Monday, June 3, 2013

You Cooked WHAT? Adventures in the Kitchen . . .

Despite what folks may think, I'm not completely adventurous with food. I'm no Anthony Bourdain, comfortable eating "parts unkown" on the back streets of  a war-riddled third world country. And there still a few things (cough--KALE--cough) that make we want to scrape my tongue with a napkin like Tom Hanks in "Big."

Still, in former life, I did cook and re-stuff snails into their shells for a deputy sheriff who loved them--a whole other story for another time. 

And I do enjoy the kind of adventure that brings a yummy new taste to my kitchen. And here is what we munched on last night at the Calvert home:

Yes, those are flowers. Squash blossoms from the zucchini in our backyard garden. 
I'd heard about how delicious these blossoms are and decided to give some appetizers a try:

Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms

The recipe makes 12, but since I only had 4 blossoms I cut it down. This is the original recipe:

1 cup ricotta cheese (I substituted herbed goat cheese)
3 eggs, divided
1/3 cup chopped parsley
12 squash blossoms
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko crumbs)

First very gently wash blossoms, remove stamen if desired--I did. I also did a a compulsive check for bugs, because I'm no Anthony Bourdain. I think we've established that. 

Mix together cheese, 1 lightly beaten egg, and parsley. Season with salt:

 Put remaining two eggs in a bowl and whisk. Put breadcrumbs in another bowl (or plate):

Carefully spoon a tablespoon or bit more of filling into the bottom of the blossom:

Lightly twist blossom ends together to close--no worries if they don't twist well. Not a problem.

Dip each stuffed blossom into egg, then crumbs, and transfer to a parchment or foil lined baking sheet:

 Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Let cool for a few minutes. And--voila!--here's what they look like, ready to serve:

And let me tell you: OH MY GOODNESS, these were absolutely wonderful! Delicate almost sweet flavor with a delightful crunch.  Definite keeper recipe. 

So there you go, that was my kitchen adventure.

And, just for fun, here's a short snippet from my newly released medical drama,
Rescue Team, in which heroine Kate Callison and her friend Lauren converse over some dubious hospital cafeteria fare:

“You’re smiling,” Lauren told Kate over the din of the hospital cafeteria. She waited as an overhead page for an OB department visitor repeated a second time. “And considering that your fork is hovering over a dubious-meat-source enchilada, I’d say that look on your face indicates . . .”

“That I’m really hungry?” Kate was unable to stop the spread of her smile or a betraying flush she felt at the neck of her scrubs. Lauren had phoned and texted at least a half dozen times last night, starting around 9 p.m., about half an hour after Wes drove away from her house . . .

“I did send you a text,” Kate said, wrinkling her nose as she cut the enchilada—it was an iffy entree. Not anything like last night’s amazing dinner. The flush reached her ears. 

“‘All fine. CU tomorrow,’” Lauren quoted. “You call that a post-date recap? You could never write scripts for The Bachelorette.”

Kate laughed “I didn’t call you back because I was still talking to Wes. On the phone. He called as soon as he got home and we talked until way late.” 

It was Lauren’s turn to smile. “That can only be good.”

“I guess.” Kate prodded something with her fork; she hoped it was an olive. How could she explain she wasn’t sure she could recognize “good” for certain? The words good and man had never linked up in Kate’s life experience. She only knew that today—everything today—felt better after last night. She took a slow breath. “Yes. I think it could be. Good.” Her mouth was dry. She stabbed the olive and popped it in.


And how about YOU?  Tempted to try a new recipe adventure recently? Even eaten squash blossoms?


Anne Payne said...

I can't say that I've ever eaten squash blossoms. They look good though. I would like to try rose petal jelly :)

CandaceCalvert said...

Now that's an intriguing thought: rose petal jelly. It makes me think of a romantic historical novel . . .

Connie Brown said...

I haven't eaten squash blossoms or rose petal jelly. Would like to try them. Did have cricket in an egg roll once. Didn't know it until I had taken a bite. Saw the legs and a head. It was already down and I didn't want it coming back up so I finished it. Never will I trust a man saying "want to try?" It was a t an international food festival at college. Have eaten goat, squirrel and rabbit. Goat is good, especially barbequed. I won't try just anything but I am up for some things.

CandaceCalvert said...

Connie (or should we call you, Cricket? Wink)--Eeeew! I once ate a worm, by accident when I was a kid. Had M&M's in one hand, worm in the other. Daydreaming, and . . .
Have never eaten goat, squirrel, or rabbit. Bison, Elk, sure.
Now that I'm a vegetarian, I think even cricket egg rolls would be excluded! Thanks for stopping by the blog, Connie.

Library Lady said...

I haven't eaten squash blossoms but I do love squash.
As for hospital food I'm probably the only person in the world who doesn't mind eating it.
Janet E.

Unknown said...

I have never had squash blossoms. But the strangest food I have eaten is cactus jelly. Delicious!