Monday, September 20, 2010

Buttermilk Dipped Fried Ravioli Appetizers with Marinara Dipping Sauce

Crunchy, light pillows of ricotta cheese filling dipped in a delicious Marinara Sauce.  How does that sound to you?  When my Co-Worker, Kelly, described this delicious appetizer her eyes were rolling in the back of her head. "It's the buttermilk that gives that nice tang", she said.  Kelly is my kind of woman.  Sometimes, the two of us describe what we're craving, or what we made and it's a language that nobody else we work with can fully understand.  We foodies are a strange breed, aren't we?  Am I the only one whose pulse rate goes up, when I describe flavors and the other person understands? This is  the language of food love. Kelly speaks it.  I get it.

So, I had to make these. I bought a package of fresh cheese ravioli.  I made my own marinara sauce, which doesn't take that long.  Sometimes I stock Trader Joe's Tuscan Marinara Sauce for a quick meal.  I'll still love you if you don't make your own-- but try it sometime! It's not that hard!  What else? I have basil growing in the backyard.  Buttermilk is a staple in my fridge.  I was psyched.  Plus, Craig and I were having a vegetarian as a dinner guest.   I decided to GOOGLE "Fried Ravioli" and there was Giada's recipe.   Giada uses buttermilk, but I had to make a couple of changes.   I'm like that, at times. I swim against the current.  So, here we go:

Instead of using Italian breadcrumbs, I decided to try using Panko Crumbs. .  Welcome to the world of golden crunch, folks.  I love panko crumbs, and I stock up on them whenever they are at Trader Joe's.  They're actually easy to find in the international section of your grocery store.

I seasoned the Panko crumbs with my own blend of Italian seasoning.  It's so much cheaper to make my own, since I already have dried herbs on hand.  If you don't have panko crumbs, use regular breadcrumbs. Again, I make my own breadcrumbs with a food processor. It's a great way to use stale bread.

This is 1% Buttermilk. I figure I can cut a fat gram or two, since I'm will be deep frying in oil! Ha!  Speaking of oil, Giada uses olive oil.  Well, that's a bit pricey for me.  I use peanut oil, which I buy in bulk.  You can use vegetable oil, too.  Start heating the oil until it reaches 325 degrees.  Use a thermometer.  Keep an eye on it, and if you have kids-- keep them at a safe distance.

Soak the ravioli in the buttermilk, for less than a minute. I figured four per person...

Dip. 

Repeat.

I refrigerated these until my guest was ready to arrive. Then, I got the oil heated and preheated the oven to WARM.  Prepare a plate with some paper towels...

I love this tool for deep frying, or even fishing out cooked pasta. Have some Parmesan cheese waiting...

Very carefully, slip the ravioli into the oil...

Cook them in batches so that they don't crowd. Turn them over when they are golden on one side-- about 3-4 minutes.


Almost there...

Carefully remove and set on a paper towel. Keep them warm in the oven.

These suckers blew up like a blowfish! No worries...

They smell incredibly good....

Now grate some fresh Parmesan all over!

Taste test.  I'm diving in. Crunch.

VERDICT:  Crunchy.  Surprisingly, very lite and not greasy or heavy.  Cheesy. The marinara sauce brings it home.   Our guest really liked them.  So did I. Kelly, you're a very smart woman.  Muwaaaaah!

While I make my own Marinara sauce and seasoning mix, I don't make my own Ravioli. That is still on my recipe bucket list.   One more thing-- I was surprised at how little oil this recipe really used.  I filter my oil and our it back into a bottle.  It can be reused a few more times.  I'm posting a printable recipe at the bottom of this post, plus how I make my own Italian seasoning and Marinara sauce.  I have no Italian DNA in me, that I know of.  It doesn't matter. I love Italian food!

Enjoy!,










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24 comments:

Proud Italian Cook said...

I've made this and love it! I think the round ravioli's look alot cuter!

Joanne said...

Pinch me, I think I'm dreaming. These look amazing!

Talking with other foodies is definitely an experience in and of itself. And an amazing one at that! I could talk food for hours without fail.

bellini valli said...

A big kiss to Kelly too!!!! These sound incredible.

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

This looks delicious and so tasty!!! I will have to try!! I love getting to talk with true foodies too! ;)

Erin
www.ekatskitchen.com

The Daily Smash said...

YUMMY I have been looking for something new to do with my ravioli yum yum cant wait to try this.

Love your blog check out my new food blog at www.thedailysmash101.blogspot.com

TKW said...

Oh, you're the devil! I love those things. And now I'm craving them.

Cheryl said...

I have always wanted to make that! YUM. I like the use of Panko bread crumbs too.

Velva said...

This looks absolute;y scrumptious. A glass of wine and few of these tasty ravioli appetizers, life would be good.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Yum yum. Panko crumbs make everything taste better. These babies are gorgeous.
Sam

Cathy said...

Fried cheese-filled pasta - it doesn't get much better than that. I couldn't get along without panko in the pantry.

Me! said...

fried ravioli is awesome! And if you have extra, fry them up and freeze them on a sheet pan. Then whenever you want more, you can just heat them up in the toaster oven, grab some marinara and they are just as good then!

Kim said...

It is so great to meet others who understand our food ramblings. I love these fried raviolis Debby. They look like little pillows of cheesy, crunchy deliciousness!

bella (roz) said...

Debby, I used to live in St. Louis which claims to be the original home of the fried ravioli creation. I have never forgotten my first bite on "the Hill" (the Italian neighborhood of St. Louis) oh yum,,,, gotta make this for absolutely sure! So nice to use a little store bought raviolis every now and then, altho my mother would die if she knew I'd taken a short cut....but she doesn't have fulltime job like us. Love the buttermilk and the panko. Thanks so much. PS....my Wordless Wednesday photo is dedicated in my heart to you. Please take a peak at it if you have a chance. Hugs, Roz

Katherine said...

Is there a way to make these delicious ravioli, but bake them instead of frying??

Thanks!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Katherine...alas, I would not know if baking would work. This is one of those dishes that just needs to be fried, to get that crunch outside and tender inside. I don't deep fry very often, but once in a while-- you just have to go for it. I limited myself to four of these.

Megan said...

We use to have a restaurant near by that served these and they are the best. I'll have to give this resipe a try soon!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Oh my! I love fried ravioli and I think these are the best I've ever seen. Too many folk pan fry and that doesn't get maximum crispiness or that lovely puffy texture. I'm in love. I think I know what to do with those containers of frozen marianara I cooked up over the weekend.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

It looks like we should make you an honorary Italian! I have tried making my own ravioli and it is a bit difficult to master. The pasta sheets have to be just the right thickness. But fried? This is decadent!

Monica H said...

I could have sworn I commented on this post. grrr.

These ravioli look delicious. I haven't had them in years but we used to get them at a cheapo Italian restaurant until they closed.

islandeat said...

Hi, Debby. Just like Bella, I remember this specialty from trips to St. Louis. Now I can see just how easy they are to do at home.

Thanks,

Dan

Marguerite said...

These look really fabulous! And so does the marinara and seasoning blend! Thanks so much for sharing! Have a great weekend!

Ingrid said...

Holey moley! You have me drooling over here! That looks seriously good, Debby!
~ingrid

Tasty Eats At Home said...

These look seriously tasty. Yum.

Anonymous said...

Buttermilk Dipped Ravioli? This truly is a feast for the eyes! Love it. Reminds me of some of the meals I saw on Food Network's Extreme Chef.

Thanks for the post :)