Monday, February 21, 2011
Valentine Dinner. We're not big into going out to dinner. We typically prefer our own cooking. It's an opportunity to try different things. Relax. I know, non-foodies don't find cooking relaxing. I do. All day at the office I'm either working with numbers or people. Cooking is creative. Mostly quiet other than a bit of chatter with Connie as we cook. Very different. I enjoy it and so does he.
So, I had this brilliant idea that we'd fix the trimmings from the beef tenderloin for Valentine dinner. Connie had other ideas. Duck ravioli he says. WHAT? Now, it was up to me to figure that one out. Ok, there are two ways you can have duck. Well, more than that, but two ways I was considering for Valentine's. One was a duck breast and two was duck confit. Connie did the research and Goose the Market was the bargain when it came to duck confit. It's basically a duck leg preserved in duck fat. Now, if you'd never tasted duck fat, believe me you're in for a treat. Major treat. I hunted around on the internet and found a duck ravioli recipe on Epicurious. Loved the sauce idea with porcini mushrooms, marsala wine and cream. The rest of it, well, not what I was looking for. So, I made my own recipe up.
What did we think? The sauce was great. The duck breast was a little chewy but the skin was perfect. I'll make this again for a special occasion. And, next time I make ravioli, I'll run the roller to 6 or 7 versus the 4 I used. Four made it too thick and chewy. We didn't measure as we cooked so the measurements are guesstimates.
for the ravioli:
1 duck leg confit
1/2 c ricotta cheese
for the sauce:
dried porcini mushrooms
Re-hydrate your porcini mushrooms in water to cover. You'll use the liquid later in the sauce.
Make the ravioli sheets. Here's a link to a recipe that shows you how. Or, if you don't want to make homemade pasta, use wonton wrappers. The filling is super easy. Remove the duck confit from the bones.
Mix it with enough ricotta cheese to make a good filling consistency.
Make the ravioli. If you've never made ravioli, here are some photos.
Here's the link to a post with the recipe for homemade pasta. Set the ravioli aside to rest.
If you're serving a slice duck breast
with the sauce, now's the time to start browning it - skin side down.
We like duck served pretty rare so I cook the skin side until it's nice and crispy
then cook the other side for far less time.
While the pasta is resting, start the sauce. Melt about a quarter of a cup of butter in a skillet. Add a finely diced small onion.
Saute until the onion is very soft. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and about a quarter of a cup of flour and the mushrooms.
Stir until the mixture just starts to brown. Slowly add in the liquid from the mushrooms, stirring constantly.
When the sauce is very thick, add marsala wine to get it to the correct consistency for pasta sauce. Then, add about a quarter of a cup of cream.
About the time you've got the sauce thickening, you need to toss the ravioli into some boiling water. They'll cook VERY quickly so keep an eye on them. Drain them and set them aside for the couple of minutes it'll take the sauce to finish up.
Time to serve. Place a two-three ravioli in each pasta dish. If you're serving duck breast with it, add a few slices of duck breast. Pour the sauce over. Duck Ravioli with Sliced Duck Breast and Porcini Mushroom Cream Sauce