Thursday, September 17, 2009

Toasted Ravioli or T-Ravs

I’m from St. Louis originally, and I have to say that this is one of my favorite things to eat.  Every restaurant in St. Louis, and I mean EVERY restaurant has toasted ravioli on the menu as an appetizer.  I’ve seen it in a Mexican restaurant in the city, figure that one out.  I guess tradition is tradition.  Now, one of the funniest things about this is no one makes their own ravioli.  They all come from “The Hill” in St. Louis, which is the Italian neighborhood.  They come frozen, and are thawed, breaded, fried, and passed off as their own.  Since producing ravioli in mass quantities can involve seriously expensive machinery, no one wants to incur the cost, but everyone wants these little morsels on their menu.  My favorite comes from a sports bar called “Rigazzi’s”  (they make their own!)  this place usually has one of the St. Louis Cardinals dining there.  So here’s the recipe the way most of the restaurants make em. 

2 large eggs
1/2 cup canned evaporated milk (thicker and richer taste than regular milk for this recipe)
1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs 
1 1/2 cups good-quality marinara sauce (the recipe on this blog would be just the one!!!)
about 4 cups vegetable oil for frying 
24 fresh bite-size ravioli, thawed if frozen 
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan  

In a shallow bowl beat together eggs and evaporated milk. Put bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. In a small saucepan heat sauce over moderate heat until hot and keep warm, covered.

In a small heavy kettle (about 5 quarts) heat 1 inch oil over moderate heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 350°F. While oil is heating, dip ravioli in egg to coat, letting excess drip off, and dredge in bread crumbs, knocking off excess. Arrange ravioli as coated on a tray.

With a slotted spoon gently lower 4 ravioli into oil and fry, turning them occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. With slotted spoon transfer ravioli as fried to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 350°F. before frying remaining ravioli in same manner.

Transfer hot ravioli to a platter and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Serve ravioli with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

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