For quite some time now, for my meals I have typically been staying away from anything on the side of being processed and have been really just cooking and preparing all of my meals with meat, vegetables, rice, pasta, etc. and even when it comes to sauces, seasonings, and marinades I even do many of those myself as well. In this instance, I was in the mood for ravioli (have not had them for quite some time and had some free time to make a few…well actually quite a lot.
When I first started making them earlier today, it got me thinking how when you buy the plain old cheese raviolis in the store and the amount of ingredients in them and then how I am making different flavors with meat and vegetable as well and I think I maxed out between dough and filling on around 12 ingredients it is quite amazing. You can find many variations of making simple dough for ravioli (can tailor them to your liking as well as amount needed) but put simply you have flour, eggs, and olive oil.
For the first type, I had roasted chicken in a skillet. To the chicken I added fresh parsley, garlic, ancho chili powder, lemon juice, and thyme. After this was cooked through I then pulsated it with my immersion blender attachment and then added it to a mixture of ricotta and mozzarella cheese. In total, 11 ingredients between filling and dough. For the other type, I had cut up a butternut squash. I then roasted this with some onion, cinnamon, allspice, heavy cream, clove, and sharp cheddar. As something like these which I do by hand and they take a fair amount of time to do, I do large batches so in each case, I got approximately 6 dozen which are then frozen as individual meals consisting of mixtures of each type. At some point they will then be boiled and I’ll make an olive oil based sauces to pour over them.
After my brief break, here is my first meal back. I had seen some different variations of doing these and then when I was at the store, figured I’d try making my own version. So here we go, sweet potato ravioli (the store had white sweet potatoes).
Before I go into the details, it is worth noting to make these you need either a mandolin or a slicer (I have a De Buyer Kobra V-slicer) as the slices need to be almost paper thin. Simple, start off by peeling the potatoes and then utilizing the slicer slice it long ways to have nice large slices. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and wipe with olive oil. Then put the slices on and put in oven for about 5-10 minutes on 400 (DO NOT want them to brown,they are done when they are somewhat pliable).
For the stuffing I used a variety of mushrooms (morel, black trumpet, and bella). I sauteed them with some garlic, oil, and some kale. This was then put in the chopper/processor and done until small pieces (not quite puree).
The potato slices I then wiped on one side with egg, placed some of the stuffing in and then folded over. They were then pan seared on both sides to cook through.
Separately, I took some Kale added some olive oil, white pepper, and some orange peel and sauteed. I then added on top some honey and crushed almond slices.
After my last post of broiling a steak, I figured I’d go in a bit of a different direction and stay away from meat for this meal.
The first course I planned was a mushroom based tart. The tart you can either make the dough (as I did) or you can buy a pre-packaged phyllo dough and use as well. For this recipe I sauteed mushroom stems, garlic, and radish with some salt and pepper until nice and tender. Separately, I had roasted some walnuts with some cinnamon and allspice. Both of these were then blended together not quite to the extent of a puree. They were then placed into the tarts (I used small tart dishes) and then placed the mushroom caps on top and then baked for approximately 25 minutes on 400. I served with a garlic infused foam on the side.
At first, the second (or main course) in this case was a little harder for me to come up with as I usually have some form of meat or fish along with my meal (unless it is a strict pasta dish). In this case, I took a pasta-type approach and made some vegetable style ravioli/potsticker.
Lately, Besides what I have been reading about, I had tried a few dishes out with beets and it seemed to be a nice direction to head in. Jean Georges has this nice recipe which utilizes a lighter dough (also thinner) dough than a traditional ravioli and incorporates beet greens into the filling. For my take, the filling consisted of beet greens and carrots (chopped up fine) and they were sauteed with garlic (also fine chopped). The beet greens upon completion were themselves chopped up finely. I then added both ricotta as well as parmesan cheese and let cool for about an hour. I then made the raviolis by hand.
For the sauce, the beet itself was utilized. It was rather simple too. All there was was slice up the beet, put in small pot and cover with water. I also added some butter. This was then put on the stove and then reduced down until only a few tablespoons of liquid was left. The beet slices themselves can also be served on the side.
They are such a nice fall/winter..well cold weather type of food to make. And with so many options, they can be tailored to your own liking. I won’t go into the dough making part (there are plenty of simple dough recipes on the web) and for me I like to knead and create the dough by hand. In this particular instance as I was visiting family for the holidays I decided to kick up the style a notch. I like to try differing flavors, get a little blend a little contrast to mesh well together so in one case I created a filling with butternut squash which was put into water and simmered until real soft and tender and then put into my magic bullet along with some sauteed onion and garlic (done with peppercorn) and then pecorino romano was added during the blending process as well. The main course ravioli I took both lobster meat as well as langostino tails (both were coarsely chopped) and sauteed them in a white wine/ olive oil blend along with some rosemary and pepper until slightly browned. This mixture was then cooled to room temperature at which point they were added to a bowl with mascarpone (at room temperature) and mixed thoroughly. The dough was then formed and cut into strips which were subsequently stuffed with either of the two fillings. Though not pictured, the original batch I had also utilized a beet (cooked in the oven until soft) and used it to dye one of the doughs. It came out an off shade red and marbleized which looked very nice alongside the plain dough. For a sauce I kept it simple. I just took some Extra-Virgin infused with black truffle, a little bit of romano cheese and some cracked peppercorn, heated in a skillet, poured over the top.