Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Among the many pleasures in tending one’s own garden is having daily access to numerous gold and pale green squash blossoms which must rank at the top when it comes to luxurious culinary specialties.
For in the steamy days of summer even if you don’t have a garden, you can still purchase a bushel of fresh picked tomatoes, fill brown bags of just picked corn on the cob, or choose from mounds of multi colored sweet peppers. But, if you don’t have your own garden when it comes to squash blossoms, unless you dine at a restaurant whose daily access to a specific farm provides for these fried stuffed delicacies on the Plat du Jour, or OK, unless you’ve a scheduled trip to Italy, then the likelihood of experiencing these prized treasures is difficult to be had.
Despite their delicacy, one of the greatest gifts of the beautiful squash blossoms is their strength to hold many varieties of stuffing such as today’s Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms with ricotta and goat cheeses, some freshly sautéed garden kale, finished with chopped shrimp and crab, a decidedly decadent combination whose flavor is richly over the top, delicious.
Though elegant enough for the fanciest of dinner parties, these pretties were simply eaten on the patio deck served alongside glasses of chilled wine set upon small hors d’ oeuvre plates to hover over while holding the top of the just fried flower using ones fingers, savoring each of the small bites once momentarily drained on a paper towel covered platter.
Fried Stuffed Squash blossoms, like a beautiful woman demand your complete attention. Best if picked in the early morning, each single leaf in the flower yields its stature of beauty exposing then the center stamen like stem for plucking out before very gently and carefully washing both inside and out.
Even tiny creatures find luxury lodging within so in this case staring at the beauty to win the complete prize without surprise competition is highly recommended.
Once carefully dried and immediately chilled, the beautiful blossom to behold shall be yours alone, or whoever you are willing to share with that is.
The squash blossom shows its finest beauty tendered efficiently, preparing its best quality flavored stuffing mixture in advance, and once filled, having the golden oil heated very, very hot, and readied while preparing the batter.
Short minutes later, just one bite of the prized feast leaves no doubt that among the many pleasures had in tending one’s own garden having access to the Squash Blossom has got to rank at the top when it comes to luxurious culinary specialties. Highly prized, glorious Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms.
Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms
- Squash Blossoms for stuffing:
- 14-16 squash blossoms
- For the Stuffing:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, separated
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 2 small garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 6-7 kale leaves, ribs removed, leaves rolled up, sliced very thinly then chopped
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 12 shrimp, approximately, uncooked: peeled, de-veined, tail removed, chopped
- 1/4 cup lump crab meat, picked free from shells
- pinch cayenne pepper
- few good pinches coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- For the batter:
- 2 1/2 cups Korean pancake mix, approximately (may be found at Asian stores)
- 3/4 bottle beer, or a bit more to achieve a thin consistency for dipping blossoms, swig the rest
- oil for frying squash blossoms
- Preparing Squash Blossoms for Stuffing: Pick squash blossoms first thing early in the morning when flowers are open. Gently remove the inner stamen-stem sticking up inside the center of the blossom. Rinse blossom very gently and carefully inside and out, paying particular attention to removing any small bugs that may have lodged in the blossom, dry lightly with a paper towel and lay cleaned blossoms onto a clean paper towel lined baking sheet, lay a piece of plastic wrap lightly on top, refrigerate blossoms immediately, until just before stuffing
- Preparing the Stuffing: Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large nonstick saute pan on medium high heat tumble in the uncooked, chopped shrimp, cook three to minutes until shrimp have turned pink all around, reduce heat to low, stir through the garlic, cook another minute, sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper, stir, turn off heat, transfer shrimp to a small bowl, wipe out pan and use to cook kale
- Add olive oil to the pan on low heat, scrape in the shallots, cook until softened, around two minutes then add in the chopped kale. Cook until kale is completely wilted and softened, around four minutes, sprinkle with a pinch each salt and pepper, stir, turn off heat.
- In a large glass mixing bowl stir together the ricotta and goat cheese, add in the Dijon and blend throughout, stir in the cooked chopped shrimp, crab meat, cayenne, black pepper, and a few good pinches kosher salt, fold in the kale mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to stuff and fry squash blossoms
- Frying the Squash Blossoms: Preheat cooking oil in a deep fryer
- Preparing the batter: Pour pancake mix into a mixing bowl, gradually pour in beer, stirring until reaching a thin but not runny consistency.
- One at a time, gently open the squash blossoms and using a teaspoon begin stuffing the blossoms with the shrimp and cheese mixture, pressing down very gently using the spoon until well filled but not overstuffed, be sure all the blossom leaves are closed tightly together before placing back onto the baking sheet
- Once squash blossoms are stuffed, one at a time lightly dip into the batter swirling off any excess then drop into the heated hot oil
- Fry approximately 3-5 until golden all around and mixture inside is hot, remove from oil, lightly drain on a paper towel lined plate, serve hot immediately