Baked Zucchini Blossoms

This is a fun, delicate and exotic appetizer made with zucchini blossoms filled with creamy ricotta and baked to perfection. 

I got these zucchini blossoms when visiting the local farmer’s market…they were so beautiful therefore could not resist them…isn’t this an awesome way to celebrate the first day of summer?

One thing I knew…I did not want to fry them, and searched for a baked recipe…came across this recipe which I pretty much followed it with some changes.

These are so easy and very attractive little bites. By stuffing the flowers with ricotta, every bite is a combination of creamy ricotta with the crunchy panko…heavenly delicious! So if you come across zucchini blossoms, do not hesitate in getting them and try this simple recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 12 zucchini blossoms
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • Freshly chopped parsley to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • Panko

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a baking try with parchment paper or aluminum paper.

Mix in a medium bowl ricotta, parsley, salt and pepper. Taste after mixing adjusting for more salt or pepper as desire.

Spoon the ricotta mixture to a small plastic sandwich, seal and make a small cut off by the corner.

In another bowl or deep plate beat the egg slightly and on the second bowl or deep dish place the panko.

Stuff the zucchini blossoms from the opening of the flower and after filling with the ricotta mix, twist gently the flower at the tip to hold the stuffing in.

Dip the filled zucchini flowers first in the egg and then into the panko, making sure that the whole flower is covered.

Place the coated flowers on the tray. Repeat the same procedure with the remaining zucchini blossoms and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve warm.

I you enjoy this simple appetizer recipes. you might want to check on the Appetizer’s recipe here at Color Your Recipes.

 

Did you know that zucchini blossoms are edible flowers? All the squash flowers are edible.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Charred Shishito Peppers

Have you ever try shishito peppers? They are a lot of sun as you never know what you are going to get…mild or hot. This recipe call for simply roasting in a cast iron pan until blistered.

 

When I saw these finger long peppers at Trader Joe’s I had to get them regardless of how they taste…by the way, this is one of my “normal” behavior when shopping…by husband will ask me if I know or have ever eaten something new and I would answer…I don’t know, but I will find out. Well, after searching in the internet “how to cook Shishito peppers”, it was to my surprised that it could not be easier and simpler than this…and yes, they are so good, not hot at all, a touch of sweet. Apparently in every batch of these peppers there might be a very spicy one…so far we have not encountered one…luck or not…you can be the judge.

These peppers make great appetizer, and you can have then ready in no time…dipping sauce? Whatever your heart desire…I served this with Ponzu sauce, which is a lighter version of soy sauce with a touch of citrus…I would prefer to serve this charred Shishito peppers with a light sauce so the sauce does not “cover” the flavor of the pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz Shishito peppers, rinsed and dried
  • Dipping sauce of your preference

 

Method:

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the peppers and turn occasionally so the peppers do not burn.

Make sure that they blister on all sides.

Remove from the pan and serve immediately with your favorite sauce

 

I hope you enjoy this simple and easy recipe. For more appetizer recipes, you might want to take a look HERE.

 

Did you know that Shishito pepper are native of Japan? In spite of its mild peppery flavor, approximately 1 in 10 has a really spicy flavor.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Simply Hummus

This recipe is very simple recipe for hummus.  You can use store bought can chickpeas or be more daring and make all from scratch. The hummus is creamy and so smooth, great with vegetables, crackers or even chips.

This is my first time making hummus, and I am so proud to say that I really made it from scratch…It all started when I got the dry garbanzo beans or chickpeas.

The great thing about making your own hummus is that you can make it thinner, thicker, spicy, lemony…in another words, dress as your palate desire. This simple hummus is great on crackers, as vegetable dip, on top of salad, sandwich spread…there is no end to where you can add some hummus.

I end up with a lot of cooked chickpeas and froze them for future use after placing into small bags.

Ingredients:

  • 300 g drained cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup tahini (approximately 135g)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Method:

Wash the chickpeas and soak in water at room temperature overnight. Make sure that you use a slightly larger bowl as the chickpeas will expand and double in size.

