Friday, December 16, 2022


All in all, lunch went well, but it was a close one. Some pics:

ravioli boiling

ravioli being pan-fried after boiling

on the plate and ready to be sauced and cheesed

one food-porn angle (and looking more like pierogi than ravioli)

another food-porn angle

the remains of the galette before I even got to it

A lot of the meal prep was about pulling things back from the cliff's edge of disaster. The galette, for instance, must have ruptured on one side last night because a whole mess of sauce made its way out and around the sides of the dessert during baking. It's always bad news when something liquidy and sugary escapes confinement because, when everything cools and hardens, your galette can end up glued to the pie tin. To solve that problem, I attacked the galette while it was still hot, interrupting the "gluing" process by slipping a spatula under the dessert and lifting it.

This morning, another disaster: the crab sauce I'd tried to make tasted horrible, and it's partially because the crab meat I'd gotten turned out to be of shit quality. With only forty minutes to go before I had to leave for work, I started all over. Since I'd used up all my Gruyère cheese, I didn't try to make another Mornay; I made a simple Béchamel that I seasoned and lightly herbed up, and I shredded some Pecorino Romano to top everything off. As I left for work, I hoped that that would be enough. Sometimes, simpler is better—just a simple white sauce with no frills.

Once I got to work, I had only one burner to work with, which meant I had to juggle. I had individually wrapped each raviolo in wax paper; I got one pot of water boiling, then stuck eight frozen ravioli in there, agitating the water to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Eventually, the pasta was floating on its own, so there was no need to stir. I had a flat frying pan with butter at the ready, and when the time came, I used a slotted spoon to scoop the ravioli out of the water and into the frying pan. I then moved the pot of water off the heat, put on the frying pan, and pan-fried the ravioli (this produces a nice textural contrast). Once I had a little browning on the surface, I spooned the ravioli onto a plate, covered the pasta with white sauce, and topped everything with shredded Romano.

Miraculously, nothing burst on me. At least I'd done that right: when you're forming the ravioli, you're supposed to push out all of the possible air pockets: air pockets expand, and that can cause ruptures in the ravioli, which then flood with water, which then leads to the guts of the ravioli coming out into the water, which clouds the water. Tragic all around. And I somehow managed to avoid that tragedy, although I did see, in the bag of frozen pasta, some ravioli that either had holes or had extremely thin spots that looked ready to rip open.

I also worked on the galette one more time at the office, just to make sure the bottom hadn't fused to the pie tin. After that, my boss and coworkers all dug in.

Everyone loved everything, so I guess it all worked out. I still need to work on my ravioli game, though; this batch was a rogue's gallery of mutant monsters.

And I need to get back to making pasta more often. That was fun! This time, I used my stand mixer to do the kneading for me, and it worked beautifully: it took not even five minutes to go from flour, oil, salt, and eggs to a ball of pasta dough that had to rest for 30 minutes before I could roll it out flat. Amazing. And a perfect way to use the stand mixer.

So I avoided tragedy and emerged with a relative triumph, I think. A good luncheon was had by all. Later this month, I've promised my crew that I would make the full filet mignon meal that I made twice before this year. Stay tuned.


John Mac said...

Damn it, my neck hurts again from shaking my head in amazement as I read this cooking adventure. You are in a league of your own, my friend. Congrats on your heroic rescue of the meal. Impressive, to say the least.

Charles said...

I've never tried making pasta in my stand mixer. I always used to do it by hand. Sounds like I will have to give it a shot--I haven't made pasta in ages, partly due to how labor intensive it is to make by hand.

Kevin Kim said...


I just threw all the pasta ingredients into the mixer bowl and let 'er rip at Speed 2 for about 4.5 minutes. Everything turned out perfectly. I don't have a roller attachment for the mixer, so I used my crank roller, which was the fun part. The smell of fresh pasta makes it all worth it.

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks, John. Hectic but fun, it was.