Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday Night Bites #11

Last Friday night we went to The Mills Tavern restaurant in Providence and it was fantastic as usual. We used some Hilton Honors points and stayed in Providence for the night, neither one of us wanted to behave and not drink.

This week I did some "bites". I had the "mortadella bignet" idea left over from "Friday Night Bites #10", it was another idea from Marc Vetri from his restaurant in Philadelphia. Dessert was something I have been wanting to do from our Chicago trip. We had a ricotta and chocolate chip filled sweet brioche as a dessert at "The Purple Pig". I wanted to use black truffle butter that I saw at Whole Foods somewhere and so I came up with an egg yolk ravioli to bath in the butter. The blue cheese souffle was something I printed off foodnetwork a few years ago and I came across it in my files so I thought I'd finally do that and maybe a salad would go nicely with it. That's it, too many courses is not needed as I am discovering.

Mortadella Bignet (meat donuts)

I started by making the mortadella mousse. I am calling it mousse but all I did was take some pistachios (a handful) and get them really ground up in the food processor, then about 3 big and thick slices of deli mortadella and get that really ground up with the nuts. Then I drizzled in some heavy cream just to make it more luscious and creamy. I put that into a piping bag and put it in the frig so it would be ready for later when it was time to fill the bignet's. For the bignet's I made a savory Choux Paste. Its just a basic recipe with out any sugar, but a little salt in it's place. Choux Paste is butter and flour and eggs basically, it's used to make chocolate eclairs and cream puffs. Then usually you would bake them and fill them but they showed Marc Vetri deep frying them so that's what I did. I put the choux paste into a piping bag and dropped round pieces into the oil and cooked them for 4-5 minutes. Once they come out of the oil I made a small hole in each one with a skewer and then piped in the mortadella mousse. It was fantastic! They were very hard to resist.

Blue Cheese Souffle with Crisp Greens and Toast

I decided to make a salad to go along with the souffle. The souffle was rich and very flavorful and the salad went perfectly with it, it really needs something crisp like a salad. The salad was arugula, red onion, thinly shaved celery cut on the bias and grape tomatoes. I made a dressing that included shallots, sherry vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and olive oil. The souffle only has 3 ounces of Roquefort cheese and it's the perfect amount, other wise it would be too over powering. The Cheese Souffle is an Ina Garden recipe from the foodnetwork. The toast was a nice loaf from Whole Foods bakery that had sprouted wheat and raisins.

Egg Yolk Ravioli with Black Truffle Butter

I saw someone do this before, with the "mashed potato bed" and then place an egg yolk in the bed. I thought of it when I was coming up with this idea. I just made mashed potato and added in some chives, parsley, butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. The pasta dough itself is mostly egg yolk with a little of the whites, all purpose flour, olive oil, salt and pepper and I rolled it out fairly thin. Instead of boiling the ravioli (very delicate with the egg yolk) I decided to take a skillet and put in about 1/2 inch of water with a few tablespoons of the black truffle butter (bought at Whole Foods in the cheese department). I brought the water and butter to a simmer and added in the ravioli. Cover the skillet and allow the ravioli to cook and steam for about 2-3 minutes only. Remove the lid and let the water evaporate a little bit and the truffle butter to coat the ravioli adding another pat of butter at the end. I also added right at the end some pre-cooked panchetta pieces and the dark green parts of a scallion sliced thinly. It was a nice dish.

The next day I fried up the two left over ravioli in olive oil until it was completely heated through and the pasta browned up a little crispy, and some toast on the side for a perfect breakfast. Believe it or not the yolk was still perfectly runny.

Brioche "Cannoli"

I followed an easy recipe for brioche in the Jacques and Julia cookbook, Jacques makes it in the food processor. His was for a savory dish with sausage stuffed in the center but I was doing this sweet version so I added a couple tsp of sugar. After letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator to rise slowly I mixed together the filling which was ricotta cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla, a tiny bit of whipped heavy cream just to make it creamier and bittersweet chocolate. I rolled out the dough and cut rounds out of the dough. I filled the centers of the dough rounds with as much filling as I could and completely enclosed them, and then placed them into a cupcake pan (which is what it looked like they did at the "Purple Pig" restaurant; above). It was tasty right from the oven but it wasn't the same as the restaurant. The one at the restaurant had a lot of filling and the chocolate was melted and it looked completely enclosed. Mine, I don't know where the filling went, it seems like the cheese became one with the brioche and the filling wasn't there. Like I said it was tasty but I wouldn't make them again, I'll just have to go back to Chicago and get one there!

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