Beer-Batter Fried, Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.


Sorry, folks!  I haven’t posted in a week because 1) my boyfriend Miles was in town and 2) my computer hard drive COMPLETELY crashed.  I knew it was coming so everything is backed up but I had to spend a few days researching my options & then buying a computer.  I bought on at Fry’s in Burbank.  NEVER BUY AT FRY’S.  The computer I bought was defective out of the box (it wouldn’t recognize the wireless mouse or keyboard) and after 45 minutes of USELESS tech support – I hung up on the guy & decided to return the computer.  Two options at this point: a) admit it is a defective computer & be turned away by Fry’s & referred to the manufacturer (whom I already contacted to no avail) or pretend I just changed my mind and eat a $225 restocking charge or buy another computer there that day.  It is a long story, but they totally shell gamed me into a cheaper computer but lied about what I was paying for exactly & TRICKED me into paying $279 for a three year warranty that they said they were giving me for free.  Grrr….

The new computer works – whew!  But – the bad news?  Windows 8!!!  I fucking hate it!  It makes me feel like I just woke up after a ten year nap & technology has left me completely behind.  Why do they fix things that aren’t broken?  Filing & viewing photos is even a huge pain in the ass & WTF does Microsoft have against thumbnails?   Ugh.

Anyway – the photos in this post are markedly sub-par & I apologize.   That was due to many of my usual thwarting realities but mainly that these are a rare item to find in a produce aisle & they are fragile & have a short shelf life – but uncooked & cooked.  Once I’d fried them – I wanted to EAT them.  I didn’t want to shoot them for 10 minutes & then eat cold & soggy fried zucchini flowers – so I popped off a few images & shoved them in my face.  My boy Miles surprised me by not only trying them but he gave them a thumbs up!  He even went back for more – and no cattle prod was required.

So – if you ever see these at a farmer’s market – definitely buy some!  I got them at the incredible Super King for $1.49 a bunch (with about 6-8 flowers per bunch).  Expect to pay more than that elsewhere.  Super King is a wonderland of produce priced well below market value.   If my recipe doesn’t appeal to you – Google others but definitely try these delicate & delicately flavored little, seasonal gems.  I even found sour grapes for sale.   The sign made me smile because it seems like they are selling pissy moods for .99 cents per pound.  But no.  They are selling actual sour grapes.

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I wish you could make money selling pissy moods because I have loads to spare & I could earn a fortune.

Also available at Super King is this amazing garlic paste.

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It has the texture of hummus & reeks of garlic & is insanely delicious.  I bought some to see if it was like the crack they hand out at Zankou Chicken.  In 1984, I moved to Los Angeles – into an apartment on Normandie south of Sunset.  In 1984, Zankou opened its first American restaurant at Sunset & Normandie.  I ate meat back then.  I ate Zankou.  I used that garlic paste mercilessly!  My boyfriend moved in a year or so later & became obsessed – insisting on it nearly every night.  I had, by then, resumed my obsession with another local restaurant (Torung Thai Restaurant) and their house noodle dish, #7 (now #36).  So – we each got take-out of our respective addictions & ate together but differently.  At any rate – this Super King garlic sauce seems to me to be exactly like the stuff from Zankou.  Make a note.

I used a bit of this garlic paste in my filling & will note that here but you needn’t use it for your fried blossoms to be infinitely edible!

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Beer-Batter Fried,Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms 


These portions are off a bit in that I made enough filling for about 25 blossoms but only filled maybe a dozen for frying.

As many zucchini blossoms as you care to fill.  12?  20?

1/4 cup cornstarch

3/4 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1 cup beer

lots of oil (vegetable?) for frying (I had my pan about 1 inch deep)

1/8 cup water

4 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup ricotta

2 TBS chopped parsley

1-2 chopped scallions

2 TBS garlic sauce (see story above) – OPTIONAL

1 zip lock baggy to create a pastry bag

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Carefully, snip out the pistol with scissors or by pinching with your fingers.  The pistol is the nubby thing growing out of the center of the flowers.  Leave any long stems as they are.

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CAREFULLY rinse the blossoms & set them out to dry.  Torn flowers can still be used.  Do not despair!

Whisk the cornstarch, flour, salt & beer together.

Blend the cream cheese, ricotta, parsley, scallions, garlic sauce (if using) and 1/8 cup water.

Cut a small corner off of a zip lock baggy.  Put the cheese blend in it.

Squeeze a small quantity of cheese into the flowers.  Do not overfill.  Gently press the loose leaves into the filling to create a loose seal.

Heat the oil until it is hot but not boiling.  Reduce heat to medium-high or so.

Drag each blossom through the batter & fry them in batches.  Do not overfill your pan or they will all stick together.

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Turn & fry until they are golden all over.  Drain on paper towels & serve as soon as possible!

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Zucchini, Mint & Goat Cheese Terrine

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


I am pretty sure this can be made in a traditional loaf pan.  I made it in this wonderful terrine pan that I got for my birthday:


The great thing about it is that the silver pins in two corners pull out & all four sides of the pan can be pulled away.  This makes the contents very easy to remove.  If you made this in a loaf pan – maybe line the pan with greased parchment paper so you have something with which to lift the cooled terrine out.

I made this as an Easter buffet appetizer.  It is easy & can be made a day or two ahead.  People RAVED about this dish – partly because it is tasty & partly because it makes an elegant presentation.  Nobody seemed thrown that the zucchini slices I used on the sides cooked up to look like pickles.  In the future – I will not line the sides with zucchini.  🙂


Mine did not brown evenly, so i arranged fresh mint leaves on top to mask that.

