzle second half of chocolate over the top. Place lid and freeze until firm.


Summer on a spoon!

Homemade ice cream freezes harder than store bought because we don’t whip tons of air into it (arrrghhhhh–you’re paying for air?!?!?!?), so you may have to let it sit out for 10 minutes or so before scooping. All this may seem like a bit of work–but seriously, it’s summer on a spoon and you know exactly what’s in it (no Incredible Hulk colored ice cream for me!).

Try it, I promise you’ll love it!

**Note: Monkeying with sugar and fat content can alter the texture**