Tag Archives: Butter

Quick Lobster Ravioli with Tarragon Butter Sauce

My grocery store recently had frozen wild-caught lobster tails on sale so I bought a few for a later indulgence.  These guys are small, 4.5 to 5 ounces each, and the perfect size for a scaled-down serving. The trick that makes the ravioli “quick” is using wonton wrappers instead of homemade ravioli dough.  Along with the lobster, the filling is the typical carrots, celery and onions with some corn and tarragon. But the taste is anything but typical!  The sautéed vegetables are a wonderful compliment to the rich, sweet lobster.  And the tarragon butter sauce puts them over the edge of goodness.  For future batches, I would give the butter a few more minutes in the pan for a brown butter sauce (gives a nuttier flavor).

To help with the task of getting the lobster meat out of the shell, I rely on my kitchen shears.  Just turn the lobster over and cut down the sides of the thin shell.  Then you can bend the shell open to reveal the wonderfully delicious treat waiting inside.  To quickly cook the meat, I chopped it up, tossed it with melted butter and broiled it for 4 or 5 minutes.  After the vegetables are sautéed, the lobster meat is stirred in and the filling is ready – all in less than 10 minutes!

The ravioli assembly goes quickly so you’ll want to have your water boiling and the butter melting before you start. To keep it simple, I use water instead of an egg wash. Brush the entire wonton surface so the top layer sticks to it (and doesn’t burst open during boiling).  Press the edges firmly closed with either your fingers or the tines of a fork.  The ravioli can be left as whole squares, or use a cookie cutter (2¾ inch diameter) for an elegant presentation.
In my book, these lobster raviolis are a perfect treat for either lunch or a light dinner.

Eat well and share the love!

Lobster Ravioli with Tarragon Butter Sauce
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies – makes 6 ravioli

Ingredients:
Lobster Tail
Meat from 1 small lobster tail, 4.5 to 5 ounces in weight
½ tablespoon butter, melted
Vegetables/Filling
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely diced carrots (about 1 small)
2 tablespoons finely diced celery (about ¾ of stalk)
2 tablespoons finely diced onion (about ¼ of an onion)
1 tablespoon frozen corn, chopped into smaller pieces
3 to 4 fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
Pinch of kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper
Ravioli and Sauce
1 tablespoon flour (for dusting cutting board)
12 wonton wrappers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 to 5 fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
Garnish: Sea Salt, Fresh-cracked pepper

Directions:
Lobster:  Turn broiler to high, add ½ tablespoon butter to oven-proof dish and put in oven to melt. 

Using kitchen shears (or a sharp paring knife), turn the lobster over and cut along the edges of the thin shell and pull it back to expose the meat.  With both hands, grasp the sides of the lobster (fingers underneath, on the hard part of the shell) and bend out to break the sides and free the meat: if needed, gently cut away any connected meat on the sides.  Pull out the piece of meat, rinse well and remove any tamale (green) or remaining shell; pat dry with a paper towel. 

Roughly chop the lobster meat, add to the oven-proof dish and toss with the melted butter. Place under broiler (about 8 inches from element) and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until meat is white and no longer opaque.

Vegetables/Filling:  Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the carrots, celery, tarragon and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add the onions and corn and continue cooking, stirring often, for 3 or 4 more minutes until onions are translucent and vegetables are soft.  Turn off the heat and add the cooked lobster meat.  Stir to combine and transfer to a bowl; let cool slightly.Reserve the skillet to make the butter sauce.

Ravioli and Butter Sauce:  Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.  Dust your cutting board with some flour and set up your assembly line: a ramekin filled halfway with water and pastry brush, a cookie cutter (2 ¾ inch diameter), the bowl of filling with a tablespoon measuring spoon, and the wonton wrappers (keep them covered with a damp paper towel).

When the water has come to a boil, return the skillet used for the filling to medium-low heat and add the butter and chopped tarragon.

Lay out 6 wonton wrappers on the cutting board, 2 rows of 3 wrappers, and brush the entire surface of the bottom (3) wontons with a light coat of water.  On the bottom row, place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each wonton.  Cover with the top wonton wrapper and gently press it on, making sure it’s well-sealed without any air trapped inside. Cut out a round shape using the cookie cutter; use your fingers or fork tines to firm press edges together. 

Add the ravioli to the boiling water and let cook for 3 minutes.  While the ravioli are cooking, increase the butter to medium-high heat and swirl pan often.  Transfer the cooked ravioli to plates and pour the butter sauce over them.    Garnish with sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper.

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A visit to Phoenix earlier this month to celebrate Mom’s 70th Birthday:
Picture below: Mom after a great steak dinner on her birthday day (isn’t she beautiful?!)

Picture below: Mom and I at her dinner party buffet with family and friends (my job was the food; that’s a Brandy Old Fashioned in my hand, post kitchen duty!)
With Love, Happy Birthday to Mom!!

