Lasagna a la Uncle Scooter

Welcome back, gentle readers!  I’ve been away from the computer (and the kitchen) for a little while as I’ve been settling into my new role as the gm for Firefly, a landmark neighborhood institution here in San Francisco.  Now that I’m fully plugged in, I wanted to get back to feeding you, too.

Lasagna, for me, falls into a special category of foods; good today, better tomorrow.  So when I can, I get started on this dish a day in advance.  However, pulling a dish like this together and not eating it, requires more will power than I have the time to cultivate.  Ah well.  This style of lasagna, bound together with a cheesy sauce, was introduced to me by Michael Park back in the day.  I don’t make it any other way now.  Also, I like the “no boil” noodles, but do what your heart wants.  Let’s jump right in –

When I make a lasagna, I like to make the sauce separately.  In this case I made a pork and beef red sauce, with onion, garlic, carrot, fennel, and orange.

Here’s the soffritto shot.  In the French tradition, the aromatic base for a dish is mirepoix, (onion, carrot, celery) in the Italian tradition; soffrito (onion, garlic, carrot, fennel, other tasty things).  The Italian style uses olive oil, but the principal is the same for both, sweat some tasty bits of vegetables until they are soft and sweet and delicious.

Next, brown the meat(s), deglaze with a little wine and reduce that wine by half.  Then I added the tomato product and aromatics.  Fresh oregano and a little orange zest went in the pot.  Next up, cheese sauce!

By my count, we’ve seen the above process (or some variation) fifteen hundred times already at swfoodworks.com.  We do however have a technique newcomer; singer (sawn-jay).  Here’s what Larusse has to say:  “Singer  A French culinary term meaning to sprinkkle ingredients browned in fat with flour before adding liquid (such as wine, stock or water) to make a sauce”.  But that’s not all, “[t]he term previously meant to colour a sauce with caramel, which was familiarly called jus de singe (‘monkey juice’)”.  Which only reminds me of Eddie Izzard’s Dressed to Kill monolouge in french.  I’ll spare you the laborious reading, and point you here if you have questions about what makes a roux, bechamel, or mornay.  I’m making a quart of sauce, so I started by sweating some garlic cloves and bay leaf in a couple table spoons of butter.  When that smelled great, I sprinkled a couple of heaping table spoons of flour in the pot and whisked it around for a few minutes.  Then I added the quart of whole milk and stirred until the whole mess thickened.  Voila!

For the lasagna proper, I wanted to make a vegetable filling of potatoes (above sauteed with garlic), red onion, oregano, and citrus zest (below, in the bowl).

Now that the meat sauce has simmered and is delicious, the bechamel is prepared, and the filling is ready, we have to assemble the dish.  I have some fresh mozzarella to add some cheesy-body and I wanted to add a little ricotta along with the filling.  Here is the assembly process in photos, and the directions in haiku:

Sauce, noodles, filling

cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese, filling

cheese, noodles, sauce, cheese

Of course, please finish with seasonings (salt, pepper, nutmeg?), wrap with foil and bake in a hot oven (350 or so).  Peek under the foil after an hour to see how everything is coming along.  If the sauce is bubbly, you’re good to go.  Remove the foil and bake (or broil) looking for a nicely browned top layer.  Comme ça.

Now, let that steaming tray of delicious sit on out and start to cool.  If you can stand it, wait for several hours before cutting out a slice and making lunch.  If you can not, at least wait while you set the table.

Then, heat up your ragout, cut out a slice, and sauce the noodles.  If you are making this plate after the lasagna has had a chance to rest, it’s easy to heat up the individual servings on a sheet tray or small oven proof dish.

No fancy wrap-up for this posting.  I just want to wish the best for your family, friends, health, and happiness.  Au revior,  Scott.

The Lovely and Versatile Almond Biscotti (at home)

If you find yourself paying $2.75 for a biscotti every time you step into your local coffee haunt, calm yourself.  Help is at hand.  Not only are biscotti fairly easy to make at home, but they keep forever, and (over time) you may be able to recuperate the cash you’ve been throwing at someone else’s biscotti.  Yours are better anyway.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (just the insides) or 1/2 tsp. extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds

I like to throw a little orange zest into the mix as well, but we’ll get there in a second 🙂

Start by beating together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract.

Combine it well.

Stir together the ‘dry’ portion; flour, baking soda, salt.

