Stone Crab Ravioli with Brown Butter and Leeks

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These favorites have been served at Two Chefs from time to time. In fact, the crab ravioli is super popular.

Both tuna dishes are two variants to popular flavors that usually surround tuna. And maybe Cornish Hen might be an idea for the dinner table in these Covid-19 days.

Stone Crab Ravioli with Brown Butter and Leeks
Ravioli is one of my favorite dishes to make. Forking into these pillows of stuffed ravioli is one of the most gratifying experiences of eating. Crabmeat – like lobster and shrimp – is a shellfish most everybody adores.

There are a wide variety of crabmeats on the market, but living in South Florida our favorite is stone crab, the pure white, succulent meat pulled from the crab’s claws. (Once the fisherman detaches the claw, the crab is thrown back in the water to grow new ones.)

I particularly enjoy working with the Asian wonton wrappers, which are light and easy to cook. They’re found in Asian markets and many supermarkets.

Wine pairing: This dish has some rich ingredients, but it actually turns out fairly light. So a crisp, light, lean Chardonnay would be a nice match.

6 medium stone crabs, cooked (or 2 cups of canned crabmeat)
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Grated lemon rind from 1/2 lemon
Splash of white truffle oil
2 tablespoons flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
2 egg yolks
Salt and pepper to taste

1 package of round wonton wrappers, 50 pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 leeks, washed, dried and sliced into –1/8 inch rings
2 cups veal stock
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. While the water is getting hot, lightly crack the crab claws with a hammer or twist them open with a nutcracker. Remove the meat and transfer to a large bowl. (Use a fork to remove any stray shells.) If using canned crabmeat, crumble the meat through your hands, searching for small pieces of shells

Mix in the mustard, ricotta cheese, lemon rind, truffle oil, parsley, eggs and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Separate the wrappers, lining them up in two rows, 25 in each row. Brush the egg gently onto the wrappers, from center out. Place one dollop of the crab filling in the middle of the wrapper. (Be generous, but leave a border around the filling). Lay the other wrapper on top of the filling. Crimp the sides of the ravioli, using your thumb and index finger, working your way around the entire ravioli, so the two sides are thoroughly sealed.

Finish with the remaining pasta, dusting each ravioli with corn meal as they’re finished. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Set aside.

In two large skillets or roasting pans over low heat, divide the butter. Cook over low heat until golden brown (not black). Add the leeks and sauté for two to three minutes, until the leeks soften.

When the water is boiling, gently drop the ravioli into the saucepan. Cook the raviolis for a minute after the water has returned to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the raviolis to the two pans with the leeks. Divide the veal stock between the two pans and stir in the sage. Move the ravioli lightly around, being careful not to break them. Let the sauce reach a light boil. Remove from heat and arrange the ravioli in 6 bowls, spooning over the leek sauce. Serve immediately. Serves six.

Tricks of the trade: The most important factor in making raviolis is that they cannot become moist on the outside, as they would be more likely to break when cooked. To avoid this, make sure your hands stay dry when crimping the ravioli.

The day before: Make the raviolis the day before and refrigerate, but apply plenty of cornmeal, which will absorb the moisture created by refrigeration.

Porcini-crusted tuna and foie gras hash browns
I have served this dish in numerous Pinot Noir wine dinners at the restaurant and it has always met with great success. It doesn’t compete with the Pinot Noir – it brings out its best qualities. And the succulent tuna is a perfect complement to the hash browns.

1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
3 tuna loins, approximately 4-inches long and 2-inches wide, skinned and cleaned
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
2 slices bacon, sliced very thinly
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1/2 cup foie gras, finely diced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparing the tuna:
In a blender, blend the porcinis until they have reached a powder-like consistency. Brush the tuna loins with the egg. Roll the tuna in the porcini dust, set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Sear the tuna loins for 10 to 15 seconds on each side, leaving the inside rare. Set aside.

Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch cubes. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanche the potatoes for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until slightly brown. Add the onion and celery and sauté lightly for a few minutes. Add the blanched potatoes, letting them roast in the pan and caramelize for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is golden brown. (Keep stirring and scraping the pan while cooking.) Add the thyme, rosemary and foie gras. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another minute.

Mound a serving of the hash browns onto 6 dinner plates. Slice each tuna loin into 6 slices and arrange 3 slices on top of each portion of hash browns. Serve immediately. Serves six.

Trick of the trade:
When searing tuna, do not overcook it as it will become dry and will crumble when slicing. Cook the hash browns as long as possible to create the nutty flavor that caramelized sugars produce.

Seared Tuna Steak with Soy Scented Noodles, Fried Banana and Parsley Pesto
4 x 6 oz pieces of fresh tuna loin (cut as steak)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Sear tuna steaks on each side in a hot skillet. Set aside.

2 cups freshly cooked noodles of your choice (I like pappadelle pasta)
1/4 cup soy sauce
Splash of sesame oil
Thinly sliced scallions
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger
1 soup spoon of honey
Juice from I lemon
1 soup spoon of fish sauce

Mix all the above in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Parsley Pesto
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley (or flat leaf, rinsed and dried)
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
1 soup spoon pine nuts (toasted)
2 soup spoon of grated Reggiano Parmigiano

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse regularly until blended and smooth.

4 bananas, cut in 1/2 length wise (with peel)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Heat a skillet, add olive oil, season bananas and let caramelize skin side up for about 4-5 minutes.

To assemble:
Divide noodles unto 4 plates, arrange tuna (sliced nicely on the bias) on top of noodles, spoon pesto on top of tuna, and serve rest on the side.
Fried bananas are served family style.

Oven Roasted Whole Cornish Hen with Grapes and Pink Grapefruit
Whole Cornish hen (1 per serving)
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh thyme
Fresh rosemary

Toss the birds in the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, place fresh herbs on the bottom of a small roasting pan or skillet, place birds on top and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes @ 350 degrees or until tender and golden brown.
Place each bird onto a dinner plate, remove herbs from pan, leaving juices behind..

A handful of seedless grapes
1 pink grapefruit, peeled and flesh cut into segments
A splash of red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
A pad of butter
Add the grapefruit segments and grapes to the pan, bring to a boil on top of stove, add red wine and the pad of butter, season with salt and pepper, and serve next to the Cornish hen.
Accompany with starch and veggies of your choice.

Of course, you can find these all at TWO CHEFS


Jan Jorgensen
For information visit




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