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New Year’s Day Breakfast: Individual Yummy Eggs

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday celebration with lots of joy and good food.  New Year’s Eve is just a few days away and it’s hard to think about more planning after Christmas and Hanukkah.  My vote is for a feel-good Sunday breakfast that is easy to prepare.  We have a family recipe called Yummy Eggs that is deliciously dense with eggs and cheese and always a favorite on weekend mornings.  I have modified the ingredients a bit and use a muffin pan (instead of a casserole dish) to ensure even cooking, with less oven time.  The individual Yummy Eggs are perfect for New Year’s Day breakfast because they’re simple to make (the oven does the work for you) and packed with rich, savory flavors. Along with the eggs, these little treasures are flavored with onions, green chiles, sharp cheddar cheese, fontina cheese, cottage cheese, butter and jalapeño.  And they’re finished off with some chopped chives, sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper. 

To dress up our breakfast plates, I added some fruit skewers tossed with honey and chopped basil (or mint).  We received some pears for the holidays so I used one along with some watermelon cubes.  The pears were too fragile to skewer so next time I will use pineapple chunks or strawberries.  The Yummy Egg casseroles are just as good the next day and reheat well in the microwave (low heat) or toaster oven.  And for a special lunch, add a spinach salad dressed with some balsamic or Italian vinaigrette.

Best wishes for a prosperous and peaceful New Year in 2012.  This has been a wonderful year with much to be thankful for, especially lots of delicious food and readers of my blog posts!   Thank you – I sincerely appreciate your interest, support and encouragement.  For those who like stats, this is my 49th post of the year, and year-to-date Foodie for Two has had over 7,300 views since I started posting in March of 2011. Wow!  Here’s to many more engaging conversations about food next year!  Cheers!

Eat well and share the love!

Individual Yummy Eggs
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies plus leftovers, makes 6 individual casseroles

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon soft butter, for greasing muffins tins
5 large eggs
1 ¼ cup (combined) grated sharp cheddar and Fontina cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
One 4 oz. can of chopped green chiles
¼ cup finely diced onion (yellow or red)
1 tablespoon chopped Italian Parsley (flat leaf)
1 tablespoon diced jalapeño
2 tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh-cracked pepper
Garnish
Chopped Chives
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F and well-grease a 6-muffin pan with butter.

In a medium glass bowl, add the eggs and beat with a wire whisk until eggs are mixed well (about 30 seconds).  Add 1 cup of the grated cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for topping), the cottage cheese, green chiles, onion, parsley, jalapeno, melted butter, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and stir well to incorporate all the ingredients together.

Add ½ cup of mixture to each muffin tin and top with reserved grated cheese.  Place pan on center rack of oven and cook for 18 to 20 minutes until casseroles are golden brown on top and firm to the touch.

Let rest on the stove top or cooling rack for 2 minutes.  Remove casseroles by running a butter knife around edges and gently lifting out.  Garnish with chopped chives, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

We had fun at home last weekend and didn’t have to hassle with any Holiday traffic; with over a foot of snow still on the ground, we cut some sled trails on our property and laughed it up! 

Trick or Treat? Treat……Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

When we were kids my Mom used to roast the seeds from the pumpkins we carved and today it is still a fun tradition that I carry on in my own kitchen.  It has become an event to mark the changing seasons, and the upcoming Holidays.  It’s a messy job but worth the effort; the seeds get crispy and the shells become light and crunchy.  Finished off with butter and kosher salt, these roasted pumpkin seeds are an addictive snack that doesn’t last long in our house. 

To tackle the task I spread sheets of newspaper out on the kitchen counter (makes for simple clean up afterwards – just roll up and toss), don some kitchen gloves, grab my plastic colander to wash the seeds and ready my sheet pan.  I prefer the long gloves that cover part of my forearm because it helps minimize the pumpkin mess, and a plastic colander is much easier to clean that a metal mesh colander.   After the top is cut out, grab a handful of seeds and pinch off the seeds into the colander, discard the strings on the newspaper.  Two pumpkins yielded about 2 cups of seeds.  If you are going to carve your pumpkin, be sure to scrape the inside with a large spoon to remove most of the remaining membrane.  The seeds need to be rinsed (and drained) well in the colander and any leftover pumpkin strings removed.   Spread the seeds out in a single layer on the sheet pan; it’s okay if some water remains because it’s impossible to dry them completely.  The oven gets heated to a low 250 degrees F and the seeds roast for about 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. 

After cooking for a little over an hour, the seeds start to dry out and then the butter and salt are added to help them get golden brown and flavorful.  They can be eaten warm or at room temperature; store any uneaten seeds in a covered container in the refrigerator. Now I just need to carve my pumpkins and set a votive candle inside for a scary decoration.  Boo!     
Happy Halloween!

