Roasted Rabbit Tenderloins with Creole Mustard Spaetzle, Southern Cooked Greens, and Ham Hock Gravy

Total Time:
3 hr 15 min
3 hr
15 min

4 servings

  • 4 (4-ounce) rabbit tenderloins
  • 4 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence or Creole Seasoning, divided, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dried fine bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Ham Hock Gravy, recipe follows
  • Creole Mustard Spaetzle, recipe follows
  • Southern Cooked Greens, recipe follows
  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Creole Mustard Spaetzle:
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Creole mustard, or other spicy, whole-grained mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Southern Cooked Greens:
  • 1/4 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 pounds greens, such as mustard, kale, or collard, well rinsed and stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Ham Hock Gravy:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 medium ham hocks (about 11/2 pounds)
  • 6 cups veal stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Season the rabbit tenderloins with 1 teaspoon of the Essence.

  • In a shallow bowl, combine the milk and egg and whisk to make an egg wash. In another shallow dish, combine the flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Essence. In a separate shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Essence.

  • Dredge the tenderloins in the flour, then in the egg wash, and the seasoned bread crumbs, shaking to remove any excess.

  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tenderloins and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven and roast until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes.

  • To serve, spoon 1 cup of Ham Hock Gravy down 1/3 of 4 large serving plates, and a portion of both the Spaetzle and Greens alongside the gravy. Slice each tenderloin crosswise into 6 pieces and place atop the gravy. Serve immediately.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

  • Yield: 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William Morrow, 1993.

Creole Mustard Spaetzle:
  • Combine the flour and 3/4 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, then add to the flour, whisking until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of mustard and oil, and mix well.

  • Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and set aside.

  • Bring 4 quarts of water seasoned with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt to a rolling boil in a large Dutch oven or large, heavy pot. Pour half of the batter into a spaetzle maker or a medium colander set over the boiling water. With a rubber spatula, force the batter through the holes of the spaetzle maker or colander into the water. (The water will rise and foam quickly.) Cook the dumplings, stirring, until they rise to the surface, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a long-handled spoon or strainer to the ice bath. Repeat with the remaining batter. Drain and place in a large bowl. (The spaetzle can be prepared to this point up to 2 hours in advance, and kept tightly covered in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.)

  • Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is foamy, add the remaining tablespoon of mustard and swirl to blend. Add the spaetzle, parsley, and lemon juice, and stir to mix. Cook until the spaetzle is warmed through and the flavors are well blended, about 2 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat and serve immediately with the rabbit tenderloins.

  • Yield: 4 cups

Southern Cooked Greens:
  • Fry the bacon strips in a large skillet until crisp, about 6 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, until melted. Add the greens and the remaining ingredients, and cook, stirring, until wilted, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning to taste. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ham Hock Gravy:
  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery, and cook, stirring, until they begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, stir well to combine, and cook until it begins to brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the red wine, and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and loosening any bits clinging to the bottom of the pot. Add the ham hocks and the veal stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half, 2 hours and 45 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking constantly, until the roux becomes smooth and thick. Continue to cook, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon until the roux has a nutty aroma and becomes a light peanut butter color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

  • Remove the ham hocks from the gravy and set aside to cool. Whisk the cooled roux into the hot gravy and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. Cover to keep warm.

  • Remove the fat and skin from the ham hocks and discard. Remove the meat from the bone and finely chop. Return the meat to the gravy, add salt and pepper to taste, and keep covered until ready to serve with the rabbit tenderloins.

  • Yield: 2 cups

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