Posts tagged ‘Squash’

June 24, 2012

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Last year we decided to try our hand at growing squash. I would give our effort a solid C+ but with our CSA this year, we decided not to repeat the experience (although there may still be time to change our mind!) A friend mentioned the other day that she has a bumper crop of squash and was looking for a way to use some of the blossoms. I found a couple of uses from my favorite Jamie Oliver book, Jamie at HomeEverything I have ever made was wonderful and this is no exception. You may remember the zucchini carbonara, YUM. We did make a slight change to Jamie’s recipe and used Mary’s beer batter. I am sure either would be great. The filling in this recipe is awesome. Since we didn’t have enough blossoms, we ended up using the rest of the filling as a spread. It was pretty stellar just like that and I still may try it in ravioli. Let us know what you think!


Beer Battered Stuffed Squash Blossoms

For the beer batter:

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

Pinch of Baking Powder, salt, pepper and thyme

Beer until you achieve a thin pancake batter consistency

Use this recipe for the filling:

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Pretty Blossoms!

Waiting for filling…

Filling from a ziplock-turned-piping bag…

All filled and ready for batter…

Finished and fried (along with some onion rings!) Great for a party or a bit of summer fun ❤

September 1, 2011

Zucchini Carbonara

This week seems to have gotten away from me! I am a bit behind on posting, but I thought I would share with you a fabulous summer pasta dish. When you have lots of zucchini around, this is a great way to use it. Not to mention this dish has bacon…umm yum. (Ali says that everything should come with bacon and a biscuit! Gotta go to the DMV? Here is your bacon and a biscuit!) Anyway, the bacon works quite well here. This may not be the lowest calorie dish, but it is amazing and so silky. I made this for an impromptu dinner for some friends and we killed the dish. It was fabulous! This is from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver. I love Jamie’s food and the whole concept of knowing what goes into your food and where it came from. It is something we strive for with regular trips to the farmers’ market and by growing some things at home. I would love to do more, but even the small steps make a difference. Do you have strategies for eating local and wholesome? I would love some tips! For now, go find some fabulous zucchini and try this one out!


Beautiful Zucchini Carbonara

Courtesy of ‘Jamie at Home’ by Jamie Oliver

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 medium green and yellow zucchini

1 pound penne

4 large free-range or organic egg yolks

½ cup heavy cream

2 good handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Olive oil

12 thick slices (about 1 pound) of bacon, cut into chunky pieces

Small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped, flowers reserved (if you can find flowering thyme)

Optional: a few zucchini flowers

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Halve and then quarter zucchini lengthwise. Cut out and discard any fluffy middle bits, and slice the zucchini at an angle into pieces roughly the same size and shape as the penne. Smaller zucchini can simply be sliced finely. Your water will now be boiling, so add the penne to the pan and cook according to the packet instructions.

To make your creamy carbonara sauce, put the egg yolks into a bowl, add the cream and half the Parmesan, and mix together with a fork. Season lightly and put to one side.

Heat a very large frying pan (a 14 inch one is a good start – every house should have one!), add a good splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta or bacon until dark brown and crisp.

If there is a lot of fat, you can pour some of it off. Add the zucchini slices and 2 big pinches of black pepper, not just to season but to give it a bit of a kick. Sprinkle in the thyme leaves, give everything a stir, so the zucchini become coated with all the lovely bacon-flavored oil, and fry until they start to turn lightly golden and have softened slightly.

It’s very important to get this next bit right or your carbonara could end up ruined. You need to work quickly. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water.Immediately, toss the pasta in the pan with the zucchini, bacon and lovely flavors, then remove from the heat and add a ladleful of the reserved cooking water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly. (No more cooking now, otherwise you’ll scramble the eggs.)

Get everyone around the table, ready to eat straight away. While you’re tossing the pasta and sauce, sprinkle in the rest of the Parmesan and a little more of the cooking water if needed, to give you a silky and shiny sauce. Taste quickly for seasoning. If you’ve managed to get any zucchini flowers, tear them over the top, then serve and eat immediately, as the sauce can become thick and stodgy if left too long.

This is all that was left!! Enjoy J

January 29, 2011

Zone Fra Diavolo

Since this is a new year, we have been trying to get off on the right foot dietwise. CrossFit Julia is doing a fitness challenge called Vision Quest and we have joined the team. Part of the challenge is doing the Zone diet. CrossFit generally encourages eating either Zone or Paleo diets for maximum results. We were told that people get the best results with the Zone. For those of you who don’t know about the diet, it started in the 90’s  with research provided by Dr. Barry Sears. The concept is a diet ratio of 40:30:30  Carbs:Protein:Fat. It has been a big challenge for us, especially since we like to cook. Getting the proportions right can be difficult (and honestly, a bit boring.) This week I am taking it as a challenge to get creative and find a way to cook “In The Zone!”

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

(Adapted from Gavan Murphy)


1 medium spaghetti squash (preferably organic)

1 lb medium wild, locally caught shrimp (21-30′s) P&D’s (peeled & de-veined)

1 cup pasta tomato sauce (whatever you like, but I always have some homemade in the freezer: stay tuned for tips)

1 tbsp capers

1/2 lemon- zested

chili flakes (as much as you can handle)

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds from the interior. Drizzle the flesh with olive oil and season with S&P. Lay each squash half flesh side down on a foiled oven tray and pop in the oven until a knife pierces the flesh easily. Smaller ones will take less time to cook than larger ones so check them after about 45 mins.

Once ready, remove from oven, let cool enough to handle and using a fork gently scrape out the ‘spaghetti’. Place in a colander over a bowl to drain some of the liquid. Set aside for later.

Place tomato sauce, capers and zest in a saute pan and gently simmer shrimp until pink and firm to touch about 5-10 minutes, approx. When ready to serve add spaghetti squash to sauce and toss to coat.

In order to get the zone portions right, I measured the squash separate and added the sauce and shrimp on top. This dish came out perfect and will become a staple in our house! (If you are not watching your figure, you could certainly substitute pasta, but the squash is excellent!)

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