EggRolos

Eggrolo (5)Deep-fried candy, but in a good way.

There are times I want to say that I am so talented and prolific, all I need is a pen and paper and I can create art that is moving, entertaining and insightful.  Then I remember that the name of my particular muse is χαζή τύχηm, which is Greek for “dumb luck”, and my delusions of grandeur just fly right out the window.  Case in point: this is another recipe idea I got from my inability to type.  While chatting online with a friend while we were talking about Chinese food, I meant to type “eggrolls” but instead typed “eggrolos”.

And thus, a new creation was born.

For those of you who don’t know about Rolos (meaning that your childhood was a loveless pit of despair and lamentation), they are a simple candy of milk-chocolate coated caramels.  They were sweet, every so chewy, and came wrapped in gold-colored foil, encased in a paper tube.

rolos

It’s all about the tubes, baby.

Deep-fried Rolos are not a new invention (as people who attended the 2011 Arkansas State Fair can attest to), but to put it in the form of an eggroll helps to subtract the American tradition of frying every food beyond recognition, and add a little international flare to the dish.  And because a mentor of mine once said, “Nic, the ONE time you DON’T half-ass a job is when you’re just fucking around”, I couldn’t simply take Rolos, wrap them in eggroll wrappers, and then cook the suckers.  No, I had to make the caramel and the chocolate myself, and then get to frying.

This dish was daunting and intimidating once all the ingredients were laid out before me.  But because you can never learn to fly without jumping off of a cliff, there’s no other option but to dive in head first and hope you sprout wings before you fall to your death.

EggroloEggRolos

– 14 ½ oz. Sugar
– ½ cup of Water
– ½ cup Light Corn Syrup
– ¼ tsp. of Cream of Tartar
– 1 ¾ cups of Heavy Cream (room temperature)
– 2 tsp. of Soy Sauce
– 10 tbsp. of Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
– 1 tsp. Sea Salt
– 8 oz. of Milk Chocolate Morsels
– Vegetable Oil
– Eggroll Wrappers (So I didn’t make everything from scratch; I’m an artist, not Chef Chu from Eat Drink Man Woman.)
– Confectioners Sugar

This recipe scared me half to death.  Melting sugar is always very scary to me as it is the culinary version of napalm, and things can go from okay to horrible in a matter of moments.  As a cook, I’m a guy who flies by the seat of his pants most of the time, not knowing what the final dish is going to be until I put it on my plate and eat it.  Candy is more of an exact science: keep the mixture at 233° for 32.12289984 minutes, and then turn the heat up to 450° for 4 seconds, and then add salt, then take it out, then add hard water, then document the results and publish them in an accredited scientific journal.  All of these strict guidelines can be frightening to a new candy-cooker, but there is also comfort in them as you don’t have to think about anything.  Just follow the directions to the letter, and you’ll be okay.

  • The recipe I used for the caramels was Alton Brown’s (my cooking idol), and can be found here.  I’m not going to go through the exacts of the recipe because I didn’t get it quite right the few times I’ve tried it.  The first time I attempted it, the candy came out more like brittle, which would not be a pleasant experience when biting into a hot fried tube of sugar.  The second time, I ended up with something that was the consistency of the caramel that is swirled into the ice cream cartons that you buy at the grocery store, which works better with the EggRolo recipe, but isn’t what the recipes says it should be.  I’ll keep trying to perfect it in the future but I started to get diabetes from eating all the failed efforts, so I just went with the swirly-saucy caramel.

    LOOK AT MY SHAME.

    LOOK AT MY SHAME.

  • Make a ganache for the chocolate portion.  Ganache is an icing or glaze that is made with chocolate and cream.  Heat ¾ cup of heavy cream.  Put your chocolate in a bowl.  When the cream is ready, pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for two minutes.  Stir the chocolate and cream until fully mixed, and then add 2 tbsp. of butter.  Mix until fully incorporated and then set aside to cool.
    • I used dark chocolate to make my ganache because I prefer it, but a milk chocolate ganache would be truer to the Rolo concept, as well as taste more like it.  Also, you run the risk of the dark chocolate overpowering the caramel.
  • Prepare a eggrolo-rolling station, which should include your caramel, your chocolate ganache, eggroll wrappers, and a small bowl of cold water to dip you fingers in.
  • The size of your eggrolos depends on your personal preference.  I tried both traditional eggroll wrappers and then smaller potsticker wrappers as well.  The eggroll wrappers will create a normal looking eggroll, which would be good for a dessert in a coursed-meal.  The smaller wrappers created tiny eggrolos about an inch in length, which would be ideal for snack food for kids or in a big bowl at a party.
  • The key to filling eggrolls (or any stuffed pastry/pasta) is to use a lot less than you feel you should.  Start by putting down a small, thin layer of ganache –Eggrolo (2)
  • – and then a thicker portion of caramel –Eggrolo (3)
  • Then you flip the corner over once then fold in the sides.  At this point, you want to wet your fingers and rub the edges of the wrappers.  This will make sure that you get a full seal on your eggrolos so that nothing seeps out when you start frying.  Gently press out all air pockets, and finish rolling the eggrolo, making sure to seal every edge.  Set on a plate.

