Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Baked Clams with Wasabi Bread Crumbs

It’s that time of year when party food has its moment or several moments. I have to say, as I was preparing the dish shown here today, I kept thinking of how well it would work as a hors d’oeuvre for a party. This dish came from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix, and I received a review copy. The idea behind the book is that every basic recipe can be adapted into sometimes countless variations. General concepts like chicken wings, vegetable soup, grain salads, deviled eggs, etc. are shown with simple changes that take each in numerous different directions. The cooking technique remains the same, but the flavor profiles change. So, those wings could end up with typical Buffalo spicing, or you could choose teriyaki, lemon-garlic-pepper, chipotle-lime, Thai peanut, or jerk. The book would be a great source for those times when you’ve run out of ideas for what to do with fresh corn or zucchini or beets. Of the 16 ways celery is used, there are a few I would never have thought of. Celery slaw with fennel, celery raita, and orange and celery salad all sound delicious. There's a very practical feel to the book. It straightforwardly guides you through the options for choosing a flavor profile and combination of ingredients. Because this is a Mark Bittman book, of course there are gentle reminders that I like seeing about minimizing meat intake and filling most of our plates with vegetables. And, the book ends with a delightful chapter of sweets with twists on basic cookie dough, four versions of doughnuts, and a dozen options for ice pops. The first recipe I tried from the book was the Corn Cakes with fresh corn kernels. I served those savory, little pancakes for brunch with frittata and topped them with a sprinkling of smoked paprika. The other options for the corn cakes included turning them into arepas or corn and crab cakes. Next, I had to try the Baked Clams with Wasabi Bread Crumbs. 

One reason this dish would be great for a party is because the clams can be steamed open and prepped in advance and kept in the refrigerator. They can be popped into a hot oven for a brief 10 minutes to warm through just before serving. So, to begin, I always clean clams by putting them in a big bowl of water and adding a few tablespoons of flour. I leave them to soak and purge for 15 minutes or so. Then, I rinse the clams to remove any flour, and they’re ready to steam. To steam, I put them in a Dutch oven, add some water and white wine to total about one-half cup, maybe add a peeled and smashed garlic clove or two, cover, and bring to a boil. Check the clams after a few minutes and remove each one as it opens. Once cool enough to handle, the top of each shell was removed. If serving at a party, I would loosen the clams from the bottom shells at this point to make eating them even easier. They could be refrigerated until ready to serve. For the bread crumb filling, I toasted the panko in a dry skillet on top of the stove first. This wasn’t called for in the recipe, but the bread crumbs will have a better chance of a good overall toasting if given this head start. While toasting, a teaspoon of soy sauce and a small drizzle of sesame oil were added. After toasting, a teaspoon of wasabi powder was stirred into the bread crumbs. The bread crumb mixture was spooned on top of each opened clam, and the clams were placed on a baking sheet. They went into a 450 degree F oven for 10 minutes and were topped with chopped garlic chives before serving. 

Clams, and all bivalves, are such a good sustainable choice of seafood; I’m thrilled to have some new recipes like this one for using them. There are also recipes in the book for pan-roasted and fried clams. This book does a great job of pointing you in new directions with mostly familiar ingredients and recipes and gets you thinking creatively about myriad other ways you might tweak some of your favorite meals. Happy party season, and Happy Thanksgiving! 

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Black Drum Ceviche with Coconut Water, Cucumber, and Avocado

