Centre County Pennsylvania Farm Tour

18 Aug

Rabbit CacciatoreHappy belated farm week! In celebration, I spent the other weekend touring farms in Centre County Pennsylvania. I’m extremely interest in local agriculture.

My dad’s an avid gardener and supplies my family’s kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables all summer. Eating out of my backyard taught me the difference between store-bought flavors and local food. For that reason, I take an interest in where my food comes from.

During the day-long tour, I visited four local farms in the central, PA area. I received behind-the-scenes tours of two, Amish-run farms, an inside look at the life of a dairy farmer, and a tour of an organic animal farm. In those four stops, I learned a lot about the farming community, and better yet, bought a lot of delicious food.

After collecting fresh and local cheese, meat, and veggies from each of the farms, I made it my mission to cook a hearty, locally sourced meal. Here’s what I came up with.

Rabbit

Looks gross tastes delicious

Rabbit Cacciatore

The idea of rabbit turns a lot of people off, but in reality, it’s just another meat. Rabbit taste like a gamier version of chicken and is easy to cook with. If you’re really anti-rabbit, this recipe can be easily modified and made with chicken. Try using chicken thighs for added richness.

Also, I cooked my cacciatore on a Big Green Egg grill. In case you don’t have access to one, I wrote the cooking instructions for a stove top recipe.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 rabbit cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 tablespoons thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup sliced andouille sausage
  • 3 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 medium size zucchini
  • 2 chopped bell-peppers
  • salt and pepper

Step 1: Dredge rabbit in flour, 2 tablespoons of thyme, and salt and pepper.

Rabbit Dredged in Salt, Pepper, and ThymeStep 2: Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Place rabbit in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until both sides are lightly brown. Remove rabbit pieces and set aside.

Rabbit BrownedStep 3: Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and cook for 1 minute. Then add tomatoes, zucchini, bell-pepper, garlic, and andouille sausage and cook for 3 minutes. Add remaining thyme and bay leaves. Finally, place rabbit back in the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 35 minutes.

Rabbit, Zucchini, Pepper, Tomato, SkilletStep 4: Serve and enjoy!

Rabbit Cacciatore FinishedThere you have it. A delicious, seasonal, and local dinner. Living in the north east, it’s hard to eat locally all year round. That’s why the summer is a perfect time to start supporting local markets and understanding the benefits of eating within your community.

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