It’s been more than 30 years since I’ve had anything more than a bettor’s interest in the NCAA Tournament otherwise known as March Madness. Back in 1984 I was wowed by a combination of SMU vs. Georgetown (one of the lowest scoring games in modern tournament history); and Phi Slama Jama – Akeem (later Hakeem) Olajuwon and his University of Houston Cougars.
Since then it’s been mostly about the bracket contests, of which I’ve only netted one win – against some of my co-workers in 1995 at Ocean County’s (NJ) Observer newspaper.
I have but two desires as the 2015 tournament tips off. The first is that any team whose uniform colors are blue and white will lose (I’ve bet against them); and the other is to be able to crack some windows this month for the first time in a long time. I’ve longed for spring more this year than in recent memory.
March Madness is second only to the Super Bowl when it comes to a living room feeding frenzy. Enter Fried Taco Ravioli as a new but somehow familiar way to satisfy peoples’ finger food fascination. Dip these in your favorite salsa, or blend a small avocado with a cup of sour cream, 1 TB of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime – with salt to taste – and you’ll have a winner.
Even if you’re wearing your favorite team’s blue and white.
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Fried Taco Ravioli
- 1 lb – Lean ground beef
- 2 cups – Beef broth
- 1 pkg – Taco seasoning -OR-
- 1 TB – Chile powder (preferably Ancho)
- 2 tsp – Ground cumin
- 1 tsp – Onion powder
- 1 tsp – Garlic powder
- 1 tsp – Dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
- 1 tsp – Dried thyme
- ½ tsp – Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt, to taste*
- 1 pkg (1 lb) – Egg roll wrappers
- Vegetable Oil
- 1 egg beaten w/ 1 TB cold water
- In a large skillet, combine ground beef, broth and seasonings and heat to medium-high, crumbling the meat as the mixture heats to a light boil. Reduce heat to a medium simmer, stirring occasionally (and continuing to crumble into a fine consistency) until most of the liquid is evaporated — about 12-15 minutes**. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Place an egg roll wrapper on a floured surface or on a sheet of parchment; brush lightly with egg bath. Place rounded teaspoonfuls of the cooled meat filling about 1 inch apart (and away from the edges) over entire egg roll wrapper. Place another egg roll wrapper directly atop of the meat-dotted wrapper and press down gently to seal around all of the edges. Using a pastry cutter, ravioli stamp or sharp knife, cut into squares (or circles with a stamp). Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
- Divide pasta dough into fourths; roll one portion to 1/16-in. thickness. (Keep pasta covered until ready to use.) Working quickly, place rounded teaspoonfuls of filling 1 in. apart over half of pasta sheet. Brush around filling with water to moisten. Fold sheet over; press down to seal. Cut into squares with a pastry wheel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Preheat oil to 325F in a large frying pan. Fry ravioli, turning occasionally, until golden brown — about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining ravioli.
**If liquid evaporates too quickly and meat is not super tender, add water (a cup at a time) and continue cooking until it is evaporated.