Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Ever since I discovered Matt Armendariz’s blog, Matt Bittes, I became his blog’s loyal reader. I really admired Matt’s talents in food photography and enjoyed his sense of humor and creativity that shown throughout his blog. When I found out the opportunity to review his first book, “On A Stick”, I jumped right in and signed up. You wouldn’t believe how excited I was when I received the book in the mail. I was like a kid in a candy store.
Flipping through this book was truly a treat! There were 80 mouth watering and party-perfect recipes all calling my name. The photography was simply amazing. Don’t we all eat with our eyes first? I loved the fact that each recipe, including the sauces, came with a beautiful picture on the finished product. So you know exactly how they should look like when they’re done.
The recipes instructed in this book were clear and easy to follow. Many recipes came with extra tips on the side. There are many varieties of recipes; I’m sure that there’s something for everyone… “from health-conscious vegetarians to carnivores of the he-man grilling club.” (Just like how he said it.) You’ll find some traditional State-fair food, and some others that you’ve never imagined to serve on a stick, such as Spaghetti and Meatballs and Strawberry Shortcake. Matt was truly creative.
My husband picked out this Deep-Fried Ravioli (the two pictures above) recipe to try first. It was fun to make and fun to eat. If it’s not that we have desserts (see below) waiting, we would have made a second batch! They were that good!
The Frozen Bananas recipe was my choice to prepare. Since my son has been asking for ice cream and frozen treats lately, these Frozen Bananas were definitely a healthier alternative, yet just as indulging. Best of all, they were super simple to prepare.
These are just a few recipes that I’ve named and prepared from the “On a Stick” book. You’ve got to get a copy of the book and try some of these treats yourself. And I confirmed, everything does tastes better and more fun to serve…On A Stick!
Here’s your chance to win a copy of “On A Stick”, courtesy of Quirk Books and Matt. Simply leave a comment on this post to let me know that you want to win a copy of this book. (No clicking numerous buttons or jumping through hoops to qualify this time!) Deadline to enter is June 21st by midnight PST. One lucky uTry.it reader (U.S.A. only, sorry international readers) will be selected through random.org. Good luck!
***Disclaimer: I received a copy of “On A Stick” for the purpose of this review and I am not compensated in any way to write this post. All comments and opinions are 100% my own.
Deep-Fried Ravioli with Marinara Sauce (Recipe from On A Stick):
4 Wooden Skewers
Ingredients for the Marinara Sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, Minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, seeded and roughly chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
2 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper
1 qt vegetable oil
1cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 store-bought ravioli
1. Make the marinara sauce: Warm oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Deglaze pot by adding wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of pot; then stir in oregano and sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to a food processor and process to desired consistency. Return mixture to pot and simmer 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
2. Preheat vegetable oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.
3. Place flour in one shallow dish and eggs in another. In a third, mix bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
4. In two batches, toss ravioli in flour, gently shaking off excess. Dip in egg and then in bread crumb mixture. Thread 3 breaded ravioli onto each skewer.
5. Once oil reaches 350F, carefully place skewers in pot, 2 at a time, and fry about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Serve warm, with marinara sauce on the side.