Sunday, April 10, 2016

Recipe Testing Extravaganza

I've been working on my book of days for the kitchen witch, and that means lots of brainstorming and cooking/testing recipes. It's great fun when you have the time and the money! I don't always have both of those things together, though, so this weekend has been kind of special.

I made three recipes this weekend. That isn't many, considering how many more I have left to do, but it's progress. 

I even took photos! They're crappy, but I have some. Wanna see? 

The star of the show this weekend was Beet Ravioli. 

Beets are great for you, plus they are beautiful and sweet and earthy and...  I'm drooling on my keyboard thinking about all that tender pasta surrounding creamy golden filling and ohshitthereIgoagain!

Let's just talk about the recipe for now, shall we? We can do all the correspondences later, gators. 

The first thing I did was trim two golden beets, wrap them in foil, and roast them at 425 for an hour. After they were cooled, I peeled and quartered them. 

I also roasted a tiny head of garlic at 375 for about 15 minutes and let that cool. 

The main filling ingredients are the roasted beets, the roasted garlic, some ricotta, and some goat cheese. There are some herbs involved, too, but they were feeling camera shy. 

They look fine in the food processor, though. This is my teensy Ninja chopper. I lurve it. 

Oh, yeah, I'm lazy AF, so I used egg roll wrappers instead of making pasta. I don't exactly have the counter space for it, and my pasta roller has only ever been used for polymer clay. Not too food-friendly. 

So, grab some wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers and cut them in half like I did. 

The filling blends up nice and creamy: 

Now, I don't know about you, but I have a kitchen elf. His name is Martin and he's from Australia, and I put him to work filling and folding the ravioli. 

He kind of had his own system for folding them, but it mostly worked out: 

This was batch number 2 because the first one mysteriously disappeared last night. Hmm... We ran out of wrappers for this batch, though, and of course the store across the road was out of them. Now I have a bit of extra filling in the fridge, waiting on me to bring home a fresh pack of wrappers from a different store tomorrow. 

There you have it - the reason I don't photograph recipes very often! Oh, and a recipe. 

Beet Ravioli 

2 golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1 small, small head of garlic
2 oz. goat cheese
2-3 Tablespoons ricotta
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1 Tablespoon fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste

pack of wonton wrappers

Wrap the beets in foil and roast for an hour at 425 F. Allow to cool, and then peel. Give them a rough chop so they fit in the food processor. 

Take your garlic and cut off the top. Drizzle some olive oil over the exposed cloves, wrap the head in foil, and roast at 375 until cloves are soft. This took me about 15 minutes because my garlic was so tiny, but a bigger head of garlic may take 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool. 

Note: The amount of garlic you will actually use is about 4-6 cloves, depending on size. I'll also say it depends on your love of garlic. I used the entire head, but it was the size of a ping pong ball. 

Put the beets, goat cheese, ricotta, herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic in your food processor and process until smooth. 

Place your wrappers on a lightly floured surface. Lay down one square and put about a teaspoon of filling in the middle. Dip a finger in some water and run it around the edge. Put another wrapper on top and press out all the air bubbles. My kitchen elf folded the edges again and crimped everything with a fork, but do whatever fill-and-fold method works for you. 

Boil a beeeeeg pot of water and cook them 4 at a time for about a minute. 

Sauce? I boiled my ravioli for a minute and then plopped the dumplings into a skillet of butter with lemon zest in it and fried them for less than a minute on each side, just until they began to color slightly.

There you have it. An actual recipe with actual photos!