Combine the ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ portions on a low speed.  Here I’ve thrown in the zest of one orange also.

There we go.

Once the ‘dry’ ingredients have been incorporated, add the sliced almonds and continue mixing until incorporated.

You’ll end up with something that looks like this; a very sticky, slow moving batter.

*Very Important* Flour some parchment paper really well.  This batter is sticky, and it needs a lot of help.

Turn the batter out onto the floured parchment paper lined sheet trays.

Use the parchment to help you bring the batter together and flatten it out slightly.  More flour may be required.

Kind of like this.

Now, shape the dough into pretty good rectangles, about 1/4 inch high.  (Keep some flour near by if your hands get sticky)

Pop that into a 350 degree oven for 17-20 minutes.

Remove when they look nice a lightly golden brown(ed).  Let this cool for about 5 minutes.

Get a serrated knife, move to a cutting board, and slice the ‘loaf’ into 1/4 inch slices.

Turn the oven down to 300 degrees and pop these guys back in for 10-20 minutes.

They should be nice and tan, and have a crisp, light texture.

This recipe yields about 20 biscotti or so, at about $.13 a piece.  This, as you already know, are a great any-time snack.  Biscotti also work well crushed up for pie crusts (hello!).  I brought these to work this week, and one of our talented line cooks (Hi Hank) turned them into the crust for our staff meal cheesecake.  We used to use them the same way back at Restaurant Vintage Park in Nebraska.  Biscotti crust, mascarpone cheesecake, lemon curd to glaze; Lovely!  Great with a nice coffee, and traditionally served with a sweet wine called Vin Santo (wine of the saints), these classic twice-baked Italian treats are great to keep around.  Good luck keeping them around.

Treat yourself well –

-Scott

Baked Rigatoni with Three Cheeses

“Like cheese and macaroni” is an Italian idiomatic expression used when two things work together harmoniously, naturally, and effortlessly.  I would add deliciously to that list.  Cheese and noodles are really satisfying together, but you already know that, don’t you?  🙂  I’m a big fan of baked or broiled noodle dishes.  This last step adds other dimensions of flavor and texture, and it’s pretty simple to execute.  So let’s jump into this version of cheese and macaroni!

Here’s the shopping cart; mushrooms, sausage, onion, garlic, parsley, and three cheeses (blue, fontina and Gouda).  I like the cheese trifecta.  The fontina melts well, gouda lends body and sweetness, and the blue gives a punch of salt and savor.

Here’s what you need in order to make a cheese sauce at home.  Essentially, what you’re making is a cheese rich bechamel sauce.  Bechamel is a milk sauce that is thickened with roux.  If you need roux tips, look here.  I little tip I always remember for bechamel is that one ounce of roux with thicken one cup of milk.  So for this batch I used four ounces total (2 butter, 2 flour).

Once you get your white sauce up and running, get that cheese in the works.  For a quart of sauce, I started with about two cups of cheese business.  Stir the cheese into your warm sauce, and season with a little of whatever you like.  I like nutmeg and cayenne, salt and black pepper.

And here’s the other stuff that makes eating pasta so delicious; mushrooms, onion, and sausage.  If you buy little closed mushrooms like the ones here, I always wash them off before I proceed.  If they are wild, or have exposed gills, I brush, or wipe, or pick them clean.  When I can, I like to use one pan for this part, so I start with a good high-heat saute on the mushrooms until they color, and then I bring the onions to the party.  Last, I give the sausage a little time in the pan to color and develop flavors.

The, I like to drain all of the ‘garnish’ so that I’m not diluting my delicious cheese sauce with the moisture that the veggies are giving up.  It’s all about the little thing…

You could use standard bread crumbs for dishes like these or you can dress them up a bit.  This version is a parsley bread crumb.  When you get herbs, be sure to wash before using.  I know they look clean and all that, but there’s almost always dirt there, I assure you.  Use a big bowl, and shake the herbs around.  Then, drain them and spin them dry in a salad spinner like the crazy yellow one above.  If you find yourself stranded on a small desert island with no herb spinning device, use a colander and then roll the herbs in some paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, and give them a good squeeze to absorb the water.

This is a quick way to chop the crap out of some parsley, and then make tasty bread crumbs.  Toss the parsley into a food processor, and pulse it until the pieces start to get small.  Then, throw in some of your bread crumbs, which will help get everything chopping.  Once everything is the size you want, add the remaining bread crumbs and pulse a couple of times to incorporate them.  Oh, start boiling some water, it’s almost time to eat!

