12 June 2011

On a Stick a Book by Matt Armendariz

Deep Fried Ravioli (On a Stick)

In Matt Armendariz new cookbook On a Stick he takes it all one step further and implores us to release our "inner child" and creativity by presenting just about everything on a stick. Dishes like Bratwursts with Sauerkraut Relish, Cheese Fondue, Deep Fried Mac and Cheese, Fried Mushrooms with Roasted Onion Dip, Potato Chips on a Stick with Spicy Ketchup, Cake Pops, Chocolate Covered Cheesecake, Frozen Elvis and Margarita Jello-O Shots take us to a whole new level of enjoyment. Thanks to the ingenuity of creative cooks like Matt, who make our food appealing and fun, meals can be healthy as well as having that WOW factor. In his cookbook he offers almost 300 recipes each with a stunning photo from this talented professional food photographer.

On a Stick has Matt sharing his many delicious recipes for creative standards like Lamb Souvlaki with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, Red Curry Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers, Spicy Cajun Skewers with Spicy Buffalo Dipping Sauce, Pinchos de Gambas, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce and Dak Sanjuk. But within these pages he releases his imagination and enters the stage of whimsy where everything is fare game to be skewered, grilled, baked or frozen.

When I first thought of the concept of food on a stick I equated this with my childhood which meant hot dogs and marshallows for sm'ores around the campfire. Who also doesn't remember going to the fall fair and being overdosed and giddy with cotton candy and corn dogs served on a stick!!! Todays fair-goers are likely to find deep fried candy bars or mac and cheese but for the "kids at heart" eating delicious foods off of a stick is nostalgic as well as creative. As Matt says it is not a new concept and it does not need to be unhealthy. Matt's philosophy is mine as well.....everything in moderation. We have been cooking food on a stick since the dawn of man.  When we look at different cultures we find food roasted on a stick over an open fire. How's about satay in Asia, kebabs in the Middle East, en brochette in France, and in Greece, souvlaki.

Food on a stick is a natural for all sorts of occasions. You can eliminate the extra plates and washing up and toss out the cutlery too! Perfect for entertaining. It's more fun to get your daily dose of fresh fruits and vegetables when they are offered on a tempting stick. Matt shares some of his favourite sweet and savoury dishes as well as tips and techniques on entertaining interspersed with fascinating historical trivia. There are even recipes for preparing delicious marinades, dips, and sauces.

You may know Matt Armendariz from his blog Matt Bites and, as I have have, followed him through the years on this journey. One of our favorites, he has been posting his gorgeous food photography, recipes, and stories of food adventures since 2006. Based in Los Angeles, California, Matt began his career in the food industry as a Creative Director, Art Director and Graphic Designer before jumping into photography. An avid traveler, writer and photographer, Matt’s work has been seen in Coastal Living, Time Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, the Food Network, and the Cooking Channel’s Devour the Blog, to name a few.  In 2009 he began teaching workshops devoted to food photography as well as speaking on food styling and photography at conferences, schools and colleges. He is currently a contributor to Food Network’s Cooking Channel where he writes a monthly column about cooking. You can view Matt’s food photography portfolio by visiting MattArmendariz.com

For my first foray into cooking on a stick from Matt's book I chose to make Deep-Fried Ravioli (On a Stick) on page 59. As Matt says, "This recipe is a great twist on a traditional ravioli. Frying gives the ravioli a satisfying crunch that contrasts nicely with their soft interiors." I have been wanting to make a fried ravioli for a while so it is first recipe I gravitated to. Next on my radar, Cocktail Cubes, Grilled Fruit Skewers, Bo la Lot, Yakitori, and Molotes...the possibilities are endless.

Why do the world’s most delicious foods taste even better served on a stick? Grab your copy of this beautifully photographed cookbook and you will be well on your way to finding out. It answers the question with dozens of quick and easy recipes for party food, street-fair food, junk food, and more. As the weather warms up, the idea of entertaining outdoors has driven me to look for quick and easy recipes to throw together almost on a whim, but certainly without fuss. Add this delightful cookbook from Quirk Books to your ever expanding collection.

On to the recipe......

**Deep Fried Ravioli**

Marinara Sauce

1 tablespoon oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes, draiend, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper

1 quart vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon 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 sand 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 -5 minutes.  Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 up Parmesan.  Serve warm, with marinara sauce on the side.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. What great fingerfood! Those deep fried ravioli are amazing. I really love the flavors.



  2. Who would d think to put ravioli on a stick! Sheer brilliance! These look delicious!

  3. i saw that book. i think it's such a wonderful concept, kind of tempted to by it if only for the deep fried elvis. lol

  4. This is such a fun book...and the fried ravioli is one of the recipes I have marked to make, too...looks amazing, Val :D

  5. Oh my gawd...I want that cookbook!
    I love to entertain and I love less dishes more.

    I have drawers full of sticks/kabob spears of different sizes and I'm always dying to put them to use!

  6. Nice fingerfood Vall, look yummy!! Absolutely nice! gloria

  7. What a cute idea! It's a fun way of eating in the summer.

  8. this is such a fantastically thorough review Val! The fried ravioli are definitely on my list of to-try recipes...I just need to figure out how to turn them into a meal!

  9. My friends and I have a saying that everything is better on a stick!

  10. Great review Val. My book shelves are sagging, but somehow always hungry for more.

  11. What an ingenious way to serve ravioli. They look delicious!

  12. Hi Val - Your ravioli looks great.
    I can't help but thinking about my friend who works for one of the largest poultry distributors in California, she tried to sell turkey corn dogs on a stick to the penitentiary system only to be told that yes, they would buy her product, but NO STICKS! They had to remove them.

    Good luck to Matt and his great book concept (except for felons).
    P.S. Thanks for your sweet comment on my anniversary post.

  13. I LOVE this book - I was very kindly sent a copy to review back in Feb. I really need to make something from it and am loving the idea of deep fried ravioli.

  14. AnonymousJune 13, 2011

    I like this eating on a stick concept. Makes for great party food and your ravioli...delish!

  15. Oh, how clever! I just saw another blog on which the gal overlapped pasta shells stuffed with a sausage mixture and then deep-fried them ... served up for dipping in a marinara sauce. What fun ideas!

  16. Very cute concept for a cookbook. You could throw an "On-a-Stick" party!

    I LOVE fried ravioli. Heaven whether it's on a stick or not. My waistline wouldn't thank me, but my tastebuds sure would!

  17. whether it's on a stick or not, fried ravioli is magnificent. nice review, val!

  18. I have that recipe marked as well! Definitely going to have to make it sooner rather than later. :)


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