Yum…..If there’s anything satisfying about a chilled out Saturday afternoon, it would be pampering your taste buds with a girlfriend at a nice Japanese restaurant.  If you ever find yourself trapped in the middle of the city looking for a good sushi place to go where it’s worth the wait, make your way to Umi Kaiten-Zushi (cnr Hay and Parker Street).

 


 

I found the recipe below on http://catalog.hsn.com/article-234/3480/hp/qc.htm. I wonder if it beats the at Umi?

Fingers crossed Mama’s not gonna get too upset when she realises that I’ve used all the oil in the kitchen…





Stuffed Zucchini Flower Tempura with Tomato Sauce

 

Serving Size: 8

The large, delicate blossoms of the abundant summer squash may be found in farmer’s markets. When cooked, they have a tender texture and a subtle flavor that makes them an ideal appetizer. Deep-frying in a light, tempura-style batter works perfectly for the flowers, especially when they are stuffed with a creamy goat-cheese filling.

IngredientsZuchinni Flowers
Tempura Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
3 cups soda water

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers:
8 ounces mild creamy goat cheese, at room temperature
5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped chervil
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
16 zucchini flowers, cleaned

Tomato Sauce:
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
4 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and minced
4 basil leaves, cut crosswise into thin strips

Vegetable oil, for deep frying
16 large fresh basil leaves, patted completely dry with paper towels

Directions


  1. Make the Tempura Batter: Sift the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, rice flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne into a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine them. A little at a time, whisk in the soda water until a batter forms that is fluid but thick and creamy enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour.

  2. Prepare the Goat Cheese Filling: In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, mashing them together with a fork, until the mixture is smooth and creamy but firm enough to mold, adding a little more oil if necessary to get the right consistency. Shape the mixture into oblongs, each about 1 heaping tablespoon, placing them on a plate.

  3. One at a time, carefully open a zucchini flower and insert an oblong of goat cheese into its center. Gently press the filling down into the base of the blossom and the petals around the filling to enclose it completely, pinching together the petals at their tips to seal them. Place the stuffed flowers on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  4. Prepare the Tomato Sauce: Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and sauté, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes start to reduce to a sauce consistency, about 15 minutes. Stir in the thyme, basil, and remaining olive oil. Cover and keep the sauce warm until serving time.

  5. While the sauce is cooking, fill an automatic deep-fryer with vegetable oil, or fill a deep, heavy pot half full with oil; heat the oil to 375°F. Holding a stuffed zucchini flower by its stem, dip it into the tempura batter, coating it completely and letting excess batter drip back into the bowl. Carefully drop the flower into the hot oil. Repeat with the remaining flowers. Fry the flowers until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, turning them a few times with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon to make sure they cook evenly. Lift them out of the oil with the deep-fryer basket, skimmer, or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

  6. Immediately drop the basil leaves into the hot oil, taking care to avoid splattering, and submerge them with the skimmer or slotted spoon. When they turn dark green and stop splattering, after only about 10 seconds, remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.

  7. Spoon the Tomato Sauce onto individual heated serving plates. Place 2 fried squash blossoms on each plate and garnish with 2 fried basil leaves. Serve immediately.



Ok, so our plans for the Red Room got ruined by the weather.  Sorry Miko, Sorry Mark!
But hey girls, a night at the Four Seasons never fails to amuse…..(At least we were prompted to plan for our funerals with their entertainment!)
 

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