I know, I know…..sigh…..I am obsessed with squash blossoms. I need a 12 step program! Hi, I’m Dennis and I am a squash blossom addict. Sometimes I lay awake at night and wonder what else I can do with them…..I actually just had an off the wall idea while writing this, but I won’t tell you now……hahahahaha……you’ll just have to be patient and wait. I think this is as close to a mad scientist as I will ever get. What I would like to tell you is this is my third attempt at squash blossom muffins, the first ones I made, the blossom looked great but the muffin was blah…..the second one I made the muffin was oh so delicious, but you couldn’t see the blossom at all. You see I had this great idea to stuff the blossom first with a marscapone cream;….it was going to be like a squash blossom twinkie!! Well needless to say that didn’t work out….sigh….in fact somehow the marscapone cream just seeped into the muffin, and you couldn’t even see the blossom. Well for my third attempt I blended one and two together….you still couldn’t see the squash blossom as well as I would have liked but the muffin was delicious!
Zucchini Blossom Muffins (will make 6 large muffins)
1 1/2 Cup of All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup Oil
1/4 Cup Marscapone or Cream Cheese
2 Large Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 Vanilla Bean, Scrape out the inside
1 Lime Zest(grated) and Juice
1 Lemon Zest(grated) only
6 Zucchini Flours
Raw Sugar to sprinkle on tops of Muffins before baking
Mix all your dry ingredients together in one bowl.
Lightly beat the eggs and add in the Yogurt, oil, marscapone, vanilla, vanilla bean scrapings, zest from lime and lemon, and juice from the lime. mix all these ingredients until well blended.
Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix just enough to blend.
This recipe is for large muffins but can be adapted to smaller pans, just use more blossoms. Add half of the mixture into each cup, and then add your zucchini blossom, then fill the remainder of the way with remaining mix.
Sprinkle tops with Raw Sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees.
The next dish I would like to share with you is a sauce I that I picked up during my travels, it’s a basic pesto sauce with a few modifications. The restaurant I worked at where I was taught this sauce called it a Rivera, it was initially made with just shrimp and scallops, but for this version I used Chicken and Shrimp. In restaurants one key to your success is to see how many different items you could make using the same ingredients. You increased your menu, or your special offering without spending more money for additional supplies. So you may find that this dish is very similar to the dish I made last post with the roasted pepper sauce, and you would be correct, I had artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms I wanted to use before they went bad. So with a little twist to make it a little different here is my offering.
Chicken and Shrimp Riviera (for two)
2 bunches of Basil
1/2 bunch of Italian Parsley
1/4 cup of grated Romano Cheese
2 cloves of Garlic
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup of Toasted Pine Nuts or Walnuts
So into your food processor the basil and parsley go. Pulse it until its minced very well.
Now add your garlic, nuts and grated Romano Cheese.
Drizzle in the Olive Oil until it has a nice smooth consistency
and Voila you got pesto!!
Feel free to adjust the proportions to your taste and enjoy