Zucchini Flowers for Dinner (and one guest)

IMG_5691-Zuchini-flower-Squash-blossom-750 Did I mention that I love our CSA?  They are so thoughtful!  We get delivery of our veggies and NY cheese on Wednesdays and just before my pickup time we got this note and warning:   Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 5.53.45 PM I love it!  Bees – happy bees!   So of course I opened my package of zucchini blossoms on the porch because well, I didn’t want one in the house.  Unfortunately, I did have a bee, but he/she didn’t make it.  More on that in a moment.   A new adventure!  I have never cooked zucchini blossoms!   In preparation I spent about an hour last night watching videos online and deciding my plan of attack to this new adventure in cooking which is one of the main reasons Juan and I decided to get a year-round CSA, it forces us every week to come up with new recipes and try out things we haven’t had before, which is about 80% of the joy for me, figuring out how to cook new things and expand my skill set.  There are many preparations for the beautiful zucchini flowers, but the consensus online among professional chefs seemed to be that cheese is the best filling.  And I have cheese!  Lots of NY cheese!  From my CSA!    First the ingredients (this was my set up before I started cooking):   IMG_1373   Ingredients: Vermont Quark that also had local honey and black pepper in it (the honey gave a great slight sweet taste to this!) Moonlight cheese A little bit of milk (or you can use half and half or full on heavy cream)  I decided to use milk so that I can say I made a “healthy” choice…..    Baby green onions More fresh cracked pepper (I put this in everything) Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, best when the cheese is room temperature.  You can use any cheese you want or like, but they need to be soft cheese for mixing.   And if you want to put something else in this (I know some of you might want to put, say, bacon in!) I guess you could do that.  All of my cheese also came from my awesome CSA and it’s all local.   IMG_1376   Next you need to CAREFULLY get the stamens out of the zucchini flowers if that hasn’t already been done.  This is the hard part. It took a lot of effort and patience so I didn’t tear the flowers.    And that’s when I found my bee who didn’t make it.  S/he died in the flower, after s/he had overdosed on zucchini pollen.   S/he died happy.  RIP.     IMG_1374   Next you load up the cheese into the zucchini flowers and close them up.  One of the shows I watched last night suggested using a tiny spoon to do this because even a teaspoon won’t fit.  Luckily, Juan and I kept the baby spoons from 12 years ago and so I used one of those (Parents: if you have a baby right now and wonder, “What will I do with these adorable little baby spoons?” you should keep them!  Don’t throw them out!  They will be very useful for gourmet cooking later!).     You also are supposed to put a small amount of cheese into each flower so it’ll cook better (I may or may not have made that rookie mistake…..) IMG_1378 Next you tuck some of the flower petals in and around the cheese.  I did the best I could.  This was the first time I was doing this after all!  Here are my zucchini flowers all organized with their cheese in them.  See the big one?  That’s the one where I went too far with the cheese!  IMG_1379   Now, there are a ton of ideas about how to cook them.   Some cooking shows have a way of deep frying them, others say pan fry.  There are baking recipes, and other ideas out there. I decided to go with pan fry.   Let me just say it didn’t turn out as it did on TV (as in perfect).  I learned a lot this first time, and think if I did it again I would be nearly perfect.   The reason it wasn’t perfect was because I didn’t listen to the advice about overdoing in on the cheese.   

Finished Product!

IMG_1387     IMG_1388

A happy husband!  

IMG_1393 (opening photo credit, Food and Wine Network)

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