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Tortellini Tapas with Spicy Ranch Dip

1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated cheese filled tortellini

1 (16 ounce) bottle Ranch-style dressing with peppercorns, divided*

2 large eggs

2 cups fine , dry breadcrumbs

3/4 cup mild chunky salsa

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups vegetable oil

Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs

Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and cool.  Whisk together 1 cup dressing and eggs in a large bowl until blended.  Add tortellini, and let stand 10 minutes.  Drain and dredge in breadcrumbs; p[lace on a baking sheet.  Chill at least 1 hour. 

Stir together remaining dressing, salsa, and cilantro; chill. 

Pour oil into a Dutch oven; heat to 375F.  Fry tortellini, in batches, until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with dip; garnish, if desired.

* 1 (16 ounce) bottle Ranch-style dressing plus 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper may be substituted. 

NOTE:  To make ahead, fry tortellini according to directions; drain and place on a baking sheet.  Keep warm in a 200F oven for 2 hours. 

 




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