Trying out recipes to pass on to you.

THE squash blossom post

Posted: August 2nd, 2009 | Author: leah | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

I don’t know if I read about it in a magazine or why squash blossoms suddenly got stuck in my head. I’ve only had them once, fried—at an Asian restaurant. Timely—as long as squash is in season the blossoms are around.  A sweet friend has been getting up early to pick a few each day for me in her garden. The blooms open in the morning and stay that way when picked making them easier to stuff.

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Since I needed several in case of a major screw up I had to buy more at the farmers market. Unfortunately, most were closed. Still pretty right? I’m going to slice them up and stir them in to a carbonara Monday night.

 

From what I’ve read, squash blossoms show up in Mexican, French and Italian dishes and have just a mild flavor of—garden. You know…like a good tomato tastes like garden. Earthy. It’s really just a delivery devise for the yum you stuff them with. Think “lettuce wrap.” This recipe has a southwest twist courtesy of Bobby Flay.

Crispy Squash Blossoms Filled with Pulled Pork and Ricotta

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

Braised Pork, recipe follows (full recipe HERE)

Salt and pepper

15-20 squash blossoms

Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying

Rice Batter, recipe follows

Black Pepper Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Directions

Clean squash blossoms by carefully opening up the petals and removing the stamen, then removing the sharp leaves attached to the petals. Swish them gently in a bowl of water to remove any pollen, dirt or critters inside.


Place the ricotta in a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and let drain in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Discard liquid. (not sure about this step. Mine didn’t give off any liquid)

Combine the strained ricotta and shredded pork in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. I made shredded pork tacos to serve with these so instead I stirred in some left over ground beef chorizo—maybe 1/3 cup. I pan fried it and drained the grease. I figured it would still have a similar effect. I think I needed more. I ended up adding a few dashes each of cumin, onion powder and chili powder.

Fill each squash blossom with the cheese mixture and twist the top of the blossom to secure the filling while frying.

Fill a large, heavy saucepan halfway with oil and heat on the stove until the temperature reaches 360 degrees F.

Dredge each filled squash blossom in the rice batter to coat completely.

 

Fry the squash blossoms in batches until lightly golden brown, turning once. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Drizzle some of the black pepper vinaigrette in the center of a serving plate and place 2 squash blossoms on top for each serving. Serve hot.

Let’s be straight—these were TIME CONSUMING. I think my guests who got to try them were hesitant at first but brave sports. We ended up eating all but four or five. I thought the taste overall was good—a nice fried snack. And the vinaigrette was tasty. Looking forward to topping salads with it this week.  For something that isn’t a main meal I can’t see taking the time to make the braised pork. More chorizo or experimenting with other flavors like seasoned rice, salsa or other cheeses mixed with the ricotta might be good. If this sounds even slightly appetizing to you and you have access to some blossoms look up other recipes until you find the right one for you. I may try this once more before the squash season is over—next time with Italian flavors.

 My sous-chef says, “Buy local. Take naps.”

 

 

Braised Pork:

1 (2-pound) pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes

2 cups your favorite BBQ sauce

2 cups rice vinegar

1 large red onion, coarsely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place pork cubes in a medium roasting pan. Stir together the BBQ sauce, vinegar, and onion and then pour mixture over the pork and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and cook in the oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Let cool in the braising liquid, then drain the liquid from the meat and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Rice Batter:

2 cups cold water

2 cups rice flour

Salt

Whisk together water and flour until smooth and season with salt. Let sit 10 minutes before using.

Black Pepper Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 teaspoons honey

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and honey in a blender. With the machine running, slowly add the oil until emulsified.