Week 30 – Potsticker Soup, Homemade Ravioli, and Molten Chocolate Cakes

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It’s already the middle of February!  Where does time go?!  The week pretty much flew by and then we had a really nice and pretty low-key weekend.  Despite my complaints that Valentine’s Day isn’t a real holiday and is just a waste of money, Matt brought home some pretty beautiful roses on Friday night, he’s the sweetest 🙂 Saturday Pure Barre had free classes so I did one of those while Matt went to the regular gym, and then we met at Trader Joe’s to buy some things for our Valentine’s Day dinner.  We hung out and cooked the rest of the day, and stayed in to eat our amazing dinner and watch the Syracuse-Duke game.

The recipes!  Tuesday night Matt made the soup (that’s what you get for getting home from work first).  It was pretty quick for him to make and was absolutely delicious!  Andddd it’s a Trader Joe’s recipe so all of the ingredients can be found at Trader Joe’s a big highlight for me.  For Valentine’s Day we opted to have a nice dinner in (on our wedding china) instead of going out.  We made homemade ravioli, bought tuscan garlic bread from Wegman’s, and finished with molten chocolate cake for dessert.  The ravioli was made with the pasta recipe from week 27, and for the filling we googled some recipes for inspiration and then kind of made it up.  So the recipes below are more guesstimates than actual measurements.  It will also make more filling than needed for the amount of dough you have.  We opted to make more chicken than cheese ones, and topped some italian bread with the leftover cheese filling mix and baked it for a few minutes and called it lunch.  We topped our ravioli with the sauce recipe from week 27 (we made a big batch last weekend and froze it, so it was just a quick defrost this weekend).  The chocolate cakes are not a new recipe, but that doesn’t make them any less awesome, which is why I’m sharing the recipe.  I got the recipe from high school French class when we did our cooking unit (and translated it back into English before posting on here, you’re welcome).  I made these for matt on our very first Valentine’s day as a couple (2007), and again last year (all of the Valentine’s Days in between we were long distance).  I suggested a new recipe for dessert this year and his response was “but what about the chocolate cakes?” So I think we have a Valentine’s Day tradition in these…Lucky for me they’re pretty easy to pull off!

Last thing – Blue Apron has given me some free meals to give to friends or family who haven’t tried blue apron yet (sadly those of us who have already experienced the goodness can’t get them…).  Text me if you want one of the free weeks!

Potsticker Soup (recipe here)

Makes: 6+ servings

Ingredients:

  • Grape Seed or Olive Oil
  • 1 package TJ’s Gyoza (Pork, Chicken, Shrimp or Vegetable)
  • 1 container TJ’s Mirepoix (or just chop up carrots, celery, and onion – about 1 cup of each)
  • 2 packages (64 oz) Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 bag (6 oz) Baby Spinach
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with oil (about 2-3 tablespoons) and lightly fry the gyoza over medium-high heat until they get some nice browning on both sides (about 10 minutes)
  2. In a large soup pot (about 6 qt.), pour a couple tablespoons of oil and add the mirepoix. Saute the vegetables in the pot until the onions start to appear translucent
  3. Add the broth to the pot and bring to a slow simmer.
  4. When the soup gets some energy, toss in the spinach and add the soy sauce and sesame oil.
  5. When the soup is officially simmering, add the potstickers.
  6. Serve it up in bowls and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

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Chicken & Spinach, and Three Cheese Ravioli

Makes: 50+ Ravioli

Ingredients:

For the Chicken Filling

  • 1 cup cooked ground chicken, finely ground
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs (oregano & basil)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

For the Cheese Filling

  • 1 ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs (oregano & basil)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½-2 Tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients for each filling in separate bowls, set aside.
  2. Roll out your pasta dough until just slightly transparent (the second to last thinnest setting on my past machine).
  3. Lay on a lightly floured work surface.
  4. If using a stamp, lightly press indentations with the stamp onto the pasta sheet to act as a guide for spacing the filling.
  5. Place a small amount of filling in each space. Make sure not to overfill the ravioli – a couple of teaspoons is plenty for each one
  6. Lightly brush water around the edge of where each ravioli will be, this will help with sealing the ravioli
  7. Lay a second sheet of pasta gently over the top of the mounds of filling.
  8. Starting at one end of the pasta, gently stretch the top sheet of pasta over the filling and press firmly around the edges to seal the pasta sheets together, making sure to press out the excess air before sealing.
  9. Cut around each ravioli.  (If desired, you could try to rework the pasta scraps and reuse them.  I find that the dough has dried out slightly by being exposed to the air and anyway, one batch of pasta dough makes about 60+ ravioli without reusing the scraps which is plenty for me.)
  10. Lay the finished ravioli out on another lightly floured surface.  Let them dry for about 1 hour before transferring to an airtight container and freezing.
  11. Cook ravioli 5-8 minutes in boiling water, drain, and top with desired sauce.

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Molten Chocolate Cake

Makes: 4-6 cakes (depending on size of ramekins)

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I use baker’s chocolate squares)
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Butter or spray 4 ramekins with Pam, preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave on medium heat, or on the stove on medium heat.
  3. Mix the 3 eggs and 3 egg yolks with a whisk, then add 1 tsp vanilla and mix, add 1 ½ cups powdered sugar and mix.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture and mix, then add the flour and mix.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the ramekins and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Take out of the oven when cakes have risen and are browned.
  7. Run a butter knife around the edge of each cake to make sure it isn’t stuck to the ramekin. Let sit 5 minutes.
  8. Place a plate on top of each ramekin and flip it over to get the cake out of the ramekin (and if your name is Matt, flip the cake back over on the plate).

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