oregano

 

Wow it’s been a while since I wrote regularly for weirdcombinations.  This is my first week “back.”  I miss it and I miss visiting my blogger friends’ blogs.  The reason for the hiatus is that it got super busy at work, plus I had to travel down to Brazil, also for work, in late August through mid-September.  The schedule was crazy while I was there but I made room to see some of my family, which was fantastic.  I hadn’t been back home for about 3 years.  Now it’s been three weeks since my return to San Francisco and things are just starting to slow down.  Whew!!

yellow crook squash and Italian zucchini tart with feta and olives

yellow crook squash and Italian zucchini tart with feta and olives

Part of the problem is that on the very same day I arrived back, I cut one of my fingers very badly on a piece of broken glass from a jar of guava jam while opening my suitcase.  Ugh!  It was a huge mess—glass, guava and blood.  Things might have been better had I not felt completely jetlagged on top of it all.  On the positive side, I’m healing up fine and fortunately, I “smuggled” in several more jars of guava.  It’s a good thing that I’m greedy!

I made this wonderful tart a few days before I left for Brazil.  I used our home-grown yellow crook squash and Italian zucchini.  Then it was the height of squash season and we had a superabundance of these precious things.   The season for zuchs is almost over now but I’m sure that they’re still available somewhere.  This is a beautiful and elegant, thin and delicate tart, despite the bold flavors that Kalamata olives and feta cheese impart.

yellow crook squash and Italian zucchini tart with feta and olives

3 to 4 yellow and green squashes, sliced thinly in the mandolin (keep colors separated in two small bowls)
1 cup good French feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp fresh thyme
½ tsp fresh oregano
8 to 10 sheets of filo dough at room temperature
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Sprinkles of crushed red pepper
1 cookie tray 12”x17”, lined with foil
Cooking brush

Pre-heat oven to 375F.

Toss individual bowls of squash with salt, black and red pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Set aside.

Brush bottom of tray with olive oil. Lay the first filo sheet over tray then brush with more olive oil.  Lay the second over, brush with more olive oil. Repeat process until all sheets are used. Lay on row of zucchini and then yellow squash on top of filo, to create an attractive pattern, sprinkle with fresh oregano and thyme. Brush the edges of the tart with more olive oil. Place tart in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until squash is cooked but not mushy and the edges lightly browned.  Remove from oven then scatter the olives and feta cheese.  And since I’m a hog for olive oil…. add a drizzle of olive on top too.

It’s great to be back but I already miss everybody in Brazil.  Where is that Star Trek style transporter device when you need it?  Beam me up, Scotty!  Please :)

me with two of my sisters relaxing on the beach in the Brazilian winter

me with two of my sisters relaxing on the beach in the Brazilian winter: nice!!!

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Until just this week when the rain finally hit with a vengeance, I’ve been feeling that light joyful mood that I always have in spring-like weather, you know: energetic, hopeful and hungry for something new. That, of course, has inspired me to continue my adventures in the kitchen. So here we are. I made a sun-dried tomato and red bell pepper tapenade as a party dip but had leftovers. The flavor was quite intense, so I thought it would work perfectly as a filling for ravioli.

ravioli filled with sun-dried tomato and red bell pepper tapenade and mozzarella

ravioli filled with sun-dried tomato and red bell pepper tapenade and mozzarella

I know that people shy away from making their own pasta, and I used to be like that, too. Now I love it. Sure it is a bit of a job—mainly the kneading is a pain. But I prefer to think of it as a necessary work-out to get my desired marvelous result. Running the dough through the pasta machine is a snap now that I’ve gotten a replacement clamp to hold the device to my countertop. Plus that part is really quite soothing.

my hand-cranked pasta machine

my hand-cranked pasta machine

I made the dough using the same recipe and technique from my last ravioli post, which I’ll copy-and-paste here to make things easier. This time I took pics of the pasta with each run through the machine so you can see how long it gets. This does take some space in the kitchen as the sheets of dough grow ever longer. I moved a lot of stuff out of the way and covered most of my counters with clean dishtowels before I started with the machine.

