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    Archive for August, 2012

    Easy Squash Ravioli with Sage/Cream Sauce

    First in our Holiday Series. You can use the search box on this site to find other Holiday recipes.

    Making a great squash ravioli can be a daunting task. Making homemade pasta isn’t in most peoples repetoire so here is a simple way to enjoy the great taste of homemade without the hassle.

    What makes this so easy you may ask, simple we used won ton wrappers instead of homemade pasta. Won Ton wrappers after all are a flour based product not unlike Italian pasta just a tad thinner. The only thing you need to worry about is keeping them covered when using so they don’t dry out, simply put a damp towel over the exposed wrappers then when finished wrap the unused portion in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

    At the bottom of this recipe see a couple of alternative seasoning options for a totally different ravioli.

    NB: The ingredients list do not show quantities as the portions will depend on the size of the squash you are using.

    For the filing:

    • Wonton Wrappers
    • One medium sized Butternut squash
    • Ricotta Cheese — enough to equal ⅓ the volume of squash.
    • Olive Oil
    • Fresh Nutmeg
    • Sea Salt/Pepper
    • Pecan Pieces

    For the sauce:

    • Heavy Cream
    • Fresh Sage — chiffonade
    • Sea Salt/Pepper
    • Fresh Nutmeg

    A medium sized squash should produce 3 dozen ravioli.

    Using a very heavy knife cut off a small slice on the round bottom of the squash. Place the squash upright on a board and carefully cut it in half down the middle, lengthwise. Butternut squash has a thick skin so it might take a little muscle. With a spoon scoop out all of the seeds, coat lightly with olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Place the squash in a preheated 350° oven and bake until it is very soft, the time needed will depend on the size of your squash. While the squash is baking place ricotta cheese in a strainer and place over a bowl to remove excess liquid. When the squash is fully baked remove from the oven and let cool completely.

    In a bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients add the squash, the cheese, ¼ cup pecan pieces, Fresh Ground nutmeg (use sparingly so as not to overpower the squash) about ¼ tsp. Mix well. On a flat surface place two rows of wonton wrappers, place one tablespoon of the squash mixture in the middle of each wrapper in the first row, with a brush or your finger coat all of the edges with water. Take a wrapper from the second row and place over filling pressing down around the filing to eliminate any air pockets. Continue with remaining wrappers and filling.

    At this stage you can either cook the ravioli and add to the sauce or place on a cookie sheet, freeze for future use.

    In a stock pot large enough to hold the ravioli, boil well salted water, add the ravioli and cook until they float. In a sauté pan large enough to hold all of the ravioli place heavy cream and heat until it simmers slightly, add a dash or two of fresh ground nutmeg, the sage and continue to cook until the sauce starts to thicken. Once the sauce thickens add the cooked ravioli spooning the sauce over each.

    Alternative herbs and seasonings.

    • Replace the nutmeg in the mixture with fresh ground ginger.
    • Replace the nutmeg and pecan pieces with crushed Amaretti Cookies.
    • Replace the nutmeg and pecan pieces with curry powder

    Buffalo Chicken Clubs

    Everyone has heard about Buffalo Wings, some like them hot some not so much. I like the taste yet always seem to want more of those tiny chicken pieces. I took the time tested favorite and made them a tad more satisfying.

    You will need:

    • Chicken Legs &#151 3/serving
    • Flour &#151 enough to coat legs
    • Peanut Oil &#151 enough to have &#188″ coating in sauté pan
    • Frank’s Hot Sauce &#151 approximately &#188 cup
    • Unsalted Butter &#151 &#8531 cup

    This first step isn’t mandatory however it gives the chicken legs a nice appearance and reduces the mess left on your guests fingers so take the time here you won’t regret it.

    With a sharp knife “French” the legs. This is done by making a cut all around the bone of the leg starting at a point just below the meat. Cut all the way through the skin and fat down to the bone then scrape everything off the bone leaving a club like leg with bare bone below. There will be some sinew that might be hard to remove but don’t worry it is easily pulled off once the chicken is cooked.

    Lightly dredge chicken in flour patting off any excess. In a sauté pan large enough to hold all pieces cook until legs have a nice golden crust, remove from pan, place on an oven proof pan and finish cooking in oven at 350&#176 F. In the interim put butter in a sauce pan and cook just until all the butter is melted, do not let it brown. Add hot sauce whisking vigorously to combine and emulsify. Put chicken in a bowl large enough to hold all of the pieces, add hot sauce mixture and toss or stir until well coated. Serve immediately.

    Leg before frenching.

    Frenched Leg

    Leg after protein is pushed up the bone to form a club.

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