Drain the water and rinse again before cooking.

Place the soaked chickpeas in a pan and cover with water, add salt if desire (I did not). Cook for 60 to 90 minutes until the desire texture.

Place the chickpeas and the chopped garlic in the food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, tahini, water, olive oil cumin and salt. Pulse until smooth and if still too think add more water. Taste for salt, add more if needed.

Serve at room temperature or chilled. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle paprika before serving.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for hummus…you might want to try making homemade crackers to go with it.

 

with this.check on Did you know that hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas? Chickpeas are rich in protein, dietary fiber, folate and iron.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

 

 




Chunky Crab Cakes

If you love crab, you definitely should try this recipe. The crab cakes are loaded with chunky pieces of crab meat…yes mainly just crab meat.

Leftover crab meat? Yes, it sounds kind of unheard, but every time we eat at this particular restaurant, Captain Jack’s, we end up bringing home lots of Alaskan King crab. I usually remove all the meat from the shell and use in salad dishes. Well, this time I decided to make crab cakes…crab cakes with lots of crab meat…big lumps…nothing that will overpower the crab meat…so simple and yet delicious…as a matter of fact I just serve with lemon, nothing else…

I love crab cakes, every time I see crab cakes in the menu I am tempted to order…once I had an awful experience…the crab used in the crab cakes were imitation crab…since then, every time ordering crab cakes I make sure to ask if they use real crab or imitation crab…and sometimes I get the “dirty” look from the server…and I have to explain my bad experience so they do not get offended…

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Fresh pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • ½ to ⅔ cup panko
  • Vegetable oil

Method:

Combine the egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay in a small bowl and mix well.

Add the mayonnaise mix to the crab meat and add the chopped parsley. Mix gently.

Add the panko to the carb/mayonnaise mix and fold together until just combined, being careful not to over mix.

Cover the crab mix and place in the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour.

Shape into approximately 8 crab cakes of 1 inch thick, make sure to not pack the cakes too tightly.

Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium heat and coat with vegetable oil. Cook the crab cakes over medium heat until deeply golden brown on both sides.

Transfer to a plate when ready. Serve with lemon.

If you enjoy this simple recipe of crab cakes, you might want to check on other Seafood Recipes from Color Your Recipes.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Figs with Blue Cheese

With only two ingredients you can create this simple recipe for an appetizer. The combination of the salty blue cheese with the sweetness of fresh fig is just amazing.

I am back from a week vacation…I really needed a break from work…the last few months I have been overwhelmed with the new clinical trial that we just launched…now that the study started I think I will have more time…

Going back to the “vacation”, we took a cruise to Alaska…it was phenomenal! Although I am not into cruises, we just thought that this would be an easier way to see Alaska. I have some pictures at the end of the post…now back to today’s recipe, if you can call this a recipe hehehe!

Fresh figs…we used to eat fresh figs so often when living in Brazil…fig were easily found in “feira” which is a kind of farmer’s market, would be in a brown paper box containing approximately 8 in each box. Fig was so frequently consumed that I personally did take for granted until moving to US and it was nowhere to be found, at least the fresh ones…which are super delicate and perishable. I would cut open in half and spoon the fresh out…yum! By the way, we did not eat the skin back then…another concern when I learned that fig skin was consumed here…well, I guess it would be okay if you know that no pesticide were used…anyway, to make the long story short, I started to eat the skin as well.

I got these figs from a coworker, and yes I treated them almost the way I would treat a treasure…they were so sweet and I could just eat them all in one seating…but I was able to spare a few of them and roast with blue cheese…the saltiness of the blue cheese combined with the caramelized fig was just a big party in terms of flavor…not to mention that it is so simple…two ingredients!

If you happen to have figs, please give this recipe a try, you will not regret, especially if you like blue cheese.

Ingredients:

  • Figs
  • Blue Cheese

Method:

Wash the figs very gently and pat them dry.

Cut the top of the stem and make a cross incision from the same cut. Cut approximately ¾ of the way to the bottom.

