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Monday, January 3, 2011

BellinieBits - Egg Yolk Ravioli


҉  BellinieBits Season Finale  ҉  
Egg Yolk Ravioli

Sometimes I get some pretty clever ideas just by watching cooking shows. This particular one came from a recent episode of Iron Chef America, where the challenger made a dish using egg yolks inside ravioli. Of course, you don’t get recipes while watching the show, so you basically just come away with ideas. I took the idea and tried to create a flavor combination that I like. So, this is what I came up with, and as it was my first attempt, I can tell you now what I’d do differently. Rather than making a cream sauce, I think the soft egg yolk inside creates its own sauce! I’ll give you the recipe for what I did, but honestly, I think it was simply too rich. A light sprinkling of a typical gremolata, along with the crumbled bacon and chopped cherry tomatoes if you like, would do quite nicely! So if you get to feeling adventurous in the kitchen anytime soon, and love eggs as much as I do, TRY THIS!

Homemade Pasta (from episode 15 – Shrimp Ravioli √° la Sydney):
3 cups all purpose flour
5 egg yolks
½ tsp salt
½ cup water, give or take a bit…

Mix flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat the egg yolks and water in a small bowl separately and then add to the flour mixture. Mix dough with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add more water (1 tablespoon at a time) and if the dough is too wet, add flour (1 tablespoon at a time). Once you have developed a nice firm but sticky dough – continue to knead for about 10 minutes. Then, to let the proteins relax a bit to make rolling easier, let dough sit (covered) for about 20 minutes. 
Divide dough into 5 equal pieces. On a floured board, roll out each piece with a rolling pin, using flour to prevent sticking, and flipping until you have reached a thin enough dough to see your hand through. Lay each sheet on top of parchment paper, and stack as you complete each new sheet. If you are not going to use dough right away, you can refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to one month. Roll dough up in parchment paper and cover well in plastic prior to storing. If you plan on using it immediately, cut the dough into squares or circles with a glass or pasty cutout. Fill pieces with your choice of filling and wet edges with a little water before sealing with a fork. Once filled, you can freeze on a cookie sheet until firm before transferring to container, or you can boil right away. Boiling fresh takes about 5-7 minutes, and from frozen can take up to 10 minutes.

Filling:
1 9oz block of frozen spinach, thawed
6oz cheddar cheese (sharp is best)
Salt to taste
12 egg yolks

Blend spinach, cheese, and salt in food processor until a pesto style paste forms. Pack into piping bag (or zip top plastic bag with a small corner cut off the bottom) and pipe into small circles onto pasta sheets. Leave enough room in the center of each circle to place egg yolk. CAREFULLY place a single egg yolk into the center of each spinach circle. Wet around the circles with water and carefully place top pasta sheet over the filling, leaving enough room to secure edges with a fork.  Slip each ravioli into boiling salted water, and cook for up to 5-7 minutes (mine were a little too runny still after 3 minutes).
Top with sauce, or whatever sounds good to you!

Bacon Cream Sauce:
4 slices bacon, chopped
 - Crisp in medium-high heat saut√© pan. Strain out bacon pieces and drain on paper towel, leaving bacon fat in pan to make a roux. Add 2 – 3 TBSP flour to pan and whisk until a soft dough forms. Add milk (or half and half, fat free if you like)…about ¾ - 1 cup total. Let simmer and thicken. Add seasonings like pepper, and salt even though I said not to! It needed it. I ended up adding the bacon and about ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes to the sauce as well, and that helped make it more flavorful too. Add a spoonful of sauce over cooked ravioli, and then sprinkle with more tomatoes and fresh chopped chives, and hopefully you’ll ENJOY!

Happy cooking from BellinieBits!