Sunday, April 25, 2010

Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli

Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_39

I was trying to think of some way to use up some leftover ricotta and decided to make egg yolk ravioli again. I adapted the filling from this delicious days days post.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_19

And I’ve been looking forward to using the new ravioli mold my husband got for me.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_02

Giant sage leaves (my herbs love their EarthBoxes), oregano, a little thyme, Parmigianino Reggiano, ricotta, nutmeg, extra virgin olive oil, pepper & salt for the filling.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_03

I love this attachment for the microplane grater.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_07

And this mini chopper my mother found for me at a garage sale.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_08

It works well when you need herbs very finely and evenly chopped.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_11

Ready to mix all the filling ingredients together.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_13

I put this in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld while I made the pasta dough.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_01

While surfing for egg yolk ravioli variations, I found a great post on total food processor pasta dough (no kneading) and was anxious to try it. The instructions may look overwhelming, but the actual method is easy and the detailed instructions are to help insure success and troubleshoot any problems. I found a similar post here – the instructions aren’t as detailed, but there are some helpful photos of the stages involved to show you what to expect.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_15


Either the instructions were very good, or I’m very lucky. The dough was wonderful to work with on my first attempt. Not too sticky, not too dry.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_20

No cracks, easy to handle with minimal flour.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_25

Unfortunately, I put in a little too much of the filling trying to make a nice nest for the yolks. I tore the back, right “sling” while pushing the filling low enough to leave room for the yolk and the yolk slipped out the side.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_28

I managed to retrieve the yolk from the counter by moistening the spoonula and my fingers with egg white and easing the yolk up onto the spoonula. As the ravioli with the yolks are so rich, I decided to only use eight. I put a sprinkle of P-R on each yolk to protect it while adding the top layer of dough. I used a pastry brush to paint some reserved egg white beaten with a bit of water to seal the dough.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_29

I was afraid to push too hard with the rolling pin and risk disrupting the yolks so I sealed the dough by pressing along the seams and cutting them apart with a knife run along the cutting ridges.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_36

One of the yolked raviola blew apart when I flipped the form over – hence the smeared yolk on the parchment paper. I also discarded the one the rescued yolk had escaped from. (It’s best to start this recipe with lots of extra eggs.)


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_30

I cut up some odd pieces of my pancetta-style bacon into near-lardons.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_33

While cooking the bacon I made beurre noisette.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_34

Then I fried some small sage leaves in the bacon fat for garnish.


Egg & Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_38

Served with the beurre noisette, bacon, fried sage and a sprinkle of P-R. I wish I had thought to cut into one  and photograph it before my husband and I ate all of them. Oh well, it looked a lot like my first egg yolk ravioli:

Egg Yolk Ravioli-02152009_23


I had enough filling and pasta left over to use the other, smaller form that my husband also got for me.


Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_02

No yolks this time. I will freeze these for another day.


Herb Ricotta Ravioli-20100424_03

I love the little rolling pin that came with this form.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chopped Liver

Chopped Chicken Liver 04022010_12

When I was in college, I was invited to a Jewish friend’s home for dinner.  His mother had made chopped liver for an appetizer.  It was a revelation – I had to tear myself away to save room for dinner.  I’ve been thinking of trying to recreate it for nearly 30 years and thanks to the Chicken & Dumplings I made recently, I actually had some schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) in the refrigerator!  I’m so glad I saved it.  I found what sounded like a good recipe from Ina Garten (Chopped Liver) on foodnetwork.


Chopped Chicken Liver 04022010_01

Schmaltz, onions, trimmed chicken livers.


Chopped Chicken Liver 04022010_02

Madeira and thyme.


Chopped Chicken Liver 04022010_04

Sautéing the livers in chicken fat!


Chopped Chicken Liver 04022010_03

The livers with the onions sautéed in chicken fat!


Chopped Chicken Liver 04022010_10

Added the Kosher salt, pepper, cayenne, and 4 hard-cooked organic free-range eggs (plus – not shown – more chicken fat!).  I wish I’d had the proper bowl and chopper to coarse chop the mixture as it’s hard not to over-do it in the food processor.


I wanted to give the chopped liver every chance to live up to my memory of it so I made some seeded rye bread (from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) to serve it on.


Rye Bread 04042010_04

Free-form loaf.


Rye Bread 04042010_06

And Dutch Oven-method boule in the oven after 15 minutes with the lid on to steam.


Rye Bread 04042010_10



Rye Bread 04052010_13

I love the smell of caraway seeds.


Chopped Chicken Liver 04052010_16

It was every bit as good as I remembered. Yes, with all that cholesterol, it may be “artery putty”; but as a very rare treat I think it’s worth it.

Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings-20100306_12

I saw this on America’s Test Kitchen (Chicken and Dumplings). I had the ingredients for Brown Poultry Stock in the freezer and thought it would be nice to make homemade stock to use in it instead of store-bought chicken stock.


Chicken & Dumplings-20100306_06

Golden-browned chicken thighs.


Chicken & Dumplings-20100306_03

Parsley, thyme, onions, celery, and carrots. (I forgot to photograph the homemade stock, sherry, milk and bay leaves and the mise en place for the dumplings – I was getting really hungry about now).


Chicken & Dumplings-20100306_08

Sweating the mirepoix.


Chicken & Dumplings-20100306_10

Simmering the chicken.


I added some finely chopped parsley to the dumpling dough. I don’t have a photo of the plating; it smelled so wonderful, my husband and I devoured it before I thought to take a picture.

Brown Poultry Stock

Chicken Stock 04112010_02

I adapted this from Jacques Pépin’s Fast Food My Way, Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio, and Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition. It’s a great way to use the bones from a few rotisserie chickens.


Chicken Stock-20100306_01

Celery, carrots, and some leek tops and corn cobs I had saved in the freezer.


Chicken Stock-20100306_04

A few rotisserie chicken carcasses, a duck carcass, some turkey and duck “bits” (neck, gizzards).


Chicken Stock-20100306_06

Part way through roasting at 425 degrees F for about an hour. You don’t even need to peel the onions.


Chicken Stock-20100306_07

Bouquet garni of celery tops, parsley, thyme and bay leaves; plus a few peppercorns thrown in the pot.


Chicken Stock-20100306_09

Extracting the flavors with a bare simmer.


I strained it through a chinoise, refrigerated it, skimmed off the fat and froze what was left after reserving 4 1/2 cups to make Chicken & Dumplings.  I was able to freeze two quart jars, four pint jars and two ice cube trays (nice for roughly 2 tablespoons worth to add to sauces) of stock for very little effort.