Place the fig in an oven safe dish and fill about ½ teaspoon of blue cheese in the incision.

Place the figs in a preheated oven of approximately 400F for about 7 to 10 minutes.

Serve warm.

If you enjoy this recipe for simple appetizer, you might want to take a look at recipes listed at my Recipe Box under Appetizer.

 

Did you know that figs are good source of dietary fiber? Moreover, due to its high levels of potassium it has been demonstrated that eating fruit and vegetables rich in potassium might lower blood pressure.

Some shots from our Alaska trip…

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Chicken Potato Egg Salad Cups

This is a fun and easy way to serve a creamy salad in wonton cup. The recipe calls for a potato salad with chicken and egg, great when entertaining.

I hope you all had a great weekend…and for the ones that celebrated Easter I am sure that you have lots and lots of eggs. Here is very simple recipe to use up the hard boiled or cooked eggs that you might have.

There is no secret in this recipe, it is pretty much your classic recipe for potato salad, I added some shredded chicken, hard cooked eggs and served in a wonton cup. Again, you can color this recipe, I mean flavor it as your palate desire by adding or taking away ingredients that will make your family happy. I have added in this particular salad, pickles, celery, raisin, apple to give the potato salad some crunch texture and sweet touch…and used mayonnaise and sour cream.

I like to layer some fresh lettuce on the wonton cup before scooping the salad in it, this way the wonton cup will not be soggy from the moist of the salad.

Ingredients:

  • Potato salad of your choice.
  • Hard cooked eggs
  • Shredded chicken
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Wonton cups, recipe can be found here.
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish

Method:

Make your usual potato salad, add shredded chicken and hard cooked eggs

Assembling the Potato Salad Cups

Gently place a small piece of the iceberg lettuce inside the wonton cup.

Scoop the potato salad in the wonton cups.

Garnish with parsley or cilantro leave.

Serve cold.

If you enjoy this simple recipe using wonton cups, you might want to check on Smoked Salmon on Crispy Wonton Cup.

Have a wonderful week and thank you so much for visiting Color Your Recipes!

 




Bacon Chive Cheese Balls

This is another version of the Brazilian cheese balls or “pão de queijo”, and of course has an Asian twist since glutinous flour is added to the tapioca flour in order to give a softer and slightly chewy texture.

Since the combination of green onion or chives and bacon is so good in biscuits, I thought why not adding these into the original cheese balls…so this new version of pão de queijo was born.

These little treats are great because they can be made in advance and kept frozen until you are ready to serve. Just pop these at a preheated oven and they are ready in no time.

I have these (all kind of versions) in my freezer year around and some of our friends always request when they come to see us…and sometimes I have the feeling that they are visiting us so they can have some of these cheese balls.

I made 3 kinds, plain, bacon and chive with bacon…so it is up to you…but I must admit that after tasting the chives with bacon, the plain ones tasted pretty plain.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 cup glutinous flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil (sunflower, canola or corn)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 12 oz munster cheese (can be substituted by parmesan cheese)

 

  • 1 small bunch chive chopped finely and sauté in ½ tablespoon oil until golden and fragrant. I used the ones that I have grown in pots, you can do that too, please check Growing Green Onions.
  • 1/3 cup of bacon, finely chopped and fried until crispy. Drain the fat and patch the bacon bits in paper towel to remove the excess of fat. I used the homemade Bacon Bits.

 

Method:

In a small pan add water, oil and salt, bring to boil. In the mixer bowl add all the flours and carefully add boiling water to the mixture. Mix gently until most of the liquid is absorbed by the flour mix.

Add one egg and some of the cheese, mix until the egg is incorporated to the dough, add another egg and more cheese. Repeat until all the egg and cheese are added to the dough.

At this point you can make the plain cheese balls by using two spoons, dip the spoons in the water before scooping the dough. Use one spoon to scoop and the other one to push the dough on cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. To the 2/3 remaining dough add the bacon, mix well and scoop making into small balls. To the half remaining dough add the chives, mix and add scoop into small balls. Leave 1 ½ inch of space between the balls. When scooping the dough there is no need to make them a perfect, once in the oven the little balls will puff up and trust me they all will be rounded.

