Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited dust off this savory, seasonal recipe! Made with pure pumpkin, this homemade ravioli dish is best served by a fire with a buttery Chardonnay. Enjoy this fall-inspired meal and embrace every bit of being basic this holiday season.

Fresh Sage

Fresh Sage

Full disclosure, my particular recipe was influenced by many wonderful people in my life. The original recipe was given to me by my talented chef mother, Tammy Brawley. She is a fantastic chef, caterer and cooking instructor. Check out her business, The Green Kitchen, and be sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram! I am so thankful for you, Momma Bear!

Secondly, I have to give credit to Kim Usry, farmer’s market manager extraordinaire. She provided me with the fresh sage – grown in her own backyard! Fresh ingredients make a HUGE difference, so thank you Kim!

Lastly, my father, Gary “G-Fray” Fralin, is to credit for the optional touch of lemon. It adds a nice zest to the dish and pairs nicely with the white wine. Thank you Daddio, and thanks for always reading my blog posts!

Click here for a PDF of the recipe: Pumpkin Ravioli

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter

[for FOUR to SIX servings]

  • 15-16 ounce can pure pumpkin
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 T bacon bits (optional … but who skips bacon)
  • 1 t fresh lime juice
  • 1 egg yolk, white reserved
  • 1 ½ t balsamic vinegar
  • ½ t ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 24-48 wonton wrappers
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Fresh sage, minced
  • 1 t fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • A dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Either by hand or in a food processor, mix together until smooth, the pumpkin, cheeses, bacon, lime juice, egg yolk, balsamic vinegar, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  2. Line large baking sheet with plastic wrap. Place wonton wrapper on work surface. Using pastry brush, lightly brush wrapper with reserved egg white. Place 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin filling in center of wrapper. Top with another wrapper. Press edges together to seal. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. (Can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
  3. Over medium heat, melt the butter and cook 2-3 minutes with the sage until it begins to brown. Turn off the heat, season with salt and reserve.
  4. Working in batches, cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, carefully transfer ravioli to hot butter sauce; spooning sauce over ravioli to coat thoroughly. Transfer to serving plate and drizzle with sage brown butter on top.
  5. If desired, serve with grated Parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of red pepper flakes.

My notes…

  • This is not exactly a quick recipe. Making homemade ravioli is tedious work!
  • The original recipe actually calls for mascarpone, instead of ricotta. Stick with a soft cheese and you’ll do fine.
  • Of course, I made a quick salad as well. I’m talking arugula, apples, sweet onion and walnuts with cider vinaigrette. Yummmmmyyyy…
  • More importantly … the wine pairing! I went with the Cupcake Chardonnay. I wanted something buttery and bold, and this Cali chard nailed it. Its vanilla and caramel notes complement the pumpkin flavor well. It was simply decadent!
Homemade Ravioli

Homemade Ravioli

Pumpkin Filling

Pumpkin Filling

Cupcake Chardonnay

Cupcake Chardonnay

 

 

Skillet Pork Chops with Caramelized Apple

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples

[for FOUR servings]

  • 6 boneless pork chops
  • 2 medium red apples, sliced
  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • ½ T ground ginger
  • ½ T coriander
  • ½ T thyme
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 T nutmeg
  • 2 T cooking oil
  • 4 T butter
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Prep your ingredients, folks! It’ll give you time to focus on cooking accurately.
  2. On medium-high heat, warm the cooking oil in the skillet first. Once hot, add the butter. This technique should help prevent the butter from burning.
  3. While the pan is getting hot, season the pork chops with the ginger, coriander and thyme, along with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once the butter is melted, add the pork chops and Vidalia onions to the pan.
  5. Cook each side about 10-15 minutes, until you’ve achieved a nice golden brown char on both sides. Pork chops should reach an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees.
  6. Remove the pork and onions from the skillet. Cover with foil for now.
  7. While the pan is hot, add the remaining butter and melt down.
  8. Once the butter has melted, lower the heat and add the sliced apples.
  9. Season the apples in the pan with the honey, cinnamon and nutmeg immediately. Cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the apples are brown and soft.
  10. You’re done! Serve the apples on top of the pork chops and onions.