Serve this up with some fresh, crusty bread or crackers and lots & lots of wine!


Zucchini, Mint & Goat Cheese Terrine


1/2 cup mint (plus more for garnish)

2 eggs

4 cloves of garlic

Tabasco to taste

4 oz cream cheese

10 oz goat cheese (this ratio of 4-10 is VERY flexible – feel free to adjust it)

4-6 zucchini

1 tsp each S&P


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a terrine pan or line a loaf pan with greased parchment paper.

Puree the eggs & mint & garlic in a food processor.  Once the mint and garlic are minced, add the Tabasco (or other hot sauce) and the cheeses and S&P to taste.  Puree.  It should be like a thick pancake batter – but pourable.  Add a tiny bit of water if it is too thick.  Maybe add extra cheese if it seems too thin.


Wrap the terrine pan in foil to prevent leakage & place on a cookie sheet. If using a loaf pan – these things are not necessary.

Slice the zucchini very thin – either lengthwise or in circles – your call.  I did a bit of both.

Pour 1/3 of the cheese into the pan.  Layer some zucchini then another third of the cheese, more zucchini & the last of the cheese.


Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until the top looks a light golden.  Remove from the over & cool completely.  Refrigerate overnight, if possible.

Slide a thin blade around the edge of the terrine pan & remove the sides.  Carefully transfer the terrine to a serving platter.  If using a loaf pan – slide your knife between the parchment & the terrine & then lift it out by the paper & transfer onto a platter.

Garnish with extra mint & serve!



Spaghetti with Smoked Salmon, Capers, Cream Cheese & Dill



All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

This is another recipe born out of a desire to use up stuff I already had in my fridge.  Primarily, I had a huge chunk of smoked salmon & I didn’t want it to go bad.  So – I made up this recipe.  The measurements are approximates.  Feel free to adjust them to your own tastes.  I will say – this produced an EASY and rich & creamy entree that tasted so much better than I hoped – I will definitely make it again – for guests.  I don’t need a full pound of creamy pasta leftovers in my fridge.  Nobody with thighs does.


Smoked Salmon, Capers & Cream Cheese Pasta with Dill


1 lb pasta – your choice – or 4 servings homemade (

2 TBS olive oil

2 cloves garlic – sliced

2/3 cup dry white wine

8 oz package cream cheese – cut into cubes

1 cup half & half

1 cup (or more – for color) of tomato sauce.  I used my favorite ( and a few tablespoons of a homemade version I had leftover from my stromboli

10 oz (more or less – to your taste or budget) smoked salmon – chopped into bite-sized squares

3 TBS Fresh dill

1 tsp (or more if you like heat) crushed red pepper

4 TBS capers

salt & pepper to taste

extra dill for garnish


Heat the oil in a skillet & add the garlic.  After about a minute – add the white wine.  Beware – adding wine to hot oil will create a sputtering hot mess – so stand back.  Once this is boiling, add the cream cheese & stir constantly until it melts.  Add the half & half & tomato sauce & the crushed red pepper.  Blend well & then add the smoked salmon. Once this is well blended – stir in some fresh dill.  Once it seems creamy & blended – taste & add salt/pepper or more crushed red pepper – to your taste.  Reduced heat to low & simmer – stirring frequently – while you cook your pasta.

Cook your pasta according to directions.  Drain & put in a large bowl.  Add your sauce & stir well.  Serve on individual plates, adding capers & fresh dill as garnish on each plate.

This stuff is dangerously delicious.  Enjoy!!!

Pizza with Smoked Salmon, Asparagus, Capers & Cream Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012



Preheat over to 450.  Always do this first.  I put my oven on midday – if I know I will be making pizza.  You want your oven at full temp before putting the pizza in.

1/3 Pizza Dough recipe ( or other dough of your choice.

3-4 TBS Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Several ounces (to your own taste) of Smoked Salmon.  It has a strong flavor – so you do not need to be heavy handed.

2 TBS Capers

6-8 Spears steamed asparagus (I steam them – wrapped in a wet paper towel – by zapping them in the microwave for a minute & a half.

6 Spears Asparagus chopped into 1/2 inch bits

3 TBS Chopped Chives

2 TBS Chopped Dill

1/4 Red Onion sliced thinly

1 Heirloom or other tomato diced

Lemon (just a squeeze over the finished product)

2 TBS Cream Cheese


Preheat over to 450.  Always do this first.  I put my oven on midday – if I know I will be making pizza.  You want your oven at full temp before putting the pizza in.

Roll out your dough on a floured surface until it is just larger than the pan you are using.  Roll the extra edges over.


Spread the tomato sauce over the dough in a thin layer.  Add ONE CUP of the shredded cheese – reserving 1/2 cup.

Distribute the salmon & capers & red onion & tomatoes.  Create a little fan in the center of the pizza with the asparagus spears & then sprinkle the chopped asparagus evenly.  Put tiny dollops of cream cheese sparingly in a pattern you choose atop the pizza.

Bake the pizza for about ten minutes – more or less depending on how thickly you topped the pizza & also on your oven’s calibration.  Eyeball it every five minutes until it looks ALMOST done to you.  The crust should be just browned & the toppings should not look burned at all.  Take it out & add the last 1/2 cup shredded cheese.  Return it to the over until it is done.

Take it from the oven & add a TBS or more of cream cheese in a large dollop in the center of the pizza.  Squeeze a small amount of lemon juice over the pizza, maybe targeting your smoked salmon bits especially.  Sprinkle the chopped chives & dill evenly over the entire pizza and – if you are feeling fancy – garnish the center cream cheese with some dill sprigs.  Voila!  Enjoy!


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012