There are all kinds of ways to relax: exercise, hobbies, cleaning, cooking, etc. Cooking always relaxes me, especially if there is repetition involved. If I can chop, layer, shape, stuff+fold, or anything in the kitchen that requires constant attention, I’ll pretty much do it for hours if I have the time.
If cooking is also a way for you to relax, zone out and get that sense of accomplishment from creating things for others to enjoy, may I suggest ravioli-making? I tend to cook most when I’m stressed or anxious, and my refrigerator is pretty much a reflection of my current mood. If you opened my freezer right now, it’s like an episode of Hoarders but packed with little frilly pillows of pasta with different things stuffed in them. But, unlike a hoarder, I have no urge to hold on to them—in fact, I’d love to get rid of them. 🙂 Most bags are unmarked, so it’s always a mystery: is it cheeze? mushrooms? ground-up Field Roast? Who knows.
I recently made a batch of carrot lox-stuffed ravioli that I wasn’t sure how to prepare: if I boiled it, the lox would maybe turn to mush. But when my friend Joni suggested I fry them to help keep the lox-like texture, I gave it a little more thought and came up with this breaded version (which I’ve done a slightly different version of before) with a vegan lemon-ricotta sauce. The end result was fantastic! The lox kept its loxiness, the breading was crispy, and the lemon in the ricotta helped balance out the rich-on-rich components while a caper or two on top gave it that salty+briny kick that pulled everything together.
The great thing about ravioli is that you can make it when you have an afternoon or a few hours to yourself. I always prepare it, dry it out for about an hour on a silpat-lined baking sheet, then place in the freezer until solid, then transfer to ziploc bags or containers. They can be pulled out later, defrosted and boiled for quick and delicious dinners as needed.
In this case, there is no need to defrost these. They can be breaded and fried in their frozen state (the oil will cook everything through).
If you keep up with this blog, you know that carrot lox is not only for bagels and ravioli … it’s also great atop rice bowls and in sushi! I have a few more carrot-lox based recipes I’ll be sharing here in the coming months, so I hope you’ll stay tuned!
My carrot lox recipe, chopped and stuffed into a vegan pasta dough, then breaded and fried for a rich+indulgent appetizer. The pasta dough recipe makes way more than 12 raviolis, but all of the components below make 12 pieces, so feel free to double or triple them as desired.
For the filling and ravioli
For breading and frying the ravioli
- 1 TB Ener-G, whisked with 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1 1/2 cup panko
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- a few dashes of fresh-cracked pepper
canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
For the lemon-ricotta dipping sauce (can be made one day ahead to allow the flavors to blend)
- 1/2 cup vegan ricotta (I used Kite Hill brand)
- 2 TB vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti brand)
- 1/4 tsp dried dill
- zest of one lemon, plus 2 tsp of the juice
- capers and scallions, for garnish
To prepare the pasta dough for stuffing
- Roll it through your pasta machine (I used a KitchenAid), starting at setting one and working your way up to setting three or four. Then follow this process for filling and cutting your ravioli, but with using the carrot lox instead.
- Allow to dry out at room temp for about an hour, then place into the freezer until you are ready to bread and fry the ravioli.
When you are ready to bread and fry the ravioli
- In one bowl, place the Ener-G + water mixture.
- In another bowl, place the AP flour.
- In another large bowl, combine the panko and spices.
- Working one piece at a time, place a frozen ravioli into the Ener-G mixture, then dust with the flour. Dunk it back into the Ener-G mixture, then coat it with the panko mixture, pressing any panko into any areas that are exposed.
- Transfer to a wire rack while you repeat this process with the rest of the frozen ravioli.
To fry the ravioli
- Place several inches of oil into a small cast iron pot (this one is perfect).
- Heat oil to 325-350. The oil is ready after a few minutes – test it by inserting a wooden spoon into the oil so it touches the bottom. If bubbles form around the spoon immediately, you are ready to fry. Do not let the oil get above 350 for this recipe or the ravioli will not fry correctly.
- Place 2-3 breaded ravioli into the hot oil, flipping with heat-resistant tongs to ensure even frying. Once golden brown after a couple of minutes, remove and place on paper towels.
- If your ravioli start to brown right away, your oil is too hot. Turn the heat down slightly, wait a few minutes and try again.
- Serve immediately with the lemon-ricotta dipping sauce and garnish with capers and scallions, if desired.
These can also be breaded and fried and thrown into the freezer. They reheat perfectly in an air fryer set at 400 for about 10 minutes, with a flip halfway through, making it an easy appetizer for parties or small get-togethers!