PLAYING WITH FOOD: LACTOSE FREE RAVIOLI AND BRAISED PORK NECK RAGOUT WITH MY COUSIN AND FELLOW CHEF
Here I am. I hadn't gone any where. I originally planned to post this 2 weeks ago, however, the picture formatting put my monitor screen in some danger with my fist. So now I am well rested and will give it another go.
I have a sister, Jeana, she was born in March of 1988. I am five years her elder. My OTHER sister is in fact my cousin. We grew up together and our parents made sure to keep us close. We were always interested in food. Our parents would let us make these horrific creations or bad recreations of recipes I would get from "Savour" magazine that I would steal from my orthodontist's waiting room. We all laugh now that we are food professionals and food bloggers. How far we have come. Her Mother by the way is a professional photographer...and she just "happened" to stop by on this day! How lucky are we???
Lactose is a concern for several friends and family, including your humble author. We needed our meal to be cheap, lactose free, and delicious of course. We wanted to make ravioli. Ricotta is a main component of ravioli and it is lactose rich...so we made our own lemon ricotta.
We took 3/4 cup lemon juice with one capful of white vinegar. 1/2 gallon of Lactaid whole milk. Brought the milk up to 180 degrees F and turned off the flame. We added the lemon juice and vinegar and stirred a bit. We let it sit for 10 minutes and then we strained it through a fine mesh strainer ( just like in the last post). We held the ricotta in the refrigerator in the strainer to make sure all the whey had been removed.
For the filling we used Parmigiana (which is almost void of lactose sugars) garlic powder, sauteed shallots, chopped swiss chard, one egg and of course, the ricotta. It is safe to assume that everything I make is seasoned with salt and pepper...never in a million years will two little ingredients like this change the way people taste their food more than these have. ( A close second is my favorite combination of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce)
the components of our filling
seared pork neck
To make the sauce we took some mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion 25-25-50%) sauteed it with a little chopped garlic and basil. We deglazed with red wine and added chopped plum tomatoes and a large can of tomato juice. In another pot we seared the pork neck after we dusted them with some seasoned flour.
Once the necks were browned, I added more red wine and scraped up all of the brown goodness from the bottom of the pan(called FOND) This whole process is called deglazing. After deglazing I added my tomato juice and chopped tomato, fresh basil salt and pepper, simmered for about 2 hours. I dont know why the pictures are f-ed up, but I'm getting a bit punchy.
Now for the pasta...my cousin Lauren took care of this one, forming a well after she weighed the flour out. She added the wet ingredients to the flour and salt mixture and began to slowly incorporate the flour in with the wet ingredients.
We adjusted our doughs consistency with a little olive oil and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour. Once it was ready, we rolled out the dough and laid the sheets on the table. We placed our filling on the sheets, egg washed around the dough and topped them with another layer of pasta. We crimped the edges using a ravioli cutter and wouldn't you know it, we had ravioli!
assembling the ravioli
ravioli in its purest form just lactose free!
We put on a pot of salted water, cook the ravioli just until they were floating. After cooked, they were placed on a beautiful dish, topped with the sauce and a piece of the delicious braised neck bone.
This is a super abbreviated version of the days happenings, however, this was a good way to share our joint talents and the talents of Loretta Miles, whose photos do the real explaining here. Another tidbit is that we used the tomato, the swiss chard and basil all from Laurens garden, making us spend a total of $20 or so for the whole thing. I would like to invite you to visit http://thecookingteacher.wordpress.com/ and look at what Laurens up to. Thank you again, I now must go.