    These taste good unfried, too . . . not that I would know . . . ahem . . .

    These taste good unfried, too . . . not that I would know . . . ahem . . .

  • Once you’ve prepped the amount of eggrolos you want (I only did four big eggrolos and four little rolos, but I think this recipe could yield 64 eggrolos, easily), refrigerate the eggrolos for at least an hour.
    • The point of chilling the rolos for so long before cooking is to make sure that the intense heat of frying melts the inner ingredients rather than burning them.
  • Fill a pot with the oil and start to heat to 350° (get yourself one of them fancy candy thermometers).
  • Once your eggrolos are chilled and your oil is ready, put two to four eggrolos in the oil (depending on the size of your pot and the size of your eggrolos).  Since we don’t need to worry about the contents of the eggrolos cooking, once they turn a golden brown, take the eggrolos out and set them to drain.
    • You will want to serve these pretty quickly, so that the outside is really crispy and the inside all melty and gooey.  If you wait too long, the crunch will be gone and the effect ruined.
  • Dust with confectioners sugar, and then serve.

The final product came out pretty much like I expected, but the reality of it had much more impact than I had imagined; hot, crispy and crunchy lightness on the outside; warm, gooey and sweet decadence on the inside.  Serve with some small scoops of vanilla ice cream, or if you are brave, try dipping them into soy sauce which will add some saltiness to the party, making the flavors more complex.  Either way, your diners are in for a pleasant surprise.Eggrolo (6)

Enjoy!

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Jumbo Gumbo Dog

Gumbo1A new recipe embodying New Orleans for the new year.

NEW CAMERA OBTAINED!  No more blurry, undefined blobs of color!  No more apologizing, or insisting that, yes, that really is mac n’ cheese instead of a bowl of orange paint!  Finally, the pictures of my recipes will match the quality of my writing (at least that’s what I tell myself).  I wish I could say I was able to buy the new camera because of money I made via this blog, or an acting gig, or some other creative endeavor; in truth, I just strong-armed my grandmother in spending a couple of hundred dollars on one by saying I never get presents anymore.

AchievementBut enough of my manipulation of family members; let’s get to the chow.  Being creole (along with filipino, polish, austrian, german and native american – I might even be russian; once you reach four different ethnicities, the goal is to claim as many as you can ), gumbo always marked a special occasion in my household.  For those of you who don’t know what gumbo is and are therefore leading sad, empty lives, it’s a kind of hefty, spicy soup from Louisiana that is served over rice.  There is no one standard recipe, but it usually includes fried chicken, andouille sausage, okra and shrimp.  When I started cooking for myself like a big boy, gumbo was on the top of my “Learn How To Make This” list, and now it’s all my family wants me to make.

But I don’t want to tell you how to make gumbo; you can get recipes all over the internet, and that’s just not hardcore enough.  After some heavy pondering (and heavy drinking, let’s not deny it) I came up with this:

Not a hot dog.  Not a chili-dog.  Not a chili-cheese dog.  A GUMBO dog.  And not just any hot dog, but a hot link.

