Thursday, October 28, 2010

Studio 5: Crispy Pumpkin & Feta Ravioli

I love how resourcefulness has become so ears perk up whenever I hear about re-cycling or re-purposing.  Like many of you, I was raised on resourcefulness.  My mother was proud of how she could make a pound of hamburger stretch to feed a family of seven.  She taught me how to darn my socks (I'm pretty darn good at it...sorry, I couldn't resist the pun!), mend my clothes, cook from scratch and my Father taught me how to tend a garden. 
It's not just about saving money; it's satisfaction, accountability and appreciation.

Every year we carve pumpkins.  I look forward to glowing jack-o-lanterns on my front porch, hearing the doorbell ring and little children (big children too!) all dressed up.

As I'm pulling this big chunk of a mouth from my jack-o-lantern, I realized I could cut off the rind, cut it up, roast it and make something yummy from it.

So I did.  Here is my recipe for Crispy Pumpkin & Feta Ravioli.  This is a rich and sumptuous meal that could be served on it's on, but would also go nicely with a roast chicken, chicken cutlet and a salad. 

If you're watching calories, you can omit the fried part.  I've made this without frying and it's delicious, but something about the crispy pasta and soft pumpkin filling makes this irresistible.  I've even thought about twisting the pasta a bit and deep frying them for an appetizer.  Yum.

Crispy Pumpkin & Feta Ravioli
{with brown butter mushroom sauce}

• 1 cup mashed roasted pumpkin

•1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

• 1/4 cup chopped parsley

• ½ tsp. ground cumin

• 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

• 1 tsp. kosher salt

• Pepper to taste

• Wonton wrappers
• 1/2 cup Butter, divided (possibly more)

• Mushrooms, thinly sliced

• 1/2 cup cream

• 1 cup milk
• ¼ cup Wondra or flour

optional: shredded parmesan cheese for sauce
• Cut pumpkin into approx. 1” chunks. Toss in a little olive oil and roast in a 375 oven for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Mash. If you don’t have fresh pumpkin, you can substitute any winter squash or used canned pumpkin.

• Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil.

• Mix pumpkin, cheese, parsley and seasonings in a bowl.

• Lay out wonton wrappers (I do 8 at a time, because that is how many fit into my pan) and roll out a little with rolling pin.
 • Spoon approx. 1 tsp. of filling in center of wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with a little water. Fold one wide over carefully and pat edges until adhered to each other. Work from the filling outwards to avoid air bubbles.

• Boil the ravioli for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove and place carefully on a large cookie sheet. Repeat until they are all done.
 • (You can cover the pan with plastic wrap and keep in fridge until you’re ready to eat.)

• The first raviolis you took out will have dried out somewhat and will be ready to fry.

• Place ¼ butter in hot pan and let it get light brown. Place driest side of ravioli in butter. Cook for a few minutes. Watch carefully. When one side is nicely browned, turn over and cook for another minute or so.

• As these cook, place them on a cookie sheet in a warm oven covered with foil.

• Make sauce. Add ¼ c. butter to hot pan. Add sliced mushrooms. You can omit mushrooms if you’d like.
• Saute until tender and brown. Add Wondra (like flour but finer, is great for making smooth sauces) mix and cook for 1 minute.

• Add cream and then milk. Whisk until smooth.

• Options. Add some feta or parmesan cheese for a cheesy sauce.

• Pour over ravioli and sprinkle with chopped parsley and/or pumpkin seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are great for snacking, but also make a great garnish for salads and pasta dishes. Store in the freezer if you’re not going to eat them quickly, as they can go rancid. Here are a few tips that make your roasted pumpkin seeds perfect every time!

Seeds from smaller pumpkins will always be tenderer than larger seeds, but larger seeds will have more meat on the inside.
Rinse seeds thoroughly under water. Brine in salty water (1:4 ratio kosher salt to warm water) and soak for 6 to 8 hours.

Spread on cookie sheet lined with paper towel and let dry out a bit. You can hurry this process by placing more paper towel on top and patting it.

Spread dried and soaked seeds on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (I used a combination of oil and butter) and season. Sprinkle with a coarse salt and bake at 350 for 20 – 30 minutes, but watch and taste every 10 minutes. Success depends on the size and moisture of the seed. When the outside is crispy and the inside tender you know you’re ready to go.

Create your own gourmet seed snacks with these tasty additions. Add these combinations after you’ve roasted your seeds (some spices can get bitter if roasted too long). Toss 1 cup of roasted seeds with mixtures and bake for an additional 5 minutes in a 350 oven. Let cool in pan and eat!

 • Garlic Parmesan: 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1tsp. Parmesan and ½ tsp. garlic powder.

• Onion and Garlic: ½ tsp garlic powder and ½ tsp. onion powder.

• Honey Mustard: 1 tsp. brown spicy mustard and 2 tsp. honey.

• Oriental Orange Glazed: ¼ tsp. orange extract, ½ tsp. soy sauce and 2 tsp. honey.

• Cinnamon and Honey Glazed: ½ tsp. cinnamon and 2 tsp. honey.


kwgirl said...

You are KILLING me with all those tasty looking pictures! It all looks so good I can almost taste it through the computer...can you tell I'm starving? All I can say is YUM:)

Debbie Gardner said...

This looks so amazing! I can't wait to try it!

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