Wednesday, May 16, 2007

from 5/11/2007

I love having a friend over for dinner. It makes cooking even more fun when at the end someone says, "this is great!". I'm a sucker for a compliment. As Maggie is wont to say: Will Work For Praise. Plus, I love the combo of chilling out around the house, but also having a friend chill out with you--and, in the case of last night, play a rousing game of Scrabble!

I made pea "ravioli" (with wonton wrappers) from a recipe in this month's Vegetarian Times magazine (they have a bunch of pea recipes in this issue, and I love-love-love spring veggies). As a kid I hated peas, but my mom also liked to open a can of them, and then boil them down to a colorless mush. (My mom's actually a really good cook, but she had the tendency to way overcook the veggies).

I forgot to bring the issue with me for the recipe, but I think I remember it:

Pea Ravioli
(4 servings)

2 c. fresh or frozen peas
2 shallots, quartered
1 clove garlic
1/4 c. parmesan cheese, grated (I used manchego)
36 wonton wrappers
sea salt, to taste

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, and add the peas. Cook about 2-3 minutes, then drain and reserve 1/4 c. of the cooking liquid.

Puree the peas with the other ingredients in a food processor.

Here's the pea puree because it's so gorgeously green!
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Work quickly with the wonton wrappers because they dry out quickly. Wet the edges with water, put a little of the pea filling in the center, and fold into a triangle, sealing the edges. Place on a tray lined with damp paper towels, and cover the ravioli with more damp paper towels so they don't dry out.

Bring another salted pot of water to boil, and drop in the ravioli. Cook about 3 mintues, then remove with a slotted spoon to skillet with your sauce.

In the article they suggested using a tomato sauce or butter and parmesan sauce, but I've been thinking about a sauce from Heidi's Cook 1.0--a lemon cream. I didn't want to make it that heavy with the cream, but I used it as an inspiration. So, for the sauce:

zest of 4 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
4 ramps - bulbs and stems
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. grated machego cheese (could use parmesan), plus another 1/4 c. for topping
1 large bunch of asparagus, cut into 1" pieces and blanched
crushed red pepper flakes

Heat the zest, juice, ramps and oil in a large skillet. Add the asparagus and raviolis and toss to warm and coat. Add the manchego and serve! (I'd also planned to add some basil, and then spaced it, but it would've been good). Top with crushed red pepper flakes and additional cheese, if desired. Eat it up.

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I started a new batch o' chickpea sprouts this morning. I loved those sprout burgers, and I'm going to a baseball game with Lauren next week, and I think they'd be great ballgame snacks. I just need to find a good egg replacer. Maybe flax seeds. I've never tried them as an egg replacer, and I know they get goopy, but we'll see!

And, I made Heidi's wheatberry salad again this morning (cooked the wheatberries last night). Wheatberries, the citrus dressing (posted the recipe on 4/26). I changed it slightly this time--used garlic instead of shallot and added fava beans. I could freakin' swim in the citrus dressing. It is magically delicious!
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(side note: aren't those little dolls in the background adorable? one of the guys I work with brought me them back from Japan. I love them. They represent the seasons.)

Also, I'd frozen a batch of mesquite chocolate chip cookies the last time I made some, and just thawed them out. I mentioned them to some guys at my office, and they wanted to try them, so I baked a tray of mini-cookies this morning. Me + mesquite meal = TLA.

Have a great weekend, dear readers! I'm planning on some good treats in the next few days, and will report back on Monday.

Oh! Also, the farmers market at the Firehouse in the Strip starts this week! It's the city's only (mostly) organic farmers market. Get the scoop here:
Ellen and I are walking over to be there first-thing on Saturday morning. I can't wait!

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