Crab-stuffed squash blossoms

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Crab-stuffed squash blossoms
(Los Angeles Times)

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.


Heat the oil in a large, wide skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and jalapeno 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.


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.

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

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