Kitchen Disappointment and a Delicious Cream Sauce

Have you ever been really excited about trying a new technique in the kitchen, only to be hugely, I mean crushingly, disappointed with the final result? That was my unfortunate experience last week when, giddy with expectation, I tried to make pumpkin raviolis using wonton wrappers.

The raviolis in thyme cream sauce looked amazing, they just didn’t quite pass muster with me.

The idea of using wonton wrappers as a quick and easy substitute for ravioli pasta sheets is not new. Well known chefs like Giada De Laurentiis  and bloggers like the Pioneer Woman have been know to use this trick in their own kitchens. The food website Chow even has several discussion threads dedicated to perfecting the art.

So, during a recent shopping trip, I finally picked up a package of the wrappers with the intention of making the famed raviolis. I made a simple pumpkin filling with pureed pumpkin, fresh nutmeg, salt & pepper, and ricotta cheese,

and filled the wrappers with a generous half teaspoon of the mixture.To seal the wrappers, I brushed the edges with egg, and then used a fork to press the edges together.

I then boiled the raviolies for about 2 minutes, and carefully removed them with a slotted spoon so they would be less likely to break apart. I covered them in a fabulous thyme cream sauce and sat down to enjoy them.

In all honesty though, I was less than impressed. The flavors were great, but the wonton wrappers were too thin to properly emulate pasta dough. There was too much pasta on the edge of the raviolis, they were mushy,  and they stuck to each other and the plate. In short, I won’t be using wonton wrappers as pasta dough next time I try my hand at fresh ravioli. The cream sauce, on the other hand, was perfect and will be amazing on butternut squash or sweet potato gnocci. So without further ado, here is the recipe for the cream sauce.

Shallot-Thyme Cream Sauce

1 large shallot (about ¼ diced)
2 teaspoons dried thyme*
1.5 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons flour
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons dry white wine
½ – ¾ heavy cream
salt & pepper

1)     Melt butter over medium heat, add shallots and sautee for about a minute. Add thyme, salt, and pepper and cook for an additional minute.

2)     Sprinkle flour over shallots and thyme and stir in creating a paste. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Make sure to scrap the bottom of the pan so you don’t burn the flour.

3)     Whisk in the white wine and bring to a low simmer. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced by about half and sauce is thickened.

4)     Whisk in half a cup of cream and simmer until thickened, stirring frequently. If the sauce is still to thick add more cream, about a tablespoon at a time. Enjoy!

*Use a 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon conversion if you are substituting fresh thyme for the dried herbs.

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8 responses to “Kitchen Disappointment and a Delicious Cream Sauce

  1. I’ve had a few “off” recipes lately, I guess that’s what happens when we experiment a little more? It’s worth it for those recipes that hit a “home run”! I thought this one looked awesome, maybe it’s the wrapper? I bought an awful package once that must have been old because they were mushy and hard to pull apart. Anyway.. you’ll have better luck next time, I’m sure!

  2. I enjoyed your self discovery. �Neat to see someone is honest about their cooking.

    ________________________________

  3. This is kind of a different recipe, but something to try if you have leftover filling and wonton wrappers. I also found the boiled version kind of…hmm…collapsing and gelatinous. But, when I pan fried them first in little olive oil… just to get a crisp on the wrappers, I loved the ravioli with pumpin using wonton wrappers. But, then again, I’m from the South and we like everything better fried.

    • I did try the pan frying like you would regular wontons and it was definitely better, but then the sauce seemed off. I think I’m going to have to stick to making various wontons. I kind of want to try an Asian black bean theme, but I’m not sure what to do with it yet…

      • Yeah, I hear you. When I pan fried, I liked the ravioli better but my cream sauce seemed too heavy too. So, I’ve taken to doing a disgusting combo of the fried ravioli… shredding some smoked provolone or gruyere on top…and a tad bit of nutmeg grated. Still not where I want it, but it’s a good midnight snack when you’re caught in the middle of a Sex and the City marathon. 🙂

  4. Nice story. 🙂 I totally understand things going wrong when trying something that sounds awesome!

    Bonnie

    • You just have to keep a lookout for the silver lining – like an awesome cream sauce for later use 🙂

      • Exactly! 🙂
        Actually, that’s funny that you say “silver lining” – I just started something new this past weekend; every Saturday I’m going to do something called “Saturday Upsides” where I find the “good in the bad” – basically like looking for the silver lining. 🙂
        I had two people join me on my first Saturday, and I’m hoping for a lot more in the future. 🙂

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