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David Ross

Cook-Off 63: Summer Squash

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I have TONS of squash blossoms.....I'm just not sure how to make them. I tried to fry them once....didn't turn out like I wanted.

They freeze really really well, you can have fried zucchini blossoms in winter! Wash them and dry them really well, very gently, I use a salad spinner. Then freeze in a container in layers. Key is to dip in batter and fry while they are still frozen, otherwise they turn into a mush. You cannot stuff anymore.

I know everybody says to go with a light batter with the blossoms (beer, sparkling water, rice flour), but my preferred batter is eggs and flour, plus salt something in the middle between pancake batter thickness and crepe. Needs to coat the blossoms without being neither too heavy nor runny. Deep fry.

Another way Italians like to fry the zucchini blossoms is to make a batter flour, yeast and salt, some sugar and water and add the shredded zucchini blossoms and then let it double in bulk and dip fry. Something looking like this

I also enjoyed very much watching this video of Ottolenghi going in a farm in Turkey to catch the blossoms when they open in the morning.

Here.

Shelby you can also shred the blossoms and add to the zucchini to make a risotto or pasta.

I have TONS of squash blossoms.....I'm just not sure how to make them. I tried to fry them once....didn't turn out like I wanted.

They freeze really really well, you can have fried zucchini blossoms in winter! Wash them and dry them really well, very gently, I use a salad spinner. Then freeze in a container in layers. Key is to dip in batter and fry while they are still frozen, otherwise they turn into a mush. You cannot stuff anymore.

I know everybody says to go with a light batter with the blossoms (beer, sparkling water, rice flour), but my preferred batter is eggs and flour, plus salt something in the middle between pancake batter thickness and crepe. Needs to coat the blossoms without being neither too heavy nor runny. Deep fry.

Another way Italians like to fry the zucchini blossoms is to make a batter flour, yeast and salt, some sugar and water and add the shredded zucchini blossoms and then let it double in bulk and dip fry. Something looking like this

I also enjoyed very much watching this video of Ottolenghi going in a farm in Turkey to catch the blossoms when they open in the morning.

Here.

Shelby you can also shred the blossoms and add to the zucchini to make a risotto or pasta.

Franci, thank you so much for the wonderful directions and ideas.

It's pouring rain right now, but as soon as I can slog out to the garden, I'm going to pick some blossoms and give it a go.

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Jaymes, I have made your recipe twice now! We love it.

If you mean the one where you add the beaten egg at the last minute, now that you've tried it a couple of times, I'd bet you will never again be able to look at a pan of cooked squash without thinking to yourself "now, where's that egg?"

However, upon rereading the recipe, I noticed that I left out one important piece of instruction - after the egg is fully incorporated and cooked and you add the sour cream or grated cheese and replace the lid, be sure to turn off the heat. You don't want it to cook any more.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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A little practice and a sharp knife, you can cut ribbons of squash for interesting recipes.

dcarch

knifeskills.jpg

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One of my employees gave me a recipe today for zucchini-parmesan crisps. It's basically a zucchini tuile. She serves it with a puree of cooked squash and greek yogurt. A sort of chips and dips using squash.

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And another idea from an employee-cut slabs off a huge zucchini. Brush with olive oil and grill on the bbq. Use the grilled slices of zucchini in place of pizza dough. Top with mozzarella and other toppings, return to the grill to let the cheese melt. You get the sweet, tender flesh of the squash along with salty cheese. She said it's quite the novelty at outdoor parties.

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I'm saving the layered squash terrine for later. Right now I've got yellow squash and zucchini and smoked pork hocks in the slow-cooker. Tommorrow I'm going to attempt some sort of French-style zucchini tart. I think with a smoked tomato sauce.

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Last night I made a zucchini slaw using a couple of squash varieties from the garden. Turned out pretty well: probably a pound and a half of squash, some tomatoes cut up and seeded, garlic, sherry vinegar and olive oil, plenty of pepper, some salt, and a few julienned basil leaves (more would have been nice). I threw some shaved Reggiano on top for a garnish. Got the recipe idea from an article in the local fish wrap.


 ... Shel


 

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Lunch today was Turkish zucchini fritters. Recipe from the Sultan's Kitchen. Simple but oh so good.

zucchini fritters.jpg

grated zucchini, salted to rid of excess water. eggs, flour, parsley, dill, crumbled feta, salt and pepper. Fried by the large spoonful. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Greek yogurt, if you'd like.

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Lunch today was Turkish zucchini fritters. Recipe from the Sultan's Kitchen. Simple but oh so good.

attachicon.gifzucchini fritters.jpg

grated zucchini, salted to rid of excess water. eggs, flour, parsley, dill, crumbled feta, salt and pepper. Fried by the large spoonful. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Greek yogurt, if you'd like.

