Ilam Hardy Potato Tortellini, Thyme Buttered Nage and Poached Bluff Oysters

2:19 am on 17 March 2009

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

30 Bluff oysters
30 Asian dumpling wrappers

Tortellini filling

500g Island Hardy potatoes, peeled and cut into 5cm pieces
2 sprigs thyme
1 bayleaf
flaky sea salt and freshly milled white pepper
150ml cream
25g unsalted butter
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Thyme buttered nage

500ml vegetable stock
150g unsalted butter cut roughly into 1cm cubes
2 sprigs thyme
Flaky sea salt and freshly milled white pepper

Method

Tortellini filling

Rinse potatoes well in running cold water to remove any excess starch.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan with the thyme and bayleaf, cover with cold water add a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until tender, about 12- 15 minutes.

Drain potatoes well, discard thyme and bay leaf, return potatoes to the saucepan and place over a low heat. Shake pan until any excess water evaporates. Puree potatoes through a moule food mill, potatoe ricer or simply mash.

In a separate saucepan bring cream to the boil and reduce by half. Gradually beat cream into the potatoe puree, add the butter and beat to achieve a light smooth consistency. Add nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set to one side to cool.

Thyme buttered nage

Prepare nage for poaching the oysters by placing vegetable stock in a saucepan. Reduce over a medium heat by half. Whisk in the cubed butter until all amalgamated. Season with salt and pepper. Pick the leaves from 2 thyme sprigs and add to sauce.

Tortellini

Lay out dumpling wrappers on work surface. Place spoonful of potato filling onto one side of each dumpling. Using a pastry brush, brush around each dumpling wrapper with water. Fold over to make a semi circle. Press edges together well to seal making sure there are no pockets of air or tears. Take each semi circle in your hand and curl the two tips of the straight edge around your index finger pressing well to seal. Then flay out the edges, pressing them to the same thickness as the body of the tortellini, otherwise it will be tough in comparison to the rest of the pasta.

Store tortellini in an oiled dish and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for a maximum of 1hour before required.

To Serve

Cook tortellini in a large pot of boiling water until cooked through, 3 – 4 minutes. Bring buttered nage to a simmer and add reserved juice from shucking oysters. Carefully drop oysters in and bring back to the simmer. As soon as oysters are plump (they cook in one minute max). Drain cooked tortellini and toss with a little of the buttered nage. Arrange 5 tortellini in each bowl, rest an oyster on each tortellini. Froth the nage with a stick blender and spoon over and around tortellini.

What to drink

Chardonnay
Man O' War Valhalla 2007
Ascension 'The Ascent' Reserve Matakana 2007
Domaine Chandon Barrel Selection 2006

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