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Friday, December 26, 2014

Gourmet Roasted Duck Ravioli

It seems to be my own personal tradition, but every year during this period I take out my pasta machine and make ravioli.  The first year of my pasta machine, I made some vegetarian versions, such as goat cheese and sundried tomato ravioli.  Those were a big hit among my fellow tasters and kept me motivated for the upcoming ravioli urges I would be bound to have.  The second year I hopped on the butternut bandwagon and made roasted butternut squash ravioli with sage.  That was a step up from my first time.  Both were delicious, but I started working with the flavor combinations (and was well guided by the internet as well.)  If anything, the internet has taught me that butternut squash and sage go together just as well as clams and linguine do.
OOoooh clams!
This takes us to year number 3 of my handy pasta machine.  This year, I freestyled.  It was a complete work of my imagination that I had dreamed up the very day I bought the duck I was planning to roast for Christmas Eve.  I was actually more excited about transforming the leftovers into this exquisite ravioli than the actual Christmas Even dinner.. which I eventually constructed correctly.  Today was the day I would realize the creation of my dreams.
I had strict indications as to which leftovers were completely off limits until I had made my magic happen.  Thankfully, nobody in my house touches my fridge (with the exception of cleaning day) besides me.
Lo and behold, the work of my brain speaking to my heart directing my hands and being advised by the voice...
Yield 42 Ravioli (5-6 servings)
2 cups (about 200g) whole wheat flour
2 eggs
pinch of salt
drizzle EVOO
1 Tbsp water
extra flour for shaping
200g roasted duck meat, finely cut with kitchen shears
2 finely diced large mushrooms
2 Tbsp heavy cream
handful chopped parsley
juice from 1/2 orange
1 Tbsp grated ginger
few cracks fresh pepper
1 egg, beaten
Sauce for 4 servings:
2 tsp duck fat
100g sliced mushrooms
1 large clove garlic, grated
3 Tbsp heavy cream
juice from 1/2 orange
handful freshly chopped parsley
lots of cracked black pepper
pinch fleur de sel
3-4 ladles ravioli cooking broth
drizzle truffled olive oil
chopped parsley
grated parmesan
1.  Make the dough.  Mix the ingredients and knead into a ball.  Wrap in plastic and let sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
2.  Prepare the filling by stirring everything together.  If it's too thick, add a bit of cream.  Refrigerate.
3.  Cut your dough into 4 pieces.  Roll out each piece with your pasta machine onto the second to last setting.  Mine was number 8.
4.  On each band, place 1 heaping tsp filling every 3 inches.
5.  Beat an egg and brush a bit of eggwash around each filling ball.  This will act as glue.
6.  Fold your band over and press all around the balls of filling to make sure there are no air bubbles.  Use a cookie cutter or ravioli cutter (if you're lucky enough to have one) to shape your pasta.  When it cooks it will get all wrinkly anyway, but at least you will have tried to make it shapely and pretty.  Make sure to let as little dough go to waste as possible.
I saved the trimmings from each band and was able to make a fifth band with the extra dough.  I froze 2 servings of these lovely little exquisite beings for indulging at a later time.. when roasted duck might be a far away memory.
7.  When you are feeling ready and after having taken a short break to resource yourself, boil for 4 minutes in chicken stock or salted water.  You should make your sauce at this time.
8.While you're waiting for the stock to boil, in a separate wok or pan, make the sauce.  Melt the duck fat and sautée the mushrooms until tender and they have released some of their juice.
9.  Add the garlic, orange juice, and parsley and heat through.
10.  Remove from heat and stir in the cream along with some cracked black pepper.
11.  If you're good at coordinating, you should be finishing off boiling your ravioli.  Ladle in some of the cooking water into your sauce.  Taste and add a pinch of fleur de sel if necessary.

Serve the ravioli in a dish with a ladle of the mushroom sauce.
Sprinkle some chopped parsley and a bit of parmesan.
To finish it off, drizzle a bit of truffled olive oil into each plate.
What I like about this home-style fine dining is that you can have quality as well as quantity.  I won't be left hungry with just a mise-en-bouche of this earthy meaty tangy creation.  The orange is not overpowering, but is quite noticeable.  It balances out the richness of the dish.  Cooking the mushrooms in duck fat gives it a nice reminder that there is duck on the outside as well as the inside.  Poaching the ravioli in boiling stock breaks down the parts of the duck that might not have been as tender re-heated microwave style.
The truffle oil takes this one out of the ball park, out of my heart, and into my soul...
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