Ever get the urge to just do something different, to shake up the usual and take a chance? I did in a big way this weekend. I'd been reading a Scottish magazine I'd brought home from a recent trip, and in it was a restaurant review complete with a recipe for smoked salmon ravioli. Okay, so I've never been a fan of salmon, even when I was eating meat, and certainly not now. But I thought about the smoked part. Smoked. Hmmm. Then I got out the bowls, the ingredients, and got to work.
My pasta dough was laughably thick - how can any Italian women be heavy? You need muscles and stamina to roll that dough wafer thin. So I rolled out what I could muster of the dough I'd concocted (I won't even bore you with it as I wasn't impressed with the results) and went for an easy stand-by: wonton wrappers. Oh, if I'd started with them, I'd have made dozens of raviolis!
Here's what I did to fill them:
Smoked Gouda and Spinach Ravioli
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped and steamed
1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp. fresh chives, snipped
zest from 1/2 lemon
Wonton wrappers (large square ones)
Cut wonton wrappers into fourths. Place on a floured cutting board to keep them from sticking to everything in sight.
In a bowl, add all ingredients, adding steamed spinach last as it'll make everything stick together if it's hot. Place a smidgen of this (I used about 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp.) mixture onto one wonton square. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush an empty wonton square, then place it wet-side-down onto the filling one. Carefully press all sides together well. If you have a crimping tool, this could be your chance to use it!
Cook for about 4 minutes in boiling water. Remove and serve with the following sauce:
Corn and Citrus Sauces
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbl. chopped leek
1 Tbl. whisky (I used Jack Daniels)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup passion fruit juice (I used Goya)
1 Tbl. ground cardamom
1/4 cup frozen corn
Add corn, broth, leek to saucepan and boil until it reduces to half. Blend in a blender (or use an immersable blender - safer). Press through sieve and remove corn bits. Return to pot. Add whisky and bring to boil. Add cream, again bringing to a boil, stirring constantly until it thickens a little (it may still be quite liquid - that's okay). Add skim milk and remove from stove.
In another pan, add passion fruit juice and cardamom. I also added a little more corn (about 1/4 cup) to maintain a consistent flavor between the sauces. Heat until the cardamom has melded with the corn and passion fruit. If you want, sieve this. If you prefer keeping the corn, by all means.
Place ravioli on your plate. Froth up your cream mixture using a milk frother (I use a little whisk). Pour about 2 Tbls. on your ravioli, and add the citrus sauce (about 1 Tbl.) on top of that. I don't mix them as I like to control how much citrus "bite" I get out of the sauce. My husband, however, mixed them together and loved every minute of it.
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