Looking for a creative ravioli filling
I make ravioli fairly frequently and usually do butternut squash ravioli and wild mushroom ravioli. Also tried cheese, pear/fennel/blue cheese, and chicken/pancetta with moderate success. Looking for some creative new ideas for fillings.
Mmmm... I've never made my own ravioli, but I'm just imagining the options here.
- pork and apricot in a mustard cream sauce
- pheasant and pistachio in a herbed butter sauce
- duck and porcini in a red wine demi-glace
- salmon and dill in a lemon-y white wine sauce
- sweet potato and swiss chard in a beurre blanc
- veal and portobello in an au jus-type sauce
- or you can do what Turks do and just fill them with parsley, onion, and ground beef, and rather than using a tomato based sauce, spoon some garlic yogurt over it. I love the stuff, but it may be an acquired taste. And just as a point of interest, Turkish ravioli are tiny (no bigger than your finger tips) and are called 'manti'.
Whatever you do, bon appetit!
A demi-glace sauce is essentially a broth that has been boiled down for HOURS until it's got a thick and rich consistency. You can pretty well put anything you like in a demi-glace.
So anyway, on medium-high heat, brown the bones of the duck until it has caramelized. Set aside the bones on a plate and add some onions, garlic, carrots, celery, etc., to the pot and sautee until the onion caramelizes. Add the water you used to soak the mushrooms in to deglaze the pan, and add whatever herbs or flavourings you wish (I love whole sprigs of thyme for smokiness, cranberries or prunes for some fruity flavours). Bring this to a boil before adding the bones back in (don't waste the juices that accumlate on the plate!) and add enough water to cover the contents of the pot. Bring to boil and then turn heat down to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until the broth has been reduced by 3/4. Strain the broth to remove bones, and the remnants of whatever else you put into the broth. Press on the remnants to squeeze out all the liquid from them. Put the broth into the fridge for a few hours to bring all the fats to the top and discard the fat. Return to stovetop, add dry red wine (1 unit of broth to 1 unit of red wine), and continue simmering until reduced by 3/4 or until it can evenly coat the back of a spoon. And you're done... like, 20 hours later! The bonus is that you can freeze leftover demi-glace for use later on, so make a big batch once every few months or so you'll have demi-glace to last you for a bit.
OR, I believe upscale super markets have started carrying already prepared demi-glace. Unsure of how they compare, as I haven't tried any of them. But definitely a time saver. :)
I love this Artichoke heart and brin d'amour ravioli with three pepper sauce that was published in Gourmet in the early 90s. I make it periodically, and it's fine to use all goat cheese if you can't find the brin d'amour. I always make it with wonton wrappers as per the recipe because I've never been brave enough to make my own ravioli dough. (But am leaning towards breaking down and buying a hand cranked pasta maker).
I did the won ton wrapper thing this weekend. FOr the first few, I didn't realize I wasn't separating them sufficiently...had a few extra chewy ones ;-)
I filled them with 1/2 farmers cheese and 1/2 Purple Haze goat cheese, flavored w/ orange zest and finely chopped walnuts and a bit of rosemary and thyme (and wet down slightly w/ a little OJ and milk). I thought the filling was great and had a hard time not eating it all myself with a spoon while filling the damned things (I think pasta dough might be easier so you don't have to do them one at a time). But, my husband made a face and said "did you put NUTS in here?" so who knows?
Note also that my choice of cheeses made them reasonably low fat.
Minced shrimp or lobster meat with ricotta or cream cheese, a little butter, parmesan and parsley.
A kind of ratatouille filling of mashed eggplant, tomato, onion, green bell pepper and parmesan... all veggies precooked.
Also interesting is a lumpy mashed potato filling mixed with butter, sour cream, chives, and chopped bacon.