These look absolutely amazing. Checking 'fridge for ingredients.....


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Linda, that looks so good!

You reminded me, I made a cake version of these fritters. I tried with flour, or with white rice or bulgur. Maybe my favorite was with rice, squeezing out all the water from the zucchini.

Couldn't go to Italy for shopping, otherwise I would have looked for tenerumi, here on the French side are rarely seen.

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Lunch today was Turkish zucchini fritters. Recipe from the Sultan's Kitchen. Simple but oh so good.

attachicon.gifzucchini fritters.jpg

grated zucchini, salted to rid of excess water. eggs, flour, parsley, dill, crumbled feta, salt and pepper. Fried by the large spoonful. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Greek yogurt, if you'd like.

These look absolutely amazing. Checking 'fridge for ingredients.....

Everything but dill (and I am not a fan). Served with a red pepper paste. Very tasty. Thank you.

image.jpg

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Lunch today was Turkish zucchini fritters. Recipe from the Sultan's Kitchen. Simple but oh so good.

attachicon.gifzucchini fritters.jpg

grated zucchini, salted to rid of excess water. eggs, flour, parsley, dill, crumbled feta, salt and pepper. Fried by the large spoonful. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Greek yogurt, if you'd like.

These look absolutely amazing. Checking 'fridge for ingredients.....
Everything but dill (and I am not a fan). Served with a red pepper paste. Very tasty. Thank you.

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

Red pepper, nice! With apologies, I see that I forgot scallions from the ingredient list. Worth remembering next time. As for the dill, I'm not a fan either, but somehow only a tablespoon or so of chopped dill really adds another dimension.



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Lunch today was Turkish zucchini fritters. Recipe from the Sultan's Kitchen. Simple but oh so good.

attachicon.gifzucchini fritters.jpg

grated zucchini, salted to rid of excess water. eggs, flour, parsley, dill, crumbled feta, salt and pepper. Fried by the large spoonful. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Greek yogurt, if you'd like.

These look absolutely amazing. Checking 'fridge for ingredients.....
Everything but dill (and I am not a fan). Served with a red pepper paste. Very tasty. Thank you.

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

Red pepper, nice! With apologies, I see that I forgot scallions from the ingredient list. Worth remembering next time. As for the dill, I'm not a fan either, but somehow only a tablespoon or so of chopped dill really adds another dimension.

Not a problem about the scallions as I found the recipe on line so did include them. Might try the cakes with dill another time but it's not a herb I buy very often.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Lunch today was Turkish zucchini fritters. Recipe from the Sultan's Kitchen. Simple but oh so good.

attachicon.gifzucchini fritters.jpg

grated zucchini, salted to rid of excess water. eggs, flour, parsley, dill, crumbled feta, salt and pepper. Fried by the large spoonful. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Greek yogurt, if you'd like.

Looks delicious. Ironically, tommorrow I'm going to do a Turkish zucchini casserole. I'm not sure how the dill will work with cooked squash, but we'll see.

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Today I made the Summer Vegetable Casserole from Turkey out of the "Bake Until Bubbly" cookbook by Clifford Wright. (http://www.amazon.com/Bake-Until-Bubbly-Ultimate-Casserole/dp/0471754471).

I'm still not sure what makes this dish a staple of Turkish home kitchens, but I'm going to guess it's due to the vegetables that flourish in that region during the summer and the addition of lots of fresh dill. After reading the recipe, I was a bit apprehensive about not only the final flavors but the presentation. I wasn't looking for something pretty on the plate, but this sounded like basic stewed vegetables which don't typically translate into an attractive looking dish.

The ingredients include eggplant, lots of olive oil, red onion, garlic, parsley and dill, zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, green bell pepper and sweet paprika-

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The casserole starts with sliced eggplant that is salted to release water, then cubed and sauteed in olive oil-

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The layering begins-

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The casserole bakes in a 350 oven for 1 1/2 hours. When it came out of the oven, it had a loose texture and I knew I wouldn't be able to cut it into squares-

035.JPG

Really tasted quite good and as Linda mentioned about her fried zucchini, the addition of dill really adds a unique flavor dimension to the cooked-down vegetables. In the cookbook, Mr. Wright recommends serving the leftover casserole cold as a Turkish Mezze. Sounds delicious.

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That looks really good, David. I love dill with squash.

I, too, made fritters the other day (no picture). I used the same recipe as others above with dill and feta cheese. My first batch didn't have enough flour to hold together, but the second batch was really good.

On a side note, we've gotten like a foot of rain (no kidding) in the last few weeks. Unheard of in Kansas. Thus, my squash are REALLY filled with water and are growing in funny shapes. They look like a snake that has swallowed prey lol.

