Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beautiful Day For a Marathon

A cooking marathon that is !! What better to do on a Sunday than crank up the oven, break out the utensils and throw together something really delicious ? That is exactly what I did today. After grocery shopping the other day and got the inspiration to make some homemade ravioli I stocked up on loads of ingredients, not quite sure what kind I wanted to make. My indecisiveness gave way to a day long cooking event.

On the menu tonight: Seafood Tortellini with Brown Butter and Sage. Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta Ravioli with red sauce. Spicy Pork Ravioli also with red sauce. And, Pumpkin and Winter Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter and Sage.

Before I got started, I assembled my ingredients. I had an acorn squash from my garden and a pie pumpkin.

Fresh baby spinach, mushrooms that I had dehydrated a while back (got them soaking), onions, garlic, herbs, cheeses. Great big shrimp, flaked crab meat (never never EVER use that fake stuff- you're not fooling anyone) and langostinos. I had a couple slices leftover roast pork and an idea. And of course, the easiest way to make ravioli in the world- wonton wrappers.

I got the pork started, simmering slowly to get it nice and tender and flavorful.

Cut up the pumpkin and squash and got that roasting.

Shredded some mozzarella. Chopped about 5 cloves of garlic, chopped an onion. Chopped the baby spinach and mushrooms. Chopped the shrimp and langostinos, mixed with the crab and set aside.

Once everything was cooked, shredded, mashed, seasoned and assembled, I had a ravioli assembly line. Ready for the recipes ?

Seafood Tortellini (or ravioli)

1/2 package small wonton wrappers (20)
1/2 cup flaked crab meat (canned is ok but NO FAKE CRAB)
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked shrimp
1/2 cup finely chopped langostino tails
1/4 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
big pinch chives
2-3 tb white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese FINELY shredded
couple teaspoons beaten egg (beat one egg and use a little for each filling)
salt and pepper

Combine seafood and set aside. In small skillet melt about a TB butter and one TB olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until softened but not brown. Add wine. Cook until wine is mostly evaporated. Mix into seafood along with chives and all cheeses. Stir in beaten egg. Salt and pepper. To assemble, place one wonton skin on dry cutting board. Moisten all edges. Place a tsp filling in center, fold over to make a triangle.

To make tortellini, moisten two corners and fold them together to look like an envelope. Set aside on waxed paper lined baking sheet (paper towels may stick so I don't recommend them). When ready to cook, add to boiling salted water and cook 3-4 minutes or until cooked thru, drain well. Drizzle with Brown Butter with Sage and serve. You can freeze uncooked ravioli/tortellini. Cook from frozen 4-5 minutes. I had extra filing so I froze it to use for stuffed mushrooms later.

Spicy Pork Ravioli

1/4 lb pork roast (I used a couple slices leftover, you can use fresh if you have it)
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tb finely minced onion
pinch crushed red pepper or other hot pepper (I used one fresh aji limon chile)
small palmful sun dried tomatoes or TB tomato paste
1/2 package wonton wrappers

Combine all ingredients (except wonton wrappers)  in small saucepan. Cover and simmer 1-2 hours until meat is very tender. Remove meat and let cool. Continue cooking sauce until it is reduced. Shred meat and add just enouh sauce to barely moisten it (meat should still be fairly dry). Use cooled meat to fill wonton wrappers. Set aside on waxed paper lined pan. Cook in boiling water 3-4 minutes until pasta is done and meat is hot throughout. Drain and serve with red sauce if desired. These can also be frozen uncooked and later cooked from frozen.

Spinach, Mushroom and Cheese Ravioli

1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, stems removed
1/2 sliced fresh mushrooms
1 clove garlic, mined
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
couple tsp beaten egg
salt and pepper
20 wonton skins

Saute onion and garlic in 1 TB butter and 1 TB olive oil until softened but not brown. Finely mince mushrooms, add to skillet. When mushrooms are browned, add wine and reduce. Add spinach, cook until wilted. Set aside to cool slightly, then add to cheeses and egg. Fill ravioli and set aside. Cook the same as the seafood ravioli above. These can also be frozen, and any leftover filling can be used for stuffed mushrooms too. Drain and serve as desired- we used red sauce, alfredo would be good also.

Pumpkin Ravioli

1 small pie pumpkin
1 small winter squash- acorn, butternut, whatever you like (I used acorn)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch mace
pinch cinnamon
pinch chili powder
salt and pepper
couple tsp beaten egg
20 wonton skins

Cut pumpkin and squash into quarters. Remove seeds. Place on baking sheet, tent loosley with foil and roast at 350 degrees an hour or until very tender. Meanwhile, in small skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter and oil as above until onion is starting to caramelize. Scoop pumpkin and squash into bowl. Add onion and garlic and seasonings. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in ricotta cheese and egg. Fill ravioli as desired and cook the same as above. Drain and serve with Brown Butter with Sage. If you'd like a little texture boost, toast some chopped almonds and sprinkle on the finished dish.

Brown Butter with Sage

1 stick unsalted BUTTER (you absolutely CANNOT substitute margarine !!!)
1 tsp crushed dried sage leaves or 3 tsp minced fresh
dash salt and pepper

Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Cook and stir until butter foams and begins to brown. Remove from heat and add sage, salt and pepper. Serve.

So there you have it !! My Sunday in the kitchen. Now......a mountain of dishes awaits me.......

No comments:

Post a Comment