Tag Archives: Celery

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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Vegetable Shots at the Bergman’s

Believe it or not, I am still celebrating my birthday from earlier this month (lucky me)!  My gourmet friends, Holly and Kurt, invited us over for a belated birthday celebration last weekend and she served the coolest appetizers: Vegetable Shots.  They were strips of yummy veggies in a glass with ranch dressing at the bottom.  Holly got the idea from the magazine “Martha Stewart Living”, where they had different kinds of veggies in glasses on ice.  Holly’s set up was much more elegant than mine with silver rimmed glasses passed down from her mother, and beautiful glass-beaded cocktail spears that held the cherry tomatoes.  She used a gluten-free ranch dressing but here I made my own variation with a creamy herb peppercorn.

Any vegetables that you like can be used for this fun and unique appetizer. I liked what Holly included: peeled cucumbers, good pickles, carrots, yellow bell peppers and cherry tomatoes on those pretty little skewers.  We used to have a gourmet dinner group going and Holly and Kurt were involved; they both are excellent cooks.  Holly is one who pays attention to detail and sets a beautiful table that makes you feel like a special guest.  It’s always so fun to go over to their house for dinner.  The “boys”, Jensen and Cole, filled us in on swim team and teenage life.  The Bergman’s prepared a delectable feast for us and we would go back anytime! 

The veggie shots have some dressing in the bottom, for sinful dipping.  My favorite is ranch but I whipped together my own version with a slight variation – a creamy herb peppercorn.  It has mayonnaise, fine herbs (dried tarragon, parsley, chervil and chives), garlic powder, onion powder, fresh cracked pepper, milk, salt and pepper.  The consistency for this recipe is thicker for dipping; to use for a salad dressing, add 2 to 3 teaspoons more milk to thin out.  For a lighter version, sour cream or Greek yogurt can replace one quarter cup of the mayonnaise.  And leftover dressing can be used for tuna salad or as a sandwich spread.

These vegetable shots are a great choice for a simple and elegant appetizer during the upcoming July 4th weekend.  They are different, delicious, refreshing and fun.  Plus, everyone gets their own glass, so let the double dipping begin!

What’s next?  I’ll share recipe ideas (of course, dessert) for the upcoming holiday weekend.  Eat well and share the love!

Vegetable Shots
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two – adapted from recipe by
Holly Bergman
Serves two foodies

Ingredients:
Creamy Herb Peppercorn Dressing
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ teaspoons fine herbs (dried tarragon, parsley,
chervil and chives)
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons milk (1 %)
Vegetables
1 large carrot, peeled (ends trimmed) and cut into thin slices
2 celery stalks, each cut in half and cut into three strips
½ yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
2 to 3 thick pickle slices or cornichons, cut into strips
1 mini cucumber, peeled (ends trimmed) and cut into thin slices and then strips
6 cherry tomatoes (cherubs if available), skewer 3 each on a decorative skewer or cocktail fork
Optional: skewer of olives
Optional: rosemary sprigs for tomato skewers

Directions:
Creamy Herb Peppercorn Dressing:
Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk together until well combined.

Vegetables:
Peel and slice the vegetables and skewer tomatoes (and olives if using).  If you don’t have any fancy skewers or tooth picks, use a sprig of rosemary to skewer the cherry tomatoes.

Assemble:
In the bottom of two small glasses, add a good dollop of dressing.  Arrange the vegetables upright in the dressing.  Add a small amount of dressing in the middle and add the tomato skewers (and optional olives if using).  Keep chilled until served.

  • Organic celery hearts are great to use because of their size and flavor
  • Use dressing for a salad dressing: Add two to three teaspoons milk to thin, until desired consistency
  • Lower-fat option: substitute sour cream or Greek yogurt for ¼ cup of the mayonnaise
  • Gluten-free dressings can be found in your local grocery store