Bacon Wrapped Young Rabbit with Aged Fruit Pesto, Wild Mushroom Flan and Fresh Coriander Froth
Chef Morou Ouattara of Signatures — Alexandria, VA
Adapted by
June 2009
Yield:8 Servings


For the Rabbit
8 rabbit loins, trimmed
Salt and pepper to taste
16 bacon slices
4 Tablespoons fruit pesto
2 Tablespoons butter

For the Fruit Pesto
1 cup packed mixed dried fruits
¼ cup fresh parsley
¼ cup fresh mint
2 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons walnuts
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Mushroom Flan
2 shallots, minced
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces assorted wild mushrooms
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 1/2 cups-heavy cream
3 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup chives, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Coriander Froth
2 cups cilantro leaves, packed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
½ teaspoon coriander, ground
1 cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk
2 sheets gelatin, soaked in cold water
Salt, to taste


Prepare the Mushroom Flan:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil 4 (1/2-cup) ramekins or timbale molds. In a teapot, bring water to a simmer.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and gently sauté until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, wine, and 1/2 cup of the cream. Mix to combine and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining cream, eggs, and Parmesan. Add the mushroom-cream mixture and the chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Divide the mixture equally among the oiled ramekins. In a deep baking pan, arrange the ramekins with plenty of space between them. Place the pan in the oven and pour the simmering water two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes or until the flan are just set. Carefully remove the water-filled pan from the oven. Allow the flan to sit in the water for 30 minutes. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat in oven when needed.

Prepare the Fruit Pesto:
In a Vita-Prep® blender, combine all ingredients except the vegetable broth and salt and pepper. Process until mixture is smooth. Slowly add the vegetable broth. Add only enough broth to make the mixture easily spread able. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside until needed.

Prepare the Rabbit:
Season the rabbit loins with salt and pepper. On a flat surface, lay out and overlap 4 bacon slices. Spread 1 Tablespoon of fruit pesto over the bacon. On the fruit spread, place 2 rabbit loins side by side. Tightly roll the bacon slices around the loins. Repeat with the remaining bacon and rabbit loins.

In a sauté pan on medium heat, melt the butter. Sear each wrapped rabbit loin on all sides until the bacon is crisp. Remove from loins from the heat and allow to meat to rest briefly.

Prepare the Coriander Froth:
In a small bowl, soak the gelatin sheets in ice water. In a Vita-Prep® blender, combine all ingredients except the gelatin, milk and salt. Process until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Add the gelatin sheets into the boiling milk. Simmer, stirring constantly, to dissolve the gelatin. Remove the mixture from stove and chill. When the milk-gelatin mixture is cold, combine the two liquid mixtures. Season with salt, to taste. Pour the combined mixture into a whipped cream dispenser. Keep cold until ready to use.

To Assemble and Serve:
Run a thin knife around the edge of the mushroom flan and turn out on a plate. Slice a rabbit loin in half and place beside the flan. Top with the coriander froth and serve.

Wine Pairing:
PETITE SIRAH 1998 RIDGE York Creek (Sonoma, California)