Tortellini Tapas with Spicy Ranch Dip

Photo: Tina Cornett

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Yield: Makes 8 appetizer servings
Recipe from Southern Living

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Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and cool.
  2. 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; place on a baking sheet. Chill at least 1 hour.
  3. Stir together remaining dressing, salsa, and cilantro; chill.
  4. Pour oil into a Dutch oven; heat to 375°. Fry tortellini, in batches, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with dip; garnish, if desired.
  5. *1 (16-ounce) bottle Ranch-style dressing plus 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper may be substituted.
  6. NOTE: To make ahead, fry tortellini according to directions; drain and place on a baking sheet. Keep warm in a 200º oven for 2 hours.
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