I do apologize; I don’t have a picture of the final product — everything was eaten so fast! At least I have a couple of pics of some things that took place beforehand. Now there was no real intention to make these; I just saw them at the market and thought to myself, “Waterlily, you could do something nice with these!”
This was part of a welcome meal for my parents and my brother when they drove up to visit over Labor Day. It was just something nice and a little bit special that I could have waiting for them once they got here. It’s not everyday that you can have some fresh squash blossoms. . . well, at least in my house. These can be somewhat tricky to work with, mostly because they can be pretty delicate. But on the other hand, don’t be too afraid to peel back the petals and stuff them with the filling. They can be pretty resilient.
As for the filling, it again shows some of the versatility of the Garlic Confit and the Pesto that I posted a little bit ago. This time I combine the two with just a little bit of some cream cheese. Of course, I did panic and make a double batch of the stuffing. Trust me, a single one is more than enough; the good thing is that it makes a very nice spread on some bread, or a bagel, or maybe a cucumber sandwich or something along those lines. You could probably thin out the stuffing with a little yogurt or sour cream and make a nice vegetable dip. Or how about taking a couple of tablespoons of the filling and adding it to a pasta sauce and making a nice pesto cream sauce. Just take the filling and some pasta water (that’s the water in which you are currently boiling the pasta, in case you didn’t know) and you have an instant sauce! Or using it to fill some crab rangoons (which I have been craving since I’ve been sick and bedridden). See, that’s like 20 ideas right there. Hopefully my rambling will help everybody see how you can take portions from recipes and use them in different applications. Here’s what you need:
- about 12 -15 squash blossoms
- 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese
- 3 -4 cloves from the garlic confit
- 1/2 c. confit pesto
- 1 c. seasoned flour
- 1 egg
- canola oil for frying
1. Carefully wash and dry the squash blossoms. I just had them drip dry in a colander that was lined with a few sheets of paper towel. Set aside.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cream cheese, pesto, and confit. Mix until smooth. Gently open the blossoms without tearing them and fill each one with about one tablespoon (or a little bit more, if you like) of the cream cheese mixture. Carefully twist the blossoms closed.
3. Scramble the egg in a shallow dish. Now dredge the blossoms in the flour, then coat with the egg, and then dredge in the flour again.
4. Fill a frying pan about an inch deep with the canola oil. Over medium or medium-high heat, bring the oil to about 350 degrees F. In small batches, fry the flowers until golden, turning them once.
5. Drain them on a cooling rack lined with some paper towel. Serve while still hot.
Notes — You could secure the blossoms with a toothpick if that is your preference, just remember to remove them before eating!. . . One trick that I learned from Alton Brown is that you can drain these (or anything else that you’re frying) in an unorthodox way. Normally you would drain them on a plate or rack with some paper towel on it. You should turn all that upside down! It should look like this, solid surface (kitchen counter), then your paper towel, and finally an upsidedown cooling rack. The rack acts as a wick which draws out the excess oil, but also acts as a physical barrier that prevents the food item from sitting in a pool of grease. . .