For a quick virtual vacation to the Yucatan, just open up the book Hartwood by Eric Werner and Mya Henry. As I turned the pages of my review copy, I was brought into the restaurant, Hartwood, and then on into the jungle where many of the ingredients used there are grown. The restaurant was built in 2010 in Tulum and was intentionally left mostly open to the surrounding natural setting. They have solar panels and a gas generator instead of power lines, ice is delivered, and the cooking is done over fire on a grill or in a wood-burning oven. The experience of the restaurant and the food served is very specific to the place despite the challenges that brings. The upkeep of the restaurant is a constant chore due to the heat, humidity, and rain. Werner and Henry clearly didn’t set out to take it easy after moving to the Riviera Maya. But, they did intend to take full advantage of all the local flavors available. The book explains how those flavors are built with roasted oils, pickled vegetables, and the use of wood smoke in the cooking. Lively mixes of fruits and chiles are seen in many dishes, and there are always suggestions for substitutions for ingredients and cooking techniques. I’ve marked the page for the Lentil and Papaya Salad with Lime and Honey Vinaigrette that’s made with summer squash and puffed amaranth seeds. There’s also a Grilled Nopales Salad with Queso Cotija served with a pink hard-boiled egg that was pickled with dried Jamaica flowers. The grilled seafood dishes all look fresh and flavorful like the Maya Prawns with Chipotle Mezcal Sauce served with sliced cucumber, radishes, and mandarin orange segments. There are also vegetable dishes, meat, desserts, and fruity cocktails. My first task was to choose one of the several recipes for ceviche because they all sounded fantastic. 

Of course, the most important thing about ceviche is choosing some perfectly fresh fish. In the book, each recipe is specific to a different type of fish, but there are suggestions for other good options depending on what’s available. In the past, I’ve always cut fish for ceviche into small cubes. Here, thin cuts against the grain are advised. The pieces are shaped more like sashimi. I decided to try the recipe called Ceviche de Robalo in the book, and robalo is a fish that moves in and out of fresh and saltwater. I used Gulf-caught black drum instead. My reason for choosing this version of ceviche was the juices, fruits, and vegetables that come together in it. The sliced fish was marinated in orange juice and lime juice with chopped red onion, sliced red serrano, and salt. Meanwhile, a cucumber was juiced by pureeing it in the blender and then straining it. That juice was mixed with coconut water. After the fish had marinated in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour, it was moved with a slotted spoon to a serving dish. The cucumber-coconut water mixture was ladled over the fish. The garnishes were grapefruit segments, thin batons of jicama and radishes, little cubes of cucumber and avocado, and I added cilantro leaves. I can never resist baking some long, thin wedges of tortillas to serve with ceviche. 

Enjoying this dish was like a mini getaway with the flavors of coconut, serrano, fresh fruits, and crunchy vegetables. I might always add coconut water to ceviche from now on. Obviously, this restaurant makes the most of the variety of produce available nearby. I’d like nothing more than to visit in person and stroll in after a day on the beach, but until I can get there, I’ll keep virtually traveling with the book. 

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kabocha Squash in Pipian Verde

A lot has been written about our industrialized food system, why it needs to be changed, and the damages caused by it. The related environmental and health issues have been exposed repeatedly. But, a new book I just read also highlighted the cultural effects of the current food system. In Decolonize Your Diet by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel, they describe how “the production of food in the early twenty-first century is wholly alienated not only from the way we live…but from our own cultural histories and traditional food ways.” Their book, of which I received a review copy, encourages a look back at traditional ingredients and ways of preparing meals from Mexican and Central American cuisine. It also focuses on very healthful, plant-based dishes using unrefined, unprocessed ingredients. I couldn’t wait to try a few recipes. The Vampiro Beet and Carrot Salad sounds fresh and pretty with grated vegetables, orange and lime juices, and jalapeno. The Purepecha Bean Soup is made with Flor de Mayo or pinto beans and dried chiles and is topped with crispy corn tortilla strips and diced avocado. As soon as red cabbage shows up in our CSA box, I’ll be making the Sweet Potato Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw. And, I really want to try making homemade Mesquite Corn Tortillas with a mix of masa and mesquite flour. But first, the Kabocha Squash in Pipian Verde dish was calling my name. I sauntered off to our Wednesday farmers’ market hoping to find some sort of small winter squash to use for this without worrying too much about it being a Kabocha. Despite my open-mindedness, I actually found the lovliest, red Kabocha ready and waiting for me that day. This dish was meant to be. 

