“I never buy ready-made …<fill in the blanks>… anymore”.
Isn’t that the best compliment a cook can get? Someone said it after tasting these Quick Wonton Ravioli with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese.
When I saw the menu, my heart stopped for a bit. Do I really have to make ravioli and 2 other dishes in 2 hours? All the alarm bells in my head went on and I saw all kinds of ‘bears on the road‘.
(That is a Dutch expression stating you only see the obstacles ahead, not the possibilities.)
I mean, making ravioli is not a bear. Ravioli is on my repertoire.
I even have a dedicated, beautiful orange pasta maker (picture!), that bought in Brescia (Italy) and smuggled back home with me in my carry on. But it’s on 220V and in the US I only can use it with a transformer. That was my mother bear; I wasn’t planning on bringing all this heavy equipment with me to the demo kitchen.
Papa bear made me question making my own pasta dough from scratch. It’s a lot of fun to do, but also time-consuming and it makes a mess out of your kitchen. It’s basically a class by itself. (Interested?)
Before I could think about how I would tackle my bears, my friend Nicole gave me the solution; why don’t you use wonton sheets?
No messy kitchen. No carrying around with heavy tools. And quite doable in the time frame I am given to cook the food and feed the participants.
But, … but, …
To be honest, I had never used wonton sheets before, let alone for ravioli. But the idea isn’t so weird as it might sound. Wonton sheets are made from flour and water, just like pasta dough. Although in Italy in some places the water is replaced by eggs, which makes the pasta not only tastier but also more yellow and less gray in color. Yeah, there is a reason why we think Marco Polo brought the pasta making skills from China to Italy, only it is not true.
And the package gave it as a possibility as well. To use the wonton sheets not only for pot stickers, but for ravioli too, I mean.
So I made a test batch to see how the wonton sheets behave, how much of filling I would need, to write out the recipe and .. to check how many sheets there are in one package. It does NOT say so on the label!
Change of plans
I quick-stopped at Trader Joe’s for the groceries for the event, expecting I would be able to get all I need.
You can guess what happened.
“No, Mme, we only have parsnips in the fall“, the veggie boy told me.
You know how I love to cook with the seasons, but when someone else (aka your boss) asks you to use a certain veggie, you go for it, right?
So I looked around for another filling and ended up making these Quick Wonton Ravioli with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese. I eyeballed the ingredients, didn’t make notes, but more or less I made it as follows:
Home made Quick Wonton Ravioli with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese
“I never buy ready-made …. anymore” is the best compliment a chef can get. Even better than “Oh, your food is so much more tasty that I had from the other chefs”. And when those things are said to you on one evening, you can imagine I glowed when I drove home. These Quick Wonton Ravioli with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese were to ‘blaim’!
1-2 gloves garlic
6 T butter
1 lb crimini mushrooms
1 t (dried) thyme
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup blue cheese
1 package small wonton sheets (3.5 in | 9 cm)
For the sauce:
1 stick butter (110 gr)
2 gloves garlic
few branches fresh thyme
Start with the onion. Peel and dice it finely. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a wide skillet and over medium heat ‘sweat’ the onion. Let simmer for approx. 10 minutes, or as long as it takes you to prepare the mushrooms.
Sauté the mushrooms. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into very small pieces. Remove onions from the pan, turn heat to high and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Over high heat, sauté half of the mushrooms until nicely browned. Remove from the pan and sauté the rest of the mushrooms too. Mix and season onions and mushrooms. You might want to take some time to chop the mixture a bit finer.
Finish the filling by adding cream and blue cheese to the mushroom mixture. It should be a loose, but still kinda firm filling.
If you know what I mean. Not to runny to peep out the ravioli, but easy enough to work with.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
Make the ravioli. Pour some water in a small bowl. Dust your counter with some flour and lay out 10 wonton sheets. Scoop up 1 heaped tablespoon of the filling in the center of a wonton sheet. Dip your finger in the water and thoroughly wet the sheet around the filling. Lay another wonton sheet on top and while starting from the center gently pressing all air out, press the top sheet firmly on the bottom one.
To be sure, use a fork to stick the sheets a bit better together. Transfer the raviolo to a dryer piece on your counter.
Make all other 24-ish ravioli this way.
Tip: Let the ravioli, nicely dusted in flour, dry out on your counter for an hour or so. Then freeze them, spread out on a baking sheet, not touching each other. Once completely frozen, you can put them in 1 or 2 Ziplocks and keep them for a while in your freezer.
Make the butter sauce. Melt 1 stick of butter in a clean wide skillet. Squeeze and peel garlic and add with the thyme twigs to the butter. Lower or turn off the heat when the butter starts to brown. Season.
Cook the ravioli. Salt the boiling water and cook ravioli in batches of 5-8, depending on size of your pan. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the butter sauce (don’t worry too much about fully draining the ravioli).
Serve your Home Made Quick Wonton Ravioli with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese in the sauce with some fresh thyme and a squeeze of lemon.
Enjoy, and let me know if you’re still buying ravioli at your supermarket after these!