Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I don't often tout other companies and services here, but as a cookbook lover, I have become obsessed with Eat Your Books. It's a web-based service that catalogs thousands of cookbooks by recipe and ingredient. I have 140 cookbooks, more than most people, but a lot less than some collectors. Digging thru them for ideas is a time-consuming task to say the least.
Until I found EYB. I quickly added all of my books to my bookshelf and was happy to find most of them are indexed. The site quickly reported that I have more than 20,000 recipes. But here's the good part: if I have an ingredient I want to use, I no longer have to pull out a pile of books and search the index of each. I simply type in the ingredient and within seconds, I have a list of recipes that use it. That's how I found this recipe for Eric Ripert's Spinach and Ricotta ravioli with butter and sage. I had a big bag of baby spinach in my fridge so I did a search on spinach. After narrowing my search to exclude salads and such, I hit the perfect accompaniment to a grilled veal chop.
Of course, I cheated. I didn't have time to make the fresh pasta so I used wonton wrappers - my go-to trick for quick, light homemade ravioli. They're thinner than most pasta so they let the filling really shine...
I'd recommend EYB for anyone with a lot of cookbooks and a hatred for wasted food. (Watch this space ina few days to see what I did with leftover buttermilk.) There are days when nothing but a pile of my friends (Mario, Giada, Laurent, Eric...) will do - when I flip lovingly thru the pages getting ideas. But most days I don't have the time to spend sifting thru cookbooks, so it's EYB to the rescue!
Leave a comment and let me know what tricks you've found for sorting thru recipes and cookbooks...
Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with Butter and Sage
adapted from Avec Eric by Eric Ripert
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 oz. baby spinach, washed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg yolk
16 wonton wrappers
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. torn fresh sage leaves
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute briefly until soft and aromatic. Add the spinach and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until just wilted then remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess moisture.
Chop the spinach then combine with the ricotta and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper then stir in the egg yolk.
Working on a lightly floured surface, place one scoop (about a tablespoon) of filling on each wonton wrapper. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with water or the leftover egg white. Fold over, then press firmly to seal, making sure there are no air bubbles. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook until they float (about 1 to 2 minutes). Gently drain and place in a large bowl. Toss them with the butter and then mix in the sage leaves. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and service immediately.
Serves 2 (can easily be doubled).