This recipe is pretty crazy. It’s something I thought of and wanted to try: deep fried ravioli made with cornflour (masa) that I wanted to taste like hard taco shells, filled with chili con carne and smoked mozzarella. Although I didn’t manage to make the deep fried ravioli as crispy as hard taco shells, it still came out nice enough to share this with you. It is no surprise that the chili works very well with the fried corn taco/ravioli, and to top it all off I served it with a nice salsa. The chili itself is quite traditional. I usually prefer chili with chunks of meat, but for a filling it was better to use ground beef. This is probably the craziest recipe I’ve ever prepared and it is a lot of work, but it was delicious. Here’s what I did…
Serves 3 as a full meal
300 grams (.66 lb) ground beef
2 Chipotle chiles
1 Guajillo chile
1 Ancho chile
1 New Mexico chile
250 ml (1 cup) beef stock
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp masa
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp rendered beef fat, or 3 Tbsp olive oil
plenty of lard, beef suet, or oil for deep frying
100 grams (3.5 oz) smoked mozzarella (scamorza), in small pieces
For the pasta dough
100 grams (2/3 cup) masa
50 grams (1/3 cup) Italian 00 flour
For the salsa
2 chopped tomatoes (or 4 small ones)
1/2 red onion
juice from 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 or 2 red chilli peppers, with or without seeds
120 grams (1/2 can) cooked black beans, drained
First things first. Toast the chiles in a hot frying pan, being careful not to burn them.
Put the chiles in a bowl and cover with hot water. Put a plate on top to keep the chiles submerged, and allow them to soak for 10 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, render some beef fat…
…to obtain about 3 tablespoons…
…and discard the cracklings (or eat them, if you like).
Add a chopped onion to the beef fat, and stir until translucent.
Add a minced clove of garlic, and stir for a minute.
Make sure not to allow the garlic to brown.
Add 300 grams of ground beef, and stir and break up the meat with wooden spatulas over medium-high heat…
…until the raw meat color has disappeared. There is no need to brown the meat more, as that will give you a gritty texture.
In the meantime the chiles should be done soaking. Remove the seeds and stems.
Put the chiles in a blender with 250 ml of beef stock.
Blend until smooth.
Add the chile mixture to the beef.
Season with 1/4 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp sugar (piloncillo if you have it), and 1 Tbsp tomato paste.
Stir to incorporate the seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer with only an occasional bubble.
Allow the chili to simmer over very low heat until it is thick, about 45 minutes.
Make a slurry of 3 Tbsp masa with as much cold water as needed. Add this to the chili, and stir well.
This will thicken the chili even further.
Put the chili in a bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate to allow the chili to firm up.
In the meantime, make pasta dough with 100 grams masa, 50 grams flour, and 2 eggs. The exact amount of flour will depend on the size of the eggs.
When the dough is finished, wrap it in cling film and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Prepare the salsa by combining 2 chopped tomatoes (or 4 small ones), 1 avocado (peeled and diced), 1/2 minced red onion, juice from 1/2 lime, 1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro, 1 or 2 red chilli peppers, with or without seeds, minced, 120 grams (1/2 can) cooked black beans, drained, and salt to taste in a bowl. Stir to mix, and allow the flavors to develop while you make the ravioli.
To make the ravioli you will need the chilled chili (from above), the masa-based pasta dough (from above), and about 100 grams of smoked mozzarella cut into small pieces.
Roll out the dough, which is not as easy as usual pasta dough because there is less gluten, so you won’t be able to get it as thin. Make ravioli according to my instructions with about a tablespoon of chili and a piece of scamorza in each.
Unlike regular pasta dough, it is required to moisten the pasta dough with a bit of water in order to get a good seal.
It is more difficult than with normal pasta dough to close the ravioli without breaking the dough. Gluten are a pasta maker’s friend, and because this dough is made with two thirds masa there is less of them.
Deep fry the ravioli, preferably in beef suet or lard at 180C/350F…
…until they are golden. Do not fry too many at the same time, or the temperature of the fat will drop by too much.
When they are, lift them out of the hot fat…
…drain on paper towels…
…and keep them warm on a rack in the oven at about 150C/300F.
Serve them with the salsa.
An appropriate flashback for today is these round zucchini stuffed with pork and chipotles.