We are having my good friend (and boss) Kim, her hubby Rob (the TV Star as he so loves to remind us – we’ll get to that later) and their lovely daughter Chloé. I’ve had a few bad hits with dinner with Chloé (she used to eat everything and now she is 7!) so we’re going the safe route and I asked Kim what she likes – steak and potatoes. Nice and easy at any rate. Chloé also loves oysters so we’re going to get a dozen from the St. Lawrence Market - we’re having the famous peameal on a bun for breakfast YUM!
Hors D’oeuvres: Oysters with a chimichuri style sauce, and a balsamic tomato and green onion salsa and Roasted Red Peppers and Sheep Milk Feta with a balsamic drizzle
Appetizer: Rustic mushroom ragu ‘raviioli’
Main: Steak, Baked Potatoes with all the trimmings and Caesar Salad with Garlic Bread (I may also add a healthy vegetable for me!)
Dessert: Strawberry Shortcake with Fresh Whipped Cream
Rustic Mushroom Ragu Ravioli (appetizer portion for 5)
I was inspired by Laura Caulder’s Rustic Mushroom Ravioli on French Cooking at Home – but I tried to do it a little healthier, of course! I made my own pasta because I wanted to use only egg whites and I wanted a very thin pasta (this recipe is about the mushrooms and not the pasta!) I eyeballed my pasta so I won’t repeat the recipe, but any simple pasta recipe will do (semolini, egg, water) – you can even use won ton wrappers in a pinch!
- 10 x 3″ squares of pasta, cooked and drained
- 2 cups assortment of wild mushrooms hydrated in 2 cups hot water (I love the one’s you get from Costco US) – liquid reservered
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter (a little pat won’t make you fat!)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 cup of carnation low fat evaporated milk (cream substitute)
- 1 tbsp cognac
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- Parmesan shavings (about 3 per plate)
- Begin by sweating the onions until translucent in the tablespoon of butter and olive oil, add 1 cup of the finely strained mushroom broth and the rehydrated mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are soft (the mushroom broth will evaporate, intensifying the mushroom flavour.
- Add the garlic and cognac and stir until the alcohol has evaporated.
- Pour in the evaporated milk and 1/2 cup of mushroom broth, and simmer until liquid is reduced about 1/4 (there should be enough sauce for about 2-3 tbsps per person).
- Add the remaining butter and stir until melted.
- Place one sheet of pasta on each plate and spoon the mushroom ragu among the 5 plates with a little sauce on each – reserve a mushroom or two and some sauce per plate.
- Place the remaining pasta sheet over each one, not perfectly, this is rustic ravioli!
- Spoon the remaining mushrooms and sauce on top of the pasta and garnish with 3 shavings of parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!