Sunday, June 28, 2009

One Local Summer Week 4

Samplings from week 4 meals :

Squash sauteed with garlic scapes

2 summer squash or zucchini, sliced
1 garlic scaped, chopped
olive oil

Warm olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add squash and scapes. Saute until squash is browned, then turn over and continue to cook until all or most of the pieces are browned. Add salt (fleur de sel preferably) and pepper to taste just before serving. A pinch of pepperoncino is great too!

Boiled Lobsters

Fill a large stockpot with enough water to cover your lobsters and bring to a boil (feel free to use sea water if you have access to it!). Add a handful of water to the pot, and plunge the lobsters into the water (head first!). Bring the water back to a boil, and then begin timing the cooking according to their weight; 8 minutes for the first pound, 3 minutes per pound thereafter. When they are done cooking, pull them out and allow them to rest on a platter. Serve with melted butter, but great fresh lobsters don't really need anything!

Local cheeseburger (from Savage Road Farm), with Cabot Cheddar and a tomato from the Exeter Farmers' Market.

Homemade Cheese Ravioli (Serves 4)

Fresh pasta dough, rolled out into thin sheets (made from 3 eggs and 3 cups flour)
8 oz. fresh ricotta (ours was homemade from local raw milk) - this needs to be of great quality,
really smooth and creamy!
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
Pinch of nutmeg

Combine the filling ingredients (parsley, cheeses, yolk and nutmeg) in a mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Lay out two sheets of pasta side by side. Have a small cup or bowl of water nearby to help seal the pasta. Lay a tea towel onto a tray our cookie sheet and sprinkle with flour; you will need this ready when you finish cutting the ravioli. Scoop one tablespoon of the filling onto one of the pasta sheets. Continue to add the filling to the past at 1/2 inch intervals until the sheet is filled.

With your finger, take the water and outline the scoops of the filling, like you are painting the pasta. Lift the other sheet on top of the pasta and ravioli filling. Carefully press down, starting close to the filling, so you can press out as much air as possible.

Using a pastry or pasta roller, cut the ravioli into squares or circles.

Try to cut as close to the filling, without leaving too much extra pasta around the edges. The edges don't cook as quickly as the rest of the raviolo, and tend to be a bit firm. For the round ravioli (which I prefer, in order to avoid the thick edges and get more filling with every bite!) I used a large coffee scoop to imprint an outline before cutting with the roller. I'd love to find a mini cookie cutter to use from now on though!

Place the finished ravioli on the tea towel, and continue the process until you have used all of the filling. Most times you will have some pasta dough left over, which can be cut and dried to be used later. It does not save well without being cut first.

If you wish, the ravioli can be frozen immediately on the tray and bagged for use at a later time. To cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt. Add the ravioli, and when the water comes to a boil again, lower the heat so the water is just above a simmer. Cooking these in boiling water will most likely cause them to burst. Check the ravioli often, they will float to the top, so I use a spoon to push them down while they cook. The ravioli will take about 5-7 minutes to cook, but I like to test them by taking a bit from the edges. Remember, the edges will be more firm then the rest, and should be cooked al dente. Drain the ravioli as soon as they are done.

These are great served with a butter and sage (fresh from the garden!) sauce or a light tomato sauce.

Local sources:

Cabot butter
Exeter Farmers' Market
Defiant Lobster Co.
Savage Road Farm
Magic Hat Brewery - Wacko


Anonymous July 1, 2009 at 2:07 AM  

Squash with garlic scapes..... I love any garlic dish. I bet it would be great grilled too.

Kristin July 1, 2009 at 8:04 AM  

Yum, that does sound good! Do the scapes work on the grill? That's one thing I have tried! Though, with their light taste, I bet they could be great just chopped and mixed with the squash before serving. I only have 2 scapes left...better try it soon!

Anonymous July 1, 2009 at 5:29 PM  

That squash dish looks awesome! And homemade ravioli - yum! Tis the season for awesome local eating in New England, for sure.

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