Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fried Zucchini Blossoms

I've seen a lot of people blog about how amazing zucchini blossoms are. I've always wanted to try them. Last Saturday I was going to work, I'm working at the Rose Theatre in Brampton. Every Saturday there is a farmer market on the street next to the theatre. I was early so I decided to walk around. I finally came across zucchini blossoms. I was really excited... the only problem was that I would have to carry it around with me all day and then carry it home. Be it they aren't heavy but I was worried that they would start to wilt before I got home. Oh I should also explain that I'm Stage Managing Romeo and Juliet and it happens to be an outdoor show. Another reason why I didn't want to pick them up. Like I said in my farmers market post there is a market up the street from me every Saturday. I went and came across the most amazing looking zucchini blossoms. I got them and a pint of patty pan squash for $7.00. In total I got 25 zucchini blossoms. Some I made yesterday the rest I made today.

I stuffed the blossoms with a ricotta cheese mixture, dipped them in batter and fried it. I found that some of the cheese came out of a couple of them. But overall they where really good.

You will need:
12 Zucchini blossoms
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
6 basil leaves sliced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1 clove of garlic minced
Salt and pepper

1 cup flour
1 cup tonic or soda water

Oil for frying

1) Cut the stems off the blossoms. Peel back the top half of the blossom so it looks like a open flower. 2) In a bowl mix together the ricotta, basil, Parmesan and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Mix together the flour and soda water.
4) Using a pastry bag fill the blossoms with the filling. Each blossom will hold about 1 tablespoon of filling. Fill about 2/3 of the way. Then twist the top leaves together to seal.
5) Heat oil, dip the blossoms in the batter and let the excess batter drain off. Gently place in the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.


BBQ Steam Buns

I'm become addicted to these buns. They are so good. You can get them at Chinese bakeries and they are pretty inexpensive. The one that I go to whenever I'm in Chinatown sells them 3 for $2.00. They also have buns with bbq pork, hot dogs, tuna, cheese etc that they sell for 3 for $1.00. Now me being a natural glutton I always get a vast selection of buns when I go. I was there late last week, I was looking for fake knives for the show I'm working on. I didn't find the knives in Chinatown but I did get my self a "meat pie" filler. I'm planing on using it when I make my ravioli and perogies.

I ate most of the buns on the first day, I think I had 2 steam buns left. One I had for breakfast the other I thought about all day. I was on the train home and trying to curb my massive craving, it was bad. I decided that I would make my own steam buns. That way I'm not on the mercy of Chinatown. I looked at several recipes online, I even spoke to my friend Natalie. You know what I found out! You can use Oyster sauce and Hoisin sauce interchangably. You can also add seasme oil to the dough when you are mixing it or brush some of it over the dough before you add you filling. Also I keep forgetting to take pictures of stuff after it is made. So the next time I make these I'll add a picture of what it looks like steamed.

You will need for 20 medium sized buns

2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil optional
20 wax paper squares, about 3"x3"

1) Add yeast to 1 cup of warm water, let rest for 5 minutes until foamy.
2) Add 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture and mix to combine. Let rest for 1 hour.
3) Mix the sugar, and oil together, add to the yeast and flour mixture.
4) Mix in the remaining flour, knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth. Let rest for 2 hours or until double in volume.
5) Divide the dough in two. Roll each peice into a log and cut into 10 peices.
6) Roll the dough in 3 inch circles

7) Add 1 tablespoon or so of the BBQ Pork. Bring the dough together at the top to seal it. Make sure it is completely sealed or filling will leak out while steaming.

8) Place on a wax paper square and let rest for 30 minutes.
9) Using a bamboo steamer or a vegetable steamer, steam the buns for 15-20 minutes. I used a pot with 2 inches of water with a vegetable steamer ontop. I steamed 4 buns at a time.

To re-heat, steam the buns of 10 minutes or so.

BBQ Pork

2 tablespoons oil
1 green onion -chopped
1 clove garlic- minced
1/2 pound pork cut into small peices
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce or hoisin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons

1) In a pan heat the oil add the green onions and sautee for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
2) Add the pork and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3) Add the soy, oyster sauce and sugar. Stir everything together and cook for 1 minute.
4) Add the cornstarch and water. Cook until the sauce becomes thick. If it gets to thick add some water or stock to thin it out.
5) Set aside and let cool before filling the buns.


My trip to the farmers market

Every Saturday there is a farmers market in the parking lot of the mall by my house. I finally got the chance to go to it. I had originally gone with the hope of finding heirloom tomato's and zucchini blossoms. But I found so much more....and no heirloom tomato's. I'm hoping I'll get to go back next Saturday, but it may be unlikely. I'm Stage Managing one of the stages at Brampton's Art of Jazz Festival. So I'll be pretty busy. Here are some pictures from my trip.

Patty Pan Squash

Zucchini Blossoms

Green Onions

Red Onion


Purple and Yellow Pepper