Simple Recipe: Squash blossom quesadillas

Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Squash blossoms have been a surprise hit with us this summer. I’ve made them stuffed with goat cheese and saut├ęd as a side dish. But this has been by far the easiest, tastiest treatment. Just spread goat cheese on tortillas, fan out the squash blossoms, sprinkle some cheddar and jack then top it all with another tortilla. I just put them in a pan to melt the cheeses together and they were perfect. Grilling would probably work wonderfully.

Noodles Chill Out: Japanese Version of ‘Pasta Salad’

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Our recent “Cook-Up” club had the theme of “food memories.” I have so many memories around food, mostly heavy, comforting holiday foods. But we were in the middle of a heat wave and I didn’t want to go near any of those. My mind kept wandering back to the heat of Summer in Japan when I ate cold noodles for the first time.

In my memory was a small shop in the mountains where there was a cold running stream that would carry the noodles to us. We would catch the noodles with our chopsticks and put them in the chilled dipping sauce.

When I told Mario about it, he expressed his doubts. So I started to think a little harder. He mentioned that it would be really difficult to catch slippery traveling noodles with chopsticks. And I agreed my memory must have been wrong. We must have used a scooping basket of some sort to grab the noodles. It was almost 30 years ago and I have been mis-remembering things lately. And he wasn’t questioning the noodle catching, just the “with our chopsticks” part.

The memory was so vivid: coming in out of the pressing heat and humidity to a cool cave-like restaurant and the sound of a running stream. And then to find the stream carried the noodles. I wanted to relive that delightful experience, so I searched around.

It turns out “nagashi somen” is somewhat of a “tradition” not just a restaurant gimick. And I found video! (I love the internet)

Take a look:

nagashi somen from kitsune-kun on Vimeo.

And they do use chopsticks! Makes me miss Japan.

Here’s the recipe (bamboo river is optional)

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Chilled Somen: Light, flavorful and perfect for a warm day.

5 bundles of dried somen noodles (about 1 per person)

Sauce/Dressing
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/2 cup Japanese soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Mix all dressing ingredients together and chill. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add somen noodles and stir. Bring the water back to a rapid boil and decrease heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain somen and rinse under cold water.

You can add the dressing or serve it along side a bowl of noodles as a dipping sauce. Serve it over ice to keep it cold and refreshing.

Foodie News, California Crops and What I’ll Be Eating Soon.

 

Nearby in Castroville, early signs suggest better-than-average artichoke crops. Castroville artichokes peak in April and May. Baby sizes start hitting their stride by late April… full story.

About three weeks until cherry season in California and a big crop is predicted this year… full story.

Looking a little further out, the pistachio crop is also looking good for a harvest beginning September… full story

And for dessert:

Cocoa Power! Even more reason to love chocolate; it helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases… full story.

Headed to England? The Chocolate Boutique Hotel has a chocolate fountain in every room and a chocolate themed cocktail bar… full story

Now I’m hungry…