There are plenty of ways to start this in advance. Four poblano chiles were roasted, skinned, seeded, and chopped, and those could be prepped and refrigerated until ready to make the sauce. I roasted them directly on top of a burner and turned them as they charred. The squash was cut into wedges and roasted in the oven with a coating of olive oil and sprinkling of salt and pepper. This could be done in advance, and the squash wedges can be reheated when you’re ready to serve. The next step in making the sauce was to broil a quartered white onion, 10 tomatillos with husks removed, a few unpeeled garlic cloves, and I added a couple of serrano chiles. Next, a cup of raw, hulled pumpkin seeds were toasted in a dry pan on top of the stove. Those toasted pepitas along with two cups of water were then pulsed in a blender. Next, the roasted onion, the peeled garlic, the chopped poblanos, my additional serranos, and some oregano, cilantro, epazote, parsley, and a pinch of anise seeds were to be added to the blender. This was way too much for my blender, and I pureed all of this in two batches. Salt was added to taste, and then the purred sauce was transferred to a large saucepan and simmered for about 15 minutes. The simmering really brought the flavors together. To serve, the roasted squash wedges were set in a pool of sauce and garnished with cilantro leaves and more toasted pepitas. 

This recipe made a lot of sauce which is a good thing. I’m happy to have some stored in the freezer to use on enchiladas someday soon. And, it was delightfully tangy, spicy, and, herby with the squash. I’d never paired squash with these flavors before, and I’m so glad to have been introduced to the idea. There are several more ideas in the book I’ll be trying too. 

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Carrot Banana Cake

We’re still anxiously awaiting our return to our permanent property. The work on our new house is progressing, and the kitchen is starting to take shape with cabinets being set into position. Every day brings a new dilemma like what kind of outlets should be installed on the island? Hopefully, all of the issues will be solved soon, and I’ll be in my new kitchen in time for holiday baking season. I realized how much I’ve missed more frequent baking as I turned the pages of Yvette Van Boven’s newest book Home Baked. I recently received a review copy. I was hooked on this book from the very beginning thanks to the tips for homemade vanilla extract, natural food coloring, and a list of flours from various grains to use. The Bread chapter won me over quickly with tender Potato Rolls, Spicy Italian Anchovy-Garlic Bread, and the use of a sourdough starter for bread and pizza dough. The recipes are a mix of sweet treats and some more wholesome options with whole grains and less sugar. There are cakes, bars, cookies, pies, and pastry, and even treats for canine friends. I took one look at the Speculaas cookies and wanted to find out how to order a board with a windmill mold to make them. (Incidentally, I found one here.) And, the Pear Caramel Pies with Walnuts look decadent with the crisp puff pastry and drizzles of homemade caramel. Since I’m still doing my best to keep sugar intake at a minimum, I decided to try the Carrot Banana Cake. It’s a cross between a carrot cake and banana bread, and it’s lightly sweetened with just a couple of tablespoons of honey. The rest of the sweetness comes from apple juice, carrots, and the fruit in the cake. 

This is a little different from other banana bread recipes because the bananas are sliced rather than mashed. There were supposed to have been dried apricots in the recipe, but as seems to happen to me often with various ingredients, the day I needed dried apricots there were none to be found. I used dried plums instead. To begin, apple juice (and I love that organic unsweetened apple juice was recommended), grated carrots, halved dried plums in my case, and honey were combined in a saucepan and brought to a boil. The pan was removed from the heat, and it was left to rest for 30 minutes. Spelt flour, grated unsweetened coconut, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt were sifted together. There’s a note that cinnamon is nice here as well, so I added some. The carrot and apple juice mixture was added to the flour mixture, beaten eggs were stirred in, and last the banana slices were folded into the batter. The cake baked for about 50 minutes. 

I tasted the batter just before transferring it to the baking pan. I thought it tasted not sweet enough and worried the cake would be bland. But, it didn’t occur to me that I was tasting plain batter with no banana in it. Once the cake was baked and sliced, and the banana slices were evenly distributed and found their way into each bite. They added just enough extra sweetness. I loved the texture with the carrots and all the fruit, and I wouldn’t change a thing the next time I bake it. Now, if we can just get moved, I can wait to start breaking in my new, roomier kitchen with lots of baking. 