The filling was just the tapenade, some mozzarella and a bit of parmesan cheese. After I boiled my ravioli for about 5 minutes; I lightly sautéed it in olive oil, garlic and fresh spinach. Mmmm!

ravioli filled with sun-dried tomato and red bell pepper tapenade and mozzarella

for the dough:

2 cups flour (I used all purpose)
3 eggs

for the filling:

2 red bell peppers, stems, seeds and ribs removed, cut into large chunks
3 cloves garlic
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
2 tbsp olive oil
12 kalamata olives, pits removed
Pinch dried oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 pound part-skim mozzarella
2 tbsp parmesan

for the sauté:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch whole spinach leaves, large stems discarded
5 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste

to prepare dough for ravioli:

Usually you’re supposed to pour the flour on a work-surface then mix in the egg. Counter space is at a premium in my tiny kitchen so I beat the eggs for a couple minutes in a small bowl, then mixed them with the flour in another. Then I dumped everything onto a floured surface and kneaded it for eight (8) minutes. (I set my kitchen timer.) The kneading is the key step and really it is sort of magical as about seven minutes on, suddenly the flour-egg dough starts to do something amazing! It turns into pasta! You can feel it in your hands literally changing. Sure, that is what you’re making so should not come as a surprise to anyone. Nevertheless, whenever I make pasta, I am always stunned that it actually works!

my lump of dough after eight minutes kneading

my lump of dough after eight minutes kneading

Roll dough into a ball then cut it into six equal pieces. With your pasta machine on the widest setting, roll each piece through once. Then fold the edges of each piece together towards the middle and pass it through the machine again, still at the widest setting. Repeat with each piece so that they’ve all been rolled and folded about three times. When not working with a piece, lay it on a clean kitchen towel and be sure not to let it touch any of the other dough.

After that, reduce the width of your pasta maker by one notch and pass each piece through. They will slowly start to get longer. Repeat at next lower notch and so on until you get to the penultimate. By now, your dough should be quite thin and very long. Once you’ve finished set aside.

dough pieces after first setting on machine

dough pieces after first setting on machine

dough pieces after second setting of machine

dough pieces after second setting of machine

dough pieces after third setting on machine

dough pieces after third setting on machine

dough pieces after fourth setting of machine

dough pieces after fourth setting of machine

dough pieces after fifth setting of machine

dough pieces after fifth setting of machine

they're getting big now on the sixth setting

they're getting big now after the sixth setting

the seventh setting is getting blurry--I must have been more tired than I thought

the seventh setting is getting blurry--I must have been more tired than I thought

the dough after the eighth setting--we're ready to go

the dough after the eighth setting--we're ready to go

to prepare filling:

First make tapenade by sautéing red bell peppers and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add to food processor with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, oregano, salt and black pepper. If too thick, add a bit more olive oil. I used about one and a half cups.

Shred mozzarella. Mix cheeses with tapenade.

to assemble ravioli:

placing the filling on the pasta

placing the filling on the pasta

finished glider-shaped raviolis

finished glider-shaped raviolis

Place about a teaspoon full of filling along prepared dough strips, roughly three inches apart from one another. To seal, dab your finger in some water, rub water along edges of dough and between mounds of filling. Carefully fold dough over filling, press down to remove air pockets. Cut between mounds of filling to create individual ravioli. I folded mine into triangular shapes, thinking of our recent adventure with hang-gliders. Set aside but be sure not to let them touch one another. Makes about three dozen.

to make final dish:

Boil ravioli in salted water about 5 minutes. Meanwhile sauté garlic in olive oil for about a minute. Add spinach, salt and black pepper. Drain ravioli and toss into wilted spinach. Fold together and serve.

