Say strudel and most people think of sweet, fruit-filled flaky desserts, but this savory rabbit pastry gives strudel new meaning. It is accompanied with a rich sauce based on the Creole vegetable trinity of onions, celery, and green peppers.
- Roast Rabbit and Optional Stock
- Whole Rabbit - 1
- Yellow Onion - 1, coarsely chopped or sliced
- Garlic Cloves - 3, coarsely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Cayenne Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Dry Vermouth - 1/2 cup
- Fresh thyme sprigs - 4
- Water - 12 cups, (optional)
- Spinach - 2 bunches, stemmed
- Garlic Cloves - 2, minced
- Shallots - 3, minced
- Fresh Thyme - 1/2 teaspoon, chopped
- Mustard Seeds - 5 cups (1-1/4 pound), grated
- Havarti Cheese - 4 ounces
- Salt and red and black peppers to taste
- Phyllo Dough - 1 package
- Dried bread crumbs - 3/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 2 cups (4 sticks), melted
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Onions - 2, chopped
- Garlic Cloves - 6, minced
- Celery Stalks - 2, chopped
- Green Bell Pepper - 1, seeded, deribbed, and chopped
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Rabbit Stock or Chicken Stock - 2 cups
- Fresh Thyme - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Fresh Marjoram - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, seeded, roasted, and pureed
- Salt and red and black pepper to taste
To roast the rabbit: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the rabbit in a roasting pan with all of the remaining ingredients except the water. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until tender. Let cool. Pick all the meat off the rabbit and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
To make rabbit stock (optional): Place the bones and any scraps from the rabbit in a small stock pot, cover with water, and boil to reduce by half. Strain and set aside.
To make the filling: Blanch the spinach in boiling water and cover for 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool. Drain and squeeze all the moisture out of the spinach. Chop and set aside. Saute the garlic and shallots until translucent. Add the thyme, spinach, and cheese. Add the seasonings.
Place a sheet of phyllo on a work surface. Brush with butter and sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs. Repeat to make 3 to 5 layers. Cut into 3 lengthwise strips. Place the filling in a line down the center of each strip. Place the chopped rabbit down the center of the filling. Fold the sides over, then roll up jelly roll fashion. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
To make the sauce: In a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, celery, and green bell pepper until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and cook over medium heat to reduce by half, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the stock or broth, herbs, and lemon juice. Simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the roasted red pepper puree. Add the seasonings.
To serve: Pool some sauce on each serving plate. Cut each strudel diagonally into four slices. Place 2 slices in the sauce on each plate.