There’s a show on public television here in America called “Moment of Luxury” in which the host very generously enjoys all manner of fine things on our behalf and then shares his collected pensees about the experience. Traveling around the food blogosphere lately has felt like a surprisingly similar experience for us since our three month old prevents us from experiencing any luxury ourselves.
Tough titty, I hear you cry. Fair enough, we have lived rather high on the hog these last several years and have been blessed with several unforgettable moments of luxury along the way, but like the princess and the pea, we are finding our current rather straightened circumstances somewhat uncomfortable.
Turning over a new (year’s) leaf, determined to gripe no longer and return to being active participants in our (gastronomic) lives, we had a deuce of a time this past weekend putting together some foie gras and wild mushroom ravioli, in the hope we would be able to enjoy at least one or two moments of luxury. Inspired by ZenChef’s oxtail and foie gras ravioli and our experience eating escargot-stuffed ravioli in France (both) around this time last year (when we bought the can of foie gras we used), we took a brief flight of fancy in the accompanying sauce, combining porcini stock, balsamic vinegar and red currants into a sort of impromptu agrodolce. Some dry roasted wild mushrooms completed this, quite frankly, sublime dish.
Savoring these rich and blissful parcels certainly felt like a moment of luxury. Indeed, when we were roused moments later from this temporary reverie by infantile caterwails echoing from the nursery, these few seconds of pleasure were all the more significant providing much-needed encouragement for us to gird our loins once more for our nightly skirmishes with our darling offspring.
Ingredients for the Ravioli:
- 1lb fresh egg pasta, rolled into sheets
- 4oz foie gras
- 4oz duck, rabbit and pork pate
- 3oz wild mushrooms, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons muscat (dessert) wine
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Ingredients for the Sauce:
- 2 cups porcini stock
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 handful red currants
- 1 large pinch granulated sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2oz unsalted butter
- In a saute pan, melt butter and gently saute mushrooms for five minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Turn heat to high and when pan is really hot, add muscat wine. Allow to evaporate almost completely.
- Remove from heat, and refrigerate mixture until completely cooled.
- In a mixing bowl, combine mushroom mixture with foie gras and pate. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.
- Fill ravioli with 1 tablespoon of foie gras and mushroom mixture, and seal carefully.
- In abundant salted boiling water cook ravioli for about a minute or until they start to float.
- Dress with sauce and serve immediately with roasted mushrooms.
Recipe for the sauce:
- In a saucepan over medium heat, reduce porcini stock with balsamic vinegar and red currants by half.
- Stir in sugar and crush red currants.
- Strain sauce and return to pan. Stir in butter.
- Taste and correct seasoning.