4 H

This year I have had the opportunity to help teach the local 4H club foods club.  When I first signed up I assumed it would be fairly basic lessons, with a couple kids whose parent’s signed them up.  Boy was I wrong.  The little crew we had sign up are quite a hilarious mix of aspiring little chefs.  Ranging in age from 7 – 13 and all getting along quite nicely I might add.  Not only do they cook at the club meeting each month, they cost each recipe they make so they can see exactly how much each portion costs.  I have to say this blows my mind.  In culinary school we had an entire class on how to do this, and some of the adults in my class still could not handle it by the end.  The poor teacher went over it again and again and again… I hope SAIT pays for his therapy.  And those people are now running restaurants… scary I know.  Maybe they can hire some 4H kids to help.

This past week we made ricotta and herb ravioli.  They killed it.  I really enjoy watching them and seeing each of their personalities coming out.  Some want to be in on every step like a dirty shirt.  Getting hands dirty, cracking eggs, trying things.  Other like the watch and ask serious well thought out questions.  Even just seeing their finished product on the plate you could tell who’s was who’s.  Some made exact replicas of the example I made, others had some very free form and artistic shaped ravioli.  Too bad Little Chef is too young to come along, he would love it.  And possibly holler directions too loudly…

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Before the end of class, the Leader Sharon (who also does adult cooking classes, check them out HERE) told the kids this would be my last day helping because my baby would be here soon.  One little girl looked up at me {past the giant belly} and said “But Chef Stephanie will we ever see you again?!”  Now that’s how you make someone feel wanted!  Boom.  If I wasn’t planning on helping out next year that adorable and perfectly timed comment sealed the deal for me.

But seriously, if your kid is showing an interest in food, sign them up for something like this!  You never know how far they will take it.  They may end up being the next Gordon Ramsay, or maybe not.  Either way you might get ravioli out of it.

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So here is the recipe we made.  Give it a try, if they can do it in an hour AND cost the entire thing, you can make this for supper.  Please submit your costing to me when you are done.  There is a test, you will be graded, it accounts for 34% of your mark.

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Ricotta and Herb Ravioli

Pasta dough:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup semolina flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 eggs

Pinch of salt

Directions:

Thoroughly sift together all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and pinch of salt. On a clean surface, make a mountain out of flour mixture then make a deep well in center. Break the eggs into the well and add olive oil. Whisk eggs very gently with a fork, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well. When mixture becomes too thick to mix with a fork, begin kneading with your hands.

Knead dough for 8 to 12 minutes, until it is smooth and supple. Dust dough and work surface with semolina as needed to keep dough from becoming sticky. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Filling:

4 Tablepoons chopped herbs such as parsley, thyme and chives

1 ½ Tablespoons grated parmesan

1 cup ricotta cheese

Directions:  Chop herbs, mix together.  Set aside.

Sauce:

2 ½ Tablespoons butter

6 sage leaves

One lemon, rasped and squeezed

2 teaspoons pine nuts or walnuts toasted

Directions:

Cut the dough in half, then roll out each piece in a pasta machine, dust with semolina four to prevent sticking.  Roll until the dough is thin enough that it holds together, but you can see the outline of your fingers through it.

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Cut the sheet in half, and repeat with the remaining dough.  Lay the pasta sheets flat and dollop the filling in to dime sized blobs on the dough, leaving space in between.  Brush water around each blob of filling.  Then lay the other half of the pasta sheet on top of the filling.  Gently press down around each blob until no air pockets are left, and the two pasta sheets are sealed together.  Cut out each ravioli with a round cutter or a knife.  Seal edges with a fork or by hand.

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Drop the sealed ravioli in to boiling water and let cook for 3-5 minutes or until they float and the edges are soft.

In the mean time toast the nuts, add in the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and sage and have hot and ready for the cooked ravioli.  Place the cooked ravioli in the pan and toss in the sauce.  Let cook for 1-2 minutes and add the remaining parmesan cheese.

Plate and eat!

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  1. Reblogged this on Nex Chef .com.

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