Thursday, August 04, 2011

Squah/Zucchini blossom fritters

These are hard to come by, but if you know someone with a garden you can always pick a handful or basketful. Be sure to pick the male flowers (the one without the little baby zucchini or squash at its base)

As many blossoms as you can get your hands on-usually I try for about 15 to 20.
garlic-finely chopped
fresh basil
fresh parsely
4 or 5 eggs
1/2 cup of flour-(approx)
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese- you can also use feta.
(if you use feta change the fresh herbs to dill)
Sometimes I add yogourt, just depends on what I have around.

Wash and rough chop the blossoms, remove the stamin from inside the blossom before you chop them.

Chop up basil, parsely and garlic-put all fresh ingredients in a bowl.
Add the eggs and the flour.

The whole mixture should be about the consistency of crepe batter-runny.

Add parmesan cheese and yogourt (if you like). stir well.

Fry the pancakes in olive oil-use medium high heat as olive oil tends to smoke really easily.
I always do a test pancake first to see if I made the batter thick enough or too thin...add flour (too thin) or some yogourt (too thick) to adjust the consistency.

Cook until the edges get golden and then flip.
Serve pipping hot.

I usually serve these with a salad.

Monday, August 01, 2011

red sauce

This is a great multi purpose sauce for mexican dishes. I used to make it without the tomatillos and fresh tomatoes, which is still really good, but the tangy freshness of the tomatoes and tomatillos takes it to a whole new level! I find that it's best to always freshly grind your cumin, either with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. The flavor is incomparable to the already ground powder. It's even better if you roast the seeds a bit in the toaster oven before grinding it, but not too much as burnt cumin is no good either. It goes great with enchiladas, chiles rellenos, burritos, whatever your heart desires. The awesome thing about this sauce is that you can improvise with the ingredients to make it your own by adding fresh cilantro, more chilis for heat, etc. This recipe is actually just an approximation of what I usually do as I tend to vary it depending on what I can find at the store/my fridge,

I large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chili, diced (optional for extra heat)
2 tsp freshly ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp honey or sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 diced ripe tomatoes
3 diced tomatillos, husked
1 cup vegetable broth (less or more depending on how thich you want the sauce)
1 tsp masa harina (optional to help thicken the sauce)
1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
salt to taste

Roast the cumin for a few minutes in your toaster oven until just lightly browned, grind them to a powder with the coriander seeds. Fry the onion, garlic, and jalapeno if using until the onion is transluscent the add the spices. You will smell the most wonderful aroma as the spices release their goodness. Add the masa harina, cook for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on medium low heat until the tomatoes and tomatillos are cooked down into the sauce for about a half an hour, help them out by breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add some fresh chopped coriander if you wish. If you want a smooth sauce, you can blend the sauce with an immersion blender. Deeelish!