RED HOOK, Brooklyn (WABC) --Sohui Kim and her husband were among the first to open a restaurant in the reemerging Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. In this week's "Neighborhood Eats," we highlight a place initially meant for just friends and neighbors that has become a "community outpost."
"The Good Fork" is located at 391 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231.
"The Good Fork" opened its doors 10 years ago in Red Hook and is still going strong.
"The whole idea was Ben will build it," Kim said, "and I will cook the food and somehow people will come through the door, fingers crossed."
Kim's husband, Ben Schneider, built the restaurant around the idea of it being a hideaway and created a cozy cocooned setting. This combined with Kim's globetrotting approach to food choices helped draw customers in a place where there was little foot traffic.
Kim cooks with seasonal ingredients as much as possible. When cooking butter nut squash agnolotti, she creates a filling of roasted squash with several kinds of cheese.
It's just one of the recipes in "The Good Fork" cookbook, which comes out next week for the restaurant's 10th anniversary. The idea for a cookbook was born out of Superstorm Sandy when the restaurant was flooded and Kim's recipe book was found floating in the water. Instead of closing, they rebuilt with lots of help from the community.
When they reopened they started Ramen Nights, which has become a neighborhood tradition. The night offers soup for the soul and serves as gratitude to the neighborhood that has always showed up for the restaurant, especially during Sandy.
Butternut Squash Agnolotti
For the squash
1 large butternut squash (2 pounds/910 g)
For the Consommé
10 ounces (300 g) fresh cremini mushrooms
6 ounces (180 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms
10 ounces (300 g) fresh oyster mushrooms
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large shallot, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the agnolotti
3/4 cup (185 g) fresh ricotta, drained
1/2 cup (120 ml) mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup (25 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
K osher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 batch fresh pasta dough (page 47)
A ll-purpose flour for dusting
1 large egg, beaten
For the garnish
4 Swiss chard leaves, cut into 2 by 1/4-inch
(5-cm by 6-mm) matchstick strips
1/2 cup (50 g) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 450F (230C) and grease a large baking sheet with the vegetable oil. Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds, then roast it facedown on the greased pan until it is fork-tender, about 45 minutes. While the squash cooks, line a colander with cheesecloth. When the squash is done, scoop out the flesh and drain it in the colander for at least half an hour, preferably refrigerated overnight. Refrigerate until you make the
Make the agnolotti:
Mash the cooled, drained squash into a smooth paste, then stir in the ricotta, mascarpone, grated cheese, and sage. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Put it in a pastry bag with a wide tip or a zip-top bag with a hole cut in one corner.
Use your favorite recipe for pasta dough. Roll out pasta into thin sheets about 4 inches by 3 feet.
Lightly flour the sheets and cut them in half. Flour your work surface, and lay out one pasta sheet horizontally.
Working about a half inch from the edge closest to you, use the pastry bag to squeeze out a 1-inch (2.5-cm) thick line of squash filling from one end of the pasta sheet to the other, leaving a half-inch border at each end of the sheet.
Using a pastry brush, brush a line of egg along the dough on the edge farthest from you parallel to the line of filling.
Working from the side closest to you, roll the dough over so that it encases the filling in a long rope. Press the edge down where you brushed the egg to seal in the filling. Roll the rope over one more time.
Using two fingers, press the dough down at 1/8 inch intervals where you will cut it, to make little pillows. Use a fluted pastry wheel to trim it into pieces.
Finish the dish:
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
Cook the agnolotti in small batches, scooping them out of the boiling water and into a large bowl when they are just al dente, about 1-2 minutes.
1 stick butter
6 pieces sage leaves (torn)
While pasta cooks, melt a stick of butter until its bubbly brown (do not overcook), toss in half the torn sage leaves. Add the cooked pasta and cup of the pasta water. Toss.
Divide and top with parmesan and remaining sage leaves.