Squash or pumpkin blossoms offer up multiple opportunities. While in cooking school in Mexico, we used them as a filling ingredient for quesedillas, empanadas and tacos. They were also tossed in salads and soups for color and nutrition. Of course they are also lovely when filled and fried or baked. Squash blossoms are a unique ingredient. Unless you have a big patch of squash or pumpkins, you are at the whim of the farmer who brings these highly perishable ingredient to market. At the Charleston Farmer’s Market yesterday, I spied a little box of the blooms and grabbed it. My mind was swimming with filling ideas as we drove home. I decided on some queso fresca that I bought at a small Hispanic market on John’s Island with herbs and peppers & a little marscarpone for smoothness.
10-12 squash blossoms
1/2 cup queso fresco ( you can also use a creamy feta) allow it to warm up to room temperature
1 jalapeno or hotter pepper if you want more spice cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons marscarpone or cream cheese
a hand full of grated jack cheese
6 sprigs of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups flour
1 can or bottle of beer
salt and pepper
About 2 hours before you plan to serve, mix the beer and flour together with salt and pepper. Cover and leave on the counter.
Clean blossoms by brushing off any soil, do not run under water. Pull out the stamen.
Place the cheeses, cilantro, pepper and salt and pepper in the small bowl of a food processor. This can also be done by hand, but if you are doing it that way, you will need to finely chop the pepper and cilantro.
Pulse until the filling is smooth. Using a spatula, fill a small zip lock bag. Push all of the filling down so that there is no air in the bag. Just before filling cut a small piece of the corner off and pipe the filling into the blossom, carefully wrapping the petals around the filling. Leave the top 1/2 inch unfilled and twist to enclose the filling. Refrigerate.
In a large pot or fryer heat peanut or canola oil (at least 3 inches) to 375 degrees.
Put a few stuffed blossoms into the batter and then place carefully into the hot oil. After about a minute of frying, turn the blossoms and allow them to fry till golden. Remove with a spider and drain. Serve immediately.
You can find another post of mine about squash blossoms made with sourdough batter here on my Hawaii blog.