Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cookbook "Adventures": Salmon and Wasabi Ravioli with Kaffir Lime Cream

I have to be honest that this isn't much of an "adventure," since I've been making this recipe for almost a decade... but it is from a book by an author who was one of my very favorites when I first started cooking: Donna Hay. As soon as I read this recipe title, my reaction was "Well, obviously I'm going to have to make that..."One of the best things about Donna Hay books is the food styling and photography by Petrina Tinslay. Every recipe in every book features a full-color, absolutely gorgeous picture. The New Cook is no exception...
The filling for these ravioli (which, size-wise, are probably more appropriately called raviolo...) is basically a collection of some of my favorite things.
Beautiful fresh salmon, wasabi, dill, homemade ricotta, and crème fraîche (homemade from a culture, just for fun...). Initially it may seem strange to combine traditionally Italian and traditionally Japanese ingredients, but this flavor profile is something I find myself craving. As soon as I chopped the dill and the smell combined with that of the wasabi, I was looking forward to dinner.
This is actually a super-simple recipe, and you could use wonton wrappers instead of making pasta if you wanted to make it that much easier. I have some defect where I can't bring myself to do that, though, so I made some basic pasta dough (eggs, flour, sea salt).
I'll be honest that I maybe would have wimped out on making the pasta myself if I didn't have a pasta roller attachment for my KitchenAid. I was in no mood for hand-cranking the evening when I threw this pasta together.
The recipe actually calls for quite large ravioli, but I went ahead and over-stuffed even beyond that. I did this because (a) the filling makes me super-happy and (b) that would mean a smaller number of individual ravioli to deal with.
I used the back end of a cookie cutter to shape the edge of the pasta around the filling...
The recipe calls for cutting the pasta into squares, but I find that the pasta-to-filling ratio isn't quite right for a kid like me when I do that, so this time I decided to cut the pasta into circles using my handy-dandy set of cookie cutters.
Aren't they pretty?
The sauce is basically just cream and a little stock infused with lime leaves and reduced. The night I made the pasta, I made this sauce using leaves from my kaffir lime tree...
... but the flavor wasn't right. Not sure what happened there. The rest of the ravioli went into the freezer that night, and I broke them out last night to try again, this time with store-bought lime leaves, and everything went smoothly.
The ravioli are cooked up and placed in a bowl... (with a glass of wine at the ready...)
... then sauced with the lime leaf-infused cream.
This was great, as always, and part of that greatness probably comes from the fact that this is one of those "comfort foods" that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and nostalgic. I've played with the sauce over the years (healthifying it and whatnot), and I still think that (even though it's delicious as-is) a little experimentation could take it to another level. That's going towards the top of my mental To Do queue... For now, though, I'm just happy knowing that I have more ravioli stashed away in my freezer...

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