Monthly Archives: October 2007

Gorgonzola Ravioli with Walnut-Brown Butter

For this edition of Presto Pasta Night, I decided to go the convenience route again – using store-bought ravioli as the base of Emeril’s recipe for Gorgonzola Ravioli with Walnut Brown Butter.


I had picked up some gorgonzola ravioli a while ago at Trader Joe’s, but was perplexed what to top it with – gorgonzola is a pretty strong cheese, and I wanted something that would bring that flavor out and enhance it rather than overpower or clash with it.

When trying to get ideas online, I noticed that a lot of people said that nuts pair well with it. I decided to go with this recipe – although I took a shortcut and used already made ravioli, I’ll post the original recipe in its entirety in case you want to make the ravioli yourself. Otherwise, just start the recipe at the sauce preparation step.

The brown butter in and of itself lends a certain nuttiness to the dish, and I couldn’t detect the cream at all in the final product. Next time around, I’ll probably chop the nuts a bit finer, but all in all it was a successful dish.

Gorgonzola Ravioli with Walnut-Brown Butter
recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse

For ravioli:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese, well drained and crumbled
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola or other creamy blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon roasted garlic paste
Freshly ground black pepper
3 sheets fresh spinach pasta

For sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for topping if desired

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, Gorgonzola, parsley, and garlic paste and mash together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Put 1 pasta sheet on a work surface with the long side facing you. Place heaping tablespoons of filling down the sheet, about 2 inches apart. Brush water around each pile of filling and fold the dough lengthwise over the filling. Press gently around each to force out any air and seal. Trim with a fluted pastry wheel or knife to cut into separate ravioli. Place on a baking sheet lightly dusted with cornmeal to keep from sticking. Repeat with the remaining ravioli.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Cook the ravioli until they are tender and rise to the surface, gently stirring to keep them from sticking together, 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, while the ravioli are cooking, in a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the butter without stirring until it starts to darken to a golden color. Add the nuts and cook until the butter is golden brown and the nuts are fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the herbs, cream, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Cook for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the ravioli with a slotted spoon to the skillet with the butter, swirling to coat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, spooning the sauce over the ravioli to melt the cheese.

Divide the ravioli among 4 plates and sprinkle each serving with additional Parmesan, if desired. Serve immediately.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce – 10/6/07

We woke this morning to unseasonably warm temperatures, to head out at 8:30 for an abbreviated trip to the North Market only. I just haven’t been cooking as much this month, and we figure we’d be able to get everything we need in once place.

It was crowded, as today is their Harvest Festival and they’ve got all kinds of activities going on. But there was a much better selection of produce than I imagined would be available this time of year.

The first thing that caught my eye were these lovely fall berries from Crum’s – knowing this is probably my last chance to enjoy them fresh before spring, I picked up a quart of the strawberries.


The other thing that I absolutely needed to get today was a mix of mushrooms from Toby Run – I don’t think he’ll be around much longer this season, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve had some. Here are some shiitakes:


Wayward Seed Farms had tons of beets, in all different varieties. I got a bunch of baby chioggia beets (this will be the first time I’m trying fresh beets, BTW) which I’m thinking of making into a nice beet carpaccio.


Across the way (at Toad Hill, I believe), there was some rainbow chard that I didn’t end up getting – anyone have a clue how much longer these will be in season?


I also ended up getting a bag of mixed lettuce from Elizabeth Telling Farms – it should make for a delicious salad today or tomorrow.


And I got some poblanos as well – I’m not sure what yet, but I’m planning on making a dish this week using them and the chorizo I got at Bluescreek Farms Meats inside.


Also purchased today but not pictured: a mix of apples for applesauce and apple cider from The Orchard of Bill and Vicky Thomas, some potatoes and an orange kabocha squash from Just This Farm, some onions from (I think) Somerset Herbs, and some Pineapple Ham Glaze from a new vendor whose name escapes me at the moment.

Stopped inside quickly to get a few items, including the breakast of champions, Cassoulet, served with a couple of slices of that wonderful Eleni Christina bread over at North Market Poultry and Game. I’m sitting here enjoying it as we speak. 🙂


Can’t wait until next week – I will let you know how this week’s dishes turn out. I definitely need to go to Clintonville for eggs, maybe I’ll even make it over to Worthington as well…

August 2007 Roundup

Finally, the August roundup is done – it’s been harder to get these out every month, because I read everyone’s blogs using Bloglines, and have over 2,000 feeds coming in now. This means I look at upwards of 1,000 posts a day, usually. That kind of traffic can overwhelm you pretty quickly, and Bloglines still has August posts coming in up until about the end of September. But one more month down, one to go. 🙂

