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Recipe: Crab-stuffed squash blossoms

Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: You can substitute 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos for the tomatoes for a more mellow sauce; husk, boil and purée them before proceeding. Use blossoms with baby zucchini attached if you can; they will cook in the same time.

12 large squash blossoms

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1/2 pound jumbo or regular lump crab meat

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese

3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

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Few dashes hot red pepper sauce

Salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 egg

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1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crumbled

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1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Rinse and dry the blossoms. Remove the pistils if you like. Combine the crab, cheese, bread crumbs, Dijon mustard and hot sauce in a bowl and toss until mixed. Season well with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the egg until blended. Carefully open the blossoms and spoon enough crab in to fill two-thirds of the way up (about 1 1/2 tablespoons). Twist the ends of the blossoms to seal and lay on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Cover with a second sheet of wax paper and chill 30 minutes.

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2. Heat the oil in a large, wide skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook until softened but not browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the oregano and cumin, then the tomatoes. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

3. If the sauce is very thick, thin it with a little water and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Raise the heat slightly and carefully lay the blossoms into the pan. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until the crab firms up and the blossoms soften. Cool slightly before serving.

Each of 6 servings: 141 calories; 409 mg. sodium; 67 mg. cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 3 grams fiber.


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