Sauces

Ravioli with Grape Tomatoes Topping

I love to place Grape Tomatoes Topping over Ravino Ravioli. It is more of a topping than a sauce. This recipe makes enough for two portions as a side dish.

Ravioli with Grape Tomatoes Topping © Karen Lee 2016

Ravioli with Grape Tomatoes Topping © Karen Lee 2016

Ingredients

    Sauce
  • 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sliced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in circles, preferably Del Cabo brand
  • Ravioli
  • Boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 pieces of ravioli, preferably Ravino
  • Garnish
  • ½ cup or more freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons chiffonade of parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat an 8-inch skillet for 1 minute over medium heat.
  2. Add two tablespoons olive oil and then the garlic. Turn the heat to low. Sauté about 2 minutes or until the garlic has just begun to take on a little color.
  3. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, oregano, black pepper and cayenne. Sauté 1 more minute, but do not allow the garlic to get too dark.
  4. Add the grape tomatoes and simmer about 10 minutes or until they have softened. In order to keep the round shape of the tomato slices, stir no more than 2 times.
  5. In a medium size saucepan, bring one quart of water to a rolling boil. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. Add the ravioli to the boiling salted water.
  6. After the ravioli has come to a boil, set the timer for 4 minutes. Stir once. Remove with a wire strainer or slotted spoon.
  7. Place ravioli on two dishes. Spoon Grape Tomato Topping over ravioli. Drizzle with the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with parsley.
http://karenleecooking.com/2016/05/26/ravioli-with-grape-tomatoes-topping/

 

Answering the Soy Question

Whenever soy sauce is called for in a recipe, students always ask when to use which type of soy. With Chinese, Japanese, Dark, Light, and Tamari variations, no wonder it is confusing!

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When to use which soy?

Generally speaking, for marinating I like to use the Chinese Light Soy (Thin) or the Japanese Soy. For seasoning sauces I use either Dark Soy or a combination of Dark and Light.

If you need Dark Soy and if you can’t get to Chinatown, just pick up a bottle of Japanese Soy, empty half of it into a bottle or jar, add 10 percent molasses, then label it Dark Soy.

Chinese Soy is available in Chinatown. Two sources are: Tokyo Market at 91 Mulberry Street and Kam Man at 200 Canal Street.

I buy Japanese Soy at Fairway and Whole Foods. My favorite brand is San-J Shoyu Organic. I also like Eden.

What are the differences?

Dark Soy has molasses in it, which makes it thicker and sweeter. My favorite brand is Koon Chun.

Light Soy, also known as Thin Soy, is thinner and saltier. Koon Chun is my favorite brand.

Tamari is soy made without wheat but it must say on the label “gluten free”. San-J Organic Tamari, gluten free, is my favorite brand.

Chef Secrets

  • Always buy soy in a glass bottle, never plastic. Plastic imparts a bad taste and studies show long-term storage of salty and oily substances in plastic have a carcinogenic effect on food.
  • Store soy at room temperature, up to 3 months, away from heat and light. If keeping longer I recommend refrigeration.
  • Measure precisely as it is so salty it can wreck a dish.
  • Rather than buying low salt soy I just cut the soy called for in a recipe by half and make up the difference with sherry, sake, or homemade salt free chicken stock.

Food Mill

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“You say chunky, I say smooth.”  Some people love a smooth tomato sauce others like it chunky. In my April 20th cooking class we made a smooth tomato sauce by using a food mill.

First we sautéed onions and garlic then added seasonings followed by tomato paste, working it in with the back of a wooden spoon, which brings out the flavor of the paste.  Then we added the fresh and canned tomatoes.  Simmered the sauce for about 30 minutes then put the whole contents of the skillet through a food mill, leaving the skins and the seeds of the tomatoes behind.

Apple sauce is another great use for the food mill.  Don’t peel the apples, just leave out the seeds and the stem.  After the apples are cooked and you mill them,  the skins will be left  behind and your sauce will be vibrant with color and more flavor and vitamins from being cooked with the skins.

Penne Arrabiata ©Karen Lee 2013

 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, sliced

¼ cup diced onions

2 tablespoons diced shallots

½ cup diced leeks (white and light green parts)

1/16 teaspoon cayenne (more if you like spicy)

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 or 2 jalapeno peppers (seeds and membrane removed), and diced (use rubber gloves)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 pound fresh tomatoes, diced

28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid (remove basil from can if any); use hands to squeeze and crush into large chunks

1 pound Penne

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil to drizzle on pasta before serving

1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)

Heat oil, add garlic, sauté for 2 minutes over low to medium heat.  Add onion, shallots, leeks; sauté for an additional 4 minutes or until the onions just  begin to take on color.  Add cayenne, sugar, oregano and salt; sauté another 2 minutes to bring out the flavor.  Add jalapenos; sauté 1 minute.  Add the tomato paste; let sizzle in pan for two minutes.  Add the diced fresh tomatoes and the canned tomatoes with their juice; simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce separates.

Cook pasta for half the time the package directs and then taste.  Make it al dente.  Drain then add to sauce to coat.  Turn off heat and toss using two wooden spoons.  Place on a serving platter and add the parmesan cheese.  Toss again then drizzle with finishing oil and optional chili oil.  Garnish with whole sprigs of parsley or basil leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Sauce C’est Tout

 

The French say, “The sauce is everything”.

For the roasted Poussin I just wrote about on March 18th, a simple but delicious sauce can be made from the natural drippings from the skillet in which you roasted the Poussin (little chicken).

To Make The Sauce

After having removed the Poussin to a plate, add 2 tablespoons white wine or sherry to the drippings in the skillet in which you have roasted the Poussin.  Reduce over low heat for 2 minutes.  Add 3 tablespoons of chicken stock and reduce a few minutes  or by 50 percent.  Dissolve 1 teaspoon arrowroot or water chestnut powder in 1 tablespoon water.  Add this binder to sauce to thicken. Still over low heat pour the binder slowly with one hand while continuously stirring with the other. You could swirl in 2 teaspoons of butter to make the sauce extra delicious but you can also get away without the butter.  Remove sauce from heat immediately lest the butter will break, i.e., will separate from the sauce.  Done.

For sherry I like Savory and James Amontillado, Jerez.   For the white wine I like Mokoroa, Cosecha, 2011.  I buy these two brands at the 67 Wine and Spirits, 212-724-6767.  Ask for Oscar.