Rabbit and spaetzle in a creme fraiche-mustard sauce topped with crispy shallots.
Throughout the ten years we’ve been together, my husband has worked at many different restaurants. This means that I have quite happily eaten at least a meal or two at each one. Out of all of the places he’s been, it’s actually the same restaurant that was responsible for two of my favorite dishes. While he no longer works there, I often ask him to make them for me at home.
One dish, my favorite of the two, is a beautiful combination of roasted cauliflower, chili flakes, breadcrumbs and homemade chitarra pasta. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and be totally satisfied.
The other is a creamy compilation of braised rabbit, spaetzle, herbs and crispy shallots. It is the stuff dreams are made of.
Disclaimer: I have never been one of those people to shy away from eating animals just because they’re cute. And while bunnies may be adorable, fryer rabbits are not. They are mean little suckers who are not fluffy and cuddly. But, as I learned at a fairly young age, they do make for some good eating!
DB and I needed a project and since we were having a hard time coming up with something new, we decided to recreate a dish we hadn’t had in years: Braised Rabbit with Spaetzle, Créme Fraiche and Dill. I first had this dish at a restaurant in Portland called 23 Hoyt, back when my husband was the sous chef there. I instantly fell in love and forced many of my friends to join me at the restaurant to share a plate of it.
One of those friends was, of course, DB and we both became equally obsessed with it. Long after my husband (and the original executive chef) left the restaurant and the dish was no long on the menu, we would reminisce about how good it was. The spaetzle was firm yet tender, browned in butter, and the sauce was creamy but balanced. The braised rabbit added a little something different while the fried shallots on top were just an added bonus. It really was a dish to crave, especially in this cold rainy weather.