Stuffed Squash Blossoms

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I feel like I’ve won the lottery when I find squash blossoms at the farmers market – one of the many benefits of going early. This week I scored two bags of amazing squash blossoms! So I decided to stuff half of them with a little herbed ricotta – yummy!!

Ingredients:
20 squash blossoms
4 oz ricotta cheese
1 TBSP herbs de provence
1 tsp espelette pepper
Salt

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl combine ricotta, herbs, pepper and salt.

Remove the stamen from the blossoms and make a small slit up the side. Spoon about 1 tsp in each blossom.

Spray a baking sheet with olive oil, place blossoms on sheet and spray with olive oil.

Bake about 10 minutes until cheese is soft and heated through.

Serves 2 – 4.

Vanilla French Toast

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French toast is one of my favorite breakfast treats for Sunday morning. It comes together quick and the fact that i can cook it all up in one batch on my griddle makes it a win-win!

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 c half and half
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP sugar
1 loaf challah bread, sliced 1/2 thick

Heat a griddle over medium high heat, brush with ghee or butter.

Beat together eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla and sugar. Pour into a shallow pan, dip bread in letting rest about 30 seconds, then flip over and to the other side.

Cook about 5 minutes per side on griddle until golden brown.

Serves 6.

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Foie Gras with Polenta Cake and Blackberry Sauce

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My hubby’s birthday is on Monday, so I wanted to make something extra special this weekend, so I broke into my stash of Foie Gras to make this extra special dinner. The combo of creamy foie, crispy polenta and sweet blackberry sauce is amazing – we licked out plates clean! This recipe is adapted from Foie Gras a Passion by Michael Ginor.

Ingredients:
4 slices of foie gras, 1/2 inch thick
2 c mixed salad greens
Polenta cakes
Blackberry sauce

Blackberry Sauce:
1 TBSP ghee or butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 pint blackberries
1/2 c water
1/2 c cassis liqueur
2 TBSP blackberry jelly
2 TBSP chicken stock
1/2 tsp thyme leave
Pepper

In a 2 qt saucepan, melt butter, add shallots, bay leaf and 1/2 pint of blackberries, cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Add water, cassis, jelly and stock and simmer over medium low heat for 30 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in thyme and pepper and remaining berries. Set aside.

Polenta:
2 TBSP ghee or butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 c water
2 c milk
1/2 c polenta
1/3 c grated parmigiano-reggiano
Salt
Cayenne pepper

In a 4 qt pan, melt butter, sweet the garlic and bay leaf over low heat for 30 seconds. Add water and milk, bring to a simmer and remove bay leaf. Whisking constantly, slowly add the polenta in a steady stream. Simmer for 10 minutes until polenta thickens, then whisk in cheese, salt and cayenne. Line a half sheet pan with Saran Wrap and pour the polenta into the pan about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with Saran Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Remove and cut into 2 inch squares. Heat 1 TbSP of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and cook both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Keep warm.

Foie:

Bring the sauce to a simmer.

Season with salt and pepper on each side. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and sear on each side, About 30 seconds per side.

Pour foie drippings into the sauce and stir.

Service:
Place 1 cup of greens on each plate. Place two polenta squares on salad too with foie and spoon sauce over the foie gras and salad.

Serves 2.