Lemon Brown Butter on Mushroom Ravioli with Lamb Sausage Burger and Salad

There were Fresh Mushroom Ravioli discounted at Nature’s so I picked up a package and decided that something so delicious needed a sauce that showcased the flavor of the ravioli instead of struggling with it for dominance. For almost anything that you know has that rich, fresh flavor of good food and good ingredients, brown butter is a perfect foil and it’s about as easy as anything to make.

For this meal, I started water boiling for the ravioli and put the lamb sausage burger on the skillet. The burger is prepared by the butcher at Nature’s and they’re very tasty and I always pick up one or two when they are on sale. When the water began to boil, I added the ravioli and flipped the burger.

Fresh pasta cooks quickly so I immediately went to work on the salad. I tore some red butter lettuce leaves, tossed on a tablespoon or so of feta and a bit of Greek Vinaigrette salad dressing. I added some tasty olives on the side and the pasta was done. I drained it in a colander and using the pan I made it in (because it is light in color, not dark) I tossed 2 TBSP of butter in for the Brown Butter.

All brown butter consists of is butter than you cook until it browns – about 1.5 minutes for a small amount like this. You swirl the butter constantly so it doesn’t separate too much. When it’s brown it will have a lovely hazelnut flavor. However, I wanted to lighten it up a bit so I squeezed half a lemon in the butter. Then I put the ravioli back in the pan and swirled it around. The burger was done, so everything wrapped up together perfectly.

Pork Chimichanga

The only problem with that pork roast I got for $1.99 was that darn y-shaped bone. I decided to cut the meat off the bone this morning. By the time I was done, I had about 4 ounces of bits of pork that were not nice for slicing. I decided I would make some burritos or something and ended up making the or something. I had these multi-grain uber healthy tortillas that I thought were practically inedible that were languishing in my fridge. Recalling the chef who won Chopped the other night who when confronted with oni – something she knew nothing about – said there’s nothing that can’t be improved by frying, I thought I might use those burritos and make some chimichangas.

First up was the filling. This was an easy thing to pull together. I chopped one slice of pepper bacon and tossed it in the skillet to give me the lard/fat flavor it would need. I tossed in a teaspoon of cumin and let it toast while the bacon cooked. I added 1/8 of a medium onion, chopped and let them soften. I chopped the pork up a bit, added it and 1 15 oz can of kidney beans (strained and rinsed). Then I added 1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s Tomato-less Corn Chili and the other half of the olives I opened last night. I let this simmer until most of the moisture had been absorbed or evaporated.

Now to making the chimichangas. I put 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small pan and heated to just over medium. I put the 6 tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften them up. I had a bowl of water that I dipped my hand into and spread the water on the tortilla before putting the pork mix in the center and folding shut. The water helped to seal the tortillas shut. I worked quickly but still had to nuke half the tortillas a second time as they had cooled off.

With the oil hot, I fried one at a time since that’s all that would fit in my small pan. They only needed to fry about 45 seconds per side just enough to crisp the tortillas since the filling was hot and cooked. They were delicious and this made six, enough for three meals or 2 meals and some snacks. Even the too healthy for their own good tortillas were tasty.

Turkey Tortellini

I wanted a quick, quick supper last night because I fell asleep with my cat and didn’t wake up until 8 p.m. I started water to boil in one pan. Then, I chopped some onion and tossed it in the skillet with a spritz of olive oil spray. I didn’t use a TBSP of olive oil because I knew I was adding other liquids quickly. Adding the ground turkey and two mushrooms chopped up, I put just about 1/4 cup of white wine and a dash of tarragon and put the lid on while they simmered.

I chopped up a tomato and by then the water was boiling. I added 1.5 cups of frozen tortellini and tossed the tomatoes in the with the turkey, added half of a small can of sliced black olives and put the lid back on. In about 4 to 5 minutes the tortellini had floated to the top. I strained them and tossed them in the skillet with the turkey and everything. And it was done – in less than 15 minutes start to finish. I served it up in a bowl. Delish!

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers & Mango Shake

I mixed up a batch of Swedish Meatballs last night but forgot to snap a picture, I was that hungry when I was done. I will do a post about them next time I make them. The mixture makes plenty of meatballs for a few meals, so I only cooked up a portion, putting the rest in a baggie for other things – such as stuffing banana peppers.