In savory recipes, Red Wine and Sausage Penne from The Vegetable Kitchen Diaries, Panzanella My Way from 1x umruhren bitte, Chorizo Fried Rice with Egg and Gnocchi with Rocket Pesto and Tyrolean Bacon from 80 Breakfasts, Farmstand Corn Fritters from A Taste of Home, Potato Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables from a whisk and a spoon, Slow Cooker Pulled Pork from Amber’s Delectable Delights, Chorizo Hot Pot from Ambrosia and Nectar, Crispy Polenta with Mozzarella and Caramelized Cherry Tomatoes from Anne’s Food, Chicken in Tarragon Sauce from Annie’s Eats, Ricotta Spaetzle from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen, Tomato Basil Tart from The Average Cook, Aussie Meat Pie from The Backyard Pizzeria, Mini Penne with Grape Tomatoes, Scallions and Bacon and Collard, Bacon and Andouille Sausage Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits from The Bacon Show, Lentil Soup from Batter-Splattered, Pizza Bubble Ring at Besides Pizza, Heirloom Tomato Tartlets from Champaign Taste, Potato and Onion Pierogi from Coffee & Vanilla, Roasted Nectarines in Prosciutto from Cook Sister!, Chicken Scampi from Dine and Dish Blog, Blue Crab Boil from Dinner, Nobu-Style Kingfish from The Elegant Sufficiency, Pork Chops with Apricot-Brandy Glaze from Fancy Toast, Summer Garden Tortellini from Food Speak, Brown Butter Grits from Grits and More, Muffuletta from Hedonia, Blue Potato Salad from hogwash, Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki and Grilled Snapper with Coffee Butter from Janet is Hungry, Tomato Basil Quiche from Kitchen Parade, Swiss Steak from Kitchen Talk to Chew On, Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Hazelnut Butter Sauce and Turkey Meatballs with a Minted Yogurt Dipping Sauce from Love and Olive Oil, Tortilla-Crusted Chicken Rellenos with Cilantro Sauce from More Than Burnt Toast, Stuffed Cornish Game Hens from, Spanish Tortilla from A Wee Bit of Cooking, Lima Beans and Bacon for Champions from Chez Pim, Inside-Out Eggroll Casserole at Confabulation in the Kitchen, Seven Layer Dip (Food Blogger Style) from Married…with Dinner, Beans and Cornbread from The Pioneer Woman Cooks!, Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes from Rosa’s Yummy Yums, Farro with Kale, Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella from Stephencooks, Tomato Cheese Salad from Hunger Pangs, Spanish Paella from Nola Cuisine, Pozole Rojo from The Soup Loop, Garlicky Corn Pudding from the ulterior epicure, Filled Baby Spuds from vegalicious, Summer Gazpacho and Orzo with Zucchini Pesto Provinciale from Vegan Visitor, Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Corn and Meatless Tamale Pie from What Did You Eat?, Savory Zucchini Bread with Parmesan and Onion from What Geeks Eat…, Leek and Potato Soup with Speck from What I Cooked Last Night, Caramelized Homegrown Tomatoes on Homemade Gnocchi from What’s For Lunch Honey?, and Potato Salad with Vinaigrette and Spicy Corn Salad from Serious Eats.

In sweet recipes, Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake from Cookie Madness, Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake from Andrea’s Recipes, Orange Poppy Seed Cake from Babe in the City – KL, Pear Crisp, Plum Coffee-Cake Muffins, Old Fashioned Molasses Crinkles, and Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake from Baking Delights, Apple Upside Down Chiffon Cake and Pistachio Pound Cake from the barmy baker, Apple-y Oomph Cake from Batter-Splattered, Peach Crumble from Cafe Fernando, Chunky Pear and Walnut Chutney from Cafe Lynnylu, Apple Wellingtons with Custard from Coffee & Vanilla, Bread and Butter Marmalade Pudding, Apricot and Almond Cake, and Fig, Walnut and Date Bread from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, Blondies with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts and Plum Tart from Cook. Craft. Enjoy., Dried Cherry Challah Bread Pudding from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, Blueberry White Chocolate Tartufi, Sour Cream Brown Sugar Ice Cream and Indian Pudding Ice Cream from Desert Candy, Ricotta Hotcakes with Peaches and Nectarines in a Honey Syrup from Food Blogga, Butter Tart Squares from Janet is Hungry, Sweet Tomato Jam from Joe Pastry, Faye’s Monkey Bread from Laura Rebecca’s Kitchen, Chocolate Pecan Pie from Love and Olive Oil, Caramel Apple Pudding from Milk and Cookies, Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies from My Kitchen, Tiramisu Brownies from Nook and Pantry, Allergy-Free Apple Pear Plum Crisp from Baking Delights, Reduced Fat Key Lime Tart from Cookie Madness, Dried Blueberry White Chocolate Lemon Muffins from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, Sticky Toffee Date Cake from Lemon Almond, Noodle Kugel from Rosa’s Yummy Yums, Easy Fruit Tarts and Tropical Cakes from Cherrapeno, Russian Tea Cakes from eat me, delicious, Italian Plum Clafoutis from Vanilla Garlic, Individual Peach Pies from Vegan Visitor, Apricot Tart Brulee from The Wednesday Chef, Tarte au Chocolat from White, and Strawberry and Champagne Jam at Real Epicurean,

