Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I’ve always been curious about squash blossoms, but I had never tried one. I’ve never had the nerve to take them off of my own squash plants, preferring to let them become their destined squash. A couple of summers ago I got some blossoms at the farmer’s market with the intention of stuffing them, but they got pushed back to the abyss of the refrigerator and I forgot about them, until they turned up on my next fridge clean shriveled and beyond use. That little foray in to squash blossoms was the end of my curiosity until I saw them again recently at a local farmer’s market. This time however I would be scrumptiously victorious!

Edible flowers have always amused me. When Alexis was three, she became obsessed with them. At the time we lived near a Whole Foods, and they usually had packages of them in their produce section, so we’d pick one up from time to time. A particular favorite of both of ours were Nasturtiums, which sort of have a peppery taste about them, and also violets, which tend to be a bit sweeter. I also have fond childhood memories of eating rose petals from my mom’s roses with my sister. I even introduced this tradition to Alexis on one of our trips to Tennessee. If you’re curious about some of the flowers that can be safely eaten, Wikipedia has a nice section on the topic.

Squash blossoms are a lovely, golden yellow color and are slightly sticky to the touch. Sometimes when you purchase the blossoms, they will have small squash attached to the end, but most of the time when you buy the blossoms, you’ll get just the blossom. You can eat them raw, use them in stir fry, or as I have done, you can stuff, bread and fry them. Any way you make them though, they’re a fun little treat.

What You’ll Need:
1 small package of button or baby bella mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 – 10.5 ounce package of goat cheese
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
Extra virgin olive oil

In a medium sized skillet, sauté mushrooms and garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil, until tender. Set aside.

In a glass bowl add goat cheese and microwave on high for 10 seconds, to soften. Stir in mushroom/garlic mixture, thyme, a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper until well incorporated. Set aside.

Add about an inch of olive oil to a deep skillet and heat over medium heat until hot.

While your oil is heating, mix breading and then stuff/bread your blossoms.

To make the breading, in a pie dish stir together panko crumbs and parmesan. Depending on how salty your parmesan is, you might want to add a bit of sea salt too. The easiest way to decide is to take a taste of the breading/cheese mixture and see if it needs a bit of salt. You can also add in some black pepper if wanted.

Beat your eggs in a separate dish.

You can stuff the blossoms one of two ways…

First you can fill a pastry bag with the mushroom/cheese mixture and gently pipe the mixture down in to the blossoms until each one is relatively full…

Or you can gently tear the blossom down one side and put a dollop of the mushroom mixture in each, then wrap the blossom back together, using the cheese mixture to stick it closed. This is the method I used.

Once the blossoms are filled roll the blossom in the beaten egg to coat and then roll the egg washed blossom in the bread crumbs until completely covered.

Place breaded blossom in the oil and cook for about 20 to 30 seconds until the side in the oil is browned. Then slowly and gently rotate the blossom in the oil until all sides are browned. It takes 1 – 2 minutes per blossom depending on its size. I usually brown 4 “sides” and once it is browned all over place cooked blossom on a paper towel lined plate to drain and then serve while still hot.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Notes: You could play around with the goat cheese mixture and add onions or other herbs. You could add a mixture of cheeses, blue cheese would be heavenly. You could also replace the goat cheese with cream cheese if you liked. It’s a fun dish to play around with. If you have any of the cheese/mushroom mixture left over, it makes a good spread on bagels.

Where to Eat: The Main Cup Middletown, Maryland

The Main Cup: My Tea Cup

There is a restaurant in Middletown, Maryland that I have wanted to blog about for a while for my Where to Eat section, but as you can tell I haven’t been blogging much lately. Today Alexis and I ate lunch there and I remembered to take some pictures, so today is the day! Let me tell you about The Main Cup.

The food there is great, but we’ll get to that in a minute, first let’s talk a little about the ambiance. Ambiance…who cares? I do, and so should you. This restaurant is in a charming historic building on Main Street in Middletown and you can read a little bit about it’s history here.

It has charming brick walls, art from local artists you can purchase and a nice homey feel. As you can see above, Alexis likes to sit at the table with the leather couches. They open early, have free wifi and I’ve been known to pop in to write in the mornings, especially when we lived on that side of the county, and enjoy a muffin or bagel, along with some hot tea. It has a laid back attitude and friendly service that makes it a very pleasant place to stop.

Now let’s talk food….

Alexis and I usually go for lunch, but Jamison and I have gone for dinner before too. I’ve never ordered anything I didn’t like. If you want to start out with a fabulous appetizer, I recommend the buffalo or crab dips. Their salads are fabulous, and so are their soups. Their burgers and pizza are extremely good too. They also have some really great fish and chips, some of the best I’ve ever had.

The Main Cup: Reuben and Sweet Potato Fries

One of my favorite things to get is their Reuben sandwich with sweet potato fries. It is perfection, especially the fries. Alexis likes to get their chicken tenders with regular fries:

The Main Cup: Chicken Tenders and Fries

They even have a fabulous selection of desserts. Alexis is particularly fond of the lava cake and I like the carrot cake a lot too. Today we tried the Smith Island Cake, which is Maryland’s official cake, the more you know! 😉

The Main Cup: Smith Island Cake

So if you’re in, or around, Middletown, stop by and check it out, or even drive over…it’s worth it I promise. Even now that we live across the county we still pop back over and now and then. You won’t be sorry you did.