Bake the cheese balls in a preheated oven at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes.

To freeze the cheese balls…

Place the cheese balls in the freezer and let them freeze for approximately 3 hours or until totally frozen. Remove from the cookie sheet and store in an airtight container or freezer plastic bags.

When ready to bake, pop these cheese balls in a 350F preheated oven for approximately 30 to 35 minutes. For a crispy cheese balls, just increase the temperature to 400F for 5 more minutes. Serve hot or warm.

If you enjoy this recipe you might want to try the Brazilian version or the simple Asian version.

 

Did you know that pão de queijo in Brazil is a very popular for breakfast or as snack? As a matter of fact there is a very popular store called “Casa de Pão de Queijo” which translates into House of Cheese Bread, specializing with this cheese bread.

Thanks for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful day!




Chicken and Cheese Pockets

This is a Brazilian inspired recipe, where creamy cheese and shredded chicken are wrapped inside a puff pastry dough like little pocket pie.

My family Thanksgiving dinner is not very traditional, yes, we have turkey, yams, pumpkin pie, ham and all the other dishes that you normally see on a Thanksgiving meal, but we also have lots of fusion dishes as we all bring one of our favorite dishes to share. It is a real feast…

This year I decided to make these little pockets, they are simple and very easy to make. I filled the puff pastry with a creamy chicken filling with celery, carrot and cheese. It can be serve at room temperature or warm, as I prefer them warm.

These pockets are perfect when entertaining since they come in little bites and can be made ahead. Again, you can always use your favorite filling…how about some leftover turkey?

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded, or leftover from a roasted chicken
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into small cubes
  • 2 carrots, cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 to 5 Laughin Cow cheese wedges, which can be substituted by cream cheese
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

  • 2 boxes of puff pastry sheet
  • 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

 

Method:

Chicken Filling

Boil the small cubes of carrot, just enough to soften a little, drain well and set aside.

Sautee the onion in the butter and olive oil, add the shredded chicken, celery and milk. Let if cook for a few minutes and add the cheese wedges, mixing gently until all the cheese are melted into a thick sauce.

Add salt, pepper, carrot and let it cook for another minute. Add the parsley and stir so the parsley is well mixed into the chicken filling.

Remove from the heat and set aside to let it cool.

Assembly

Thaw the puff pastry sheet in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare the cookie sheet by greasing or use a silicone mat.
Cut the puff pastry sheet into small squares of approximately 3 x 3 inches.

Spoon approximately 1 to 1 ½ tablespoon of the chicken filling in the middle of the square and gather all the four corners of the square and bring them up to the center. Pinch the dough together to secure the filling inside of the pockets.

Transfer the pockets to the baking sheet and brush each square with the egg yolk wash.

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes, turning the baking sheet once to make sure that the pockets are evenly golden brown.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes approximately 36 pockets.

Make ahead Tips

The chicken filling can be made ahead. Once cooled store in a covered container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Remove the filling from the refrigerator approximately one hour before filling the pastry pockets.

Another option is to have the chicken pockets completely assembled and frozen, unbaked. Once the unbaked chicken pockets are frozen transfer them to a freezer container. The frozen chicken pockets can be baked by placing them directly to a preheated oven. Make sure to bake a little longer.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for chicken and cheese pockets…

Have a great week and thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes!




Panko Crusted Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes…with Panko, and Some Pictures…

I am baaaack…and want to share with you a simple recipe for crab cakes and some of my vacation pictures.

I love crab cakes, every time when in restaurants that serve crab cakes I am ordering…so I decided to make myself. After searching for recipes throughout the internet I opted out to come out with my own version, which I must confess that I kind of mix and match what I thought I would like in my crab cake…and yes I used panko for the crust. After making these crab cakes I realized that they are so simple to make…

The good thing about making your own crab cakes, is that you can store them in the freezer and bake or pan fry anytime when you feel like having it. Just freeze on a flat tray until frozen so the cakes stay nicely shaped, then you can place them in a Ziploc bag.

