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At 5pm last Friday night, a wonderful thing happened: the begining of 2 weeks on holiday! I will be in and out of town but still prepared a few posts ahead for you. And if you are stuck at home and work, well go stuff it!
No not in the mean insult way silly! That is the theme for this month’s Creative Cooking Crew: Stuff It! So many options but inspiration struck while at a farmer’s market. Delicate zucchini flowers. I have not worked these much and this was the perfect challenge for this delicate flower. A lighter version than the fried kind, I prepared Baked Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms.
A wonderful recipe found here. The result was a treat and very flavorful. A perfect appetizer for the benginning of an elegant summer meal.
(wiki) The female flower is a golden blossom on the end of each emergent zucchini. The male flower grows directly on the stem of the zucchini plant in the leaf axils (where leaf petiole meets stem), on a long stalk, and is slightly smaller than the female. Both flowers are edible, and are often used to dress a meal or to garnish the cooked fruit.
Firm and fresh blossoms that are only slightly open are cooked to be eaten, with pistils removed from female flowers, and stamens removed from male flowers. The stem on the flowers can be retained as a way of giving the cook something to hold onto during cooking, rather than injuring the delicate petals, or they can be removed prior to cooking, or prior to serving. There are a variety of recipes in which the flowers may be deep fried as fritters or tempura (after dipping in a light tempura batter), stuffed, sautéed, baked, or used in soups.
- 1 slice day old bread (1 cup)
- 1 green onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
- a good grind of black pepper
- 100 grams chevre goat cheese
- 6 or 8 medium male zucchini blossoms
- 3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
- The bread should be dry, but not totally stale. Crumble or cut it into coarse small pieces. Trim and chop the onion fairly finely.
- Heat the butter in a small skillet and sauté the crumbs and green onion until the crumbs are nicely browned and the onion is soft. Sprinkle over the herbs and the pepper, and once they are well mixed in remove the crumb mixture to a small mixing bowl. Let cool.
- Add the crumbled chevre, and mix well. The mixture should form a ball, but try not to mash the crumbs too much. They should still be fairly light and chunky.
- Using a sharp spoon remove the stamens from the flowers. Rinse the flowers and drain well.
- Divide the filling into equal portions, one per blossom. Roll each portion into a cylinder to fit into the core of each blossom, and slide it in, closing the blossom gently around it. Have your baking pan ready, brushed with oil, and lay the blossoms in it as you work. Once they are all in, brush their tops with more oil.
- Bake the stuffed blossoms for 15 minutes, until crisped and browned in spots. Serve hot.
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