Test Kitchen: Liquid "Gold" Corn Ravioli
How will these corn-filled ravioli from 'I Love Corn' fare?
Test Kitchen: Liquid "Gold" Corn Ravioli
In Lisa Skye's I Love Corn, consulting chef Peter Eco provided a recipe for Liquid "Gold" Corn Ravioli, his summery, Italian take on soup dumplings. The recipe details a similar method used for creating Shanghai juicy buns, solidifying stock with gelatin which becomes liquid again when heated through. Intrigued, Meal Ticket went into the kitchen to test out this exciting way to eat corn.
6 ears fresh corn, husked and cleaned (Silver Queen prefered)
¼ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus additional for seasoning
2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
Freshly ground white pepper
6 gelatin sheets, or 3 (¼-ounce) envelopes powdered unflavored gelatin
1 (24 count) package (4-inch) wonton wrappers, or homemade pasta and cut into 3-inch squares
2 large egg yolks
- Cut the corn off the cobs and set aside the corn
- Place the corncobs in a large stockpot and just cover them with water. Add the milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and bring the mixture to a low simmer over medium-low heat. Barely simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the cobs but leave the liquid in the pot on the heat.
- Blanch the corn kernels in the liquid for 3 to 4 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of the corn water and discard the rest.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the corn and sweat until soft, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with kosher salt, sugar, and a little white pepper.
- Purée the mixture in a blender with the remaining 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Thin with the reserved corn water. Pass through a chinois (a very fine conical strainer), then measure 2 cups of this corny gold.
- Soften the gelatin sheets in cold water. Squeeze out the excess water, then dissolve in the warm ravioli base. If using powdered gelatin, add without presoaking and be sure to stir constantly, or the gelatin will form clumps.
- Pour the ravioli base ½ deep in a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and refrigerate until firm. Once firm, cut into ½-inch cubes and return the cubes to the refrigerator.
- To make the ravioli, place a corn cube in the middle of a wrapper, brush with egg yolk around the edges, fold over, and press gently to seal. Be sure to press out as much air as possible.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Drop in the ravioli two or three at a time to avoid overcrowding and cook for 1½ to 2 minutes each before transferring gently to serving bowls. Be careful – they are very fragile, but super delicious!
The Good Part:
The filling is thicker than the broth found in juicy buns (think consistency of creamy soup), which makes for much neater eating.
The wonton wrappers (the time-saving lazy option) worked really well for ravioli. They were really sturdy, no problem with leaks or breakage.
The Bad Part:
Sadly, this recipe took a few wrong turns.
First, to cover 6 corn cobs lying down in a stock pot, only about 3½ cups of water was needed. And if you're thinking that 2 tablespoons of salt is excessive, you are correct, halve it for less salty results.
If you don't have a chinois, a normal strainer will do in pinch.
If calculations are correct, ½-inch cubes cut from a 9x9 inch pan equals 324 cubes of filling. With only 24 wrappers, what is one to do with the 300 extra cubes? The ½-inch cubes were a miniscule amount of filling in a 3-inch wrapper. So instead stuff each wrapper with 3 cubes of filling. Success! That still leaves you 252 cubes of filling to go though, so upping your wonton count would be a prudent move.
Finally, don't waste your egg, one yolk will do just fine.
These corn ravioli are undoubtedly different from any other ravioli you have ever had, and, when done right, they taste pretty good too. The corn flavor comes shining through (like gold) in the filling, and there are a ton of imaginative sauce options that you could create to complement the pasta. The downside is that it takes a while, save it for when you've got a lot of time and are feeling adventurous.
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