Now sit down and get ready for the stupidly awesome to fill your mouth.

gumbo2Jumbo Gumbo Dog

– 1-2 lbs of Chicken Meat
– Flour
– Corn Starch
– Powdered Garlic
– Cayenne Pepper
– Black Pepper
– Salt
– Vegetable Oil
– 1 Cup of Onion (Chopped)
– 1 Cup of Green Pepper (Chopped)
– ¾ Cup of Celery (Chopped)
– 2-3 Jalapenos (Chopped or Sliced)
– Tsp Garlic (Minced)
– 1 lbs of Andouille Sausage (Cubed or Sliced)
– 7 Cups of Chicken Stock
– Rice (Jasmine, if possible)
– Hot Link (at least one)
– French Bread or Baguette

This recipe comes in two stages: 1) – Make Gumbo; and 2) Pour Gumbo Over Hotlink.  For the first stage, I’m going to refer you to the recipe that I learned from – Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo – as it’s basically what I still use today.  As far as the second stage, there’s not much to go into:

  • Heat the hot link in the manner you see fit
  • Place hot link in french bread/baguette
  • Mix gumbo with cooked rice
  • Pour gumbo and rice on hot link
  • Sprinkle with some diced green onions
  • Serve, along with a few choices of hot sauce

Look, I never said it was going to be the most complex recipe in the world (although if you think making gumbo is a walk in the park, you’re crazy), nor did I say it was 100% all my recipe.  But I think I get a couple of points for being the first to come up with the idea, at least to my knowledge and what time I spent looking for it on the internet.  I will talk about some things that I do differently from Chef Paul, however.

  • You can skip all the product placement; any andouille sausage (yes, it MUST be andouille) will do.  And while Chef Paul’s seasoning blends are okay, you can do just as well with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder when seasoning the chicken.
  • For the fried chicken, I just used breast fillets cut into strips.  It’s easier to cut up into the gumbo, and you don’t have as much to worry about as you do with chicken that still has the skin and bones.  This does mean that the breading on the finished chicken is more chalky instead of crispy since it’s just flour, but because it’s going in a soup it doesn’t matter.
  • I dredge the chicken twice; once in the flour mixture, and then I add some cornstarch to the mixture and dredge a second time right before I fry it.  The cornstarch is finer than flour and can get into all the nooks and crannies that flour sometimes misses.  And don’t worry; having cornstarch in there won’t hurt your roux.
  • Speaking of roux – you don’t have to do it the way Chef Paul instructs.  There are slower and safer methods to making roux that will ensure you get it just right without the risk of ruining it; just be prepared for those methods to take much longer.  I would give y’all more details on those methods, but I’ve only ever done it Chef Paul’s way because I’m not a pussy.
  • I added jalapenos to the chopped vegetables for some more heat.  If you don’t want it too hot, you can always seed and core the peppers before adding them.  If you want even less heat, you don’t have to add them at all.  If you want a completely mild gumbo that isn’t hot at all, then you might as well just eat an american cheese, miracle whip and wonderbread sandwich for all the living that you’re doing.
  • So the fuck what if I used a bag of microwaved rice?!  I was drinking and didn’t want to worry about getting the timing of everything just right.  Leave me alone.
  • It’ll be hard to wait, but I would suggest cooking the gumbo at least a day ahead of actually making the gumbo dogs.  Part of the magic of gumbo is that it’s fantastic when fresh, but mind-blowing when it has sat for a day or two.  The longer all of the ingredients (chicken, sausage, soup, etc.) sit with each other, the deeper and richer the flavor becomes.  Of course, if you have added shrimp, crab or other seafood to your gumbo, you may not want to let it sit around.

Shout out to my friend and fellow-blogger Zack Keller for being my co-chef and photographer while I held the gumbo dog.  I have many more recipes of both food and drink planned, and each will come with HD pictures shot by my brand new camera!  Hell, I may even go back and remake some of my old recipes just to get you guys better shots…after I finish cleaning up my kitchen since making gumbo is messy work.  And then after I have a drink.  And then another.  You know, let’s just say it’d be a nice idea.

Enjoy!

Gumbo3Dedicated to my grandparents Dorothy and Tony Frantela

Hair of the Dog Noodles

A Meaty, Sweet & Savory, Guilty Pleasure Recovery Meal

Phew.  All this drinkin’ catches up with a man.  Unless you’re incredibly lucky (or unlucky, depending on your view of things), we all have had to deal with the after-effects of a hardcore party.  Queeziness, headaches, slow reflexes, etc.  And it’s times like those that you want food that tastes good, is easy to eat, will fill your stomach, and give you back some shred of dignity.  What I’ve made will help you with those first three; you have no chance with the fourth because someone took pictures of you trying to make out with that floor lamp and we’ve all seen them.

You see that pack of walnuts? Fuck those walnuts, they snuck in there.