Anyway, the other night I made squash blossom pizza using blossoms and thinly sliced yellow crook neck.

Image.jpg

Image 1.jpg

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Gorgeous pizza, Shelby.

I also made zucchini fritters last week. I used diced zucchini and yellow crookneck squash (both from my CSA). The recipe is from Ruhlman's Ratio and the batter has lemon zest and juice, plus a touch of cayenne pepper. 4 oz flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 4 oz milk, 1 egg, zest of 2 lemons, tablespoon of lemon juice, large pinch of cayenne, 2 cups diced zucchini.

I forgot to take a photo of the finished product but I added crumbled feta and fresh mint on top.

9453424675_77c40ce6bf_z.jpg


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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My third attempt at a summer squash dish was the most experimental so far-a combination of two traditional French dishes and two really exotic flavors that are typically used in sweet dishes, not savory treatments of squash.

My first thought was to do a take on a traditional Apple Tarte Tatin, (basically apples slow-cooked with sugar and butter that confit down into apple caramel, then topped with pastry, baked, and unmolded. The best upside down apple dish you'll ever taste). I thought I'd go a savory route and substitute tomatoes and zucchini for the apples. Then another idea came to mind, taking an element from the Alsatian "Flammekueche" Tarte Flambe--a puff pastry base with a thin layer of herbed cheese topped with caramelized onions and bacon. After the tomatoes and zucchini had cooked down, I'd add a layer of herb cheese and top it with my own favorite pastry dough.

The first step was to peel, core and seed Roma tomatoes and slice zucchini. Then into a cast iron skillet went 6 tbsp. of butter and 3/4 cup of sugar. The surprise element? Half a fresh vanilla bean. I found a few recipes for a tomato tart that incorporated vanilla. Trust me, I was skeptical that the perfume and sweet flavor of the vanilla would compete, (in a bad way), with the flavor of the tomatoes. And zucchini and vanilla? Ugh, that won't work.

Building the tarte tatin with tomatoes and zucchini in a base of melted butter, sugar and vanilla-

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The tarte baked in a 350 oven for 1 1/4 hours. Most recipes tell you at this stage to immediately go to the pastry stage, but my tradition tells me to always let the tarte cool then refrigerate it overnight to let the sugars and butter caramelize and chill, allowing the tarte to firm up. Then on day two we're ready to add the cheese layer, pastry and bake.

The cheese mixture comes from Chef Andre Soltner and an old recipe he used at Lutece--a mixture of cottage cheese, ricotta or creme fraiche, flour, salt, pepper and fresh herbs. I used a mixture of chives and lavendar flowers. The idea of using lavendar just popped into my head at the last minute. I had been toying with the idea of using herbes de Provence as a traditional flavoring for summer vegetables. Knowing I had a small bag of lavendar and it's one of the main elements in the herbes mixture, I gave it a go. But would lavendar work?-

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Then the pastry is blanketed on top of the vegetables and cheese. My standard pastry includes flour, cake flour, sugar, salt, both butter and Crisco and a decent slug of ice water. The pastry has a flaky, buttery, very tender crumb-

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Baked in a 375 oven for about 30 minutes just until the pastry starts to turn golden. Once you bring a tarte tatin out of the oven, the really delicate part of the procedure happens. I typically let the tarte sit for about 5 minutes, then place a cookie rack, (or in this case an aerated pizza pan), on top of the tart, then flip, invert and place it on another rack. I find it's important to use a cookie rack, (or again, an aerated pizza pan), so air can breather under the crust to keep the bottom from becoming soggy.

Now the real trick with this melange was to see how the vanilla worked with the vegetables, if the cheese added any flavor or melted away and if the crust held up. For garnish, I added some Kalamata olives to add a salty, acidic flavor and a few more sprinkles of lavendar flowers-

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Now for service, I needed something more. I hadn't tasted the tarte at this point, but I sensed we needed another salty flavor to accent all that butter and sugary sweetness. I made a simple black olive vinaigrette and added some chopped capers-

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The verdict? I'd cut down on the sugar from 3/4 cup to probably 1/3 cup. The tomatoes and zucchini were too sweet for my tastes. The vanilla? Quite intriguing I must say. It's not a flavor I'm familiar with, but my tastebuds have been opened-up to a new possibility-vanilla with summer vegetables. The cheese? It did in fact melt away, but it also added that gooey, sticky flavor to the pastry dough. It wasn't a shot in the mouth slice of melted cheddar, just a subtle hint of cheese. The black olive vinaigrette was perfect and the tarte would have been sticky sweet without it. I'm thinking this tarte would be quite good served cold. In general, a work in progress but quite good on the first attempt.

Tomato and Zucchini "Tarte Tatin" with Vanilla, Lavendar and Black Olive Vinaigrette-

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Image.jpg

I finally got the turning slicer that I ordered. Above is a picture of the box it came in.

