Oct. 31, 2011: Wonton Ravioli with Apple Cider Glaze
Wonton Ravioli with Apple Cider Glaze Served with Carrot & Fennel Salad with White Wine Dressing
Wonton wrappers can be square or circular, vary in thickness and can be filled with almost anything sweet or savoury. The thickness of the wrapper affects how much you can stuff in them and how long you have to cook them. Do a test run to get your times right or just taste as you go. An egg wash helps the wonton wrapper stick together so that the filling doesn't pop out. The trick is to press out the air before you fully seal the wrapper.
Drizzle the apple cider glaze over the ravioli to add a bit of taste and, of course, a sauce. All pasta needs a good sauce. Alternatively, toss the pasta with some olive oil and chives -- easy.
Apple Cider Glaze
4 cups (1 L) non-alcoholic apple cider
1 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
Place the apple cider in a large sauté pan over high heat. Once it has reduced by half and has achieved a thick syrup consistency, add the black pepper, stir and set aside. Keep on the lowest temperature, covered, to keep warm.
Wonton Ravioli (Makes 30 wontons)
- 1/2 lb (250 g) ground turkey
- 1/2 lb (250 g) ground pork
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely grated Asiago cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) roughly chopped fresh sage
- 1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground pepper
- One 16 oz (454 g) round wonton wrappers (60 wonton wrappers)
- 1 egg, whisked for egg wash
- Apple Cider Glaze (see above)
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped chives
In a tall, rimmed sauté pan bring the heavily salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly to a gentle boil.
Meanwhile, place the turkey, pork, Asiago cheese, garlic, shallot, sage and pepper in a bowl and mix well to incorporate.
To assemble the wonton ravioli, place a wonton wrapper on a clean, dry work surface and brush the entire wrapper with egg wash. Keep the remaining wonton wrappers covered while you work to prevent them from drying out. Place 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of meat mixture in the centre of the wonton wrapper.
To cover, gently stretch another wonton overtop, connecting the edges of the wrappers and pressing to secure. Gently lift the ravioli, cupping your hands over the filling to release any air inside. Pinch around the rim to secure the wonton and place it on a dry tray. Repeat with the remaining wontons.
To cook, gently place five wontons in the boiling water, stirring frequently, until the meat is cooked and no longer pink, approximately three to five minutes.
To serve, place the wonton ravioli in a large bowl, drizzle with apple cider glaze until all wontons are coated evenly, place on a serving dish and garnish with the chopped chives.
Carrot and Fennel Salad with White Wine Dressing
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) sultana raisins
- 1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ribbons with peeler
- 1/2 fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp (22.5 mL) capers, drained
- 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced almonds, toasted
Place the raisins in a bowl and soak them in the white wine for one hour or overnight. Drain and reserve the white wine.
Place the reserved white wine in a small pot, add the honey and cook over medium-high heat until the liquid reduces to 1⁄3 cup (80 mL), approximately five minutes.
Place the carrots, fennel, capers and soaked raisins in a large bowl.
Pour the white wine dressing over the carrot and fennel salad. Add the chopped parsley and toasted almonds, toss and serve.
Nori-Crusted Salmon Served with Soba Noodle Salad & Green Tea
In North America, nori gets introduced to most people as the dark, papery stuff that holds together a California roll. But it is so much more than a wrapper, and this dish proves that.
I'm using my favourite buckwheat soba noodle as the starch for the cold or room-temp soba noodle salad. Boiling the noodles before covering them in a warm dressing helps the noodles to separate and embeds the flavour of the dressing. A lot of crunchy fresh ingredients are the final touch. Consider this an updated take on a pasta salad. The vinaigrette continues the Japanese theme with its rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil.
- 2 nori sheets, toasted
- 1 1/2 Tbsp (22.5 mL) sesame seeds
- 1 tsp (5 mL) sweet paprika
- 1 tsp (5 mL) black peppercorns
- Salt to taste
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Thai chili, sliced and seeds removed
In a mortar and pestle, break up the nori sheets. Add the sesame seeds, paprika, black peppercorns and salt. Grind to combine.
In a small sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for one minute until the shallot and garlic soften and turn slightly brown. Add the chili and the nori spice mixture. Stir for one to two minutes to toast then remove from the heat.
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil
- Four 5–6 oz (150–175 g) salmon fillets, skin removed
- Nori Crust (see above)
Preheat the oven to 350°F(175°C).
Heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan. Season the fillets on all sides with salt. Sear the salmon skin-side up. Turn and sear on the other side, approximately two minutes in total. Transfer the salmon fillets to a baking dish, set them skin-side down and pat the nori crust overtop. Bake in the oven until cooked through, five to seven minutes.
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced ginger
- 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
In a bowl, add the seasoned rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil. Slowly add the vegetable oil, whisking until completely combined.
Store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to three days.
Soba Noodle Salad
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
- 1/2 lb (250 g) shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced ginger
- 2 cups (500 mL) sugar snap peas, blanched and thinly sliced on a bias
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 bunch garlic chives (or green onion), cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces on a bias
- Soba Vinaigrette (see above)
- 3/4 lb (375 g) soba noodles
- 1 nori sheet, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces, for garnish
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) sesame seeds, for garnish
In a large sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms, season with salt and sauté for seven to ten minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for one minute. Add the sugar snap peas, carrot and garlic chives, and stir.
Season with salt and pepper, then sauté for two to three minutes. Add three tablespoons (45 mL) of the vinaigrette, combine well then remove the pan from the heat.
Boil the soba noodles, following the package directions, until cooked through. Lay the noodles on a tray and spoon the remaining vinaigrette overtop. Allow the noodles to absorb the vinaigrette for five minutes.
In a bowl, toss the vegetables and soba noodles together. Place the nori-crusted salmon on top of the soba noodle salad and garnish with nori pieces and sesame seeds.
- Water, boiled
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) green tea leaves
Pour hot water in a teapot and cups to warm them then pour the water out. Place the green tea in the teapot. Pour water in the pot and steep for approximately twenty seconds. Pour the water out to remove sediment from tea. Refill teapot with water. Steep for one minute. Pour into teacups. Enjoy.
Lychee Cucumber Salad (Serves 4)
If you use canned lychee, this is really easy. Still, there's nothing quite like a fresh lychee if you can find them during their short season. Dump and drain the lychee, chop some cucumber, whisk up the very simple dressing and you have a fresh à la minute salad. Cucumber salad should be dressed just as you're serving it to prevent the cucumber from wilting with the acids in the dressing.
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 cup (250 mL) lychees, peeled, pitted and halved
- 3 stems cilantro, finely chopped and leaves picked (reserved for garnish)
- 2 red Thai chilies, pith and seeds removed and finely diced
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Quarter the cucumber and cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) thick dice.
In a bowl, mix together the cucumber, lychees, cilantro stems and chilies. Add the lime zest and juice, rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt to taste and toss well to coat the vegetables.
Before serving, garnish with the reserved cilantro leaves.