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My notes…

  • I always feel an obligation to eat some type of green vegetable with my dinner. I love roasting some broccoli, as you’ll see pictured!
  • I’ll admit, my method was a roundabout way of caramelizing. You can always use sugar instead. A lot of recipes will advise melting the sugar (or honey!) in the pan first… yadda yadda yadda who actually follows instructions 😉

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Review: Napa Mount Pleasant

It should be no surprise that this amateur food blogger resides in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina.  My boyfriend (Bryan) and I moved here from the Florida Keys in September 2016. What a life, right?

With the world as our oyster, we set our sights on exploring the Southeast. We were adamant about landing in a cool coastal town with a great culture (i.e. music, history, FOOD etc.). Consequently, Charleston was the winner.

We’ve been here almost a year, and I have to admit that we’ve only scratched the surface. Bryan and I attempt to try a new restaurant every time we go out, but sometimes we just crave our favorites. This leads me to Napa Mount Pleasant.

I hate to confess that we rarely stumble upon a good restaurant serendipitously. I’m a planner. I make a point to try and find good restaurants, leaving little room for fate to decide. Napa Mount Pleasant was the exception. Ever hear of the expression, “Location is everything”? Napa is located in the Mt. Pleasant Towne Center, and while Mt. Pleasant Towne Center is not quite East Bay Street, Napa’s location is the very reason we tried it. It’s right beside the local movie theater.

Napa Mount Pleasant is a California-inspired restaurant with an emphasis on good wine, fresh food and exceptional service. Surprisingly, a restaurant group out of Charlotte owns the restaurant, along with several Ruth Chris Steakhouses. Seems totally random, but I can dig it.

As the name implies, Napa aims to embody the very essence of the Napa Valley in California. There’s wine on tap and decorative bottles used as centerpieces. The whole place is aesthetically pleasing, and the menu is loaded with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. And for someone who has never been to the West Coast, even I can spot the Wine Country vibes from this understated corner spot.

The coolness doesn’t stop there. There is complimentary bread and pomegranate infused butter. I’ll repeat: Pomegranate. Infused. Butter. It’s exceptional, and almost worth striking a loved one for the last bite. Not to mention, when the hostess seats you, he or she will ask for your name so that the server can personalize your experience. The attention to detail is impressive and highly underrated. These details set the tone for the rest of your dining experience.

If you’re as lucky as we are, you’ll go on an evening that Sean is working. Sean is exceptional server that remembers us every single time. We found common ground while being carded, and he made a genuine connection that didn’t have to happen. Sean is warm, attentive and sharp. Most importantly, he goes the extra mile for us on a personal and professional level. We highly recommend Sean. Please go sit in his section. You won’t regret it.

I know, I know. I haven’t even gotten to the menu, but I’d like to make a side note. I’m a darn right passionate about good customer service. A restaurant is nothing without good service. You can have the most incredible menu, but if you have crappy service, I guarantee you’ll leave with a bad taste in your mouth. Now back to the food…

Napa’s menu is broad and simple, yet carefully crafted. Options include everything from a braised short rib to a grilled salmon Caesar. It’s a creative blend of domestic ingredients that are sure to please a variety of palates. My personal favorite is actually a small plate: the beef carpaccio. The flavor is immense for such a light dish. Napa’s carpaccio is served with Worcestershire aioli, pickled red onion, arugula, shaved paive, white truffle oil and grilled ciabatta, The crisp balance of flavors is refreshing, and its subtle diversity of textures is spot-on. It’s my definition of perfect.

Napa may not be a renowned restaurant on the peninsula or a staple on Shem Creek, but it has the same class and quality (if not better!) without the crowds. The next time you’re in Mount Pleasant, check it out. Go for brunch, lunch or dinner, and I guarantee you’ll thank me later.

Sweet Green Smoothie

Ingredients

[for TWO servings]

  • 2 cups of green grapes
  • 1 medium green apple
  • 1 cup of baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup of pineapple chunks
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ cup of coconut water
  • 1 T flax seed

Directions

Optional – If you have a juicer, juice the grapes and green apple first. Combine the fresh juice with the remaining ingredients in the blender. Blend well. Chill before serving.

Observations

If you do end up using a juicer for the grapes and apple, I think you’ll find the consistency more like a juice than a smoothie. It was drinkable and light, but I was hoping for something a little more filling. In the future, I may skip juicing the apple, and instead, put it straight into the blender. I think it would help thicken it up.

Click here for the PDF version of this recipe: SweetGreenSmoothie

GreenSmoothie2

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