Hair of the Dog Noodles

– 8 oz of Wide Ride Noodles
– Pack of Bacon
– 4 oz of Sausage/Ground Pork
– 4 Eggs
– 1-2 Bulbs of Shallots (Sliced)
– 1-2 Garlic (Minced)
– Handful of Chives (Chopped)
– 5-6 Large Mushrooms (Sliced)
– Butter
– Soy Sauce
– Maple Syrup
– Salt
– Pepper
– Shot of Jack Daniels

This is essentially a Drunken Noodle recipe, but some ingredients have been changed to make it more breakfasty and American.  It’s also not going to be as spicy as your run of the mill Drunken Noodles since I’ve taken out the Thai Chilis; a hot pepper is just enough to push that hangover nausea to a full-blown “Can I make it to the toilet before I BLAAARRRGGGG?!!” moment.

  • Preheat oven to 400°.  When ready, bake the pack of bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy.  Yes, I said to bake your bacon, and yes, I said to use an entire pack of it.  This is a hangover recovery meal, not an example of health.  Set aside when finished.
  • Soak and soften noodles in boiling water.  When done, drain, rinse, and set aside.

A note on the noodles – The kind of noodles I use are wide rice noodles (also sometimes labeled as rice sticks), an Asian noodle available in any Asian market, or online, if those kinds of markets aren’t in your area.  In the end, any Asian noodle will do; just don’t use normal pasta.

Yes, it does matter; stop arguing with me.  Never argue with a chef, especially if he’s drunk.

“It’s up to you whether I beat JUST the eggs!”

  • Beat eggs in a large bowl.
  • Melt some butter in a large skillet.  When hot, pour in eggs, and create a large, thin omelet – this can be made by constantly shaking the pan until egg mixture is mostly solid, and then flip.  Set aside.
  • In a large pan/wok, cook the sausage/pork.  Set aside.
  • Crumble bacon, cut omelet into 1” x 2” sections, and pour sausage into a large bowl.
  • In the same pan/wok, heat some oil.  When hot, throw in garlic, shallots and mushrooms.  Fry until soft.
  • Throw in drained noodles.  Mix well.
  • Pour and mix in 2 – 4 tablespoons of soy sauce.
  • Toss in 2 tablespoons of butter.  Mix until completely incorporated.
  • Salt and pepper noodles to taste.
  • Pour in bacon, sausage, and eggs.  You must mix it.
  • Pour in ¼ cup of maple syrup.  You must mix it.
  • Pour in a shot of Jack Daniels (this is called ‘Hair of the Dog’ Noodles, after all, and the whiskey compliments the syrup). You must mix it.
  • Now mix it into shape; shape it up; get straight; go forward; move ahead; try to detect it; it’s not too late; to mix it . . . mix it good (WHIPCRACK).

    Hold on, let me turn down my stereo; it’s starting to affect my writing.

  • Add in chives.
  • Serve.

Now, I know this seems like some reject from Epic Meal Time, but once the dish is made, it’s not all that; the amount of noodles helps spread out all the protein, syrup and liquor.  What you end up with is something that is equally sweet and savory, crispy and soft, simply delicious and ‘who gives a crap as long as it helps with the hangover?’  My roommate, who ate much of the finished dish, stated that it was the perfect hangover meal because it was easy to eat.  I think he meant that you didn’t have to do any hard work to consume it, like peel any fruit . . . or, like, chew it.  Every single bite will taste like glorious mix of every breakfast you’ve ever had.  Not for the vegetarian, nor the health-conscious, but perfect for a household full of drunks after a wild and crazy house party.

Enjoy!

The Spicy Cucumber

Spicy, sweet, crunchy . . . and different.

I was lamenting to my girlfriend while on a date at some small sushi bar I don’t remember the name or location of about how I was running out of ideas for the food portion of my blog.  I had done all the drinks I had concocted over the years, but the well had run dry.  I had experimented with food, both expensive and cheap, until my budget no longer allowed me the comfort to do so.  There was always the option of blogging about diet and exercise, but that would take something like 30 weeks to finish (it actually took 35), and I was too lazy at the time to consider starting that.

My girlfriend sighed, held up the Japanese beer we had split, and said to just do something with Japanese beer and sake.  A lightbulb went off in my brain, and I exalted that she was a genius.  She told me she just wanted me to shut the fuck up, which is a feeling I cause in almost all my friends, family, and random passersby.  It took me a long while to get the right mixture of ingredients, but I finally hit it on the nail.

Hey . . . where’s the god damn cucumber?!

