Beer Ravioli

Recently I had a week off work, a mini-holiday, and it seemed the perfect time to get a little creative in the kitchen and try my hand at pasta. Me being me I wanted to include beer in the mix …

I’ve been meaning to try and make pasta for a while but then I see half price fresh pasta on sale at [insert giant supermarket chain here] and I end up buying a few packets cause it’s cheap and convenient. Recently I had a week off work, a mini-holiday, and it seemed the perfect time to get a little creative in the kitchen and try my hand at pasta. Me being me I wanted to include beer in the mix so I went straight for The Beeroness website and found Jackie’s recipe for Homemade Beer Pasta. Jackie’s recipe calls for wheat beer but since I was already drinking a Coopers Sparkling Ale that’s what went in!

2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup wheat beer

I mixed all ingredients together in a large bowl until I had a nice elastic dough which was then left to rest for half an hour. In this time you can make whatever mix you would like for your ravioli, I decided on a mushroom, chive and goat’s cheese filling –

300g button mushrooms, finely diced
Handful fresh garlic chives
white pepper
2 tablespoons goat’s cheese
Put olive oil into pan and add mushrooms, leave to slowly cook on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add white pepper when about half way cooked through. When mushrooms are cooked place in bowl and mix in chives and cheese.

Back to the pasta – cut the dough into 4 – 6 manageable pieces, start with one and leave the others in a bowl with a damp teatowel over the top to stop the dough from drying out. Rolled the piece of dough into a flat and roughly rectangular (and I do mean “roughly”) shape about 2mm thick. If you have a pasta roller this will probably be a lot easier and quicker than a rolling pin but if not, a rolling pin will still get the job done. Place heaped teaspoons of your filling and lay it out evenly on the pasta, be sure to give yourself enough space to cut into ravioli.

Laying out the mushroom mix
Laying out the mushroom mix

Next you want to roll out a second piece of pasta, hopefully of similar size and shape to the first and place it over the top. This can be a little tricky, you want to try and get it right the first time as it’s kinda like when you put contact paper on your school books as a kid, if you peel back a section to start again it ends up a little sticky and not quite right!

Lay another sheet of pasta over the top
Lay another sheet of pasta over the top

Squish the two pasta layers together whilst getting rid of any of the pesky air pockets that have probably formed. Use a pastry brush to lightly moisten the pasta around the filling (i.e. not on the lumps) then take a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut out the ravioli squares. The water should help you squish the layers together so your ravioli stays together.

Toss into salted boiling water and ta-DA now you have fresh homemade ravioli!

Homemade Mushroom, Chive & Goats Cheese Beer Ravioli, tossed in Parmesan and Fresh Thyme
Homemade Mushroom, Chive & Goats Cheese Beer Ravioli, tossed in Parmesan and Fresh Thyme

And now that you’re an expert on homemade ravioli you can play with different fillings –

BBQ Sweet Potato, Ricotta and Baby Spinach
BBQ Sweet Potato, Ricotta and Baby Spinach
Sweet Potato, Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli
Sweet Potato, Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli

Beer + Mustard Bread

I recently stumbled across a fantastic recipe from Smitten Kitten that spoke to many of my food-loves … “Cheddar, Beer and Mustard Pull-Apart Bread”. How could I possibly resist?

I recently stumbled across a fantastic recipe from Smitten Kitten that spoke to many of my food-loves … “Cheddar, Beer and Mustard Pull-Apart Bread”. How could I possibly resist?

Since discovering this recipe only two weeks ago I have made it three times, each with a different and tasty result.

Attempt No. 1

The only downside was that I burnt its bottom and it overflowed a little, rising out of the baking tin like it was trying to escape. The loaf lasted all of about two days so I’d call that a success!

Preparing Bread
Making the Dough
Preparing the Yum
Spicy Cheese

Making Dough … Kneading Dough

Having made a few loafs of bread and pretzels I have come to the conclusion that a special dough hook attachment on a fancy machine is completely unnecessary. Plus you can’t have nearly as much fun putting flour hand prints in humourous places if you don’t get your hands dirty!

