Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Hello Friends! It certainly has been awhile since I've shared some of my family secrets! I'm strictly speaking of cooking secrets, and sharing some coveted family recipes!
I've had a very relaxed and enjoyable summer. We spent two weeks out in Montauk, New York on the beach. Every day was a glorious day. Wish I could have spent another week out there.  hint, hint!!
I am so relaxed.

Today's Food Crawl is all about Stuffed Zucchini Flowers!
Now it's time to get back to sharing some of the food that gets made and created in my kitchen.
Today I'm going to tell you all about my mothers Stuffed Zucchini Flowers! It was my mothers Birthday August 2nd. Thinking of her always makes me think of the special dishes that she used to make. Stuffed Zucchini Flowers were among the amazing.  My husband would eat them out of her refrigerator before she had fried them!
 I actually made my audition tape for MasterChef - Season 2 preparing these. I was trying to upload the video but apparently it is too long to post on here. My son, John, the Pepperdine Movie Production Graduate promised to break it down for me so I can share it with you.  When he does I'll just post it. You can see how nervous I was while making the tape. My next audition tape will be very different! lol

My friend Jersey Paulie  has been asking me for this recipe. This one is for you Paul! Recipe will follow, keep reading!

In my garden I always plant more zucchini plants than I need just for the flowers. Today I was able to pick 11 flowers. There will be more tomorrow! 11 stuffed flowers is such a tease! I'll bet you can't only eat one! lol
You can do so many different things with them. They are delicious in a batter, made into a pancake, they are delicious stuffed with cheeses,  or stuffed with a crabmeat mixture is always yummy. My mother loved sausage and chopmeat! Our recipe is for a blossom stuffed with meat.

The earlier you get into you garden in the mornings the better. You will find these gorgeous blossoms fully opened, just waiting to be picked. The flowers that should be picked for stuffing are the flowers that are attached to long stems.
If you don't have these available in your garden ask a local farmer to sell you some of his Zucchini Flowers. Most farmers will sell them to you.  If you are really desperate go to a specialty italian store. They will  charge you an arm and a leg for each flower, so try your local farmers market before making an investment!
With a few simple ingredients you will impress your family and friends. Promise!
I'm starting with some chop meat, sweet Italian Sausage, fresh parsley, onion, garlic, parmigiano cheese (thank you Giorgio and Marina, who brought me cheese from Rome!), eggs, salt and pepper and seasoned bread crumbs. Rough cut the onion and smash the garlic and add them to a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. Add the chop meat and the sausage meat, removed from the casing into the frying pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is cooked through and the garlic is tender.

While the meat is cooking you will want to clean the flowers. I have found ants crawling around in them. You can just delicately wipe the inside of the flower to remove the ants. You can also run the flower under some water .

Once I clean them I place them on a paper towel upside down. This helps the blossom stay open a little to make it easier to stuff them.

They are so delicate and they will rip and tare so be gentle!
With a slotted spoon remove the meat into a food processor and pulse it a few times until the meats are well incorporated with the onion and garlic. Remove the mixture from the food processor . In a large bowl add fresh chopped parsley, and grated cheese. Mix well. Taste as you go along. You may want to add more salt or pepper or perhaps even more cheese.
Time to stuff the flowers! I use a baby spoon or a demitasse spoon. If I had a pastry bag I imagine you could use that as well. It probably would make my life so much easier! lol
 I hold the flower between my thumb and cup it with the rest of my fingers, trying to keep the flower open. With the spoon I add the meat mixture and push down until the flower is completely full. I squeeze it gently so the mixture gets encased by the flower.

Repeat until you are done stuffing all the flowers.
Beat an egg and roll the stuffed flower into the egg and then gently roll the egg washed zucchini flower into bread crumbs.
 Repeat until all the flowers are breaded.

Pan fry the stuffed flowers in a little bit of oil until they are lightly browned on all sides. You can also flash fry these.

Zucchini Flowers
1 large onion chopped
4 - 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 pound chop meat
1 pound sausage
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 - 2 eggs, beaten

You can cut down on amounts in the recipe. This will make quite a bit of mixture. The leftovers can be used in stuffing so many other things, and it never goes to waste in my house! Check in later this week for more ideas on what you can stuff!

Thanks for visiting today! I've missed you!
Buon Appetito!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Lorraine for sharing this. I imagine the family was scrambling with only 11 blossoms. I had them recently at Novellis, but hey were just stuffed with cheese and hebs. I am a firm believer that you need meat(s) in a stuffing. Noe I have to find some blossoms and I'm all set.