{ 5 comments }

I’ve been out of town at the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno. It was really fun, but I’ve fallen dreadfully behind with you, my fellow food bloggers. So this week, as I re-adjust to the “real world” again, I’m scrambling to get on the ball. To that end, I’m pleased, no, thrilled to announce a September cooking challenge to any and all of you. Heavenly from donuts to delirium and I agreed to try the elegant but surely prone to disaster Julia Child recipe for butter croissants. Follow this link for the recipe.

rustic pizza with feta, heirloom cherry tomatoes, kalamata and marinara

rustic pizza with feta, heirloom cherry tomatoes, kalamata and marinara

The recent Ottolenghi cheesecake challenge was a wild success and amazingly fun. That one was quite specific however. Here, should you be daring enough, you can tinker with the croissant recipe to your heart’s content. I’m already fantasizing about stuffing mine with tropical fruit and mascarpone. All you need do is contact Heavenly or me to let us know that you’re on board. Make the recipe and publish it on your blog on September 19, 2011. We’ll send you a list of links of other participants a few days before for you to add to your post. C’est tout! I do hope all of you try this with us. The more, the merrier.

Today’s rustic pizza doesn’t have a thing to do with Julia Child or butter croissants. But it’s one that I’ve been thinking of trying since July when I saw it posted on Karen’s wonderful The Gourmet Food Blog. Her pizza tri-colore was stunning! I was particularly impressed with her gorgeous crust.

chilly and overcast Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco

chilly and overcast Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco last Sunday

I tried mine on a very cool foggy San Francisco day—you could say almost winter-like weather (I know most of you are suffering over the record-breaking temperatures everywhere, but it has been a might cold in the City by the Bay.) I think that affected my final product. My dough rose, but remained fairly dense, even after I doubled the time. It had a firm texture that really held onto the heavy toppings. It reminded me of Chicago style pizza. I added heirloom cherry tomatoes, feta, Kalamata olives, and marinara sauce. I like a lot of toppings.

Also, I baked mine on our new, amazing-because-you-can-actually-wash-it-with-soap-and-water coated pizza stone! Gone are the days of crusty gross pizza stones growing funk in my oven. Hurrah! It was twice as expensive as the other kind of uncoated stone, but so worth it.

our glorious new washable pizza stone

our glorious new washable pizza stone

rustic pizza with feta, heirloom cherry tomatoes, Kalamata and marinara

for toppings:

½ cup feta cheese
1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, in halves
12 kalamata olives in halves
2 tbps. Parmesan
Small bunch fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
Plus some coarse corn meal to move pizza

for marinara:

14 oz. Diced canned tomatoes with juice
1 clove garlic, minced
½ small onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tsp. Dried oregano
1 bay leaf
½ tsp salt
crushed red and black pepper to taste

Prepare pizza dough from Karen’s recipe.

Pre-heat oven to 425F with pizza stone inside.

In a small saucepan, add 3 tbsp. olive oil, garlic, onion and salt on high heat. Cook for a few minutes. Add remaining marinara ingredients. Bring to boil then reduce heat to rapid simmer to reduce liquid by at least half. Discard bay leaf.

Shape pizza dough. Prepare a board with some corn meal. Place dough on top of corn meal. Spread with marinara sauce. Sprinkle with feta, then heirloom cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives and parmesan. Gently slide onto pizza stone. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until crust becomes golden.

Remove from oven then drizzle with some olive oil and finally toss basil leaves on top.

{ 5 comments }

This recipe is based upon one from Marcella Hazan’s Marcella Cucina. I really love her food. And she sounds like quite a firecracker too. I’ve read somewhere that she’s a big fan of bourbon. Anyone who can cook that well and loves bourbon is alright in my book. I’ve a copy of her autobiography, Amarcord: Marcella Remembers, somewhere around here. I really need to find it soon.

poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

Her recipe uses yellow or red bell peppers and she makes a big point of having you char and remove the outer membrane. I’ve done that several times, but it is a nightmare. Though I have to agree, it makes the final dish more tender, I don’t think that the effort is worth it. Instead, I’ve steamed my peppers, like I did for the poblanos and reds stuffed with saffron rice.

As to the poblano versus the bell, I remain of the opinion that poblanos simply taste better whereas bells just taste sweet. To each cook his or her own, I suppose. I added pepitas for a bit of crunch and it seems to match the peppers well. I did have two small reds, which I also stuffed. Oddly, these two ended up being leftovers after Hegui and I gorged on the smokier Mexican peppers.

key ingredients for poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

key ingredients for poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

4 to 6 poblano or red bell peppers
1 medium Italian eggplant (about a pound)
salt
2 tbsp pepitas
6 anchovy fillets
2 tbsp Italian parsley
1 tbsp capers
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
¼ tsp oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 Roma tomato, peeled and chopped
vegetable oil
black pepper to taste

Cut eggplant into about ½ inch dice. Toss with ample salt in a colander. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Fry in vegetable oil until translucent and soft. Remove from oil to large bowl.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut poblano peppers in half and remove seeds and ribs. If using bell peppers, carefully cut tops off and remove seeds and ribs. Steam for ten minutes. Remove from heat and run under cold water to cool.

