Monday, September 21, 2015

Fried Sweet Potato Ravioli

I’ve always been a fan of Martha Stewart and all things Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia-related. I sometimes say that Martha taught me how to cook. I was reading Living magazine, watching the Martha Stewart show (an early version), and reading her books when I first started getting addicted to cooking and learning new things about food. And, I get that she’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The endless jokes about her perfectionism never fail to amuse, but that’s actually what I’ve always loved about her. She’s explained before that first and foremost, she’s a teacher. She wants to present precise information and best practices for everything she demonstrates, and I appreciate that. So, I like Martha, classic Martha. In recent years, Living magazine has become simplified in comparison to early issues. Recipes have become mostly of the “quick” and “easy” variety, and the information has been pared down. I miss the in-depth nature of the old issues, and when I look back at pages I’ve clipped and filed over the years, the old ones still grab my attention. In 1999, I was delighted to bring home a copy of Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook which at the time was a recreation of the book Martha Stewart’s Hors D’Oeuvres from 15 years earlier. The 1999 version is a beauty with a section of color photos for all the recipes before the recipes themselves. Some items are easier to make than others, but everything is beautifully presented and made special. Now, a brand new book has been created. It’s Martha Stewart's Appetizers, and I received a review copy. Did you notice the change in title? It became simpler. The whole book is simpler with fewer sections and a more straightforward layout. There aren’t nearly as many fussy, little, perfectly cut-out shapes as seen in the previous book. But, it’s still from the Martha team. Everything looks delicious and pretty, and every single appetizer in the book had me imagining when and how I might serve it. 

This book has everything from Pigs in Blankets to Blini with Creme Fraiche and Caviar. There’s even a whole section for cocktails. I fell for the Pureed Soups because of the photo. Little cups of different types of soup are lined up in a rainbow of colors with beet soup next to butternut squash soup right by spinach-pea soup and so on. And, there are suggested garnishes like herbed croutons and roasted pepitas to serve with the soups. The mini quiches are adorable as are the Croque-Monsieur Bites. And, the Tostones with Crab Salad are at the top of my to-try list. There’s even an old-school Hot Artichoke Dip and a Hot-Crab and Pimento-Cheese Spread. Because I had a few local sweet potatoes sitting on my kitchen counter, I decided to dive in to Fried Sweet Potato Ravioli first. Baked sweet potatoes were cooled, and then the flesh was spooned into a food processor and pureed with heavy cream, grated parmesan, and salt and pepper. Wonton wrappers were each filled with two teaspoons of the sweet potato puree, and the edges were brushed with egg wash. The wrappers were folded over into triangles, and the edges were sealed. Working in batches, the filled wontons were fried a few at a time for about two minutes per side. The fried ravioli were served with sour cream topped with chopped chives. 

Yes, this new book is simpler, and I chose a pretty simple recipe to make from it, but I loved them both. The streamlined approach hasn’t lost me, but I enjoyed the more complex style too. These crispy ravioli dipped in the cold sour cream were delightful. I have some leftovers in the freezer that can be warmed and re-crisped in the oven some other day. Now, I need to plan a party or two and make several more things from the new book.  

Fried Sweet-Potato Ravioli 
Recipe reprinted from Martha Stewart's Appetizers. Copyright ©2015 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Photos by David Malosh. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
makes 38 

Using wonton wrappers instead of pasta dough eases the preparation of this savory starter, and results in a crisp, light crust. The ravioli are also a great make-ahead option; reheat in the oven when ready to serve, as a toasty prelude to a cold- weather meal. 

3 sweet potatoes, scrubbed 
1/4 cup heavy cream 
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
38 square wonton wrappers 
1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash 
Safflower oil, for frying 
Sour cream and snipped fresh chives, for serving 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh and transfer to a food processor. Pulse with heavy cream and cheese until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 
 2. Working with one wonton wrapper at a time, place 2 teaspoons sweet potato filling in center of square. Lightly brush edges of wrapper with egg wash. Lightly press edges to seal. Using a small knife, make small decorative cuts along edges, if desired. Transfer ravioli to a parchment- lined baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. 
3. Heat 2 inches oil in a heavy- bottomed pot over medium- high until 350°F on a deep- fry thermometer. Line a wire rack with paper towels. Working in batches, cook ravioli until golden on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes; flip and cook until other side is golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to lined rack to drain. Return oil to 350°F between batches. Serve immediately with sour cream topped with chives. 

MAKE AHEAD Arrange cooked and cooled ravioli in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Freeze until firm. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze up to 3 months. Reheat on a parchment- lined baking sheet (do not thaw) in a 375°F oven, about 10 minutes. 

NOTE To keep them warm while you finish frying batches, place ravioli on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 225°F oven.

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  1. A lovely idea and wonderful appetiser!



  2. I'm not much of an appetizer maker and usually opt for something simple, such as a cheese platter. Your post has me intrigued! I'm missing a whole range of recipes to share with my friends and family.

  3. These ravioli are so yummy! I wouldn't be able to stop :)

  4. This past weekend something really pathetic happened: I realized I do not have a single free spot in any shelf at home to add a new cookbook. The books were around the house and gave me the false impression I would be able to store them properly - what a shocker. I might have to stick with Kindles for a while... a long long while...

    this book is tempting me..... (sigh)

  5. i've never seen sweet potatoes (or ravioli, for that matter!) treated like this and i'm definitely a fan! i think i have a slight bias against martha, though i'm not sure why.

  6. They remind me of fried wonton. A great appetizer!

  7. Hi Lisa:)
    I see you still have those creative juices flowing. I must admit, it took me a while to warm up to Martha and her style but, I find myself respecting her more with each and every recipe she shares.

    This one not only sounds like a keeper it looks darn good too. Love the use of won tons! Thanks so much for sharing, Lisa...I'll be pinning:)

  8. These look simply lovely... emphasis on "simply"! I too miss the days when home cooking was more fastidious and elaborate, but the simple things can certainly be just as pleasurable. A fantastic write-up of your feelings on Martha, Lisa.

  9. yum these look amazing, i must try this recipe! nice photos too!

  10. Martha was the reason we got the Internet in the '90's---I just had to print off all her recipes from her TV show. I have that same cookbook---a classic! And these ravioli are the perfect starter---just beautiful!!!

  11. I've heard of Martha Stewart although we didn't get her TV show or magazines here. I have had ravioli prepared like this but only with a sweet ricotta filling, not with a savoury filling. Your presentation is gorgeous xx

  12. I'm a fan of Martha's recipes too - so many great ideas. I love the look of these and can't wait to try them - we just harvested our sweet potatoes this week! Thanks, Lisa!

  13. Hi Lisa, I know exactly what you mean. Martha Stewart is one of my favorites too. I used to love watching Sara Moulton as well. Love these favioli, what a great way to celebrate sweet potatoes.

  14. Yes, I'm a Martha fan. Almost too embarrassed to admit it! It's so trite, isn't it? But no matter what anyone says, she has great ideas, great recipes and is fun to watch on TV. Love this recipe...the new book sounds marvelous. Love that you can use wonton wrappers here....just the potatoes to think about. Nice and simple, but oh so tasty. I LOVE sweet potatoes!

  15. A little plate of these ravioli and a glass of white wine sounds like a wonderful way to start a weekend.

  16. These sound fantastic, and I can't wait to try them. I'll be checking out that appetizers cookbook too! Thanks for sharing.


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