As I stood there transfixed by those gorgeous zucchini blossoms atop those sweet little baby squash, I realized I must have them!! Before I knew it I had became Gollum from Lord of the Rings……Must have my precious, those lovelies are mine!!!……….luckily they had more in the back, it could have gotten ugly if someone else had try to buy them ……
So off I went happy as could be, my treasure in tow! I did buy quite a bit of other goodies, Nectarines, Peaches and Plums…..oh my! Mushrooms, herbs, fresh cage free eggs, lemons, and limes. Why are lemons so expensive at the store, I just don’t know. These big juicy lemons were only three for a dollar!
I got some regular blossoms too, I usually get 20 to stuff with my ricotta blend, and when I asked for some fresh blossoms from the truck he asked if I wanted the whole bunch for $5.00 (one dollar more than than I would have payed for 20 ) what could I say but yes!!
Now I couldn’t just stuff my precious with the same ricotta cheese mix, Oh No, something special my precious deserves……mmmmmm……..crab meat. Not just crab meat, fresh lumps of blue claw crab meat blended with marscapone, and lightly seasoned……..that was an ahhhhh moment. Now as luck would have it I had shopped that morning and had already purchased a pound of fresh Maryland Blue Claw jumbo lump, it was a sign from heaven above, (make them and they shall come). So home I went salivating at the prospect of my new creation! I kept the batter the same, it turns out that my wife does not like the lighter batter, so who am I to argue.
They really turned out well, I probably could have used more crab meat and less mascarpone, but they were light and delicious (and I had other plans for that crab meat).
2 ounces of crabmeat
2 ounces of Mascarpone (cream cheese may be used instead)
1 egg lightly whipped
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar (just a hint of sweetness)
pinch of old bay (not to much just a hint for flavor)
blend everything together and use a pastry bag (or baggie with the end snipped off to pipe the mixture into your flowers. Lightly batter and sauté till golden brown (1-2 minutes per side), these may be held in a 200 degree oven till you are ready to serve everything…Normally I serve my zucchini blossoms room temperature, but if you like them warmer then hold them in the oven.
2 eggs whipped
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup of Grated Romano Cheese
black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon chopped basil
mix all your ingredients together it should be the consistency of pancake batter, add more flour if yours is too thin.
Every now and then I would mention a special dish that I would make when I was a restaurant chef, and it always elicited the same response…”you never made that for me”. So as a surprise I was making Steak Scampi for dinner for my carnivorous better half, (I don’t eat beef, so I had a chicken burger), this was why I bought the crab meat. I had a gorgeous little porterhouse that would be perfect for this dish (just a regular sirloin is fine, or if you want to kick it up do fillet medallions). So I got my steak out to let it come to room temperature before cooking, I wanted the steak to be nice and juicy, fired up the grill, and prepped the ingredients for my steak. When the meat was ready I seasoned it with a salt and pepper, I put it on the grill to cook. Then I started my shrimp and crab meat scampi. When the steak was ready it got topped with my scampi, a little bit of mozzarella cheese and then under the broiler to let the cheese melt. Needless to say it was a huge success, the intermingling of all those flavors just danced across the taste buds….I can always tell when its a great success, sometimes you here little moans and other times the knife and fork never stop and there is no conversation……this was one of those moments, she didn’t come up for air till the steak was almost done. My delicate little flower had eaten with the voracity of a starving lumberjack. My job was done!
14 oz Porterhouse or steak of your choice
2-3 Shrimp depending on size
1 oz Crab meat
2 oz mushrooms sliced
2 artichoke hearts sliced (canned in brine)
1 Tablespoon of marinara or fresh chopped tomatoes (optional)
1 Teaspoon Fresh Basil or Italian Parsley chopped
1 large Garlic Clove
1 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 Teaspoon Grated Romano Cheese
pinch of black pepper
tablespoon of butter
splash of white wine
Grill your steak to your liking, and while the steak is cooking begin the scampi topping.
In a sauté pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and begin to cook your garlic, when it has started to cook through add your mushrooms and shrimp and continue to cook. You want to be careful of overcooking your shrimp, once they are almost completely cooked pull the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Now add in splash of white wine, marinara, artichoke hearts, grated cheese and black pepper.
Continue to sauté until it has all blended together. If your sauce looks too thick or starts to separate, add in a little bit of chicken stock or water, add in your crab meat and return the shrimp to the pan and remove from the heat. Do not over mix, it will break up the crab meat, just gently mix it together.
When your steak is done return your scampi to the stove and reheat adding in your butter at this time (always add the butter in at the end of the sauce so you can taste the flavor it imparts). I then placed my finished steak in my sauté pan and spooned the scampi mixture over the steak and topped it with the shredded mozzarella cheese. It went under the broiler, sauté pan and all until the cheese had melted (if you don’t have all metal pans using a baking dish or pie plate). Plate up your steak with a spatula, spooning any of your scampi mix that was left in the sauté pan onto your steak . Garnish with Parsley or Basil and serve immediately!
Now this is a great dish to make for a larger group, you can get a beautiful Tuscan cut porterhouse, say an inch and a half thick or two inches thick ( just grill it slowly, or even finish it up in the oven), two shrimp per person is good and increase your other ingredients proportionally………when you serve it slice your steak down and include some of the topping, and get ready for a lull in the conversation!