Tempura (天ぷら ) Shrimp & Vegetables With A Honey-Fig Reduction

I love the use of tempura batter because it’s lite and allows the flavor of what you coat  it with shine thru quite well… while still giving you the  taste of a very wonderful batter. The simplicity of this dish certainly shines. Tempura a Japanese method of frying seafood and/or vegetables that have been battered.  I only wanted a lite coating of the batter, as I did not want to obscure the texture and flavor of the vegetables — nor  of my fresh from the Gulf of Florida shrimp.  I prefer that you’re able to actually see what the batter is coating.

The squash blossoms were stuffed with a lovely Herb honey goat cheese mixture featuring  rosemary, thyme, marinated red cherry pepper, marinated artichoke, a little salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Simply Sublime

Yellow summer squash and sliced zucchini

I began with a very beautiful plate of fresh shrimp straight from the Florida Gulf. The aroma is amazing

Summer squash, blossoms, thyme, and rosemary from my garden

Peeled, deveined, and cleaned the shrimp, leaving the tails intact. To stretch the shrimp out flat, make a small cut on the underside and simply straighten them out

Allowed the shrimp to marinate in Saki for 30 minutes

After removing from the Saki bath, I sprinkled them with a little cornstarch, which aids in giving a nice crisp texture. The tempura batter was made by mixing 2 beaten egg yolks, 2 cups of ice water, and 2 cups of sifted flour

Save the shrimp shells for later use in making a wonderful seafood stock. I placed them in a ziplock bag and into the freezer they went.

Over medium flame, heat…in a medium pot (or deep fryer), 4 inches of oil (Canola or peanut) to 350 F. Fry the shrimp in batches for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Do likewise with the vegetables

The texture was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to see the shrimp and squash through the batter. The flavor was amazing. I also fried (with no batter) red pepper rings, grape tomatoes, and sliced jalapeño peppers, garnished with fresh rosemary and thyme

The Honey-Fig reduction really balanced the dish out nicely and was a nice complement to the Honey Herb goat cheese stuffing in the squash blossoms.

A great wine pairing would be a nice crisp Pinot Grigio or Sweet White Blend

Tempura (天ぷら ) Shrimp & Vegetables With A Honey-Fig Reduction

For dessert…

Grilled Pears with a Honey Yogurt Sauce with dried cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese

Bon Appétit Logo


Zucchini Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, Zucchini Casserole, And Grilled Lamb Kofta

Those zucchini from my “Z” box were piling up a tad, so I decided to make one of my most favorite summer dishes–Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms–yet again. However, I was torn between that and Zucchini and Summer Yellow Squash Casserole. Well, there’s always a way to work it on out. I figured, why not make the zucchini casserole, then prepare the zucchini blossoms, and  stuff the zucchini blossoms with more zucchini from the zucchini and squash casserole! Sounded like a great idea to me. Then  I’ll serve the zucchini stuffed zucchini blossoms over a nice bed of  zucchini ribbons . Add a nice mellow sweet pepper sauce, and garnish with zucchini confetti. Did I say zucchini enough for you?  I thought so. Believe me, it was a delightful dish.

Zucchini blossoms stuffed with zucchini casserole. Go on, click the photo…see it larger

Served over ribbons of zucchini, garnished with yellow summer squash and zucchini confetti with sweet yellow pepper sauce–A tasty  balance of delicate flavors. For the sauce, I simply blended some (jarred) roasted sweet peppers with a little oil, cream, salt and pepper to a desired consistency, with a touch of powdered sugar

A summer favorite by far

Grilled Lamb Kofta with a creamy mint sauce over cous cous, to round the meal out.

For the Casserole:

4 pounds of yellow summer squash and zucchini mix

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tbsp chopped red onion

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

3 cloves of minced garlic

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 to 1 cup Panko or regular bread crumbs (I used Panko)

3 eggs

1/2 of grated Parmesan cheese–this is optional. I did not use it this time.

1 tsp fresh thyme

Slicing the cleaned and trimmed zucchini, chopping onions and garlic

I heated the olive oil and sauteed the onions until tender, then added the garlic and continued to cook until it released its fragrance. Next went in the zucchini and squash–continue to cook, mixing gently, until the squash is tender

The  cooked squash was added to a buttered baking  9 x 13 baking dish, then sprinkle over with the fresh thyme. The eggs, whipping cream, and sour cream was whisked together then poured over the squash and carefully mixed.

Topped with a few extra slices of yellow squash and zucchini that I had left over. This went into a 350 F preheated oven and baked for 30 minutes, topped with bread crumbs and baked until they were lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes more.  Now into that oven!

Out of the oven, garnished with a  fresh lemon thyme sprig


Stuffed the casserole into the squash blossoms, then floured, dipped into an egg wash, rolled in Panko bread crumbs and fried until golder

I had also made falafel, and if you know me, then you know I absolutely love falafel. So, I stuffed a few more blossoms with falafel and cooked the same as the others. Delicious!!!

Threw the lamb on the grill

Ahhh, the smell of lamb is filling the air

Falafel Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Did I leave out the salad. Well how about a simple saute of zucchini and summer yellow squash in a little olive oil with red onions

Zucchini & Squash Stuffed Zucchini on a bed of zucchini ribbons, garnished with zucchini and squash confetti

Yes, zucchini was definitely highlighted in this dish. Zucchini Love, what more can I say?

Fried Zucchini Blossoms-Stuffed With Lobster, Mushrooms & Goat Cheese

Well, I’m at it again with the zucchini blossoms. When I ventured out into the back yard this morning it was impossible to ignore those big beautiful yellow zucchini blossoms reaching for the sun–welcoming the morning rays by opening wide. As I stood there in ‘hungry’ admiration… before long I was snipping blossoms and recalling the ones I made just a few days ago. But what would I stuff them with this time? Lobster! Of course there are always some mushrooms around to fulfill my ever-present “Mushroom Madness” crave, so that would go into the mix as well. Then too, I could put that nice log of goat cheese into use also. That was all I needed, so it was ‘snip, clean, stuff, batter, and fry’ once again.

Served with shaved zucchini ribbons and basil pesto

Lobster claw meat to garnish along with fresh parsley

My Big Bouquet of Beautiful, Bangin, Boscage of Blossoms. Now say that five times 🙂

I began by sautéing finely chopped shallots and garlic, then added the finely chopped white and crimini mushrooms, and a little later the lobster meat along with a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Next added grated –no, not cheese–zucchini. Why not stuff the zucchini blossoms with zucchini I say. After this cooled, I added in the goat cheese and mixed thoroughly. I really loved the unique flavor of the goat cheese

I think my taste for zucchini blossoms has been quenched for now

Fried Zucchini Blossoms-Stuffed With Lobster, Mushrooms, & Goat Cheese



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