Carrot Banana Cake 
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from Home Baked

Oh, delicious. Look, I figured: I love carrot cake, I love banana bread, why don’t I throw the two together and combine them into a single thing I love? The cake doesn’t contain any sugar, butter, or wheat, so it’s pretty healthy. But by adding the apricots, banana, apple juice, and carrot, it ends up being pretty sweet anyhow. If you can’t get spelt flour, you can of course simply use wheat flour, I won’t stop you. Bake this cake and bring a thick slice to work. It’s the perfect snack. 

for 1 cake, prep 25 min., inactive 30 min., bake 50 min. 
wheat-free, lactose-free, refined sugar–free 

1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened organic apple juice 
1 1/4 cups (150 g) grated carrot 
2/3 cup (100 g) unsulphured dried apricots, halved 
2 to 3 tbsp honey or agave syrup 
2 cups plus 2 tbsp (250 g) light spelt flour 
1/2 cup (50 g) grated unsweetened coconut 
2 tsp baking powder 
1 tbsp ground ginger (cinnamon is nice too)
pinch of salt 
3 eggs, beaten 
2 bananas, sliced 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C). Position a rack in the center. Thoroughly grease a 1 1/2-qt (1.5-L) loaf pan, or any other pan with approximately the same volume. I use some melted coconut oil, but baking spray or olive oil also works fine. 

In a saucepan, bring the apple juice, carrot, apricots, and honey to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Let cool until the mixture is nearly at room temperature. I usually spoon the mixture into a large dish to make sure it cools faster. 

Meanwhile, combine the flour with the coconut, baking powder, ginger, and salt. Then spoon in the carrot mixture. Stir in the beaten eggs and finally the banana slices. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 50 minutes or so. The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan, then turn out onto a rack. Once cooled off, the cake will be slightly firmer. 

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Shelling Pea, Corn, and Squash Ragout

Late summer though fall is the season for shelling peas or field peas, and that category includes purple hull peas, creamer peas, and black-eyed peas to name a few. They all grow well here, and I seem to end up making something very similar to the ragout shown here every year at about this time. This year as we received a bag of fresh field peas in our CSA box every other week, I popped the bag into the freezer each time. I also had extra corn that I cut off the cobs and stored in a bag in the freezer. I took my time deciding how to use my frozen stockpile, and I still have more field peas stored away for a different use. The combination of black-eyed peas, sweet and spicy peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, and corn is a classic. I remembered this particular version from the book Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison, and it was just what I wanted. Also, when I make something like this ragout every year, I always make some kind of cornbread to accompany it. This time, I took inspiration from the Breads of the Southwest book for savory scones with cornmeal, jalapenos, and cheddar. Once last thing to include is my fermented okra pickles, and this is the meal that defines the transition from summer to fall for me.

To get started, the fresh, or in my case frozen, black-eyed peas were cooked in water with a bay leaf until tender. I used a mix of sweet and spicy peppers cut into small strips, and those were sauteed in olive oil until softened, and then balsamic vinegar was added and stirred into the peppers. The peppers were set aside, the pan was wiped clean, and sliced summer squash was sauteed and browned. I used some local pattypan squash. The black-eyed peas were drained, and the cooking liquid was reserved. In a Dutch oven, butter was melted for cooking minced onion. After a few minutes, corn, chopped tomatoes, and the drained peas and some of the cooking liquid were added. This mixture was left to simmer for a bit before the cooked squash joined the ragout. A few tablespoons of cream was stirred in at the end. The ragout was served garnished with the sauteed peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, and sliced basil. 

I think I come back to something like this dish every year at the start of fall because it’s hearty and light at the same time. The cooked summer vegetables make a filling but not-too-filling stew, and the raw tomatoes and basil on top brighten up the flavors. And, it’s made for dunking cornbread or cornmeal-jalapeno-cheddar scones. Now, I can choose something new and different for using the rest of my field peas stash. 

