Monthly Archives: May 2016

Culinary Exploration with the Clean, Lean Protein

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When you think of the world’s most well-known rabbit dishes – hasenpfeffer, rabbit confit or the many delectable variations of braised rabbit – you quickly realize rabbit has been a favorite primary ingredient for chefs around the world for a very long time. From classic Southern American and the current farm-to-table trend to traditional French and Creole, this lean, tender protein is versatile enough to fit with every style, taste and flavor, and the possibilities are seemingly endless.

However, if a recent event held by the American Culinary Federation is an indication, there are still plenty of culinary creations with rabbit yet to be discovered. In April, Arkansas-based rabbit producer, Pel-Freez, collaborated with accomplished culinary educator Chef Ted Kowalski at a tasting in St. Augustine, Florida, held by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). In addition to being a Certified Executive Chef and a member of the American Academy of Chefs, Chef Kowalski is the chapter president of St. Augustine’s ACF.

His creations are nothing short of amazing, featuring new takes on traditional favorites and adding his own spin to develop dishes that are both unique and familiar. He was also impressed with Pel-Freez products, particularly compared to the practices he was used to earlier in his career.

“Pel-Freez rabbits are super clean, chef ready and a far cry from my days at Le Pavillon when we had live rabbits in cages outside the kitchen door,” said Chef Kowalski.

Among the dishes developed were delicious takes on rabbit fricassee and rabbit terrine. And while these recipes may be above the skill level of many of us (the exception being if Chef Kowalski, himself, is reading this), the photos of these meals should truly inspire the foodie in all of us. Whether they inspire you to get cooking or get eating is entirely up to you. Either way, thanks to Chef Ted Kowalski for creating dishes to develop sophisticated palates and encouraging fine dining with this clean, lean and often underutilized (at least for now) protein.

New Food Trend Not So New

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If you’re a meat eater – and most Americans are – you’re probably constantly on the lookout for meat choices that are high in protein and low in calories. The search should be a short one – rabbit.

This lean, tender white meat has less fat, fewer calories and lower cholesterol content than chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb and even a few fish.

Americans should be enjoying this tender and delicate, white meat choice regularly. Many “across the pond” have continued to appreciate it for its culinary and nutritional value when interest in the States appeared to wane. According to an article written by award-winning author and writer, Kris Wetherbee, American foodies are rediscovering their love for rabbit meat after a decades-long hiatus:

Actually, rabbit only recently fell out of favor during the 20th century baby boomer era of the early 60s to the late 80s. With the exception of that short stint in time, its popularity has spanned the generations, with its use as a meat source dating as far back as 1500 BC.

With interest in healthier meats at an all-time high, maybe it’s time for Americans to get reacquainted to this readily available, delicious and nutritious meat staple.