Now, take a minute to make them really delicious.  Add a little garlic, some olive oil, and grated Parmesan, then taste, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.  You can turn on the broiler at this point, too.

I made a whole mess of this stuff, so I saved the rest for later (on gnocchi, and on baked eggs, and to thicken a soup).

Now we just need to bring everything together.  Add the garnish to the cheese sauce, incorporate them well, and check the flavor.  Adjust the seasoning, and make sure the sauce is delicious.  I added a little Tabasco and cayenne in the end.

For this dish, I wanted almost equal volumes of noodles and sauce.  I also had some fresh basil kicking around in the vegetable drawer, so it went into the mix, torn into bite-size pieces.  Then I added the warm sauce to the hot rigatoni and tossed it all together.

Here’s the last step in the dish.  I plated the pasta, and covered it with the parsley bread crumb mixture.  Then I popped it into the oven, under the broiler.  When the bread crumbs were toasty and delicious looking, I pulled these guys out, and we went to town.  Be sure to keep an eye on them in the broiler, once they start to brown they can go from delicious to burnt pretty quickly.

While it may not be the macaroni and cheese that some of us grew up eating, it is a tasty variation that is open to interpretations.  My friend Shane still remembers the mac & cheese we used to serve him at my first (real) restaurant job in Nebraska.  That was over ten years ago, folks.  Powerful stuff.  I hope you find some tips or ideas in this episode to turn up the volume on your next cheesy pasta moment.

Be well, and eat well-

-Scott

Braised Duck with Tagliatelle

I can’t stop braising.  It may be an illness.  I’m not really looking for the cure right now, I’ve gotta tell you.  Freakin’ loving it.  And here’s another set in the braising parade; duck legs.  If you don’t or can’t find duck legs, chicken (heck, even turkey) legs are fine substitutions.  Another point of interest here is that I braised the legs in some soup that I had made a couple of day ahead.  The soup was a kind of Italian vegetable number, and there was more than we needed.  I strained the vegetables out and used the liquid for the braise; then I added the vegetables back in as a garnish for the finished pasta.  Here it comes:

Like any meat that is going to be browned, it may help to give the surface a little pat with a paper towel to ensure that it’s very dry before it goes into the hot fat.

For these little guys, I have a blend of clove, black pepper,  fennel seed, chili flakes, salt, and nutmeg.  Season the legs well, and get the pan going on an high heat with some oil, to start the searing.

Brown each side of the legs so that you develop the flavor of the meat.

Here I am deglazing the same pan with a little seasonal ale from Sierra Nevada, and also throwing in some whole smashed cloves of garlic.  Be sure to reduce the alcohol by half before proceeding, in order to reduce the bitter taste.

Now I’ve strained the Italian vegetable soup into the braising pan, reserving the vegetables for later, and added a little bunch of wound up thyme.

I added a little bay leaf, brought the whole mess to a simmer, reduced the heat, and put a lid on it.  I came back to check it in 45 minutes.

When the leg meat is getting close to perfection (super tender, that is), I returned the soup vegetables to the party and added some capers and pitted olives as well.

Once everything was in place, I boiled the noodles, tasted the sauce to correct for seasoning,  and then tossed the noodles in the braising liquid with the vegetables.

To finish the plate, I brought everything together, and added a little creme fraiche that we’d recently made, and a dusting of both cracked black pepper and Parmesan.

I’m not sure if there are any great lessons in this post.  I just wanted to offer some thoughts about how to use what you have on hand to make something tasty and satisfying.

Happy Cooking, Happy Eating-

-Scott

Steak and Two Bean Chili Soup

There will be no recipe for this chili.  Sorry, recipe lovers!  I will however try to break up this pretty simple recipe in to little sections that make sense.  If you have a family favorite recipe, there might be some ideas in here to spice it up a little!  I like to think of chili soup as a braised (or stewed) beef (I like chopped up stew cuts) with vegetables and beans used as a garnish.  And that’s how this version came to life.

For the meats, and chili is all about the meats for me, I like to make a dry mix of spices, sugar, and salt.  Here there’s allspice, cinnamon, peppercorns, raw sugar, and star anise.  I also made another powder from coriander, fennel seeds, salt, chili flakes, and celery seeds.