When it is time to serve, just defrost for approximately half an hour (do not have to be totally defrosted) and you can either bake or pan fry with a little oil. I can guarantee you that you will not be able to tell that they were frozen. It is very good to have it handy in the freezer.

Ingredients:

1 lb. crab meat in can
2 small potatoes, cooked and slightly mashed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions finely chopped
1 egg
1 teaspoon dry parsley (I’d rather use fresh one, but did not have at the time)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon bay seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste.

Panko

Canola oil, spray

Method:

In a big bowl, add the crab meat, green onion, bell pepper, parsley, bay seasoning, salt and pepper and mix gently. Add to the crab mixture the lemon juice, lemon zest and the egg. Again very gently because I like my crab cakes with lumps of crab meat and not all smashed.

In a deep dish place the panko, make

Make small patties and coat with panko.

Spray the patties with the canola oil and bake in a 400F pre heated oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Serve hot.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for crab cakes and as I mention, great to have them in the freezer for an elegant appetizer of even as a meal with a side of salad.

Now the pictures…lots of pampering and relaxation. Can you guess where did we go?

and yes…those are my toes :-)

 

If you still wondering where we were…it was Cancun, Mexico!

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes!

 




Smoked Salmon in Wonton Cups

This is a very simple recipe for a great appetizer. Once you have the wonton cups ready, which can be baked days ahead and stored in an airtight container, the filling is almost infinite…sweet or savory, whatever is your preference. It is great filled with party cream and topped with fresh fruit or any creamy salad, like potato salad, chicken salad, hummus, you name it…

This time I made them with cream cheese filling, topped with smoked salmon and decorated with capers. The trick here is to avoid the wonton cups from getting soggy, so I placed a layer of iceberg lettuce and then placed the other “wet” layers. This way there is none or very little contact of the “sauce”  with the wonton skin.

Anyway, I hope you try this recipe, it is pretty and tastes great. Again, it is perfect to serve as an appetizer at home or when going to a potluck party.

Ingredients:

Wonton Cups

1 package of wonton wrappers (can be found in the refrigerator section, most of the Asian grocery)
Olive oil

Few iceberg lettuce leaves, cut into small piece to cover the wonton cups.

Smoked Salmon Filling

8 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoon horseradish sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoon dry dill
12 oz smoked salmon
Capers, drained

Method:

Wonton Cup

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut the wonton wrappers, into a circle, by removing mainly the four corners. I stack a few wonton wrappers together and cut all together with the scissor.

On a plate separate the wonton wrappers and brush lightly with the olive oil. Place another wonton wrapper on top of the brushed one and brush the top, place another wrapper on top of the brushed one and so on, until you have a stack. Separate the wonton wrapper and gently press over into the mini muffin tin.

Bake until the wonton wrappers are slightly golden brown, for approximately 7 minutes. Keep your eyes on the oven as it may burn easily. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container for a couple of days.

Smoked Salmon Filling

Cut the smoked salmon into small strips and roll them, like a little rose. Set them aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese with the horseradish, dill, salt and pepper until creamy. If using a piping bag, place the cream cheese mix into a piping bag.

Assemble the Smoked Salmon Cups

Gently place a small piece of the iceberg lettuce inside the wonton cup.

Pipe the cream cheese mix into the cup, on top of the lettuce. If not using a piping bag, use two teaspoons to place the cream cheese mix.

Place a rolled piece of smoked salmon on top of the cream cheese mix, and add a couple of capers on it. Ready to serve.

Did you know that wonton wrappers are used to make a type of dumpling called wonton, often found in Chinese cuisine? Wontons wrappers are made of flour, egg, water and salt and compressed into a very thin square. In Chinese cuisine wonton dumpling are filled with ground pork, shrimp and seasoned with all kind of spices.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!