Thursday, October 01, 2009

Squash Blossom Time

When we went to the Tianguis on Tuesday huge bundles of squash blossoms reminded me that I needed to cook something with them while they were still in season. I bought a huge "bouquet" not sure just how I would use them. So while we were wandering around the market I was thinking about what to cook. Then I saw the shrimp. They looked fresh. I bought a half kilo of shrimp. Now all I had to worry about was a recipe to combine the two. But this is what I love about cooking in San Miguel, I get to buy what looks tempting and then try to create something delicious.

I always hate to put a recipe on the blog because when I'm cooking I'm not using the part of my brain that measures stuff. However, I think this is pretty close to what I did

Squash Blossom Cream Sauce with Shrimp

1/2 kilo (about 1 pound) shrimp
Salt, black pepper and cayenne
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Large bundle of squash blossoms pulled from stems (in SMA this would be two of the small bundles that you can buy on the street or in the mercado)
For the roux, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of flour
2 cups canned chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (crema para batir)
8 ounces of pasta cooked and drained
olive oil as needed

I cleaned the shrimp and seasoned them generously with salt, black pepper and cayenne and put them in the fridge to meld with the seasonings. Do not add any seasonings to the recipe as you cook because when you add the shrimp that will season the dish.

I finely chopped about 1 cup of onion and three garlic cloves. Then I pulled the blossoms from the stems and roughly chopped them but you could leave them whole after removing from the stems.

Start water to boil for 8 ounces of pasta. I used spaghetti because that was what I had on hand but I would have preferred bowtie pasta for the looks of the dish.

In a 12" skillet add a bit of oil and cook the shrimp just until pink on the outside. Remove and set aside. Add the onion (more oil if necessary) and cook until wilted. Add garlic and cook until soft. Add squash blossoms and cook until starting to wilt. Remove onion, garlic and blossoms from the skillet and set aside. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and 2 tablespoons of flour and make a roux, stirring and cooking until it is a deep butter color. Add 2 cups of chicken stock. Cook until it has thickened. Add the onions, garlic and blossoms and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors. Add the shrimp and 1 cup of heavy cream and simmer for about 5 minutes to 7 minutes. Now it is time to taste and adjust seasonings. You should be able to taste the cayenne but it shouldn't overpower the dish.

Drain pasta and add to the skillet and toss. With a green salad and crusty French bread this will serve four.

For more squash blossom recipes look here.


jillian said...

fantastic! I've been wondering what to do with squash blossoms. I must try this.

Sam and Bob said...

Sounds delicious. I have never cooked with the squash blossoms. I always thought it would be difficult to try and stuff the blossom...that's the only way I have ever seen them used.

Anonymous said...

I am curious, what do squash blossoms taste like? Judy

Billie said...

Judy, if they are cooked too long they tend to dissolve into what ever you are cooking. But with a short cooking time, I think they stay a bit fiberous and a kind of grass taste. That doesn't sound delicious does it? LOL But they are a special treat.

Anonymous said...

Ok, next year if the garden doesn't get flooded out, I will pick the male blossoms on the squash and give your recipe a try. Sounds interesting. Judy

Calypso said...

Yum the restaurant a couple door up makes empanadas with squash blossooms to die for ;-) We like them with melted cheese in a tortilla.

DanaJ said...

Gourmet Magazine just died....after 70 years. sad.

Billie said...

Gourmet Magazine died? Yes it is sad.