The Meat Mix

  • 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • 1 pound of ground beef, lean
  • 1 egg
  • 4 TBSP of bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp of cardamom
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 2 TBSP of dried parsley
Mix this all together and use it to order. I cut the tops off the peppers and cleaned them, heated them in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften them enough not to crack when stuffed. Stuffed the meat in, packing it in deeply, and putting the caps back on. I laid them on an ungreased pie plate and baked them 30 minutes in a 350° oven.
I served with a salad with some feta, olives, and Girard’s Greek Feta Dressing.
While the peppers were roasting, I cleaned a mango and put it in a magic bullet cup (you could use a blender), I squeezed the juice of half a lemon in with the mango and added 1/4 of plain yogurt. Adding a touch of fresh nutmeg, I whipped it until smooth, for a tart, fresh, summer drink.

Gyros Burger & Greek Salad

This is embarrassingly easy. New Seasons sells a fresh gyros lamb sausage. I bought 5 ounces and fried it in a burger shape on the skillet. For the bun, I combined three of the raw English Muffin dough pieces I had stored in the fridge and cooked on a griddle 10 minutes on one side and 5 minutes on the other. The sauce is 2 TBSP of plain yogurt, 1 TBSP of feta cheese, 1 tsp of oregano, 1 tsp of garlic powder and some salt and pepper. A one-minute sauce reminiscent of tsatziki.

The sald is made from three leaves of romaine, 1/2 ounce of feta, 6 olives, 1/4 of a Roma tomato and one green onion sliced finely. I added 1 TBSP of Greek-Feta Vinaigrette.

Cauliflower Soup, Roast Beef & Pickled Carrots

I put a beef roast in the oven at 350° with some pepper rubbed on the outside of it. Then I got to work on the soup. It has basically three ingredients plus whatever spices you might wish to add.

  • 2 TBSP butter (or olive oil for vegan soup)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 3 cups of cauliflower florets (about 3/4ths of a small cauliflower head)
  • 3 cups of water.
  • I added a few threads of Persian Saffron.

Soften the onions in the butter at a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the florets and 1.5 cups of flower and cover and continue cooking for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir and use the spoon to break down the florets into smaller pieces. Add the remaining 1.5 cups of water. If you want to add saffron, this is a good time.  Cover and cook for 20 more minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool.With olive oil, the soup will be slightly more tart than the soup made with butter.

Turn the roast and let it cook some more. When the roast is done to 140° pull it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes which is the perfect amount of time to puree the soup. Make sure it has cooled off some so you don’t burn yourself. This is the voice of experience. I don’t have a food processor or a blender, but I do have a Magic Bullet. You have to fill the Magic Bullet three times to whip it all up, but it will be lovely. Reheat to serve and, if you love nutmeg as much as I do, sprinkle a dash of nutmeg on top.

The soup will be light as air and smooth as silk. It will have a very subtle bite because cauliflower is such a strongly flavored vegetable if you treat it nicely. Slice up some roast and serve with the soup. I added some olives and pickled carrots to give the meal some bright color. I recycled the vinegar dressing from my cucumber salad to make the carrots.

Beef/Olive Sandwich, Cucumber Salad and Pineapple

I made the cucumber salad early this morning because it needs to marinate a bit to begin tasting as good as it can. I sliced one cucumber as thinly as I can. (I don’t have a mandoline.) I also sliced up about 1/8 of a medium onion. I layered the cucumber slices with onion and salted it and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then I added white vinegar almost to the top of the stacks of cucumber (about a cup) and 1 TBSP of sugar, and one crumbled up dried red chili. Use the smallest dried chili you have so it doesn’t overwhelm the cucumber. In a few hours, the chili will be soft and tender and the flavor will have married. The cool, fresh cucumber contrasting with the heat of the chili is tasty!

For lunch I was hungrier than usual as I ate breakfast at 6 AM and then didn’t make lunch until 2:30 PM. A bad idea when you’re diabetic. I put two thin unbuttered buns on the griddle to toast. I don’t like bread to overwhelm my food so I love the thin buns. I sliced up about 2 TBSP of onion, sliced up about 3/4 cup of beef roast. I put a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, added the onion and let them soften. I then added the beef. While the beef cooked, I chopped up 15 olives and 1 slice of cheese. I added the olives and stirred them around before adding the cheese and letting it melt into the mix. I put the Beef on the toasted buns and plated with fresh pineapple chunks and a serving of the cucumber salad.