Saturday, February 11, 2006

Get High on Fungi

Porcini Mushrooms
Wild Boletus Mushrooms

"That's quite a variety of mushrooms you've got there," you might be saying out loud. "Yes, it is," I might be saying back, "but it's an exciting variety of textures, flavors, and dimensions of color that you'll have to try all in one dish!"
"How in the world do you plan on mixing all of these mushrooms in one dish?", you might be wondering. "Mushroom Raviolis with Mushroom Sauce," I might explain.
Now that we've concluded our mock conversation through this blog, allow me to also mention a few unfortunate facts about this dish (and my ineptitudes) in further detail.
Fact: I'm not very adept when it comes to making raviolis, seeing as I've never before braved the challenge. So it could only be expected that a foul up or culinary faux pas might occur. And it did. Out of every 6 raviolis that were placed in the pot of boiling water, only 4 or 5 actually survived without exploding. It was a travesty, and messy. The second batch I poked tiny holes in the top to allow air to seep through during the cooking. Same results. So I accepted the fact that in order to make these, a few good raviolis would have to be sacrificed for the cause. They were brave raviolis, and went down the disposal with pride. Taking one for the team. (BTW: Please fill me in if you have any suggestions or prior experience. Waste saddens me.)

The sauce, on the other hand, was a cinch. You could double the recipe, add a bit more broth, and serve it as a homemade cream of mushroom soup. Impress your friends. Very Yummy.

Mushroom Ravioli
in Wild Mushroom Sauce
Mushroom Ravioli

Mushroom Ravioli

2 c marinated button mushrooms
1/4 c mushroom marinade
1/2 c Parmesan, grated
1/3 c pine nuts, roasted
64 wonton wrappers

Wild Mushroom Sauce
1 oz. dried wild mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 c beef broth (or veg)
3 Tbs butter
1 small shallot, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 c milk (or cream)
2 Tbs corn starch
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs Parmesan + more for topping

Ravioli Directions:
1. In a food processor, combine Parmesan, mushrooms, juice, and nuts. Pulse until the consistency of a pate.
2. Place 1 Tbs. of the mushroom mix in the center of one wonton square. Brush water around the edges and top with another wrapper, be sure to remove any air pockets. Use a ravioli crimp* to trim and secure the edges.
3. Boil water in a medium pot, and gently drop raviolis in, one at a time. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
4. Place in colander and rinse with cold water. Let dry.
5. Repeat.

Sauce Directions:
1. Rinse dried wild mushrooms and soak in 1 cup of broth for up to 15 minutes, or until hydrated completely.
2. In a medium pan, place butter, garlic, and shallots in to cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Raise heat to med/high and add milk, broth and cornstarch. Allow milk to boil, then reduce heat to medium.
3. Add mushrooms, spices, 1 Tbs Parmesan, and cook for 10 minutes to develop flavors and reduce liquid slightly.
4. Serve sauce on raviolis and sprinkle some more parm on top.

Monkey Notes:
* No ravioli crimps can be found in my kitchen, so I used a pizza cutter instead. It served its purpose well.

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