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Crispy Haloumi Cheese with Dates, Walnuts, and Apples

Sometimes new cookbooks don’t draw me in right away. I might need to read a few pages to get a feel for the style of cooking in the book, and eventually I start getting excited about the dishes. That was not the case with Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking. My first look inside the review copy I received had me completely intrigued. The colorful, vibrant salads and vegetables dishes, the various rice dishes and pilafs, and skewers of grilled chicken and salmon with flavorful marinades left no doubts that I’d enjoy this book. Zahav, the restaurant, opened in Philadelphia in 2008, and this book presents the mix of dishes from the menus over the years. Chef Michael Solomonov writes that these dishes “make an impression of a cuisine that is evolving.” They reflect an idea of Israeli cooking, but at times, traditional approaches are changed to accommodate what’s available and in season at the restaurant. I like this thought of the food giving a sense of a culture and a place and not sticking too strictly to original versions. I learned that “tehina” is the same thing as “tahini,” and it’s invaluable in Israeli cooking. It’s used to add richness without the use of cream or butter for keeping kosher. It’s used in hummus, of course, but also in many other applications both sweet and savory. For instance, there’s a vegetable dish in which cooked green beans are mixed with sauteed mushrooms and tehina sauce and then topped with lentils and crispy garlic. I’m noting that for my Thanksgiving menu. One recipe I already tried was the Latke with Gravlax. It’s one big latke made in a skillet and turned in one solid piece. There’s no onion, flour, or egg, just grated potatoes cooked in oil. It was simple, crispy, and delicious. The vegetable-filled borekas are similar to turnovers and are made with a dough kind of like puff pastry, and I want to try them all. I also want to attempt making laffa flatbread. The recipes in the book quickly caught my attention, but so did the writing. Solomonov shares his stories about living in Isreal at different times and his training as a chef. There are interesting historical insights like the fact that Israeli couscous was first made as a wheat-based substitute for rice when there was a rice shortage. And, there are explanations about the mix of cultures that make up Israel and how the food represents many different origins. There’s so much to appreciate here from the Pumpkin Broth with Fideos soup to the Chocolate Babka served with cardamom-flavored Turkish Coffee Ice Cream. 

I’ve been making use of our fall fruits in salads like arugula with pears, gorgonzola, and pecans and mixed greens with apples, pecans, and goat cheese. I can’t get enough of the mix of sweet, tart, nutty, and salty. With these flavors already on my mind, I had to try the Crispy Haloumi Cheese with Dates, Walnuts, and Apples recipe. And, I can never resist a dish with haloumi. Pitted dates, toasted walnuts, olive oil, sherry vinegar, pinches of salt, and some hot water were combined in a food processor and pureed until smooth. This paste formed the base of the dish. Next, cubes of haloumi were sauteed in oil until golden on all sides. These were set on top of the date paste. Last, an apple was cut into matchsticks, and I used a Benriner, and those little sticks were perched on top of the haloumi. Dill and Urfa pepper were sprinkled on top to finish the dish. 

In the head note for this recipe, it’s mentioned that this dish cannot be taken off the menu at the restaurant because it is so well-loved. I can understand completely. This is such a good mix of textures and flavors, and haloumi works its magic when paired with something a little sweet like the dates here. And, crisp, fresh apple brightens the combination. Now, I need go shop for fideos to try that soup I mentioned, and I really want to attempt making Persian rice and about 20 other recipes as well. 

Crispy Haloumi Cheese with Dates, Walnuts, and Apples 
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking

Serves 4 

1 cup roughly chopped dried dates 
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped 
1/3 cup olive oil 
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar 
Kosher salt 
Canola oil 
8 ounces haloumi cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes 
1 apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks 
Chopped fresh dill 
1/2 teaspoon ground Urfa pepper 

Combine the dates, walnuts, olive oil, vinegar, a couple pinches of salt, and 1/2 cup hot water in a food processor and puree until smooth. Set the date paste aside. 

Film a skillet with canola oil and heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering but not smoking. Arrange the cheese cubes in a single layer in the skillet and cook, turning, until the exteriors are golden and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. 

Spread the date paste over the bottom of a serving plate and add the fried haloumi. Top with the apple, dill, and Urfa pepper, and serve immediately. 

