October 17, 2012

Lamb Sausage Ravioli with Peas and Mint

Recipe from Sur la Table cooking class. Lamb and mint are a classic flavor combination. It is a fresh, yet rich flavor.
Yield: 4 servings

  • ½ Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ pound shelled sweet peas, frozen
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ pound spicy lamb sausage, cut into ½ inch chunks (*if lamb is difficult to find, you can substitute Cajun Pork Sausage)
  • 1 recipe Basic Pasta Dough* (click here for the recipe and scroll toward the bottom) 
  • 1 recipe Basic Tomato Sauce* (click here for the recipe and scroll toward the bottom)
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. In 2 medium sized bowls, prepare ice baths and set aside.
  2. Submerge the peas into the boiling water and cook until the peas are bright green and tender (about 1-2 minutes). Remove the peas with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice bath to cool. Once the peas have cooled, remove them from the ice bath and allow them to dry on a plate lined with paper towels.
  3. Using the same water, blanch the mint leaves for 10-15 seconds and transfer immediately to an ice bath. Drain well.
  4. In a food processor bowl, combine the peas, mint, half cup of Parmesan cheese, and heavy cream. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and pulse to form a paste.
DIRECTIONS: To Make Ravioli
  1. Roll out the Basic Pasta Dough to desired thickness. Cut the pasta sheets into 3-inch squares. Place 1 Tbsp. of the pea filling on each square and fold over to form rectangles. Continue filling and shaping until all the pasta and filling are used. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the tomato sauce to a boil. Add the sausage and reduce heat to a simmer; cook until the sausage is tender (about 45 minutes), skimming off the fat as it is rendered from the meat. Remove sauce from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth. Transfer to a large skillet, taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ravioli until al dente and the filling is cooked through (about 3-4 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove the ravioli from the pot and transfer to the skillet with sauce; toss gently over high heat for 1 minute.
To Serve:
  1. Divide the ravioli between the warm serving bowls. Grate the Parmesan cheese over the ravioli and serve immediately. Enjoy :)


Prawn Ravioli with Lemon-Beurre Blanc

Recipe from Sur la Table cooking class. Beurre-Blanc is a literal translation for "white butter"

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 ripe tomato, blanched and finely chopped
  • 20 prawns, deveined
  • 1 recipe Basic Pasta Dough* (click here for the recipe and scroll toward the bottom)
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
  • 20 sprigs of cilantro
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
*4 basil leaves cut into fine strips

DIRECTIONS: Preparing Tomatoes for Blanching
  1. Using a knife, mark a tomato with a cross and remove the stem in a circular motion. Place tomato in boiling water for 30-40 seconds or until tomato skin is starting to pull away from the tomato flesh, and place in an ice water bath to stop cooking process. When the tomato is cool, peel away the skin. Cut tomato petals in desired shape diamonds, half-inch dice, or fine strips; set aside.
DIRECTIONS: To Prepare Ravioli
  1. Devein the shrimp, remove the tails, and set aside in the refrigerator. Roll the fresh pasta dough to the thinnest setting, and cut into 3½ inch-by-3½ inch square shapes. Dust a work surface with rice flour, which will absorb the water from the shrimp and adds a nutty flavor.
  2. Place one ravioli onto the dusted surface, add shrimp into the middle of the square. In the middle of the shrimp, add the chopped ginger and then 1 cilantro leaf onto the top.
  3. Using a small bowl of cold water and a silicone pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of ravioli with water, working inwards to the edges of the shrimp. Place another ravioli square directly over the top of the first ravioli square. Using your hands in a cup motion around the shrimp, gently move you hands outwards to the edges of the ravioli square to push out any air bubbles and to seal the ravioli. Set the ravioli aside, covered in the refrigerator, until you are ready to cook.
DIRECTIONS: To Make Beurre-Blanc
  1. Place a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat on a stove with the white wine, chopped shallots, chopped garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns; bring to a boil. Allow to reduce ¾  cup of liquid remains (about 7 minutes).
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add whipping cream. Allow to reduce until 1 cup remains (about 6 minutes).
  3. Using a fine-mesh strainer, over a small saucepan strain the sauce, pressing onto the solids to extract all flavors. Place the saucepan over a low heat and slowly add the butter, 1 Tbsp. at a time, whisking until melted before adding more butter.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan to keep warm until you are ready to serve.
DIRECTIONS: To Cook the Ravioli
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ravioli until al dente and the filling is cooked through (about 4-5 minutes). Place a clean cloth on a plate and using a slotted spoon over the plate, remove the pasta from the boiling water and transfer into the serving bowl. The clothed plate will catch the excess water from the ravioli and stop it from seeping into the sauce.
To Serve:
  1. Arrange the ravioli in the pasta bowl and spoon over the lemon beurre-blanc. Garnish with cut tomatoes and basil. Serve immediately and enjoy :)