Toast pepitas in dry pan until slightly browned and popping. Set aside.

Coarsely chop garlic, capers, Italian parsley, and anchovies together. Add to eggplant. Add tomato, oregano, olive oil, pepitas, black pepper, and 2 tbsp panko to eggplant. Fold together.

Using two tablespoons, stuff peppers with filling, about one tbsp each. Place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining panko. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Allow peppers to cool to room temperature before serving.



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This dish comes from a very specialized cookbook I bought last time I was in Brazil: 1000 recipes for salt cod. I know, amazing!

salt codfish croquettes AKA croquete de bacalhau

salt codfish croquettes AKA croquete de bacalhau

I was excited when I bought the book and remain so. I don’t cook many of those recipes as they are a bit naughty and decadent, full of rich sauces with cream, butter, eggs, sometimes deep fried and so on. I try to hold back on this type of cooking for a special treat. Well, Easter weekend seemed the perfect occasion to splurge.

Croquete de bacalhau is a typical fried finger food (generically called salgadinhos in Portuguese) that you might find in Brazilian bakeries. Actually it is just one of many. Others come with meat, fish fresh, palm hearts, potatoes or cheese—and sometimes in combinations of these ingredients. The bakeries in Rio de Janeiro are especially fun to visit since you can try several kinds of salgadinho and order perfectly ripe tropical fruit juice, squeezed to order right in front of you, made from things like mango, papaya, various citrus, or pineapple, all at once, for almost nothing. That is worth doing, and often!

view of Sugar Loaf from Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro

view of Sugar Loaf from Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro


some tropical fruit for sale at a market in São Paulo

some tropical fruit for sale at a market in São Paulo

I think that I must have been channeling Rio when I made these the other day. Steven and I have had such marvelous trips there. Perhaps the springtime weather we’ve lately been enjoying is stimulating my wanderlust and taste buds.

The book calls for potato in the dough, but we didn’t have any, so I used cassava root instead. (Isn’t it weird we had cassava root at home but no potatoes?) So you can use potato or cassava (I bought mine peeled and frozen at a little market in the Mission. It is pretty common in stores that sell a lot of Caribbean or Latino foods, so if you have trouble finding it, you might try there.)

salt codfish croquettes AKA croquete de bacalhau

1 cup of tomato sauce (I made my own—see below. Prepared would work, too.)
1½ cups salt cod
3 tbsp chopped onion
3 tbsp chopped parsley
Black pepper to taste
1 cup mashed cooked cassava
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten and slightly salted
1½ cups fine bread crumbs
Canola and olive oil for frying

For tomato sauce:

5 fresh tomatoes
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
pinch dried oregano and basil
salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the tomato sauce:

Cut woody tips off tomatoes then slice them in half. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to a pan. Place tomato halves in, cover and let cook until skins begin to curl. Remove from heat. With the help of tongs, remove peels and discard them. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl, wipe pan off. Simply make sauce by sautéing garlic in olive oil, add tomato and remaining ingredients. Raise temperature to boil then lower heat to simmer, partially covered for about 20 minutes.

To prepare croquettes:

Soak salt codfish over night, changing water about 3 times to remove salt.

Bring a pot of fresh water to a boil. Drop cod fish in it. Immediately remove from heat and let poach for about 10 minutes. Remove fish from cooking water and let cool. Remove skin, bones if any, then cut into small chunks. Set aside.

