Tag Archives: Appetizers

Lemon Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

7 Sep

Fall is around the corner and as much as I am sad to see summer go, I am excited for fall food and the crisp, cool weather. I really am more of a summer person, I was born in July so I think I was destined to be a sun worshiper. Which I usually am, but this summer was…well it was LAME. In Vancouver we didn’t get hot summer weather until like last week, and frankly, I’m over it. Summer had its chance to shine and it left me hanging so I’m really rooting for fall to come along and steal summers thunder.

Also, we are moving in a month and I am not interested in schlepping boxes in 30 degree weather. No thanks. Packing and moving is miserable enough as is, without adding copius amounts of sweat to the occasion. Carrying heavy things, ugh. Packing away my kitchen aid, terrifying. Cleaning out my fridge, yuck. Touching cardboard, crrriiiinnnnggeee.

I do love the unpacking part because I am an organizational freak of nature. Last time we moved Mr. Delish had a “cruise” with his car friends (did I tell you he’s automotive obsessed? That’s for another post.) Anyways, he felt all horrible about leaving me alone to unpack. When really I was having a hay day of my own.

Okay let’s get to it! Zucchini blossoms are an amazing ingredient, the only problem is, finding good ones! Or just finding them at all, really. I have yet to find a regular grocery store that carries them. You usually have to get them at a farmers market. Or of course if you grow your own zucchinis you can pluck them out of your lovely garden.

These ones are filled with a lemony ricotta mixture, lightly battered and fried until crispy. I just made them by themselves but I think they would also be great with some type of aioli as well!

Lemon Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms:
makes 12 stuffed blossoms

1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup chopped basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup soda water
12 medium Zucchini Blossoms cleaned and dried
Vegetable oil for frying 
More lemon slices for serving

In a bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, Basil and then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill each of the zucchini blossoms with the ricotta mixture and make sure to squeeze the petals around the filling to secure it in place. Set aside.

In another bowl mix together the flour and baking powder, carefully whisk in the soda water. Set aside.

In a heavy bottom pot or pan, heat about 2 inches of the oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Dip the flowers in the batter and turn them to coat completely. Fry in batches for 2 minutes per side until golden and crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and immediately season generously with salt.

Wait a minute to pop one of these in your mouth, don’t be like me and scorch off all your taste buds because you are impatient.

Serve with lemon slices to spritz over top. Enjoy!!

Zucchini Pancakes with Lemon Basil Aioli

4 Aug

Did I ever tell you that zucchini is my favorite vegetable? …Well guess I did now… Whew, I feel so much better getting that off my chest. I like it grilled, I like it stir-fried, I like it raw. I like it in the morning and in the afternoon, I like it in the evening and underneath the moon. Name that early 90’s childrens band!

You know my life is getting boring when I have to steal lyrics from childhood songs to serve as content for my blog. Relevant content is getting to be slim pickin’s around here. So let’s get straight to the point.

Zucchini pancakes are the bomb, you should try them ASAP.

Zucchini Pancakes with Lemon Basil Aioli:
Makes about 18-20 small pancakes

For the Aioli:
1/4 cup Mayonaise
2 tbsp Sour Cream
Juice of one lemon
2 tbsp Chopped Basil
2 cloves Garlic, very finely minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Pancakes:
1/2 Sweet Onion, Chopped Finely
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3 Small Zucchinis, Grated
6-8 tbsp Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
About 1/2 cup Butter for Frying
About 1/2 cup Olive Oil for Frying
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Aioli:
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the aioli ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until you’re done making the pancakes.

For the Pancakes:
In a small saute pan, heat about a teaspoon each of olive oil and butter. Saute the onion for about 2-3 minutes until softened, add the garlic and saute for another minute or so. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sauteed onion and garlic and stir well to combine. Add about 6 tbsp of flour and the baking soda. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Once it has rested, check the consistency of the batter. If the batter seems to thin, add another tablespoon of flour and check again. If it still seems thin you can add the last tablespoon of flour.

Heat a saute pan over medium high heat and add about a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter. Heat until bubbling and then use a ladle to scoop and pour the batter into small pancakes. Cook for about 2-3 minutes and then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the opposite side. You can keep the cooked pancakes warm in the oven while you are cooking the remaining pancakes.