Classic Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with Tomato Sauce

Recipe from Sur la Table cooking class. In Italy, this ravioli dish is commonly served on Christmas Eve. You can choose to spice up the tomato sauce with the addition of meats, such as Pancetta or Salami, or change the sauce to a brown-butter sauce.

Yield: 4 servings

  • 5 oz. Fresh Spinach
  • Kosher Salt
  • 2 oz. Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. Basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg, freshly grated (*this is important, but don't overdue)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
~1 recipe Basic Tomato Sauce (below)
~1 recipe Basic Pasta Dough

DIRECTIONS: To Make Ravioli Filling:
  1. In a pot of boiling water, cook the spinach with salt until tender (about 2 minutes). Remove the spinach from the boiling water and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Squeeze out excess water and roughly chop.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine mozzarella, ricotta, basil, nutmeg, spinach, salt and pepper.
  3. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
DIRECTIONS: To Make the Ravioli:
  1. Roll out the ravioli to desired thickness. Lay one pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface and lightly brush with water.
  2. Place 2 tsp. of filling in the upper left-hand corner of the sheet, and repeat with 3 more portions, forming a grid of 4, each portion about an inch form the edge of the sheet and spaced about two inches apart from each other.
  3. Lay another sheet of pasta on top of the filling portions, and press down around the filling to press out any air and push the sheets together.
  4. Using a crimped pasta cutter or knife, trim the border of the dough and then cut a cross in between the mounds to create 4 ravioli. Repeat with the remaining pasta sheets and filling.
DIRECTIONS: To Cook Ravioli:
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook until al dente and the filling is heated through (about 4 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove the pasta from the water and transfer to serving bowls.
  2. Spoon the tomato sauce over the top of each and serve.

Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe:

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-oz.) can plum tomatoes, drained and juiced reserved
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the EVOO. When the oil is warm add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft (about 7 minutes).
  2. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes into the pan and cook until slightly dry (about 5 minutes). Add the reserved tomato juice, basil, sugar, salt and pepper.
  3. Increase the heat to high and cook until the sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Stir in ¾ cup water and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thick. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and sugar.
~Can also add whatever you would like to the sauce- thyme, garlic, tomato paste, wine, etc.

Basic Pasta Dough

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2½ cups (12 oz.) all-purpose flour or "00" flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 Tbsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. EVOO (optional)
  1. Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl (or food processor) and whisk to combine. Make a "well" in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs and oil. Using your fingers, blend the eggs into the flour mixture, stirring the flour in from the sides of the well and working outwards. When the pasta dough is thoroughly mixed, turn it out on a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it is smooth and flexible but not sticky, adding small amounts of flour as needed (about 5-10 minutes). Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Cover in plastic wrap and allow dough to rest for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour at room temperature.
  2. To roll dough, secure a pasta machine to the edge of a long countertop. Using a bench scraper, cut dough into thirds. Keep extra dough covered in plastic while working with one piece. Flatten the piece of dough into a rough square that will fit inside the width of the pasta machine. Place the rollers on the widest setting and roll the dough through the machine, catching it with one hand as you roll it with the other. Take the dough and fold into thirds toward the center of the dough. Turn the dough so one open end faces the machine and roll it through the widest setting again. Fold, turn, and roll once more on the widest setting. Continue rolling the pasta through the machine without folding, adjusting the rollers to the next smallest setting each time (*flour each time too!) until the desired thickness is reached. (*A good ravioli should be at at #7.) If the pasta sheets become too large to handle, use a bench scraper and cut it into more manageable lengths and continue rolling until pasta is less than 1/16-inch thick.
  3. Place pasta sheets on a lightly floured work surface. Place tablespoons of filling in rows down the length of the pasta sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of space around each tablespoon of filling. Using a pastry brush, moisten the surface of the pasta around the filling with water. Place a similarly sized pasta sheet on top of the filling, gently pressing to seal the pasta around the filling without creating air pockets inside the ravioli. Cut the ravioli using a ravioli stamp. Place the ravioli on a rimmed baking sheet lightly coated with flour. Dust the tops of the ravioli with flour and cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel. The filled ravioli can be cooked immediately or covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 hour before cooking.
  4. To cook ravioli, heat large pot over high heat until boiling. Add enough kosher salt to season the water like sea water. While salted water boils vigorously, add ravioli and stir immediately to prevent them from sticking. Boil until ravioli are al dente (about 4-5 minutes). Reserve about a half cup of pasta water and drain ravioli through a colander. Alternately, remove the cooked ravioli with a slotted spoon and reheat water to boiling before cooking another batch.
  5. Toss hot ravioli with your sauce of choice, using the reserved pasta water to thin the mixture as needed.  Garnish as desired and serve immediately.
Whew that was a long post! Enjoy :)