We had such a good time last night making "noodles" out of both yellow squash and zucchini.

Image 2.jpg

I made a huge pot of sauce from veggies I picked from my garden--eggplant, squash, onions, tomatoes, banana peppers---and venison burger that we made last winter. I sauteed the "noodles" quickly in a bit of butter to soften them a tad. And, this is what we ate last night:

Image 1.jpg

REALLY good.


Edited by Shelby (log)
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photo.JPG

Found this little bugger hiding in amongst the plant leaves!

I took out the nasty pithy middle, shredded the firm flesh with some onions and made the curry squash soup in the current Bon Appetite. I had to adjust the amount of curry powder to suit our taste as well as add in a few cayenne peppers from the garden. Served it with crushed poppadums and dollop of greek yogurt. The Vitamix really does a wonderful job on pureed vegetable soup. This turned out very well.

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      mix the ingredients together except oil. Heat oil in a separate pan and add about 1 to 2 t of the hot oil onto the batter. It will sizzle. Use a whisk to stir thoroughly. The batter should be pouring consistency. 
      Let the batter soak for about half an hour if possible. 
      On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of the batter. Turn the griddle with your wrist to spread the batter around. Cook on moderate to high flame. Flip the crepe when all the sides look like they are ready. You can add a little oil to the sides of the frying pan to make the edges crispy. 
       
      In my home we usually have a Besan cheela with some yogurt its a quick and filling breakfast. You can have a small salad or fruit with it to make it more complete. Or fill the center of the cheela with some cottage cheese and fold for added creaminess! 
      ****************
      3. Masala Toast : 
       
      1 slice of bread (your choice) toasted
      1/2 small red onion minced
      1 medium roma tomato diced (or whatever you have)
      cilantro (few leaves)
      1/8 t cumin (optional)
      1/4 t chaat masala ( available in stores)
      1 inch cube paneer
      1 T peanut oil
      pinch turmeric (optional)
       
      Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions. Add the tomato and cook down to mush. Crumble the paneer and add the dry spices. Stir for a few seconds to warm the paneer. Add the cilantro and though I have not written it as an ingredient, I like a few drops of lemon juice. Do not overcook paneer.
      I started this topic because someone asked for Indian recipes on the new forum. I don’t think they have seen any yet. I hope they find this useful. I am enjoying it. 
      **************************
       
      I will add recipes to the list slowly. I have to however add that after a certain ‘age’ I have now resorted to having to make sure I have three things for breakfast besides coffee: a glass of water, a small portion of fruit and a small portion of some protein not necessarily meat. 
      Bhukkhad
       

    • By David Ross
      Ah, the avocado! For many of us, this humble little fruit inspires only one dish. Yet the avocado has a culinary history that is deeper than we may understand.
       
      The avocado (Persea Americana) is a tree thought to have originated in South Central Mexico.  It’s a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae.  The fruit of the plant - yes, it's a fruit and not a vegetable - is also called avocado.
       
      Avocados grow in tropical and warm climates throughout the world.  The season in California typically runs from February through September, but avocados from Mexico are now available year-round.
       
      The avocado has a higher fat content than other fruits, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of consumers who are seeking other sources of protein than meats and fatty foods.  Avocado oil has found a new customer base due to its flavor in dressings and sauces and the high smoke point is favorable when sautéing meat and seafood. 
       
      In recent years, due in part to catchy television commercials and the influence of Pinterest, the avocado has seen a resurgence in popularity with home cooks and professionals.  Walk into your local casual spot and the menu will undoubtedly have some derivation of avocado toast, typically topped with bacon.  Avocados have found a rightful place back on fine dining menus, but unfortunately all too often over-worked dishes with too many ingredients and garnishes erase the pure taste and silky texture of an avocado. 
       
      When I think of an avocado it’s the Hass variety.  However, a friend who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, can buy Choquette, Hall and Lulu avocados in the local markets.  This link provides good information about the different varieties of avocados, when they’re in season and the differences in taste and texture. https://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/10/18/know-your-avocado-varieties-and-when-theyre-in-season/
       
      I for one must challenge myself to start eating and cooking more avocados.  I think my recipe for guacamole served with chicharrones is superb, and the cobb salad with large chunks of ripe avocado is delicious, but as a close friend recently said, “one person’s ‘not especially new’ is another’s “eureka moment.” Well said and as history tells us, we’ll find plenty of eureka moments as we discuss and share our tales and dishes of avocado during eG Cook-Off #81: The Avocado.
       
      Fun fact: The name avocado derives from the Nahuatl word “ahuacatl,” which was also slang for “testicle.”
      See the complete eG Cook-Off Index here https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/
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