After you have the ground spices going, mix them together.  As a last touch I like to add some espresso powder.  Cut up the steak(s) in to bean-sized pieces and set this all aside.

Combine the dry mixture with the steak bits.  Get a big-ass pot hot with some oil in it, and start searing the meat.  As it cooks the liquid will release and combine with the dry rub to make a  saucy looking mixture.

Add some chicken stock now, to calm down the cooking process.  We essentially want to braise (or stew) the beef at this point.

In a separate small pot add some smoked meat (these are smoked turkey necks from Nebraska), some stock (I used some veal stock from More Than Gourmet) and enough water to cover the smoked meat.  Bring this to a gentle simmer and let it simmer until the following steps are finished (30-45 min).

Meanwhile, caramelize some chopped onions pretty hard (with high heat and a little oil), then turn down the heat and add coarse chopped garlic, and diced Fresno chilies (or others if you like).

Once the vegetables are soft, add a small can of tomato paste and cook out some of the moisture.  Whisk some chicken stock into the vegetables to loosen the tasty seared bits.  Then, transfer the contents to the main pot.

Here is a look at the chili with all the garnishes added.  There are black beans, kidney beans, vegetables, fire roasted tomatoes, smoked turkey stock, and lots of flavor.  Once everything has come together in the pot, I bring it all to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes before serving.

This soup was nice and chunky, like I like it.  There was a nice depth of flavors throughout, and pleasant (but not overpowering) heat.

It was such a great day for taking photos in the kitchen, I couldn’t help myself.  Here are a few more!  I hope you found something fun in this cooking slide-show.  As always, I’m happy to answer any questions about this dish or others you come across.

Be well, and eat well–

-Scotty

Twiced Baked Goat Cheese Souffle

Souffles seem to be shrouded in mystery and admonishments; “Don’t walk near the oven while baking”, “Speak in hushed whispers, if at all”, “Never, ever, open the oven door while baking!”, and so on.  The following recipe and technique will help you call ‘bullshit’ on those ideas, and allow you to continue blaring your Kings of Leon album while you’re baking.

This recipe is brought to us by Chef Louise Duhamel (hi chef!) and my friends at www.lickmyspoon.com (hi steph and hua!).  A quick calculation shows me that I must have produced this recipe over 100 times during my time with Chef, teaching dozens of students how to make it.  And the Cypress Grove cheeses which inspired me to make this version were a gift from Stephanie and David after a long and well fought battle at this years’ Fancy Food Show.

The best thing about this “Swiss Style” souffle is that you can make it in advance, and then re-bake it to serve.

Soufflés a la Suisse

Here’s what you’ll need

  • 6 oz butter (melted) plus more (4 oz) for buttering dishes
  • 6 oz AP flour
  • 1.5 cups cream
  • 4.5 cups whole milk
  • 12 oz cheese
  • 12 eggs (separated)
  • 2 cups bread crumbs or grated dry cheese (like Parmesan) for coating dishes
  • 2 quarts or more of water for water bath
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg, all to taste

Souffle is a pretty straightforward technique.  The two items that will ensure your success are; proper planning, and pretty much non-stop execution.  So turn that oven to 400 degrees and follow the pictures below!

Get all of your ingredients together.

Butter some ramekins really well.  Then coat them with the dry cheese, or bread crumbs.  Smaller, straight sided dishes work best, but I’ve also baked this in large pans with good results.  You’ll be baking these in a water bath, so make sure they fit into another, larger pan that can hold water up to 1/2 the height of the dishes.  🙂

Separate your eggs.  I like to use this 3-bowl method.  I separate three or four whites at a time into the smaller (white) bowl, and them dump them into the bigger (red) one.  That way, if I mess up some whites, I don’t screw up the whole batch of whites, just a couple.

Measure out the butter and start to melt it.

Measure out the flour.

Measure out the cheese.

Once the butter has melted, whisk in all of the flour at once.  Thus begins the roux.  Keep the heat on a medium-low setting and keep an eye on it.  Whisk regularly.

This recipe asks for a blonde roux, which cooks for about four minutes, and should look like this as it cooks.

Loosening a little.

Bubbling.

More bubbles and kind of mealy looking is where we stop cooking.

Whisk in the dairy, and continue whisking through the thickening process.

You’ll see the mixture start holding to the sides of the pot.

