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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

End of the... year? Wow.

So, last year I spent a very good amount of time cooking and fantasizing about blogging. This year I spent very little time cooking and feeling guilty about not blogging. Grad school got difficult, friends, and I'm sorry to shirk on my blogging duties.

I have some catching up to do for sure. I've made some incredible dishes in the past many months. My favorite was a quail egg raviolone. The growers market here in town has a guy who sells quail eggs, and 24 of them followed me home. What do you do with 24 quail eggs? Well, a friend of mine pointed me to this newspaper article ( and I adapted it a little. The recipe is below.

First of all, I baked the raviolones, because I think baked ravioli is ambrosia. Second, I added a few other cheeses and some tarragon to the cheese mix.

Today I also found the amazing website The Cupcake Project, whose name is ALSO Stefani and who ALSO loves making things from scratch. I feel like I have a compatriot in arms out there in the cyber world. I tried her grenadine from scratch and it's incredible; so much so I called my mother and had to tell her all about it. I'm also making her clotted cream (the real reason I ended up on her website). As it takes 8-12 hours to cook, it's still in the oven, but when I have proper tea with my British professor on Monday I hope to impress with the cream!

Now that school is (almost) over I plan on posting more... my love of food keeps shining! Now I guess I should get back to finishing that paper... *sigh* The neverending flow of words from my fingertips is truly astounding.

Quail Egg Ravioli aka Inverted Carbonara

For the pasta:

2 tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 sprigs thyme leaves, chopped

1 tbsp dried tarragon

¼ c white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lb whole milk ricotta

1 c grated parmigiano reggiano

1 c grated gouda

Your favorite semolina-based pasta dough recipe to make 8 sheets 25” long by 5.5” wide

24 quail eggs

1 egg white whisked with 1 tbsp cold water for egg wash

For the sauce:

Four pieces of bacon, diced

1 tsp Meyer lemon zest

2 tbsp Meyer lemon juice

½ c white wine

2 c heavy cream

2 tbsp butter cut into four pieces

1 bunch of asparagus cut into 1” pieces and very lightly steamed

1 bag organic frozen peas

1. To make the filling, sautee the garlic and thyme in the butter for 30 seconds, just long enough for them to release their flavor. Add the white wine, and reduce by half over medium heat. Remove from heat, add the salt and pepper, and mix with the parmigiano and the ricotta in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until needed to keep firm.

2. Working with two sheets at a time, place four dollops about 1.5 tbsp each of ricotta mixture in equal distances along one sheet of pasta. Make a depression in each dollop large enough to contain one quail egg, though it’s ok if a bit of white spills over as it will help with cohesion. Crack one quail egg into each depression. Wash the edges and between the dollops/eggs with egg white. Carefully set the second equally-shaped pasta sheet over the first, and pinch together on the edges and between the quail egg dollops. Cut each sheet into four circles using a 5” cookie cutter or glass. Place each raviolo on a floured baking sheet and continue process with remaining sheets until you have 24 ravioli. Let them air dry for an hour or up to three while you’re making the sauce. Right before you put them in the oven, paint with melted butter.

3. For the sauce, fry the bacon in a large skillet until fat has rendered and it’s crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, but keep as much grease in the pan as possible. Add the zest, juice and white wine to the pan. Reduce the wine by half over medium low heat. Add the cream and bring almost to the point of simmer, stirring constantly. Add the butter one piece at a time, stirring to fully incorporate. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, and keep warm over very low heat. Add the peas and asparagus 5 minutes before you plan to drizzle the sauce over the ravioli.

To cook the ravioli bake at 350* for 10 minutes. YUM!


  1. Seriously where do you come up with this stuff! I'm always amazed at the out of the box ideas you find or come up with. Wish I had that experience! Adam has this "idea" of wanting to raise quails and sell their eggs at a farmer's market so this one gave me quite the chuckle aside from being amazed! You rock.

  2. 8am practical tomorrow, and I'm reading your blog, so even if you skip out on your paper, you're not the only one who should be doing something else. ;)

    Ravioli look good, btw. I just made pancakes for dinner. Consider me jealous.

    Your recipe ingredients show up as grey on grey for me. Firefox 4.0.1. Not sure if it's just me, but figured I'd give the heads up.

    You may want to take my VO2h4x blog off your blogroll, because I pretty much gave up on it in favor of my running blog (which, if you have time once school is out, you should check out: ).

  3. Thanks for the tip Becki, I'll mess with the font colors! And I will change to your running blog tout-de-suite! Nikki, I expect to see gaggles of quails running around your property when I come visit in a few weeks! :)

  4. Okay, Becki, let me know if that works better for your screen!

  5. Much easier to read! The spacing is really big, but that's far preferable to grey on grey. ;)

  6. Yeah, it turns out the MS Word does their own formatting, and while I could paste into text to get rid of the weird formatting, I'm too lazy. It's weird that your background is grey. Mine is brown. Ah well....