Hors d'oeurve Soupe Poisson Viande Entre Salade Dessert Fromage

Almond Ravioli Filled with Roasted Lemon Chicken In Rosemary Consommé

Serves 4

1.5 L Marmite
200 g lean ground turkey
40 g carrots, julienne
40 g leeks, julienne
20 g celery, julienne
100 g fresh tomatoes
5 egg whites
2 large rosemary sprigs
Salt and pepper

140 g roasted chicken breast, hand-shredded (including crisp skin)
1 lemon, peler a vif
60 g (2 oz) ricotta cheese
1/2 t grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

210 g all-purpose flour
80 g almond flour
3 whole eggs
5 g salt
20 ml almond oil
1 beaten egg for egg wash

lemon zest, julienne and blanched

I prefer the taste of a consommé made with marmite rather than one made with chicken stock. Also, when scaling this recipe, a general rule of thumb is three egg whites per liter. They are critical to the building of the raft, which strains the impurities from the stock. The meat is necessary for the albumen and protein, the tomatoes for acidity, and the burnt onion of the marmite adds color. I have found that it isn't absolutely necessary to do fine julienne knifework with the vegetables. They can be roughly chopped in a robot coupe or Cuisinart, as long as they are not so large that they sink to the bottom of the pot rather than creating the lattice structure needed for the raft.

With the chicken, I think that the meat is much more tender if it is brined for an hour beforehand. The typical ratio is 6 parts water, 4 parts salt and 1 part sugar. At this point I'd also add a large sprig of rosemary. When the brining is finished, be sure to rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat dry before trussing.

The almond ravioli uses the standard pate a nouilles (pasta) recipe, although the semolina flour is replaced by almond flour and three eggs are used instead of two, because there is no gluten in the almond flour to act as a binding agent.

  1. In a stockpot, bring marmite to a boil and hold at 140°F for 2-3 minutes to sterilize. Turn off heat. Cool for at least 10 minutes, so that the egg whites will not cook upon contact.
  2. In a bowl, combine turkey, vegetables, and egg whites, mixing thoroughly. (If eggs are not incorporated into the turkey, the ground meat will form into chunks and drop to the bottom of the stockpot when cooking.)
  3. Add a bit of the warm marmite to this mixture to temper the eggs. Once incorporated, add mixture to stockpot and bring marmite to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly.
  4. Once the pot is simmering, a raft will form. At this point, stop stirring. After 2-3 minutes, use a small ladle and gently make a hole in the center of the raft, removing any loose turkey and vegetables and pouring these to the side, on top of the newly formed raft. (This should leave you with a clear hole, from which you can see the marmite. The hole will allow you to ladle the consommé from the stockpot once it has finished cooking, without breaking the raft and sending vegetables and meat into the clear broth.) Once the hole is made, do not disturb the raft. Do not stir! Reduce heat and cook slowly for 40-60 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, peel the lemons (peler a vif) and remove supremes, making sure no pith or fibers remain. Dice lemon into very small pieces (~1 cm).
  6. Remove breast from chicken carcass and shred into small pieces by hand. Finely chop crisp skin and add to chicken meat, with diced lemon, ricotta cheese and nutmeg. Pulse quickly in a robot coupe or Cuisinart. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. To strain the consommé, line an etamine (fine-mesh) chinois with a fabric napkin. Grind fresh black pepper into the napkin to flavor the consommé as it passes through. Strain consommé through napkin and chinois, into a hotel pan. Degrease by gently dragging paper towels across the surface. Season with salt. Set aside. Consommé can be refrigerated or kept warm in a bain marie or large bowl, set over a pot of simmering water.
  8. For the ravioli, mix flours in a bowl and form a well in the center. Pour eggs, salt and oil into the well and beat with a fork.
  9. Incorporate flour into the well from the sides of the bowl, using your fingertips.
  10. When ingredients are incorporated, form into a ball and knead, repeatedly folding dough onto itself, for approximately 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth, shiny and spring to the touch.
  11. To form dough, flatten with a floured rolling pin on a floured surface. Using the widest setting on a pasta machine (number 1), feed the dough through the rollers two times, folding in thirds each time to further knead and smooth the dough. Dust with flour if necessary. Repeat for thinner settings (numbers 2, 3 and 5). If rolling by hand, dough should be ~ 2mm thick, but you will need to roll and fold 6 times to develop gluten, as with the machine-rolling procedure.
  12. Spread flattened pasta dough onto a floured countertop. Using a 6 cm-round cutter, punch through dough. Prepare 40 ravioli (5 ravioli per person, one top piece and one bottom piece). Alternatively, prepare 20 ravioli to make demi-lunes.
  13. Spoon ~1 teaspoon of the filling onto the center of each round. Cover with another round, brush inside and outside edges with egg wash, and crimp sides closed with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and dust lightly with almond flour. If not cooking a la minute, refrigerate or freeze. If freezing plain dough, be sure to let dough defrost slightly before rolling!
  14. Drop ravioli into boiling salted water until just tender, ~3-4 minutes.
  15. Spoon five ravioli into each bowl of consommé and serve.


wine pairing

Honig Sauvignon Blanc

similar to a Sancerre
-- crisp and herbacious, in the Loire style

During Level III, I made a roasted lemon chicken using a recipe by JoAnn Weir, Napa cookbook author. The chicken was brined, caramelized lemon was inserted between the skin and breast meat, the outside was brushed with extra virgin olive oil, and the exterior and cavity were seasoned with salt and pepper. I then trussed the chicken and roasted it. Unfortunately, the caramelized lemon burned slightly, although this may have had more to do with the fact that I used the convection oven. At any rate, the meat was beautiful and tender and had an amazing flavor. For this project, I was torn between creating a recipe for pork tenderloin, or doing a variation of this dish.

Instead, I decided to use the chicken to create a soup rather than an entrée. Rosemary is a staple ingredient in my cooking and it is grown all over California -- including my front yard. I decided to flavor a consommé with the herb, which would also compliment the chicken and lemon.

To the consommé, I added ravioli. But I thought a basic pate a nouilles would be predictable, and I was striving for a dish that would be uniquely Californian. One afternoon, while working on the pistachio vinaigrette recipe, I started thinking about almonds.

These nuts are only commercially grown in the state of California, which cultivates over 480,000 acres in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. The state's almond crop supplies 100 percent of the U.S. commercial market and more than 75 percent of worldwide production.

While researching almonds online, I came across Ghaus Malik, owner of G&P Malik Family Partnership. Malik is a physician as well as an almond grower. He immigrated to England from India in 1958, then moved to California in 1978. "I had always been interested in having a place in the countryside," says Malik. "In 1991, I bought 240 acres of farming land in the San Joaquin Valley of California and developed it into an almond ranch. I planted four varieties of almonds--Non Pareil, Sonora, Carmel and Mission. [Today] my ranch produces about half a million pounds of almonds every year." Most of Malik's almond crop is sold to Japan, Europe and India. With the help of his wife Parveen, Malik built a website in 2000 to target the domestic market. His site, almondsonline.com, is where I bought my almond flour for the almond pate a nouilles.