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Fried Sweet Potato Ravioli

I’ve always been a fan of Martha Stewart and all things Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia-related. I sometimes say that Martha taught me how to cook. I was reading Living magazine, watching the Martha Stewart show (an early version), and reading her books when I first started getting addicted to cooking and learning new things about food. And, I get that she’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The endless jokes about her perfectionism never fail to amuse, but that’s actually what I’ve always loved about her. She’s explained before that first and foremost, she’s a teacher. She wants to present precise information and best practices for everything she demonstrates, and I appreciate that. So, I like Martha, classic Martha. In recent years, Living magazine has become simplified in comparison to early issues. Recipes have become mostly of the “quick” and “easy” variety, and the information has been pared down. I miss the in-depth nature of the old issues, and when I look back at pages I’ve clipped and filed over the years, the old ones still grab my attention. In 1999, I was delighted to bring home a copy of Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook which at the time was a recreation of the book Martha Stewart’s Hors D’Oeuvres from 15 years earlier. The 1999 version is a beauty with a section of color photos for all the recipes before the recipes themselves. Some items are easier to make than others, but everything is beautifully presented and made special. Now, a brand new book has been created. It’s Martha Stewart's Appetizers, and I received a review copy. Did you notice the change in title? It became simpler. The whole book is simpler with fewer sections and a more straightforward layout. There aren’t nearly as many fussy, little, perfectly cut-out shapes as seen in the previous book. But, it’s still from the Martha team. Everything looks delicious and pretty, and every single appetizer in the book had me imagining when and how I might serve it. 

This book has everything from Pigs in Blankets to Blini with Creme Fraiche and Caviar. There’s even a whole section for cocktails. I fell for the Pureed Soups because of the photo. Little cups of different types of soup are lined up in a rainbow of colors with beet soup next to butternut squash soup right by spinach-pea soup and so on. And, there are suggested garnishes like herbed croutons and roasted pepitas to serve with the soups. The mini quiches are adorable as are the Croque-Monsieur Bites. And, the Tostones with Crab Salad are at the top of my to-try list. There’s even an old-school Hot Artichoke Dip and a Hot-Crab and Pimento-Cheese Spread. Because I had a few local sweet potatoes sitting on my kitchen counter, I decided to dive in to Fried Sweet Potato Ravioli first. Baked sweet potatoes were cooled, and then the flesh was spooned into a food processor and pureed with heavy cream, grated parmesan, and salt and pepper. Wonton wrappers were each filled with two teaspoons of the sweet potato puree, and the edges were brushed with egg wash. The wrappers were folded over into triangles, and the edges were sealed. Working in batches, the filled wontons were fried a few at a time for about two minutes per side. The fried ravioli were served with sour cream topped with chopped chives. 

Yes, this new book is simpler, and I chose a pretty simple recipe to make from it, but I loved them both. The streamlined approach hasn’t lost me, but I enjoyed the more complex style too. These crispy ravioli dipped in the cold sour cream were delightful. I have some leftovers in the freezer that can be warmed and re-crisped in the oven some other day. Now, I need to plan a party or two and make several more things from the new book.  

Fried Sweet-Potato Ravioli 
Recipe reprinted from Martha Stewart's Appetizers. Copyright ©2015 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Photos by David Malosh. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
makes 38 

Using wonton wrappers instead of pasta dough eases the preparation of this savory starter, and results in a crisp, light crust. The ravioli are also a great make-ahead option; reheat in the oven when ready to serve, as a toasty prelude to a cold- weather meal. 

3 sweet potatoes, scrubbed 
1/4 cup heavy cream 
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
38 square wonton wrappers 
1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash 
Safflower oil, for frying 
Sour cream and snipped fresh chives, for serving 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh and transfer to a food processor. Pulse with heavy cream and cheese until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 
 2. Working with one wonton wrapper at a time, place 2 teaspoons sweet potato filling in center of square. Lightly brush edges of wrapper with egg wash. Lightly press edges to seal. Using a small knife, make small decorative cuts along edges, if desired. Transfer ravioli to a parchment- lined baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. 
3. Heat 2 inches oil in a heavy- bottomed pot over medium- high until 350°F on a deep- fry thermometer. Line a wire rack with paper towels. Working in batches, cook ravioli until golden on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes; flip and cook until other side is golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to lined rack to drain. Return oil to 350°F between batches. Serve immediately with sour cream topped with chives. 

MAKE AHEAD Arrange cooked and cooled ravioli in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Freeze until firm. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze up to 3 months. Reheat on a parchment- lined baking sheet (do not thaw) in a 375°F oven, about 10 minutes. 

NOTE To keep them warm while you finish frying batches, place ravioli on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 225°F oven.

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