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent, then add codfish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a couple of minutes longer. Add tomato sauce. Stir and bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Adjust flavors. It should be slightly salty. Add mashed cassava, flour and parsley. Mix to incorporate. It will turn into thick dough. Remove from heat and let cool until easily handled.

rolling croquette in breadcrumbs

rolling croquette in breadcrumbs

formed croquettes ready for frying

formed croquettes ready for frying

Split dough into two equal pieces. Wet your hands with olive oil and roll each piece into a ¾ inch diameter tube or log. Cut pieces and roughly shape them into coquettes.

Roll each croquette in breadcrumbs, then in egg wash, and back again in breadcrumbs. Repeat process with remaining croquettes.

Fill a small cooking pan (8 inch in diameter) with about an inch of oil. Use about 3 parts canola to 1 part olive oil. Heat oil on high. Drop 3 to 4 croquettes in at a time and fry until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Repeat process with remaining. Serve warm with hot sauce. Enjoy your salgadinhos!

{ 6 comments }

I confess I thought we’d eat out much more during our kitchen remodel. It just hasn’t happened, since neither of us could really get into it. Cooking at home is just too fun. As it turns out, the single, plug-in electric burner on the dining room table and the grill on the porch have saved us. We have been able to cook many of our simple “work-horse” dishes with these. Thank goodness!

steamed wild pacific cod with green pea purée and cherry tomato salad

steamed wild pacific cod with green pea purée and cherry tomato salad

Clean-up is a nightmare without a kitchen sink or dishwasher, and the whole apartment remains a complete mess, but it is nice to feel empowered. You can live fully even kitchen-less. Who knew? I suppose this has been a bit like camping, though I cannot imagine doing that for three or four weeks in a row…

I was thinking about spring when I made this dish, even though our vegetable markets are still carrying lots of winter produce. That’s the reason I used organically grown fresh frozen peas here. Fresh peas should be coming out soon, so look for them at your local markets. The codfish was fresh wild caught in the Pacific Northwest.

Especially considering the limitations, I think this dish came out pretty good. Steven said it looked and tasted like something from a gourmet restaurant. What a compliment.

who says that you cannot cook gourmet in primitive working conditions

who says that you cannot cook gourmet in primitive working conditions

steamed wild pacific cod with green pea purée and cherry tomato salad

for the green pea purée:

1lb fresh or frozen green peas
4 tbsp grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

for the fish:

1lb fresh codfish
salt and black pepper to taste
2 slices red onion
juice of ½ lemon
5 sprigs fresh oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
red pepper flakes to taste

for the cherry tomato salad:

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and black pepper to taste
1 to 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 basil leaves shredded and tossed with tomatoes just before serving

Pre-heat grill to highest temperature (ours gets to around 500F).

Toss tomato, salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar together and let it macerate in room temperature for about 15 minutes. Toss with basil just before serving.

Line a small metal baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough extra to cover pan. Drizzle lined pan with a bit of olive oil, add oregano sprigs and onion slices. Gently arrange fish on top. Add salt, peppers, lemon juice and olive oil. Fold foil to seal. Put pan on grill and steam fish for 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile bring two cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, reserving half a cup of cooking juices, and a couple of tablespoons of whole peas for decoration.

Throw garlic, cooked peas, olive oil, and reserved cooking juices in food processor. Purée until smooth. Process in cheese, salt and pepper. Adjust flavors if needed. Transfer purée back into the cooking pot and keep warm.

To serve, spoon some green pea purée in the center of a dish, carefully lay fish over it and to one side, and add cherry tomato salad to the other side. Garnish with reserved whole green peas.

{ 7 comments }

vegetarian Bolognaise ragu

by Stevie on August 17, 2010

I’ve been thinking about what to make from “soy chorizo,” that mystery product that Hegui discovered lurking on the shelves of Trader Joe’s recently. I guess it’s intended as a meat alternative. So what could be better than taking a stab at the ultimate Italian meaty pasta dish: Bolognaise ragu, or as we called it at home when I was a kid, spaghetti with meat sauce?

vegetarian Bolognaise ragu

This dish repulsed me as a child. My mother used ground beef which left these fatty pools and droplets over everything. Plus the meat itself got too firm and rubbery. Gross!