And then it will thicken to a heavy paste-like consistency.  Make certain that the mixture comes to a boil, and then let it simmer for about 3 minutes, while whisking.

Then, pour this hot mixture over the goat cheese, and whisk it all together.  Conversely, if you were using a firm cheese (cheddar, smoked Gouda, etc.), you would want to add the cheese to the pot while on the heat to melt the cheese well.

NOTE:  If you need to stop for a coffee, or text message break, this is your chance!  You will need to let the mixture cool a little before you continue.  When you come back, make sure the oven is ready with a rack in the lowest setting, make sure the water is simmering, and get ready to proceed.

Season the mixture with salt, pepper, nutmeg, (cayenne?!) or other appropriate garnish.  Remember to over-season slightly.  The last step is the incorporation of egg whites which will not be seasoned, and which will expand your base two fold.  For each future bite to be tasty, you must correct the seasoning now.

Once the mixture is only warm (not hot) whisk in the egg yolks all at once until well combined.  If you are worried that the mixture is still hot, but you want to get on with it, temper (by slowly whisking) some (up to half) of the hot mixture into the yolks, and and then whisk the egg-batter into the remaining dairy batter.

Start whipping the egg whites.  We’re going for a soft peak egg white.  There’s a little science here, and it’s worth thinking about.  If you over-whip the whites (stiff peak, or -gasp- dry) the souffle won’t rise as much as it could.

Temper in 1/3 of the egg whites into the dairy/cheese mixture.  (Then finish with the rest of the whites.)  Fold the whites in pretty gently.  The first step will lighten the batter so that you don’t have to work as hard to incorporate the remaining 2/3 of whites, and they will have a greater chance of retaining their captured air.

Ladle this fluffy mixture into your buttered/crumbed(cheesed?) dishes, leaving 1/4″-1/2″ room from the top.  Then, carefully pour the simmering water into the pan(s), covering the souffle dishes by 1/3 up to 1/2.  Pop these pans into the preheated oven on the lowest rack and bake.  The time will depend on the size of your baking dishes and other variables.  Check them after 15 minutes and then every 3-4 minutes.

Here’s how they should look when they are done.  Nice and golden, about double in height.  Whether you will eat them now or later, take a paring knife and carefully run it around the outside of the dish, to loosen the souffle.  If you want to eat these right away, go for it.  They are great right from the oven.  If you want to use them another day proceed with the following:

Remove from the oven, and let them sit for five minutes in the water bath.  Then, remove from the pans, and allow them to cool somewhat.  As soon as you can handle them (even with a kitchen towel), un-mold the souffles, and set them upright on a wire rack to cool further.  Once they are about room temperature, they can be refrigerated for future use (well wrapped, on in an airtight container).

To bake for “Twice Baked’ goodness:

  • Allow the little guys to come to room temperature (or give them a short zap in the microwave, you can pronounce it Meek-row-wave if you want it to sound fancy).
  • Brush (or pour) a little cream (or half and half, or just plain milk) on the top.
  • Place souffle on a piece of parchment or little square of aluminum foil, or a small oven safe dish.
  • Pop them into a 350-400 degree oven until the souffle has re-risen well, and has reached 140 degrees internal temperature (check with thermometer or by feeling the warmth of a knife blade inserted into the middle of the souffle)

Once the souffle has reached the right temperature, serve it with a little salad, or some fresh fruit, or whatever sounds good to you.

If you don’t have little ramekins, use an oven safe baking dish like this one.  When you un-mold the souffle, cut it into servings and proceed with storing and re-baking steps.

We ate this goat cheese number with a green apple salad and walnut vinaigrette.  This recipe makes quite a few souffles, depending on the size of your dishes, so feel free do reduce it by half.  Or just bake a whole bunch of them.  They don’t stay in the refrigerator for very long because they are just right for every meal of the day.  I hope you find this recipe to be a fun one.  I know that I really enjoy the process and the results.  The twice baked version has a light and fluffy interior along with a slightly crisp and caramelized top, which is a great combination in both the flavor and texture categories.  Have fun with this one, and let me know if I can help!

Bon Appetite!

-Scotty

Striped Bass with Beet Green Ravioli and Citrus Beurre Blanc

This post is a beast.  There’s a lot of information to chew on, but why not?  🙂  That’s how much I love you.  We’ll look at three major components, and break them into digestible literary servings.  Part one; the ravioli.  And away we go!