The Spicy Cucumber

– Sake (one shot)
– Ginger Ale
– Green Tea (2 Bags)
– 1 Cup of Sugar
– 1 Cup of Water
– Cucumber
– Wasabi Paste/Powder

A Word on Wasabi – It’s going to be a rare thing if you actually find real wasabi outside of Japan.  The wasabi root is hard to grow and is very rare.  It’s expensive even in Japan, and that’s where it grows.  If you’re a culinary snob who argues that sake must be served chilled, or hot, or tepid, or served out of the ass of a howler monkey (all of which are legit ways to consume sake, by the way, it all just depends on the season . . . the monkey option, for example, is a Spring affair) and demand that all of your ingredients be authentic, good luck.  I’ll be getting plastered for the eighth time over here while you’re still looking.

  • Boil a cup of water in a small pot.  Place two bags of green tea (it doesn’t have to be the really good kind) in the water to seep as it comes to a boil.
  • When water comes to a boil, remove from heat and in a cup of sugar, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.  Let syrup completely cool, then store in an airtight bottle.
  • Fill a tumbler with ice and pour in sake.

I have mentioned how I measure alcohol in a tumbler before in the Mint Tea Gin & Tonic: pour until the liquor just reaches the top of the bottom ice cube.  I have since been told this is a drunk’s way of measuring liquor.  Well . . . call a spade a spade I guess. Otherwise one shot should be fine.

  • Pour in 1 – 2 tablespoons of Green Tea Syrup.
  • Fill the rest of the glass with ginger ale.
  • Cut a slice of cucumber (I did mine with a fancy spiral cut).  Spread wasabi thinly on the cucumber (I bought the powdered kind, so while making the paste I added some of the syrup to make it sweeter), and place it on the side of the glass.
  • Serve.

Now you can drink the cocktail and eat the cucumber at the same time, letting the flavors mix together in your mouth.  This will give you the sweetness of the drink and the full power of the wasabi.  But after many trials, a hang over, and some more trials, I discovered that it’s much better to plop the cucumber slice into the cocktail before you drink it.  The wasabi will mix gently with the liquid, making the drink spicier as you go through it.  And after you’re finished with the drink, you get to eat the cucumber which is now spicy from the wasabi, sweet from the syrup, and still wonderfully crunchy.  Serve this to your friends and they will be very surprised, and very refreshed.

Enjoy!

The Hanging Rose

A sparkling, fruity, pretty party drink.

ENOUGH!!!  Enough with this weight-loss nonsense, am I right?!  I know why you all started following me in the first place, and that’s liquor Liquor LIQUOR!!!  Life is too short to worry about fitness all the time.  All these months of being supportive and informative has left a bad taste in my mouth (Bad taste or sobriety?  Is there a difference?), and it’s time to get back to my hardcore roots.

What is that, a celery stick?  Stick it in some vodka before I lose you all respect for you!  Doing push-ups?  Pfffbtbt, it’s only cool if you’re attempting to get off of the pub floor . . . and failing.  Is that a beer?  MIX IT WITH SOME SCOTCH!  It’s time to put down the barbell and pick up the bar glass, and we’ll start with my brand new drink called . . . the hanging . . . rose . . .

Hmmmm.  Okay, I may have gone a bit overboard with the enthusiasm at first, but this drink is still a lovely addition to any afternoon get-together.  And it’s a layered drink, so people will think you’re all talented, or whatever.

The Hanging Rose

– Rum (1 shot)
– Champagne
– Club Soda
– Grenadine
– Green Food Coloring
– Rose Extract (in theory)

I first started working on this drink about five years ago, when a friend and I were having a drink before going to some house party.  “Make up a drink, right here, right now,” he shouted at me.  Mixing the only ingredients I had (vodka, lime juice and grenadine), I created the first version of The Hanging Rose.  It was pretty, but also tasted like that one time I was so tired I accidentally brushed my teeth with dish soap instead of toothpaste.   Since then I have been striving to get the drink to something more palatable.

  • Pour into a glass one shot of white rum.
  • Fill glass halfway with champagne.
  • Fill ¼ of the glass with club soda.
  • Tilt the glass slightly, and slowly pour the grenadine down the side of the glass, letting it pool on the bottom.  This is the same effect as you would see in a Tequila Sunrise and will create the “flower” portion of the drink.
  • You’ll want to wait a minute before adding the grenadine.  Our champagne/club soda mixture is thinner than orange juice, and the grenadine will mix more easily in it, so take a moment and let the liquid settle (e.g. stop swirling, moving) before adding the grenadine for the best visual effect.
  • Add a tiny, tiny drop of green food coloring right in the middle of the glass, creating the “stem” of the drink.  Because the food coloring will spread like crazy if the drink is moving even a little, you might want to consider serving the drink before adding the food coloring.  The look of the drink is far more impressive if the top half of the glass isn’t entirely green.   As you can see from the pictures, waiting is not something I did.
  • Ooh and ahh over the look of the drink, then mix with a spoon, go, “that doesn’t look so bad,” at the new dark cream color of the drink, and continue on with what you were originally doing.

