Sunday, July 24, 2011

Squash Blossoms

Every year, for the past few years, I've indulged in a purchase of squash blossoms. Just once in the summer when they're in season and just one box from the farmers market, as my favorite way to eat them is stuffed with cheese and fried, a culinary privilege of the utmost kind. There are few things as beautiful, as summery as these sunset colored blossoms resting on a counter right before they are dipped in batter and dropped into the hot oil. And few things as delicious as the crisp exterior giving way to the delicate blooms below before tasting the creamy cheese.
I only made a few stuffed squash blossoms, and have 1/2 a box left so I'm trying to come up with a few other ideas for creative ways to use them with that aren't so typical. A vegan stuffing. Maybe stir fried, or wrapped in a crepe, or rolled up in an enchilada with some huitlacoche and a tomatillo sauce drizzled over?
Deep fried blossoms. The one and only thing I'll deep fry in my kitchen.
Asian Stuffing
2 Tbl. silken tofu
1/8 c. cooked quinoa
1 Tbl. white miso
1 Tbl. mirin
2 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. ginger
Dash of Chinese 5 spice

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor except the quinoa and blend well. Add quinoa.

Ricotta Stuffing
1/4 c. ricotta- I used Salvatore smoked 
1 tsp. dried oregano
Dash of crushed red pepper
Pinch of Salt
Drizzle of balsamic once cooked

1. In a small bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Tempura Batter
1 egg
1 c.  sifted flour- I did 1/2 AP and 1/2 white rice flour
1 c. ice water, seltzer or light beer
Pinch of salt

1. Crack egg in bowl and mix. Add ice water and then sift in the flour. Batter should be thick, a little lumpy and cold.Can keep in the fridge while you prepare the blossoms

Preparing the Squash Blossoms
1. Clean each blossom inside and out in a gentle water bath, making sure to check for little bugs. Remove the stamen- the inside part.

2. Heat vegetable oil and while that heats stuff the blossoms. Opening slightly but not enough to tear the flower, scoop a tsp or so of the filling into the flower and twist the leave at the top.

3. Dip the stuffed flowers in the batter and then lay gently into the oil. Fry each side for 2 minutes or until the batter is golden brown and then let drain on paper towels. Sprinkle a touch of sea salt over while still warm.
LCC frying up the blossoms

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