The texture of soy chorizo is softer and I like the spiciness of whatever exactly is in the weird thing. This dish was easy to make and really successful. I used rigatoni for its meaty texture but any pasta would work.

vegetarian Bolognaise ragu

12 tomatoes (I used early girl dry farmed tomatoes from the farmers market)
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ soy chorizo, outer casing removed
3 small sweet yellow and orange bell peppers, diced fine
1 onion, diced fine
1 medium carrot, diced fine
1 tsp. dry oregano
1 small cup dry white wine (I didn’t have any so used a little tequila)
2 tsp salt or to taste
1 cup water (or vegetable stock)
Black and crushed red pepper to taste
4 tbsp. olive oil
Parmesan cheese
Package of rigatoni, cooked per directions

early girl tomatoes

soy chorizo

Peel tomatoes by removing woody ends, cutting a cross on the reverse side and immersing in boiling water for a few minutes. The skin will begin to curl off the fruit. Remove from water and allow to cool. Peel skin and discard. Roughly chop tomatoes.

Heat olive oil in large pan. Add diced peppers and carrot, tomato paste, soy chorizo, salt and oregano. Sauté for a few minutes until vegetables become soft. Add wine (or tequila) and allow alcohol to boil off. Add fresh tomatoes, water, and black and red pepper. Bring sauce to boil then simmer for about twenty minutes.

Cook pasta. Drain and toss with sauce. Mix in parmesan and sprinkle some on top. We enjoyed this with a medium bodied red wine.

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Zucchini blossoms are lovely, don’t you think? The yellow orange color is so pleasing. I’ve been reading about them everywhere in the food blog-i-verse in the past few weeks. One blogger recommends buying them whenever you see them as frequently and for as long as possible. I wish I remember who that guy was! His story inspired me to try them myself.

zucchini blossoms

Unlike some of these other sites that routinely display spectacularly finished deep-fried cheese blossom wonders, mine turned out a bit… less than photogenic, shall we say? More like a blossom scramble without the eggs. But one thing is for sure, these fattening little babies taste unbelievably good! If you’ve been thinking of making them, now’s the time. And like that other guy said, you should buy zucchini blossoms whenever you can for as long as you can. They really are that good!

I invented my own stuffing after reading a number of recipes. I think so long as you use cheese that you could put almost anything else inside. The batter recipe is sort of a blend of a few that I read here and there.

zucchini blossoms stuffed with goat cheese, cilantro, oregano and pepitas

10 to 15 zucchini blossoms
¼ cup grated goat mozzarella
3 oz soft goat cheese (mine was encrusted with dried herbs)
¼ cup pepitas
small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine
small bunch fresh oregano, chopped fine
1 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1 cup chilled sparkling water
canola and olive oil for frying

Rinse zucchini blossoms. Remove stem with a paring knife. Gently open flower to remove pistils. I tore some of my flowers in this procedure. I never became a surgeon for a reason.

Toast pepitas in a hot dry pan for about 30 seconds. Mix pepitas with cheeses and fresh chopped herbs. Gently fill each flower with the cheese mixture. Refrigerate for thirty minutes to chill.
Heat oil on high.

my stuffed zucchini blossoms with goat cheese and herbs looks more like a blossom scramble but it tasted great

Mix salt, flour and sparkling water together. This makes a highly energetic and bubbly batter. I was really excited by it. Dip stuffed flowers into batter and gently fry for a few minutes to cook. Obviously this is where my technique failed me. Oh well! Remove to paper towel to drain.

I served mine with the roasted tomato sauce that I make for chiles rellenos. Just like the chiles rellenos, this dish looked a mess but was so good!

{ 1 comment }

tuna rottele pasta Niçoise

July 27, 2010

This salad is a take on Niçoise salad. I bought an expensive jar of tuna chunks packed in extra virgin olive oil and herbs the other day at “whole paycheck” in our hood. At home we had beautiful fresh organic heirloom carrots (Nantes, maybe?), French green beans, Dijon mustard you get the picture right? So […]

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purslane feta pasta with fresh herbs

July 22, 2010

This recipe is a variation of spring onion, chive and feta pasta. I love the original. We have this dish at least once or twice a month. It’s very simple to make: you can whip it together in less than 20 minutes, all prep included. This time around I added fresh oregano and purslane as […]

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