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Michael Psilakis of the celebrity-studded Anthos restaurant in New York puts the ancient flavours of Greece onto the modern table, reinventing old favourites for a glamorous new generation of Greek food lovers. His modern Greek cooking rethinks traditional recipes exploiting the earthy, robust, healthy Mediterranean flavours we all love so much.
In a food processor fitted with the dough blade, combine the cake flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Pulse to blend. Add the egg yolks, olive oil, and water and process on and off until the dough clumps up on the center stem. You may have to adjust with a little more water to make the dough come together, or add some more all purpose flour if the dough is too wet. When the dough forms a cylinder on the stem, process for about one additional minute (if it breaks up again at this point, scatter with a little more flour). The end result should be smooth and elastic, not at all tacky.
Turn the dough out of the processor onto a clean work surface and give a quick knead to form into a smooth round ball. Sprinkle with flour if dough is sticking to surface and continue to knead until additional flour is fully incorporated. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably overnight. (The colder the dough, the easier it will be to roll out.)
Dust a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet very generously with flour and semolina. Cut five or six rectangles of parchment paper to fit the pan, so you can layer the finished noodles between them as you work, scattering with more flour and semolina for each layer.
Put the dough through a pasta machine, starting with the largest setting, and continue feeding, lowering the settings by two after each pass. Scatter with flour occasionally if the dough threatens to stick. Keep rolling until the dough is silky and flexible and, again, not at all tacky.
Roll to #2 thickness.
Cut the sheet into four 2½ x 7-inch rectangles.
Reserve on a flour-dusted sheet of parchment until serving time.
(Open-freeze any remaining pasta. When frozen, sandwich between sheets of plastic wrap and place inside zip-lock bags.)
Preheat the oven to 150C. Season the rabbit legs liberally with salt and pepper.
In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat a thin film of blended oil until very hot. Add and sear the rabbit legs until golden brown on all sides.
Add the celery, garlic, shallots, spices, and herbs. Pan-roast until the vegetables are tender and light brown. Deglaze with the Metaxa and reduce until the pot is almost dry. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and braise in the oven for one hour, or until the meat is very tender.
Pull the meat from the bones in large pieces. Strain the braising liquid over the meat. Cover and keep warm until serving time.
Rinse the snails thoroughly. Pull or snip off the pointed stomach of each snail (it may be gritty).
In a sauté pan, warm the butter over medium-low heat. When it starts to foam, add the snails and sauté for about ten minutes, until the snails wrinkle and shrink slightly (don’t let the butter brown).
Season with salt and pepper and add the shallot, garlic, and herbs. Sauté until the garlic and shallot have softened.
Add the vermouth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and braise very slowly until the snails are tender, about 20 minutes. Reserve.
In liberally salted water, boil the pasta rectangles just until al dente. Drain and glaze with a little of the snail-braising butter.
On each plate, lay a buttered pasta sheet flat. Arrange one quarter of the warm rabbit pieces down the center of each pasta sheet. Spoon 1 tbsp of the rabbit braising liquid over the top to keep it moist. Arrange eight of the braised snails on top of the rabbit.
Garnish with manouri wedges and two fried parsley leaves. Dress with a little olive oil and some black pepper.
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