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Old 12-18-2004, 09:42 AM   #41
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hi Audeo

I don't bother to defrost the frozen ravioli - I just put them straight from the freezer into the simmering water. Just takes slightly longer to cook (ummm- obvious point you probably already know). BTW, what was the filling you used in your batch of frozen ravioli?

I'll try your technique of freezing cut noodles. I have to balace small freezer space with convenience. Do you defrost them prior to cooking also?

I hope Darkstream checks this thread at times - just to pick up all the kudos from all of us who benefited from his advice :)

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Old 12-18-2004, 05:21 PM   #42
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GEEZ! Subfusc, why didn't I think of that! I am definately going to try that the next time I defrost some ravioli. Sure would save a lot of time and, moreover, allow the choice when I haven't thawed beforehand!

Yep, I thaw various noddles before cooking, too. I keep a selection of fettuccini and thin lasagna-width noodles in the freezer for quick additions, but they thaw very quickly at room temp. Easily, half an hour.

Ravioli is a new freeze, if you will, due to the fillings. These most recent ones were a spinach-proscuito-parmesan filling I threw together to taste with a fair amount of riccota. I was skeptical of the outcome because of the riccota especially, but it worked so well.

I read your posts on the other thread about noodles and, like you, would not store leftover soups with pasta within. It does turn to complete mush! I also frequently pour hot stock/soup over fresh noodles in the bowl and they are cooked al dente by the time the soup is served. Definately a blessing of making homemade noodles!

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Old 12-19-2004, 02:11 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Darkstream - the fine white corn powder used in Chinese sauces is usually corn starch, not corn flour.

Believe it or not, we grow durum wheat here in the US, too. The problem is that not every store carries it - I've got 5 stores around me that I shop at for different things and only 2 carry semolina flour. The stuff available to me is from Bob's Red Mill in Oregon - Bob's No. 1 Semolina for Pasta.
Corn starch is called corn flour in other parts of the world, such as Great Britain.

I have made my own pasta. I use what here in The Netherlands is just plain flour. I have looked for semolina flours here and abroad, but without success. I am sure it is for sale somewhere, but where?

And my pasta was always fine with plain flour. Nowadays I use wonton wrappers when making ravioli. They are so thin and it saves time. I always feel a bit like I am cheating though.

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Old 12-19-2004, 10:29 AM   #44
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Freezing ravioli:

Yes, obviously keep them flat. I would layer them over Saran wrap or microwave paper, in layers in a box to stop them sticking to eachother in one big ball (as ALLWAYS seems to happen eventually, whatever it is in the freezer). (Bless Annoia)

Freezing Flat noodles:

Not really tried this recently for two reasons:

1. It allways tended to stick together in the past, though with a dry enough egg pasta
this should not happen. I would THINK that the best way would be to make nests on a
cookie sheet (like with dried pasta), freeze and BOX them to stop them geting broken
in the freezer (they definitely would in mine) (so they take up a lot of space this way).
Drop them straight in to boiling water and they should seperate and start to cook
BEFORE they get a chance to stick to eachother. Do it slow, they will get soft on the
outside first before fully defrosted, and overfriendly with their neighbour making
them difficult (or impossible) to separate. But do what suits you best.

2. I can make fresh pasta for 4 from scratch, cut up & ready to cook by the time it
takes the water to boil.

Cooking Frozen Ravioli

If they are seperate, bung em in boiling water and bring back to the SIMMER. If they
have attached themselves to eachother (a nightmare), try very carefully to seperate
them slowly. This is like siamese twin surgery with a wooden fork. There will be
some losses.

I think straight into boiling water is the best, although there are health risks re
salmonella, for which a slow defrost is PERHAPS better. BUT I work on the principle
that (1) my immune system seems to have survived better than some others, and that
(2) exercise is good for it (or as is said in the US “use it or loose it”). It depends on
the nature of the filling to some extent. Use your own good common sense.

Keeping Qualities

Frozen ravioli will keep reasonably well in the freezer. Oxidisation is the problem, as
with all foods. REMEMBER, that you can buy DRIED tortellini, and other, unfrozen versions that keep for a very, very long time. It is not clear how the concept of meat/vegetable/mushroom/cheese wrapped in a dough came about. But it IS historically clear that from an early time DRIED versions of something very close to ravioli were used as journey food, because they were dry and could be REHYDRATED to provide a sustainig meal in the most simple/harsh of conditions.

Freezing tries to maintain an instant form of FRESH ravioli (ie not the dried type),
and thus it is subject to the action of bacteria, albeit at a reduced rate. Accordingly,
the keeping quality of any frozewn ravioli depends on the filling. Most fillings will
improve in flavour in the short term (like a stuffato or lasagna Bolognese made 2-3
days before serving). BUT the greater the quantity of animal fat, particularly pork fat,
the shorter the keeping time. Pork fat in particular goes rancid in the freezer within
three months even in sausages with preservatives in. It does depend of course on the
precise nature of the dish, ie with salt and spices and preservative, beef might keep
longer, wine marinade longer still, pork vindaloo 3 years plus- - but this is NOT
Italian cooking!

So reckon on about a month for optimum performance.

And yes, Darkstream does check this thread occasionally.

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