I used Coopers Sparkling in the dough purely because it is the current beer of choice in the fridge. It was either that or break open my Bootleg The Grandfather Barley Wine but that wasn’t going to happen! (Saving that for Christmas)

Preparing the Yum

I used the Kick Ass Hot Beer Mustard (made with Coopers), which has now become a staple item in our fridge, Worcestershire Sauce, Nandos Hot Sauce and melted butter.

Spicy Cheese

Using shredded local Capel Cheddar Cheese, I tossed through the mustard powder and smoked paprika according to the recipe and then blatantly put in more spices for no good reason other than just because.

Putting Bread Together
1. Rolling the dough into a rectangle without a rolling pin
2. Painting on the yum
3. Arranging

Rolling the Dough

Since we don’t have a rolling pin (at least not anywhere in the kitchen, it’s entirely possible that there is a rolling pin and two muddlers packed away in boxes in the shed) I used a large jar to try and make my flat rectangle.

Painting the Yum

There was something child-like fun about painting the yummy mustard/butter/hot sauce mixture onto the dough.

Arranging

This was a little fiddly. Using a pizza cutter I cut the dough into strips before layering it into a stack of dough, cheese, dough, cheese. Picking up ruler length strips of dough is fairly tricky! Next it was time to cut it up into sections to fit the cake tin, the recipe suggests a good knife but I used a paint scraper (we always have one in the kitchen for BBQ) and it worked a treat!

(By the way, the recipe has a really good photo of this whole process which will make a lot more sense than my ramblings here)

Finished Bread

P1050494

Attempt No. 2

We were heading to Perth and I had wanted to make the bread for a baby shower we were going to. Not wanting to make a mess in our friend’s kitchen I decided to prepare the bread, wrap it up, take it to Perth and then throw it into the oven on arrival.

After the drive up and running a few errands more than 3 hours passed in which the yeast had continued to grow, almost completely breaking free of it’s cake tin/cling wrap prison.

Deciding there wasn’t much I could do, and not sure if it was going to be okay, I lopped off the parts that were over the edges of the tin and reformed them into fat little sausage shapes on top as, for lack of a better word, “decoration”. It went into the oven and I crossed my fingers.

The result was a loaf of bread rather than a pull-apart but the taste was still amazing, more subtle than the first but light and fluffy with a good crusty outside.

We ate this with butter and some Pale Ale Cheese by Chef DeBeersine – beautiful!

Bread

IMG_20121207_192434

Attempt No. 3

Since Attempt No. 2 was for the baby shower but we got all excited and ate half of the loaf fresh from the oven, I had to make another the next morning. This time it was much closer to the actual recipe which is always nice and I didn’t get any photos since it came out of the oven and straight to the baby shower and disappeared rapidly once it hit the table. Yup, I’ll be making this bread a whole lot more!

Mustard + Coopers

It has been a number of weeks since I’ve been to Bunnings on a weekend to enjoy one (or even two) of their fantastic sausage sizzles. It must be universally accepted that you can’t have a proper hot dog without mustard and so, since I woke up with strong urge to cook, it seemed like a good time to try my hand at mustard. Paul Mercurio’s Cooking with Beer book came to the rescue with a recipe for “Kick-arse Hot Beer Mustard”.

Check out more photos here

This mustard is delightfully easy to whip together and makes you wonder whether you’ll bother to purchase mustard from the shops ever again. The use of the words “kick-arse” and “hot” are no exaggeration so if you are a fan of big flavours, heat and bag loads of spice then you’ll love this mustard too. With so much flavour going on here I’m not sure how much impact 1/3 of a cup of Coopers Sparkling has on the finished product. Since it’s so easy to make I think I’ll mess around with different beers and see what difference it makes.

Now that I had made mustard it was time for hot dogs … well, actually it turned out to be more of a sandwich since there was fresh turkish bread on hand. (I’m trying not to giggle as the words “sausage sandwich” come to mind). Anyway …

  • Mushroom & Onion Sausages from the local Capel Butcher
  • Shredded Capel Cheddar
  • Tomato Sauce and KICK ARSE HOT BEER MUSTARD!

It was seriously tasty and I’ll be putting beer mustard on every dish for the next week!

Sausages with Kick Arse Hot Beer Mustard in Turkish Bread
(try very hard not to label this photo as ‘Sausage Sandwich’)