Monday, October 11, 2010

Food, well, by us

Our Sunday Thanksgiving dinner was put on hold until today to do a squash ravioli with brown butter and sage sauce and salad with pomegranate, goat cheese and pork belly confit (lots left over from last week).

Jason Laurin, mentor chef and owner of Essence Catering, wisely left me with enough squash from the recipe challenge to repeat the butternut squash ravioli – a pasta dish.

Enter my forte … my domain

So with the free range turkey, we bought at Aubrey Meats in the ByWard Market, brining for an extra 24 hours, fresh pasta and salad was now on the menu.

Making pasta isn’t difficult, but finding the right recipe is key – and it took a long time to figure that part out. The Jamie Oliver method is the easiest and most flexible that has always produced nice light dough: eggs for as much as you want to make, splash of olive oil, pinch of kosher salt and white flour.

Combine these ingredients in a food mixer until granular yet holds together when pinched. Dump on the counter and work lightly to form into a ball. The dough doesn’t need to rest, but it works better if it sits in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Separate the dough into reasonably workable sizes. Pass through your KitchenAid pasta attachment (get one) until thickness (or thinness) “5”.

Before the pasta making step, the butternut squash was chopped in small cubes, sautéed in butter with fresh thyme, kosher salt, ground pepper, honey … and friggin’ bacon.

The addition of bacon was my stupid move of the day. Thinking that bacon would add nice flavor to the squash, it was added to the squash while it was cooking. Well, it didn’t crisp up – duh.

Once the squash was tender enough, it was taken out. The bacon was left in the pan to crisp up with more Maplewood bacon, for good measure. As the two bacons combined in the squash grit, a quarter cup of white wine was used to de-glaze the pan.

The squash was returned to this mix, and left to cool until putting it through a mix food mixer for the ravioli filling.

The ravioli sauce was a Dianna-combination of browned butter with homemade chicken stock sauce, topped with sautéed sliver almonds and fresh sage.

The ravioli and salad were absolutely delicious and, I humbly believe, could be served in any restaurant we enjoy so much.

Today, we’re preparing the turkey and a never-made turkey stuffing with cranberries ravioli.

1 comment:

  1. Great ravioli.
    I'm Italian, I'm used to them and to some regional adaptation as Cjalsons.
    In Russia there're pierogi.

    Good work anyway.