Beet greens are sometimes discarded in the kitchen.  However, if you wash them well and pull the leaves apart from the stem, you’ve got a great braising green that’s flavorful, colorful, and free.

For the ravioli filling, I have a small dice of shallot, fennel, and garlic, along with some currants.  Sweat these aromatics in a little olive oil until they are tender, and then reserve them.

Cut up your clean beet greens, and saute them in the same pan, until they are pretty tender throughout.

Bring all of the first items together in a large bowl, and add the zest of a small lemon, a good dusting of nutmeg, and season with cayenne pepper and salt to taste.

Set the whole mess in a strainer or colander to allow the excess liquid to drain.

Set up a little station with the greens, a little egg wash (one egg whisked with a couple tablespoons of water), the fresh pasta sheets (2), and a couple of ring molds.

Portion out the filing, and brush around the filing with the egg wash.

Press around the filling with the first (smaller) ring mold, to ‘seal’ the egg wash, then cut out the ravioli with the larger ring.

Put a pot of salted water on to boil while your assembling the ravioli, and boil them once they are assembled.  Or, refrigerate (or freeze) for future use.

Here’s what the finished product may look like!  If you are going to serve them right away, go ahead.  If you will serve them once they have cooled and you need to reheat them, just drop them into some boiling water for 30-45 seconds, and you should be golden.

And now, the beurre blanc.  Beurre blanc, is simply a white wine and butter sauce. In this case, we’re replacing some of the white wine with citrus juice.  Here’s the standard ratio that I use for making 2 cups of sauce:

  • 2 cups white wine (here I replaced half the wine with equal parts orange and lemon juice)
  • 2 TBSP. white wine vinegar
  • 4 shallots (diced)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 cups butter (cold, cut into thumb-sized chunks)

Put the diced shallots, wine, and vinegar into a pot, and reduce au sec.

Here’s a look at au sec.  It means ‘to dry’ or almost dry.  There’s a bad joke in the kitchen which goes; “Hey what comes after au sec?  Awww shit!”  Which is actually true.  If you reduce past the au sec point, ‘aww shit’ will be the first words out of your mouth.  Because you’ve almost certainly burnt the hell out of your sauce.

Add the cream, and reduce it by half.  This is going to help you keep the sauce from breaking.  Technically, if you add cream you’re making a beurre fondue, I think, but I won’t tell if you don’t.  After the cream is reduced, whisk in the butter pieces.  Here’s the only important point about the butter incorporation; you want to keep the sauce warm throughout.  That means you need to keep enough heat on the pot (but not tooo hot) to be able to incorporate the butter with out letting the sauce cool.  Make sense?  You want to keep everything in the pot hot to melt the butter, but not so hot that you break the sauce.

Once you’ve got all the butter incorporated, taste for seasoning.  Add any of the following: a squeeze of lemon, cayenne, salt.  Then strain the sauce.  In a restaurant, I would strain out into a thermos to keep the sauce warm.

At home, I strain out into a coffee mug that I’ve warmed up with hot water.  It will keep the sauce warm long enough for me to get the rest of the plate put together.

With thin skinned fish (like this bass from MA), I prefer to keep the skin on and sear the skin to keep it crisp and delicious looking.

Get the pan nice and hot, with a little vegetable oil.  Lay the fish in, skin-side down, and sear.  Season the flesh side of the fish as well.  At the point you see above, the fish is ready to be basted to finish.

Toss a couple tablespoons of butter into the pan with the fish.  Once it melts, start pouring the hot butter over the top of each fillet until the flesh is cooked (opaque).

Reserve the fish to a paper towel to rest while you put the rest of the plate together.

Quickly reheat the ravioli in some boiling water (with a little salt).

Dress the plates with the citrus butter sauce.  For presentations like this one, I like to put the sauce down first.  I think it looks cleaner, and when you eat the dish, you get some of the sauce in every forkful.

Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon or spatula, and place them on the edge of the sauce.  Follow with the fish, and garnish.  Here I’ve used a little beet green and some tiny lettuces.

This is the kind of fish dish I could eat all the time.  I love the ravioli’s sweet/savory profile.  The sauce is light and rich all at once, and the fish is delicate and crisp.  There are so many textures and flavors all coming together, I love it.  I hope these pictures inspire you to give this dish a shot (or one like it!).  I’m sure you’ll find it satisfying and delicious.

Here’s to your best!-

-Scotty