All year I compost my veggie scraps in a 4 by 4 foot square of dirt. By the Spring I have enough rich earth to replenish my fallow garden. One of the problems, or in this case, benefits, are the compost seeds that sprout everywhere. Usually it's just some tomato plants, but this year squash plants have sprung up everywhere.
This delicate dish uses a light batter for frying, so the tender and mild squash flavor comes through. Surprisingly, the squash flowers hold up quite well to frying. And the herb-studded cheese is a scrumptious creamy bite.
You don't need a lot of cash for The 99 Cent Chefs latest high-end recipe -- just some free garden squash blossoms, herbs, and a light sauteing touch. For all you gardeners out there, this recipe is for you.
Ingredients (serves 2-4)
1 dozen squash blossoms
1/2 small container of cream cheese, ricotta, or any favorite cheese -- soft or shredded.
Handful of chopped herbs - I used parsley, oregano and sage from my garden. Okay to use a 1/2 teaspoon of dried.
1/4 cup of oil - just enough to cover the bottom of your frying pan.
A tasty addition would be to add some sauteed and chopped soft mushrooms into the cheese mixture.
Frying Batter Ingredients
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1/4 cup of corn starch - this makes a lighter coating, but you can substitute for an equal amount of flour.
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder - optional
- 1/2 cup of beer - okay to use bubbly water, like soda or sparkling.
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Allow cheese to reach room temperature. Chop herbs and mix into softened cheese. If you use a harder cheese like cheddar then grate it and mix with herbs.
Cut off long stems of squash blossoms, but stop at green base. Be careful not to clip a hole into bottom - you don't want melting cheese to leak out too much. Stuff each blossom with about a teaspoon of cheese mixture, depending on the size of each squash blossom.
Mix all the batter ingredients in a shallow bowl for dipping the Stuffed Squash Blossoms. It should be thinner than pancake batter. You are going for a light coating, it can be on the thin side. It's all about tasting the delicate blossoms. The batter coating will help hold in the melting cheese/herb stuffing.
Next add veggie oil to sauteing pan or pot, over medium/low heat. Test heat oil in pan with a drop of batter -- it should bubble and fry when added.
Dip Stuffed Squash Blossom into batter, coating all sides. Pick up coated blossom and let excess batter drain off; then add each Stuffed Squash Blossom into pan as you coat them.
Drain on paper towels or a metal rack. Be careful of the first bite -- it will be deliciously melting hot!
This dish combines well as a topping for a favorite pasta entree, like my John Cassavetes Red Pepper, Olive Oil, Garlic & Pasta; Fettuccine Alfredo; or Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Bacon Bits -- just click on a name for the recipe. Stuffed Squash Blossoms also make impressive party hors d'oeuvres.