1 1/2 fresh rabbit loins, trimmed, silver skin removed, divided
3 ounces bacon, chopped
2 egg whites
1 to 2 tablespoon clarified butter or vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
3/4 cup sliced fresh morels, divided
1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
12 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1 1/2 ounces Wisconsin Kasseri cheese, grated
3 ounces caul fat or cheese cloth
1 1/2 cup prepared demi-glaze
1/2 cup poached or canned wild cranberries or lingonberries
Wisconsin Blue Cheese Polenta
Wisconsin Blue Cheese Polenta:
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 ounces Wisconsin Blue cheese, crumbled
Crispy Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Cornucopia:
1 large carrot, peeled
1 large zucchini
1 tablespoon Butter
6 slices Wisconsin Cheddar cheese (4x4-inch)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
To Make: Cut 1/2 pound rabbit loin into small dices and chill well. Chill a bowl and steel blade for food processor. Combine diced rabbit, bacon and egg whites in food processor and process until a relatively smooth purée is formed. Do not allow the forcemeat to become warm. Place mixture in a chilled bowl; cover and refrigerate until needed. In sauté pan, heat butter over medium heat; add garlic and 1/4 cup morels and sauté 1 1/2 minutes. Add carrots, pine nuts and parsley and all but 2 ounces spinach (a good handful) and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly wilted and dry. Remove from heat. Stir in grated Kasseri and cool. Refrigerate until completely chilled. Fold into forcemeat mixture and return to refrigeration. Blanch reserved spinach leaves Briefly in boiling, salted water, refresh and drain well.
To Assemble: Cut a piece of plastic wrap about 12 inches long. Spread a 1/4 inch think layer of forcemeat on plastic and top with blanched spinach leaves. Center the remaining rabbit loin on top of the spinach. Use the plastic to wrap the forcemeat completely around the rabbit, but do not catch the plastic inside the cylinder of forcemeat. Wrap the caul fat (or cheese cloth) around the rabbit ballotine, overlapping slightly at the seam.
Bake the ballotine in 375° F oven for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145° F. Remove from heat and allow to rest. In sauce pan bring demi-glaze, remaining morels and berries to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.
To Serve: Slice Ballotine and serve with sauce on side, accompanied by Wisconsin Blue Cheese Polenta and Crispy Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Cornucopia.
Wisconsin Blue Cheese Polenta: In small, heavy saucepan, combine stock and cream and bring to a boil. Whisk in cornmeal and continue to cook about 20 minutes, whisking occasionally until polenta thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove polenta from heat and stir in pepper and Blue cheese. Pour polenta onto a lightly greased baking sheet and spread it into a 1 inch think, even layer. Cool completely and chill in refrigerator.
To Serve: When ready to serve, cut the firmed polenta into desired shape (diamonds, squares, triangles, circles, crescents) and grill, bake, or sauté to reheat. Serve with sliced Ballotine as directed.
Crispy Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Cornucopia: Using a small melon baller, cut balls (or dices) of carrots, zucchini and turnip (about 1-1/2 cups of vegetables). Blanch vegetables until tender, drain and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Heat a griddle to 350° F (over medium heat if using the stovetop). Cook cheese slices until they appear lacy, golden and shape into cornucopias (horns).
To Serve: Sauté vegetables in Butter until hot. Season to taste. Fill cornucopias with vegetables (1/4 cup per horn), allowing vegetables to flow freely from the cornucopia onto the plate.