The Pleasanton Express loved every entry in our “How does your garden grow?” contest. It was so hard to pick a winner because we loved each one. The photos were so great in fact that next week, Ag Editor Loni Just will be giving them all a second showing by including them in her Farm & Ranch section. Thank each of you for being so creative and taking time to share your garden and your loved ones tending it. First place photo goes to Aaron Castellano, age 3. We think the picture speaks for itself on why he won. Aaron wins a $50 gift card from South Texas Farm and Ranch. The best summer recipe goes to Misty Ramos and Jake Uribe for their stuffed zucchini flowers! If you have not made them, please do as they are delicious. Misty and Jake also win a $50 gift card from South Texas Farm and Ranch. Please call Loni at 830-569-6130. She will mail the cards to the winners. The Pleasanton Express thinks you all are winners. We appreciate your participation.
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
• Zucchini flowers
• 1 whipped cream cheese package
• 1 shredded triple cheddar blend package
• 1 egg yolk
• Pinch of cayenne
• Salt & pepper to taste
• Tempura batter
Blanch flowers in scalding water for a few seconds only. Quickly place in an ice bath then place on lined sheet pan with paper towels.
**DO NOT BLOT. You risk damaging and tangling the flower petals.
Mix cream cheese, cheddar blend, egg yolk and spices. Using a piping bag or Ziploc with end cut off. Fill with cream cheese filling. Take a flower. Open carefully to expose inner canal and slowly pipe filling. Fold over each petal to close in the filling.
Prepare Tempura batter as directed on packaging.
Dip flowers in batter and immediately place in hot vegetable oil to fry until lightly golden brown.
Remove and drain on paper towel lined pan.
Let cool as cheese filling is very hot!
**Early in the morning pick the flowers from the zucchini plant that are not attached to a growing zucchini fruit. They are the male flowers.
Misty Ramos & Jake Uribe
You can find the majority of these ingredients at H-E-B, your homemade garden or, if you really want to get authentic, any of the Asian markets in San Antonio. Our favorite is called Vietnam Market off Wurzbach Rd.
Here’s what you need for the broth:
• 1 onion
• 4 quarts of water (this amount can vary)
• 1 tbsp. salt
• 1 tbsp. sugar
• 2 tbsp. fish sauce (We use the Lucky brand.)
• 1 beef stock cube
• 1 pk. of Pho seasoning
• ¼ cup of Hoisin sauce
• Beef soup bones
Other ingredients you’ll need:
• bean sprouts
• steak of your choice
(We used ribeye.)
• Pho noodles
• Thai basil
• Cilantro (for spice)
• Hoisin sauce (for sweetness)
• Sriracha sauce (for spice)
First, you bake the beef bone wrapped in onion for about 30 minutes to bring out the juices. Then you place it in a pot of water with all of your broth ingredients and let it boil for about 3 hours. You can boil your steak meat of choice in a strainer over the boiling broth or in a separate pot. Boil your noodles in a separate pot for 2-3 minutes. (You don’t want them too soft or the broth will make them mushy once you combine everything.)
Once everything is cooked, place your noodles in a bowl with the meat on top. Then pour the broth over it. Squeeze lemon juice, Hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce to your taste into your bowl and mix. Next, add the bean sprouts, cilantro and Thai basil. Let your vegetables sit until soft to your liking and enjoy! For added broth flavor, add more Pho seasoning to your liking. You can make other versions of Pho – chicken, seafood, pork – by replacing the meat ingredients in this recipe accordingly. I hope you enjoy this delicious Vietnamese dish as much as I do!
• 1 lb. okra, sliced
• 8-10 slices of bacon,
cut up, reserve the
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 cans diced tomatoes
or 4 large fresh tomotes, diced
• 1 small can tomato
• 2 cloves chopped garlic
• salt and pepper to
Fry bacon in a skillet, remove and drain it on a plate with a few paper towels, set it aside. Fry the okra in the bacon grease. Continue to fry the okra until most of the slime cooks out. Add in the onion and garlic, cook until softened. Add in the bacon, tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Stew on medium until done.
This is one of my favorite recipes that has been handed down from my Granny Grubb, my daddy’s mama.
When I make it, I make a huge batch, about 6 lbs. or more of okra. Then I just use a whole pound of bacon and adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly.
It’s good as a side dish or you can add in shrimp and make a meal out of it.
Mini Modified Caprese
I didn’t have fresh Mozzarella cheese so I substituted with Brie … I like it better!
• Handful of grape tomatoes or one Roma tomato • 1/4 of Brie wheel, sliced (You can remove the rind if you want a milder flavor.) • 3 +/- sweet basil leaves • Olive oil • Balsamic vinegar
Slice tomatoes and layer in small bowl/plate.
Add Brie. Tear basil into small pieces. Drizzle olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.
• 2 cups grated zucchini
• 1/2 cup cheddar
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup of Bisquick
Mix well in a bowl, pour into a 9×9 dish and bake at 350 until golden brown.
• Salt and pepper
Toast the tomatoes and jalapeños on the grill and saute the onions with a little bit of oil. Put the tomatoes and jalapeños in a blender and blend them for about 15 seconds. Pour it in the pan with the onions and add salt and pepper to taste and you have yourself a delicious hot salsa!
• Salt and pepper
• Italian dressing
Slice the cucumbers, chop the onions and cut up the tomatoes. Mix them together with salt, pepper and a little bit of Italian dressing and you have yourself a nice refreshing cucumber salad!
Isabel Rodriguez Here is a recipe that we make when we have an abundance of fresh squash, zuchinni and cherry tomatoes.
I truly hope that y’all enjoy it as much as my family and I do.
Just Simply Squash
• 4-5 medium yellow
squash (I usually use a
couple of zuchinni as
well), sliced into rings
• 4-5 green onions, sliced
• 1/2-1 lb. of cherry
tomatoes, cut into halves
• olive oil
• garlic salt and pepper
After slicing your squash, tomatoes and green onions, throw it all in a large skillet. Drizzle some olive oil over it and season it with the garlic salt and pepper and start sautéing. We like ours to be a little firm, not crisp, but not squishy. You can really make this recipe yours by simply putting your own twist on it!
Pickles and Pickled Okra
To make the pickling liquid, you will need:
• 4 cups vinegar (50 grain or 5%)
• 8 cups water
• 1/2 cup canning salt or kosher salt
Pour everything into a large pot and boil until the salt is dissolved, make sure it stays quite warm. Keep on the stove while you fill your jars with the cucmbers and okra. This amount usually fills 6+ quart size wide mouth jars.
Per quart of pickles or per pint of okra you will need: • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic • 1/2 teaspoon colored whole peppercorns
• 2 Arbol peppers (We get the packages of the dried Fiesta Brand at H-E-B.)
• 3-4 dill sprigs (We grow our own, but you can also get it at H-E-B in the fresh herbs section.)
• Cucumbers or okra, stuff as much as you can into each jar. You can make whole pickles, sliced or halves. We made about 9 quarts of pickles with 10 lbs. of cucumbers.
Now that your jars are stuffed with the cucumbers or okra and all the extra yumminess, it’s time to fill them with the pickling liquid. Leave about 1/4” of room at the top of the jar. Now just put the jars in your boiling canning pot and let them boil about 10 minutes. After they’re done, set them on a towel on the counter overnight to cool completely. We let ours sit in the pantry about 4-5 weeks and then we start eating them.
You can adjust everything to your liking. We like spicy and flavorful and these are perfect for us.