Happy Monday! Surprisingly, I haven't been doing much cooking for the past week, just enjoying the holidays and the weekend. With 4th of July being midweek, it felt like there were two weekends to me. Did you do anything fun for the 4th? Mr.S., the kidlets and I attended a block party at his cousin's in East Sac, complete with taco truck then afterwards went home to light a huge pile of fireworks with another cousin that was visiting from Louisiana. It was a blast but I'll admit I'm one of those grade-A worriers when it comes to fireworks...in fact, I probably am a lot like the mom in Christmas story who keeps saying, "You'll shoot your eye out!!" except I'm constantly harping, "You'll blow your eye out!" or "Watch those fingers!" What a buzzkill, I know...but don't worry, Mr.S. more than makes up for my incessant warnings. He LOVES to light stuff on fire, it's that pyro gene that most boys (and men) seem to possess. He's not as obsessed as his neighbor a few blocks away though, who was lighting gigantic fireworks. I'm not sure where he got them but his fireworks show lit up the whole neighborhood's sky and could seriously put Cal Expo to shame. It was so pretty!
The kidlets lighting some fireworks
When Saturday rolled around we decided to pack the kidlets up along with a picnic and head to the beach. The weather was nice and cool by the coast and we had a fun time frolicking in the waves. No one wanted to come home since we heard that Sacramento was a stinky hot 101 degrees. Gah!
Sunday buzzed by for me- farmers' market and a mimosa brunch with a fantabulous friend and then off to a birthday BBQ for Mr.S.'s big bro. The BBQ was quite enjoyable (tri-tip, panzanella and pasta salads, grilled asparagus and a decadent red velvet birthday cake). If it hadn't been for a horrendous migraine that snuck up on me halfway through the festivities, I would have said it was an A+ Sunday.
So I'm back to the regular week with no BBQs, taco trucks or birthday cake...I'm going to have to cook my own meals today. When my friend Cate and I were at the farmers' market yesterday, squash blossoms were everywhere and cheap! I guess edible flowers are the rage? I picked up a dozen for $2.
Now I've cooked with squash blossoms before and know that they get wilty pretty quick; so I knew I needed to cook them ASAP. Hmmm...quesadillas? Soup? No, no...wait! Stuffed squash blossoms! I made these last year- stuffed them with goat cheese and then deep fried them in a light beer batter. Mmm, they were delicious and definitely worth another go round. At this point you're probably thinking, "Cheese? Beer batter? Frying? Is this girl loco? It all sounds so heavy!" I assure you it's not, the end result is a delicate savory dish with a delightful melding of flavors.
12 squash blossoms
canola or vegetable oil, for deep frying
6 oz. goat cheese (bring it to room temp so it's easier to work with)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (sage, parsley, thyme, oregano, basil- use whatever you like...)
1/2 cup beer (stay away from using a super heavy beer like a port of stout)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Gently wash the squash blossoms and allow to dry. Cut off stems and pinch off the stamen.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine: goat cheese, scallions, fresh herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. In another bowl, mix batter ingredients together: beer, flour, corn starch, baking powder and egg.
4. Stuff each squash blossom with a tablespoon of the cheese mixture. You can use your fingers and a spoon to do this or you can pipe it in there with a pastry bag. Twist the top of the blossoms to close.
5. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed pan or pot over medium.
6. Once the oil is hot (you want it to be about 375 degrees F), lightly dredge the stuffed blossoms through the beer batter (coating it evenly) and place in pan. Take care not to crowd the blossoms in the pan.
7. Cook until batter takes on a light, golden brown color- about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer blossoms to a paper towel to drain for a few minutes.
8. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Eat while they're still warm.