Monday, August 15, 2011

It's the Middle of August... Time to Start Planning Again?

Not quite. But as I'm getting all my "going back to school and having to be hyper-organized" ducks in a row, I'm feeling the tug of sitting down with a notepad and stack of cookbooks once again. Not so much as to do it for this week, but I'm thinking about it, and that's the first step.

It is squash blossom time, and I got a quart of them at the farmer's market on Saturday. A quart of squash blossoms is quite a lot, really -- over 30 -- but only comes in at 7 ounces.

So the recipes I found that call for either 4 squash blossoms or an entire pound? Didn't help me so much. But we used them for Sunday night dinner, and had squash blossoms two ways:

Way #1: Stuffed fried squash blossoms:
* Mix together some cheeses: I used some goat cheese, a bit of shredded Monterey Jack, and a touch of cream cheese to hold it all together. The goat cheese had some spicy seasoning -- maybe a bit of cayenne? -- so I didn't add any more seasoning.
* Washed out some blossoms, stuffed about a teaspoon of cheese mixture into each one.
* Made a really thin batter with a bit of flour, cornstarch, baking soda, an egg, and part of a beer, seasoned with salt and pepper.
* Dipped each blossom in, shook off extra batter, and pan fried on medium/medium-low-ish heat in some olive oil.

Way #2: Pasta
*Chopped and sauteed the rest of the squash blossoms, just to wilt them. They smelled fabulous. Removed from pan.
* Cooked a bit of bacon, some garlic (fresh from our garden -- first time ever!), and a few chopped green zebra tomatoes. Added a bit of white wine for some liquid.
* Added in some pappardelle noodles (already mostly cooked) and the squash blossoms, stirred it all together.
* A bit of grated parmesan on top.

It turned out fine, but we encountered a few bitter stem ends on the blossoms -- not something we noticed when making them in the past, but we just avoided that part of the stuffed blossoms when eating them.

The stuffed blossoms kind of look like chicken wings. But they're from zucchini plants, I promise!

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