October 12, 2012

A True California Surf & Turf Recipe (Sur la Table)

Happy Friday! Since I've been slacking on the cooking recently, I figure I should post some recipes and tips until my schedule slows down. Sur la Table just opened their first store in San Diego this week! I was just there 7 weeks ago for a work conference and fell in love with the city. Below is a Surf and Turf Recipe from their resident chef.

Surf: Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp Cocktail with Basil Dipping Sauce
Instead of poaching the shrimp, we've wrapped these in thin slices of prosciutto and roasted them in the oven. The bright green dipping sauce lends a festive look to the presentation of this updated appetizer.
The dipping sauce can be made up to 2 hours ahead.

Yield: 8 servings

  • 2 pounds extra-large shrimp (15 to 25 count), peeled and de-veined, tails on
  • 2 (4 ounce) packages thinly sliced prosciutto, each slice cut into 3 lengthwise strips
  • 2 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and place racks in the upper and lower thirds.
  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. To prepare shrimp, wrap each shrimp with one prosciutto strip. Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet.
  4. Transfer pans to preheated oven and roast shrimp, turning and rotating pans halfway through, until shrimp is opaque, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove pans from oven and allow shrimp to cool.
  6. To prepare basil dipping sauce, place basil, parsley, garlic, and oil in a food processor fitted with a metal blade or a blender and puree until smooth.
  7. Scrape basil mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Using a silicone spatula, fold in mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and drops of additional lemon juice as needed. Set aside.
  8. To serve, divide shrimp evenly between 8 large martini glasses or salad plates. Place about ¼ cup of sauce in the center of the glasses or plates. Serve immediately. _______________________________________________
Turf: Rosemary Rubbed Flank Steak with Romesco Sauce Romesco is classic sauce from Catalonia, Spain, that typically includes finely ground tomatoes, red bell peppers, onion, garlic, almonds and olive oil. We've given this version a twist by using walnuts in the sauce.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

  • 2 (1 pound each) flank steaks, trimmed
  • 7 tablespoons EVOO, divided
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes or until soft, seeded
  • 1 slice white bread, crust removed, bread cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ½ cup raw walnuts, divided
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 150°F and place a rack in the center. Set a wire cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven.
  2. Remove steaks from refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature.
  3. To prepare Romesco sauce, place 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic cloves to pan and toast until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon or spider and transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
  4. Repeat with roasted red pepper, chiles, bread cubes, and ¼ cup walnuts, toasting each individually and transferring to the processor. Add vinegar to the skillet and deglaze, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon.
  5. Pour vinegar mixture into processor and blend until smooth. Add remaining ¼ cup walnuts and raisins and process to a thick, smooth puree. Turn processor off, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Pat steaks very dry with paper towels. Rub steaks with 2 tablespoons olive oil to lightly coat all sides and season them generously with salt and pepper. Rub the steaks all over with chopped rosemary, pressing to adhere.
  7. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully place steaks in the skillet one at a time and sear until well browned and cooked to medium-rare, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once.
  8. Using tongs, transfer steaks to the wire rack in the oven to keep warm.
  9. To serve, place steaks on a cutting board with a well. Using a sharp slicing knife, cut steaks into ½-inch thick slices. Divide slices between 8 warmed dinner plates. Top with a generous dollop of Romesco sauce and serve immediately.