Fried Ravioli Appetizers with Dip
When I have company over I like to have a few appetizers set out usually on one end of the long kitchen counter (island) as my kitchen is large and central and people like to gather here. This way I don’t feel left out of the early conversation. I don’t mind if my guests watch me put together the last few touches on the upcoming dinner, although I don’t often let (or make) anyone help with the task. When planning appetizers I try to choose dishes that are light and stimulate the palate. This one, the fried ravioli, doesn’t exactly fall into the “light” category but it can work if you don’t have many other substantial ones at the same time. It’s also a lovely appetizer as part of a selection if you invite people for just that – appetizers and a glass of wine. I buy prepared ravioli to make it easy and quick. The striped variety pictured below is pretty as the stripes show under the light coating of bread crumbs and each one has a different filling. I bought the striped ravioli at Granville Island Market in Vancouver on a recent visit. I also prepare this with pear and gorgonzola ravioli and serve it with tomato chutney (see image above, made with store bought pear and gorgonzola ravioli from Bite Groceria and Cafe in Inglewood). This appetizer is nice served with a dip. I have used roasted red pepper dip, spicy tomato sauce or a gorgonzola dip and tomato chutney. Let me know if you come up with something interesting to go with this.
A dusting of flour
4 cups Canola oil for frying (keep oil, refrigerated, for future use)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Have three plates ready:
One with flour
A second with the egg and buttermilk whisked together.
A third with the bread crumbs.
Dust the ravioli with the flour to dry out the surface, then dip in the egg-buttermilk mixture until it is coated on all sides, then sprinkle bread crumbs over the ravioli to coat it lightly. I find that sprinkling the ravioli with the crumbs works better than dropping it into the crumbs but suit yourself. I suggest a light coating of breadcrumbs rather than completely covering it with crumbs.
Set the coated ravioli aside to dry until the oil heats up.
Heat oil in a 2 quart saucepan (you need at least 2 inches of oil). When the oil is hot drop the ravioli into the oil, 1-2 at a time and cook until just golden. Control the heat because if the oil gets too hot the ravioli will be too dark. If the oil is too hot remove the pot from the element, let the oil cool a bit and then continue.
Remove the fried ravioli from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
You can prepare this in advance and reheat in a 350 degrees oven for a few minutes before serving. Serve warm with a sauce of your choice for dipping.
Quick roasted red pepper dip:
1 large shallot (or 2 smaller ones)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jar fire roasted red pepper about 12 oz or so, drained (check Italian stores)
1/3 -1/2 cup good quality prepared tomato sauce (try the Williams Sonoma brand) or 1/2 cup canned tomatoes
Chop the shallot finely. Heat olive oil in a small skillet, add the shallot and cook until soft and fragrant but not browned.
Place shallots (with oil), roasted peppers and tomato sauce in a food processor or blender and mix until pureed.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the fried ravioli.