Meatless Monday: Fried Butternut Squash Ravioli with Garlic Sauce

Sometimes a shortcut, semi-homemade solution is a perfect way to build something original and delicious on a weeknight without breaking your back or eating at 9:00. That’s exactly how this came about. While I’d love to be the person who can whip up fresh pasta on a Monday night, that’s just not usually the case. And with so many options in prepared raviolis, I don’t need to feel badly about it either. And you shouldn’t either. Here you go.

* 14 cloves garlic
* 1 1/2t kosher salt
* 1 1/2C vegetable oil
* juice if 1 large lemon
* 1-2T fresh parsley, chopped
* olive oil
* 1 package butternut squash ravioli
* crushed red pepper, for serving

Add the garlic and salt to your food processor and pulse for 20-30 seconds or so at a time to purée, stopping in between to scrape the sides to make sure all the garlic is broken down. Stop when the texture is more of a paste.

With the food processor running, alternate pouring in the oil and the lemon juice slowly. Pour in a bit of oil, until fully blended, the squeeze in a bit of the lemon, allowing it, too, to be fully blended. Then repeat until all the oil and lemon juice have been added. Add the parsley and mix through to combine. 

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the raviolis in a single layer and fry lightly for a few minutes, flip, and fry on the other side for a few minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium low and then add in a few scoops of the garlic sauce. Stir it in cared, letting it melt in and break down a bit, just 2 minutes or so. Serve immediately, sprinkled with a pinch of crushed red pepper.

Put the rest of the sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate. It’ll keep well if you don’t devour it! Spread on bread, mix in with salads instead of dressing, dip veggies in it, or fry up some more ravioli sauce to sauce with it! You’re welcome!

Made by Dave: Homemade Fries

Every once in a while something like this text exchange happens:

Me: I have nothing planned for dinner
Him: I’ll take care of it

WOOOHOOOOOOOOO! Something awesome (like breakfast for dinner!) always comes of this. And tonight it was his most delicious, perfect homemade fries. So. Freaking. Good. Here you go.

* 3 potatoes
* peanut, sunflower, or grapeseed oil for frying
* salt
* pepper
* garlic powder
* dry parsley

Peel the potatoes and cut them down into about quarter-inch-ish strips.

Bring oil, about 2-3 inches deep, to a boil in a deep, high-sided pot.

Add the potatoes to the pot, working in batches if the pot is too crowded.

Fry 8-10 minutes, moving them around periodically to ensure they fry evenly and don’t stick together. Test a fry to make sure they’re cooked through, and be sure to remove them before they burn.

Drain them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, then season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley, and dig in!

3 Ingredient BBQ Sweet Potato Chips

First lesson I learned making my own potato chips is that I really need to invest in a mandolin slicer. How do I not have a mandolin?? (Any recs are appreciated!) Second thing I learned is that chip making might be my new hobby! So fun! So easy! So many ways to flavor! These easy chips will go with basically any summer meal or any meal or any empty hand seeking snacks! Here you go.

* 1 large sweet potato
* BBQ seasoning or rub spice mix (use your favorite or your own go-to blend–I like Trader Joe’s Coffee BBQ Rub)
* vegetable oil

Wash and dry your sweet potato, leaving the skin on, then cut off the dry nubby ends.

Preferably using a mandolin slicer (or the slicer side of a stand grater, or as a last resort, a sharp knife), slice the whole thing up into even slices. Pat these dry with a paper towel. Then do it again.

Place the slices in a bowl and toss with a generous amount of your BBQ seasoning.

Heat 2 inches-depth-worth of vegetable oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat.

Working in batches, so that they don’t stick together or crowd the pot, fry your potato chips for 3 minutes.

Remove from the pot to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Sprinkle again with BBQ seasoning and transfer to a serving bowl.

Don’t forget to lick those fingers clean!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Today was My Tiny Sous Chef’s fifth birthday! I was prepared to make her whatever she wanted – when your tiny kid loves trying grown-up food and knows unusual ingredients, you may think they sky’s the limit, right? But when I asked what she wanted for her birthday dinner, her response was perfectly 5 years old: chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I was, admittedly, a little disappointed. But then I decided to *make* her requested meal from scratch to help “special” it up. I made a version of this mac (the basic recipe with spinach), and then I made homemade chicken nuggets. You can bake or fry these up, but we decided to fry them tonight because, BIRTHDAY. Here you go.

* 1lb boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, cut into chunks
* 1C flour
* 2t paprika
* 2t salt
* 1/2t black pepper
* 2 large eggs
* 3/4C Panko breadcrumbs + 1/4C Italian seasoned regular breadcrumbs, plus extra just in case
* oil for frying or nonstick spray for baking (we like to use vegetable oil, sunflower oil, or grapeseed oil)

If baking, preheat the oven to 400F and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.

Prepare three bowls or shallow dishes. Mix together flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in one; beat the eggs in a second; combine the breadcrumbs in the third.

Coat your chicken chunks first in the flour mixture, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs.

If baking, place the coated chicken pieces onto your prepared baking sheet, spray the tops with the nonstick spray, and bake 20 minutes, flipping them over after 10 minutes.

If frying, heat about an inch-and-a-half to two inches depth of oil in a deep pot until glistening. Carefully place your coated breaded chicken pieces into the hot oil in batches, and fry 3-4 minutes per batch.

Serve with ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey, or honey mustard for dipping. Bon apetit!