Serve with Lemon Basil Aioli.


Shrimp and Veggie Salad Rolls

7 Jul

So I told you all about my long weekend of gluttony. I don’t know about you, but when I go away somewhere and end up eating differently than I normally do, I always feel like coming home and eating nothing but veggies for a week. Usually it lasts about two days until I make a big batch of perogies with bacon and sour cream, but that’s neither here nor there. For those two days a year, I want veggies.

These babies are chock full of vegetables. Slices of carrot, cucumber, red pepper, avocado and mango are all jam packed into a rice paper roll along with rice noodles and cilantro. Usually I make this for an appetizer so I leave it that, but we had these for dinner so this time I threw in some cooked shrimp.

Look at all these veggies

And all these shrimp, I went a little overboard with the shrimp, I used a whole pound.

The best thing about this recipe is there is only like 5 mins of cooking if you use the shrimp, and none if you keep them vegetarian! No cooking, just chopping and rolling.

Woah. I made a lot right? Oh and don’t mind the rocks. My kitchen tends to get zero natural light in the evenings and therefore I have to take pictures out on the stairs. Do you feel bad for me? Don’t. My thighs will thank you for making me take a couple extra trips up and down the stairs.

The really embarrassing thing about this is the whole big plate was just for Mr. Delish and I… What? You’re allowed to eat as many veggies as you want!…Right?…I was told vegetables have no calories…

Don’t worry we really didn’t eat that whole plate. I swear.

Dip and enjoy! This dip was Mr. Delish’s creation! He loves making dipping sauces using a whole bunch of different ingredients and they are always a perfect combination.

Trust me people, you have to make these ASAP.  They are great for summer entertaining, your guests will love them. Every time I have served these they were demolished within moments.

Please remember these are completely versatile, you can make them with or without shrimp and with any combination of vegetables you would like.

This recipe will make about 20 rolls which ends up being 40 rolls once they are cut in half.

Shrimp and Veggie Salad Rolls:

1 Package Dried Rice Paper Wrappers (you might not use them all)
1/2 Package Dry Thai Rice Stick Noodles
1 lb Raw Peeled and De Veined Shrimp
2 Small Avocados, Julienned (not an easy task just as best as possible)
1 Large Mango, Julienned
2 Medium Carrots, Julienned
1 Red Pepper, Julienned
1/4 Medium Cucumber, Julienned
1/2 Cup Cilantro Leaves

 Boil 6 cups of water in a large pot, pour over rice noodles in a large bowl and allow to sit for 5-8 minutes until cooked through, drain and set aside to cool.

In a nonstick pan, saute the shrimp over medium heat until cooked through only 3-5 minutes. You don’t really need to season them at all, the seasoning will come from the sauce later. Set aside on paper towels to cool. Once cooled, slice in half lengthwise so they still retain their shape.

Now prepare your working space; fill a large shallow dish with warm water. Also grab two tea towels or two stacks of paper towel and soak them with cool water, squeeze them out so they are just very damp and lay one out on your counter or cutting board, set the other towel aside. Make sure you have all your veggies, noodles, shrimp, wrappers and water dish around you. This whole process is easiest when you have everything within arms reach.

Now start rolling! Grab a rice wrapper and put it in the water, allow it to soak for a minute or two until it is soft and pliable. Now take the soft wrapper and lay it  flat on your tea towel (make sure to put a new wrapper in the water so it is ready when you go to make your next roll.) Place 2-4 shrimp halves in the center of the roll. Add enough noodles to cover the shrimp, then add a little of each of your veggies. Top with a few cilantro leaves and then roll. Start rolling from the bottom by pulling the part of the wrapper closest to you, over all the fillings. Once the fillings are covered, fold in either side and continue rolling into a tight wrap. Set aside on a plate and cover with your other damp tea towel or paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the rolls until you run out of ingredients. Slice in half and arrange on a platter and serve with the dipping sauce below.

Salad Roll Dipping Sauce:

2 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Sugar
1-2 Red Chili’, minced
1 Clove garlic, minced
Juice of one lime
3 tbsp Chopped Cilantro

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl and serve with the Salad rolls.

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