The first 2018 Tasty Tuesday recipe is a real treat for us all! Romance author Liz Crowe brings us not only a delectable ravioli recipe but also a tale set in the world of the craft breweries. I’ll let her explain. Take it away, Liz!
One of the things I am learning as part of the process of becoming a Certified Cicerone* is how to pair great food with the perfect beer. I’m sure you’ve heard all about drinking red wine with red meat and white with poultry or fish, but these days, with “craft beer” as the latest trend in bars, it’s important to understand that matching your malted beverage with your food properly can be an interesting and fun way to explore the craft beer universe.
The other way to explore it is to dive into my “Brewing Passion” series from Totally Bound Publishing. I’ve crafted these stories set in and around the brewing world in Grand Rapids, Michigan (a.k.a. “Beer City U.S.A.” two years running!).
The second book in the series, LIGHTSTRUCK, features a kick-ass lady brewer who is also a French-trained chef. For her first date with the cocky brewer at Fitzgerald Brewing Company she decides to show off a bit, making some dishes that he might have a tough time pairing his beer with. But he’s taken on her challenge of bringing some of his rare brews that he “guarantees” will pair with whatever she makes.
I’ve decided to share the incredible—and somewhat labor intensive—main dish she makes for him:
Roasted butternut squash ravioli with sage, hazelnut, and brown butter sauce. Mind you, Elisa (or Elle), the aforementioned, kick-ass brewer/chef makes her own pasta for the ravioli but you can skip that part and buy it pre-made if you don’t have someone as hard to impress as Ross Hoffman, Master Brewer!
Butternut Squash Ravioli
2 butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon finely chopped orange zest
2 teaspoons chipotle puree
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sheets pasta dough, 12 to 14 inches long by 4 inches wide
2 eggs mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Brown Butter Sauce:
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 cup coarsely ground hazelnuts
8 sage leaves, chiffonade
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place squash on a baking sheet and roast until soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop out flesh and run through a food mill. Place the puree into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until almost dry. Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay a sheet of pasta dough on a lightly floured work surface and distribute a heaping teaspoon-sized portion of the filling at least 2 inches apart. Use your fingertip or a brush to moisten the edges of the pasta sheet with the egg wash. Carefully place a second sheet of the pasta dough on top of the first and press with your fingertips to separate the rows of filling. Repeat with the remaining dough. With a ravioli cutter or pastry wheel, cut along straight lines on the vertical and horizontal to form each ravioli square. Press the edges closed with your fingertips to seal well. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop in the ravioli and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain, plate and spoon butter sauce over and garnish with finely chopped chives.
Brown Butter Sauce:
Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and cook until the foam subsides and the butter begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the hazelnuts and sage and season with salt and pepper to taste.
In case you were wondering, Ross brings a mild brown ale, brewed in an English style but using crystal malt which imparts a richer, almost chocolate flavor which is a wonderful pairing with her rich, creamy, buttery entrée. An ideal food/beer pairing either complements or highlights by contrast. You should all wish me luck as I get ready for my big test this winter on my way to becoming a Certified Cicerone!
*The word Cicerone (sis-uh-rohn) designates hospitality professionals with proven experience in selecting, acquiring and serving today’s wide range of beers. To claim the title of Cicerone, one must earn the trademarked title of Certified Cicerone® or hold a higher certification. Those with a basic level of expertise gain recognition by earning the first-level title Certified Beer Server. Only those who have passed the requisite test of knowledge and tasting skill can call themselves a Cicerone.
About the BREWING PASSION SERIES:
A unique new romance series set in the trending world of the craft brewery. Meet the owners, employees and friends of Fitzgerald Brewing as they live, love, lust and laugh their way through the ups, downs and sideways shifts of small business ownership.
Ross Hoffman held the potential for a perfect life in his hands—a life with Evelyn, the only woman he’d ever allowed himself to love, their baby, and…her husband, Austin Fitzgerald, who also happened to be his best friend. But the challenge of trying to make a threesome into something acceptable—much less the thought of actually sharing Evelyn with anyone—forces him to bolt. Determined to put all thoughts of their relationship behind him, Ross jumps headfirst into a new brewery job in Colorado, and back into the sort of sexual decadence that he hopes will distract him from his misery.
When he agrees to assist Austin through a spate of brewery mishaps, he lays eyes on his true fate—in the form of the petite, mysterious, and exotic Elisa Nagel. Hired as assistant brewer, Elisa is absolutely everything he believes he doesn’t want in a woman. But he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain, and can’t help but fall hard, fast, and deep, which places him square in the middle of her horrific, until-now secret backstory.
Ross is determined that his love will conquer and overcome the horrors of Elisa’s past, allowing her to trust him with the only thing he desires—her heart.
NOTE: TAPPED is book 1 of the series but it can be read out of order and enjoyed!
Lightstruck—get your copy and find out how that dinner goes….but understand that a Liz Crowe romance is chock full of reality, which makes the HEA that much sweeter!
Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe voice brings something new and unique, both in settings and characters, that will thrill readers of romance, women’s fiction and chick lit alike.
Liz Crowe writes intense true-to-life stories that make you feel. Whether it’s anxiety, love, fear, hate, bliss, or loss woven into her plot lines, you will feel it deep down to your very soul.
—Audrey Carlan, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author
“If you want a story that will grip your heart and bring all your emotions into play, then do not miss a Liz Crowe story.”
—International Best Selling Author Desiree Holt
“I’ve learned to expect the unexpected with any Liz Crowe novel—along with 3-dimensional characters and well-written, realistic plots.”
—USA Today Best Selling author AM Hargrove
I had to look up what “chiffonade” means – “finely shredded leaf vegetables used as a base for a dish or as a garnish” – since that was a new word to me. Thanks, Liz, for teaching me not only a new word but a new preparation method!
But what did I tell you all? Both the pasta and the pilsner sound delicious, but I really want to know what happens in Lightstruck as well! I’m thinking if I try the pasta, though, I’d have to buy it. I’ve never made fresh pasta… Have you? Do you think I should try to make my own or leave that up to the pros?
P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!
Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.