In informative posts, get an overview of the different types of flour at 64 sq ft kitchen, learn how to make a baked potato in the microwave at A Fridge Full of Food, how to freeze blueberries at Cucina Bella, and the Restaurant Widow gives us FoodSaver & Freezer Tips for Veggies and Vegetable Stock.

I’ll have the September roundup for you in a couple of weeks. Until then, folks…

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo (Convenience Style)

One of the drawbacks to my husband being a salaried employee is that sometimes (when something goes terribly wrong at work), my husband is forced to work late into the night, and I can’t cook anything that requires planning. If I do, it will get cold long before he gets home. So, for those nights, I keep some convenience foods around that I can whip into a nice hearty meal in less than 30 minutes.

Trader Joe’s is really good for that. They have lots of frozen items that can be used as the base for some really fantastic dishes. And best of all, their prices are great.

So I present to you last night’s meal, with most of the ingredients coming from Trader Joe’s – Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo over a Bed of Organic Spinach.


The fettuccine alfredo ($2.69, if I am remembering correctly – will check the next time I’m there to make sure) is from Trader Joe’s, in the frozen section. I got the shaved parmesan reggiano there as well ($4.99), as well as the frozen organic spinach ($1.69). The chicken? Well, the Anderson’s across the street has it on sale for $1.99/lb, so a pound of chicken breast sauteed and added to the dish to add protein was just what it needed. Super quick, and tastes just like I made it myself (isn’t that what convenience food should taste like?)


This made two VERY generous servings, you could probably even stretch it for 3 people if you’re not especially hungry or just normally have a smaller appetite.

But this has made me curious. What are your favorite convenience foods, either at Trader Joe’s or elsewhere?

Mushroom Tortelloni with Duck Confit and Truffled Marsala Sauce

Just wanted to post a quick pic of tonight’s dinner, loosely inspired by a dish at The Burgundy Room. And it’s nearly 100% local, to boot. I’m making it for this week’s Presto Pasta Night event.


I bought some duck confit from North Market Poultry & Game, and shredded it and put it in with some Marsala sauce from Pastaria Seconda, to which I added just a touch of black truffle oil to add richness. Then I tossed in a pound of cooked mushroom tortelloni (also from Pastaria Seconda). Quick. Yummy. Local.

And speaking of North Market Poultry & Game, cassoulet is back! 🙂 Served with a slice of delicious Eleni Christina bread, it’s just what the doctor ordered on a chilly day. If you’re over that way, it’s definitely worth trying.

Acme Instant Ingredients: Garlic Spaghetti with Broccoli

A few months ago, Kevin at Acme Instant Food came up with a one-off blogging event, Acme Instant Ingredients, in which he paired up food bloggers to send each other a mystery ingredient – once received, the blogger would make a dish with that mystery ingredient and post about it.

I sent israeli couscous to Ed of Is It EDible?, and he made a killer dirty curry couscous with it, something I would have never thought to do myself (I guess I need to expand my couscous horizons?).

He sent me a bag of fried garlic. This is an ingredient I have never seen before, but garlic lover me knew exactly what to do with it (and since then, I’ve used it as a condiment, putting it on eggs, pizza, you name it!). There was a simple dish I used to make when I was dirt poor, and which I still make once in a while when I don’t feel like going through a production for dinner.


While garlic spaghetti with broccoli is dandy on it’s own as a vegetarian dish, you could probably add chicken breast chunks to it if you want to add protein. I went the standard route, using ingredients from the grocery store – the whole dish costs about $2.00 to make, tops, and will easily feed 4-6 people. I used the fried garlic in the way I would normally use garlic powder, so if you don’t have fried garlic on hand, garlic powder will work as well, just adjust to taste.


Garlic Spaghetti with Broccoli

1 lb spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
1 stick butter or margarine
1 bag frozen broccoli, steamed
Salt, to taste
Fried garlic, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions, and toss with butter or margarine until melted and all pasta is coated. Toss in broccoli, and season to taste.

It doesn’t get much easier than that, folks – and believe me, this stuff is filling. Feel free to add additional veggies or ingredients, it’s a great base for a multitude of variations.