In all honesty, this drink is a work in progress as it still feels like it is missing something.  If I had thought about it sooner than five minutes before I started taking the pictures for this post, I would have gone out and tried to find some Extract of Rose to add to the drink.  I would also suggest using a champagne flute rather than the tumbler I used; I thought I had one until I remembered I threw it out the window one New Year’s Eve.  But still, the drink is fruity, floral and light, perfect for a bridal shower, or perhaps a brunch.  The club soda can help take that dryness off of the champagne, the grenadine adds a different sweetness to the party, and the shot of rum helps the drink pack a bit more of a wallop.  This may be a feminine drink, but I know more than a few ladies that can easily drink me under the table.

Enjoy!

EconoChef: $4 Fried/Baked Ravioli

This is going to be my last recipe for awhile.  Food costs money and since I don’t really have any of that right now, all of these recipes (even the cheap ones) are hurting my pocketbook.  It’s also taking a toll on my waistline.  Looking back over the recipes I’ve had Mac n’ Cheese, Hot Dogs and Top Ramen, and with the ravioli that I’m doing today I have developed quite a bit of a pudge in my lower torso.  Also, I’m running out of ideas.

Now this one was a tad hard for me because Chef Boyardee Ravioli holds a special place in my heart.  For years, a guilty pleasure of mine has been to eat this stuff cold and straight from a can.  I usually have to be alone when I do this because when people see it they feel sick.  Even just talking about it makes some people heave.  I know you are because I can hear you through the internet.

Just like the Six-Million Dollar Man, I have the technology.

But try I must, so I put myself to the task on making this better and after a few weeks of failures I decided to just do the one thing that makes everything better: Fry it! 

The special ingredient for this dish will be bread crumbs in the style of your choosing.  I opted for the cheapest I could find, which were Italian bread crumbs.  You could also take some old bread you have lying around the house and break it into crumbs with your bare hands or, if you don’t have that kind of time, with a food processor.  If you don’t have that either, then I don’t know what to do with you.  Trying knitting, I heard that’s fulfilling.  For this recipe, I tried both store bought and homemade.

Start by opening the can and dumping everything into a bowl.  Carefully take out each ravioli, scrap off the sauce and place into another bowl.  If you’re frying, heat some oil in a skillet, and then in another bowl beat one egg.  If your baking, preheat your oven to around 400.  While you’re waiting for things to heat up, pour your breadcrumbs into yet another bowl, and if you’re baking, pour in a little olive oil and toss the crumbs around a bit.  All in the bowl.

I only have bowls in my kitchen. No plates, cups or spoons. Just bowls.

Once everything is ready, place the ravioli into the crumbs and dredge.  If you’re frying, put the ravioli in the beaten egg first.  Once the ravioli is thoroughly coated, place into the oil/onto a cookie sheet.  It won’t take that long to fry, so keep an eye out and once the ravioli are nice and brown go ahead and take them out.  With baking it will take about five minutes, at which point you might want to move them to the broiler just to crisp the tops a bit.  Once they’re done, wait until they are cool to the touch and then plate (or bowl).

Just because I really suck at frying (by the end they looked like I had buried them by the ocean for a couple of days), I liked the baked ravioli more.  I also preferred the larger bread crumbs that I had made over the store bought, but they both still worked.  What I also liked about the baked ones was that you could sprinkle on some parmesan cheese before putting it into the broiler.  And while the ravioli is cooking, you could take the left over sauce from the can, add some garlic, olive oil, black pepper and red pepper flakes, heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds and then use it as a dipping sauce.

Strangely enough, all the Chef Boyardee products were the same price.  Even the “over-stuffed” ravioli, which is what I used, were the exact same price as the normal ones.  I wish all of life worked like this; if it did I would be sleeping on a King-sized mattress.  It was about $1.40 for the Boyardee, and then another $1.80 for the bread crumbs.  This is great finger food for a party or some kids.  Enjoy!