Eat well and share the love!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies – yields about 2 cups of seeds

Ingredients:
2 medium to large carving pumpkins
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon salt
Tools
Several sheets of newspaper
Long kitchen gloves
Sharp paring knife
Plastic colander
Sheet pan
Large metal spoon (to scrape out inside of pumpkin if carving)

Directions:
Lay out several sheets of newspaper on the kitchen counter next to the sink, place the colander in the sink and put on your kitchen gloves (to help minimize the pumpkin mess).

Using a sharp paring knife, carefully cut a circle around the top of each pumpkin to remove the top (keep knife at a 45 degree angle so the top doesn’t slip inside).  Cut off the attached pumpkin strings from the bottom and put the seeds in the colander.

Grab a handful of seeds from inside and pinch them off into the colander, discard the pumpkin strings on the newspaper.  Continue process until all seeds are removed.  Rinse the seeds well under cool water to remove the pumpkin residue, and remove any strings or pieces of pumpkin.  Drain the seeds well – run your finger through the seeds a few times and shake the colander.  Roll up the newspaper and throw away.

Heat the oven to 250 degrees F.  Transfer the seeds to an ungreased sheet pan and spread out in a single layer.  Place in oven and let cook for an hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes or so.  Melt the butter and drizzle over the seeds, stir to coat them well.  Season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and return pan to oven; let cook for another hour, stirring every 30 minutes, until seeds are crunchy and light golden color.  Season with a generous pinch of salt, stir well and transfer to a bowl.  Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Store any leftover seeds in a sealed container and refrigerate. 

If you are carving your pumpkin, be sure to scrape out the inside to remove any remaining strings so there isn’t a fire hazard.

End-of-Summer Dessert: Peach & Fig Galettes

This Friday is the first day of fall.  Almost as proof, our tree leaves are starting to change color and there is a chill to the morning air.  On my kitchen counter this week were some fresh Palisade (Western Colorado) peaches and fresh California figs that were starting to over-ripen.  I wanted to make an elegant dessert that would usher them out of season in style and thought of Peach & Fig Galettes.  These rustic galettes are an easy and beautiful way to enjoy fading fresh summer fruits.  The dough is layered with flaky, buttery goodness and a brown sugar cinnamon mixture sprinkled over the sliced peaches and figs caramelizes with the fruit and their natural juices.  The simple ingredients highlight the fresh fruits and the crispy galette dough turns it into something special.  Finish it off with homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful end to the day.

The galette dough takes 5 minutes to make, then has 30 minutes chilling time in the refrigerator. Other than that, the prep work is pretty simple.  I usually make four small galettes for individual servings but was pressed for time so I made two medium.  Here, the prep is the dough, sliced peaches and figs, cinnamon brown sugar and for a golden sweet outside, some peach preserves and Turbinado sugar.  Simple is sometimes better.

And sometimes a simple homemade treat is the best way to start a fabulous day.  I was also thinking ahead to the next day’s breakfast (I’m so good about that, thinking with my stomach): warm it slightly in the toaster oven, add some crumbled Humboldt fog cheese (a California goat cheese – aged with vegetable ash, tastes like gorgonzola but with mild goat milk flavor and the outer edge has a delicious creamy brie-like texture) over the top and enjoy with my morning coffee.  Ahh….thank goodness for food.

Eat well and share the love!

Peach & Fig Galettes
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Makes 4 small galettes (or 2 medium)

Ingredients:
Dough:
1 cup flour, sifted
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes and kept cold until used
½ cup water (ice-cold)
Filling:
2 large peaches, pits removed and cut into thin slices
5 to 6 fresh figs, cut into thin slices
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Dough Topping:
1/3 cup peach preserves
2 tablespoon Turbinado sugar

Directions:
Dough:
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add half of the butter and cut in using a pastry blender or pulse in the food processor until it resembles coarse corn meal. Add the remaining butter and cut in until the butter pieces are about the size of peas.  Pour the cold water over the dough and mix until dough is just moistened. Scrape up the dough with a rubber spatula and knead 3 to 4 times in the bowl (if too sticky, sprinkle a light dusting of flour on dough). Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board and transfer the dough to the middle of the plastic. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight (if overnight, let rest for 5 minutes before rolling).

Assemble:
Heat oven to 375 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper, place next to cutting board.  Slice the fruit and in a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

Lightly flour a large cutting board, unwrap dough disk and cut into quarters; place a quarter piece of dough on board and cover remaining dough with plastic wrap.  With a floured rolling pin, roll out to an 8” circle, about 1/8” thick.  Transfer dough to one corner of the sheet pan and assemble: Brush on a thin layer (about 1 tablespoon) of peach preserves on the dough, leaving a one inch border around the outside.  Add a quarter of the fruit mixture to the center and spread out.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of the sugar mixture over the fruit. Gently fold edges dough up over fruit, pleating as you go and leaving an opening in the center about 4 inches wide.  Brush the top of the dough with about 2 teaspoons peach preserves and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar – repeat for the remaining galettes.

Bake in 375 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until galettes are golden brown on top and bottom.  Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Store leftover galettes on parchment paper in refrigerator, covered, for up to one day.  Reheat in 375 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.