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Posts Tagged ‘pine nuts’

Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Ricotta

Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Ricotta

My husband and I like to go to a little Italian restaurant around the corner from where we live (well, more like in the next suburb to be exact). The other day we were heartbroken to find out that the restaurant would be moving. We said that we needed to go there as often as we could so as to enjoy their food until the big move. One of the specials on the menu were these zucchini flowers stuffed with a prawn and scallop mousse. Of course we ordered the dish! How was it? It was fantastic. Crisp batter and a beautifully light mousse.

Do you remember how my Mom, aka the blog monster, thinks she is part owner of this blog? Well now there’s my husband as well, who I like to think of as the aspiring blogger. The other day he came home with a packet of zucchini flowers and said he would stuff them like the dish we ate a few nights earlier. He said he planned to make a vegetarian version with ricotta and some fresh herbs from our garden.

So he prepared the zucchini flowers all by himself, the only advice I offered was for him to stuff them using a piping bag instead of a spoon. But I pretty much left him alone in the kitchen. A few minutes later I heard a click from the kitchen… then another click… click … click…

Curious, I went to have a look, to see my husband taking photos of the zucchini flowers with his iphone! I knew then and there I created another blog monster! But hey, if he keeps churning out dishes like this one, it will definitely be worth it!

Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Ricotta, Herbs and Pine Nuts

Serves 4
These zucchini flowers are a nice vegetarian dish. The ricotta mousse was delicious with the chopped herbs and the pine nuts added some nice texture to the dish.

  • 8 zucchini flowers
  • 250 grams ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 25 grams pine nuts, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed fresh herbs – basil, parsley, and mint
  • salt to taste
  • 160 ml ice cold water
  • 100 grams tempura flour
  • oil for shallow frying
  1. First remove the yellow stamens inside the zucchini flower by pinching it off.
  2. Make the ricotta mixture by combining the ricotta, egg, pine nuts, fresh herbs and salt to taste. Place in a piping bag.
  3. Pipe the ricotta mixture into each zucchini flower, making sure not to overfill the flowers. Twist the edge of the flowers to seal.
  4. Make the batter by combining ice cold water and the tempura flour. Mix lightly, around 5 to 6 times, making sure not to over mix the batter, it should stay lumpy.
  5. Heat the oil and dip the zucchini flowers into the batter and then carefully lower into the oil. Shallow fry the flowers for around a minute in each side until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle with salt prior to serving.
Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Ricotta, Herbs and Pine Nuts

Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Ricotta, Herbs and Pine Nuts

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Chicken with Pine Nuts

Chicken with Pine Nuts

I got the good news last week that my parents managed to book a flight and are coming to Australia for Christmas.  While I’m feeling very excited for their visit, I’m also a bit apprehensive as I start to imagine the tug of war that’s probably going to happen in the kitchen while my Mom, the Blog Monster is around.  We’re moving  homes this coming Monday and there’s a brand new kitchen to play with.  Given my Mom’s penchant for taking over all the cooking while she visits, I’m pretty sure she’ll want to keep me away from the kitchen.

Of course it’s great coming home to a meal cooked by my Mom everyday… but sometimes I just want to scream “Please!  Let me cook this time!”

A typical conversation when I tell my Mom I want to cook dinner.    “Of course!” she said, then adds “Can I help you prepare?”

(more…)

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Pumpkin Pasta with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

Pumpkin Pasta with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

Let me tell you about a day in the life of Trissalicious.

I get up a little before 6 am and take my two labradors for an hour long walk. Then I go to work, where I spent a good nine or ten hours of the day. When I get home, I cook dinner, eat dinner, do house chores, pay bills, answer emails and occasionally find the time to blog. The blogging is a whole different affair altogether. There’s cooking, taking photos, writing, editing and because these things don’t come as naturally to me, even more editing. I admit, I do find it difficult to juggle everything and hardly find time for anything else.

Once on holiday I bought a book on how to be more philanthropic but sadly, after the holiday I never got past the first two chapters.

One day my husband gave me a book from one of his trips to London. The hotel he stayed in had given each guest a book called Change the World 9 to 5 and he handed me his copy. I was sceptical. I had a back log of two weeks worth of laundry, hadn’t had time to visit my favourite blogs – how was I going to find the time to “change the world”?

I’m glad though I gave the book a second chance. The book is filled with simple, practical things we can all do during the work day to make a difference. Many of these things seem very small, but do really have far reaching consequences.  Some are even fun to do:

  • Leave work on time at least once a week
  • Praise people
  • Share your lunch with someone
  • Lose the plastic cup
  • Speak rather than email
  • Smile when you answer the phone

If you’re interested to “Change the World 9 to 5″ or are just interested more to learn about it – I’ve stumbled upon this website. Small action x Lots of people = BIG CHANGES.  Have a look – and tell me – what small actions will you be doing today?

Fresh Pasta with Pumpkin, Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

Serves 4

  • 400 grams fresh pasta (a recipe can be found here)
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 500 grams peeled and cubed pumpkin (I used Japanese pumpkin variety)
  • 50 grams mascarpone
  • 50 grams pine nuts, toasted
  • 75 grams goat cheese, crumbed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions over low heat until translucent (around 5 minutes). Add some salt and pepper as well.
  2. Add the pumpkin to the pan and continue to cook for around 20 or so minutes until the pumpkin is soft enough such that you can mash it with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Using a stick blender or food processor, blend the pumpkin/onion mixture until smooth and then add the mascarpone. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  4. Toss the pumpkin sauce over fresh pasta and serve with toasted pine nuts and crumbed goat cheese.

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