It’s a habit of mine to invite my friends over for lunch one day around my birthday and treat them with huge amounts of food.
Yesterday’s menu was:
- Salmon marinated in soya sauce (12-14hours) with toasted sesame seeds.
- Yogurt & Spinach Dip
- Mushroom ravioli (recipe to follow)
- Chicken curry of sorts.
- Chocolate cake.
First, the chocolate cake. I used two recipes from the wonderful website Food52: Peanut Butter Cookie and Chocolate Avocado Mousse. First, prepare the PB cookie in a tray, as a crunchy base for the cake. In the recipe it tells you to use some butter, I simply added an extra half a cup of PB. I don’t know which option is healthier but PB is certainly tastier than butter.
While it cools down prepare the avocado mousse.
When both layers are cool enough, pour the mousse on top of the cookie base and refrigerate. Here you have two options: you either leave the cookie base on the mould or you put it on a tray. If you leave it, the cake can be quite cumbersome to cut and serve but it is also very likely that the cookie base crumbles or breaks when you take it away from the mould. I did the latter and it did break, but nobody seemed to notice.
I did it the day before and it tasted great! I also added some frozen berries on top. Banana could be a good alternative.
Now, to the raviolis. This is a dish that I prepared the first time I hosted a birthday dinner five years ago and ever since my best friend has been begging me to do them again.
- Dried shiitake mushrooms
- Dried white (or button) mushrooms
- Goat cheese
- Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese
- Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl full of water. Leave them there for at least 5 or 6 hours. Remember to stir the mushrooms every now and then (every 30 or 45 minutes approx).
- Drain the mushrooms. Save some of the liquid. The water will have the taste of the mushrooms and you can use it to give the mix a smoother texture.
- Put the mushrooms together with some goat cheese (depending on your taste) and a teaspoon of nutmeg. Add some mushroom water to help the processor to blend it well. Process until you have a uniform paste.
- Unpack the wontons, put 5 or 6 of them in a wooden platform.
- Put some water on the sides of the wontons. A lot of water, it has to be soaked so that the wontons “close” well.
- With a teaspoon, put some of the mixture in the middle of each wonton. Do not put much, otherwise it will be impossible to close or it is likely to burst when boiled.
- Close the wanton in a triangular shape.
- Press a fork to the sides to make sure it is firmly closed.
- Cut a thin part of the sides with a knife or a fancier tool.
- Put them on a tray. If you’re not going to boil them right away, put them on a baking sheet. If some of the wontons break, don’t worry, even if you don’t boil them they taste just as good!
- Boil water on a pot.
- Put up to 10 wontons at a time in the boiling water for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Serve them with some olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Another good filling is asparagus and goat cheese!
P.S. It’s likely that there’s some mushroom paste you won’t need for the raviolis, serve it as a dip!