Butternut Squash Ravioli, Sage Browned Butter, Balsamic Reduction

Fresh pasta, butternut squash filling, fresh sage in browned butter, balsamic reduction, freshly grated parmesan cheese.

A delicious Autumn dish!

Post post 1/23/08: I had a request for the recipe here. This is store-bought, high quality, fresh ravioli filled with butternut squash. Cook to al dente in salted water. Meanwhile, melt butter then saute sage leaves in the browned butter, it takes about one minute per side, drain them on paper towels. Gently toss the drained pasta in the browned butter, salt if desired. Plate the ravioli then drizzle balsamic reduction (you can buy this or reduce your own balsamic vinegar to a syrup), top with the sage leaves, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Very easy and very delicious!

Wine Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

We visited the Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, California. I was impressed with all their wines. They are dedicated to growing wine varietals traditional to France’s Rhône Valley. All Tablas Creek wines are estate grown using environmentally sensitive, sustainable practices. They chose the Paso Robles area because of its hilly terrain, limestone soils, and ocean influence.

I saw a bottle of the Côtes de Tablas at Bristol Farms the other day, it was selling for $22.99. I am going serve it as one of my Thanksgiving wines, as it would certainly complement the turkey dinner.

Tablas Creek Vineyard Côtes de Tablas is a blend of four estate-grown Rhône varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Counoise and Mourvedre. Like most wines of the Southern Rhône, it is a blend of varietals, featuring the fruitiness of Grenache balanced by the spice and structure of Syrah, with meaty, earthy notes from Mourvedre and Counoise. The 2004 Côtes de Tablas has a juicy berry nose of currants, raspberries, licorice and spice. The mouth is full of rich, sweet Grenache fruit showing good acidity and a long finish.

I also recommend these wonderful wine tumblers by Riedel Crystal. Great for everyday use, as they can go in the dishwasher.

What are you serving with The Bird this year?

Puff Pastry Again


Store bought Puff Pastry sheets are great! Especially if, like me, you don’t have the skills and patience of a baker.

Ingredient Still Life.
Three cheeses; mascarpone, fresh mozzarella, and parmesan, plus heirloom tomatoes with gray salt, and basil.
The original inspiration for the ingredients in this turnover came from Lisa’s Tomato Tartlet at Champaign Taste.

Etymology of “gooey” – it may be a derivitive of the word burgoo; a thick stew made with meats and vegetables, usually cooked outdoors in huge kettles for many hours. Apparently, people bring what they have on hand to add to the stew. Have you ever tried burgoo?

Mmmm…Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

You may remember my matzoh ball soup from last month? Well, I froze the rest of the soup for later. (Not the matzoh balls, however, those need to be made fresh). So, here is that soup again served with curly egg noodles this time, and carrots, celery, shallots and garlic sauteed in a little of the chicken fat.

The freshly sauteed vegetables, cooked to the point of caramelization, bring a new richness to the previously frozen soup.

Hungarian Goulash

“Look for paprika imported from Hungary and buy a new container from the market, throwing out that musty tin that’s been sitting for years in your pantry.” Wolfgang Puck

A Wolfgang Puck/Austrian Inspired Dinner Party

Hungarian Goulash and Homemade Spaetzle – it was delicious thanks to Wolfgang’s inspiration and Merisi’s input all the way from Vienna!

Ingredient Still Life.

Start by caramelizing the onions in olive oil, then add garlic.

Toast the caraway seeds then grind them in a spice grinder and add to the onions.

Smokey! Add the two paprikas…sweet and hot.
I took Merisi’s advice not to make a “California Goulash” as she says there are no fresh herbs in her experience…so I added only dried marjoram.

Andrew, the butcher at Bristol Farms cut the beef shanks into cubes and advised me to put the bones in the stew for more flavor.

Deglaze the pot with balsamic vinegar then add the chicken stock, bay leaves and tomato paste, and the meat and bones.

This Le Creuset French Oven is perfect for this dish. Merisi’s advice was to put it in the oven at 195 degrees not to let it boil and cook even longer than the original recipe for a very tender meat.

Later that day:
Side Bar – The cook’s treat. Remove the bones from the stew. Marrow anyone?

At the Dinner Party:
The goulash is served in Pat’s beautiful China “Evesham” made in England.

Sally kicked off the dinner party with a pizzette appetizer, her interpretation of Wolfgang’s famous pizza from Spago with smoked salmon and caviar.

Pat’s scallop dish: Scallops, Cauliflower Cream, Balsamic Reduction. See 10/09 post for details.

One course, two salads: Lauren made Wolfgang’s couscous salad while Gail prepared sliced roasted beets and mache in a butter lettuce cup with Wolfgang’s mustard dressing.

Salzburger Nockerln: Patrick made his with cherries, Wolfgang’s recipe calls for raspberries. “Salzburg is a wonderful town on the Bavarian Border famous for its small hills called ‘Nockerln’. This dish celebrates the hills of Salzburg with its hills of heaped Meringue. It’s rich, indulgent and utterly delicious. This is a true Austrian dessert that brings back memories of good times and loved ones. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. ” WP

Elegant dinner party with friends who love to cook!

The Hungarian Goulash with Spaetzle.

Detailed recipe at wolfgangpuck.com

Why a blog is so neat:
We are having an Austrian inspired dinner party in Southern California and I get excellent authentic advice and support from a woman in Vienna whom I have never met. Isn’t that something? Thanks Merisi!

Lori Lynn

P.S. That said, you may want to visit the Foodie Blogroll, of which I am a proud new member.