It was a full day. Parts of it, like an early morning visit to the farmers' market and a phone conference with a good friend and collaborator, were inspiring and energizing. Other parts were tough. I hate when someone amazing is repeatedly not recognized for just how profoundly amazing they are. I especially hate it when that someone is my husband. Do you ever just want to stand in the face of the powers that be and shake your tiny fist? We have had such a crummy year--a truly crummy year--yet we are still going strong, and I am thankful every day that I married such a resilient and funny and good guy. And I am thankful more than words can say that we have moved to a city that fills us with joy.
So, in the midst of a busy day of work, I had it in my head that I needed to make some stuffed and fried squash blossoms tonight. I'd bought four of them at the market, and they were calling to me all afternoon. Finally, I set work aside and made four little bundles of bliss.
Do you ever make fried squash blossoms? If not, you really must! They're easy and delicious. I make a little bit of batter with some flour, corn starch, salt and pepper, and sparkling water (or tap water or beer). I whisk it up and pop it in the fridge for half an hour.
While the batter is chilling, I make my stuffing. Tonight I just mixed together half a cup of ricotta with some fresh chopped basil, salt and pepper, a little grated parmesan, and some minced garlic. The filling can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. I spoon a little filling inside each blossom, twist 'em shut, and chill for about 15 minutes.
I heat an inch or two of canola oil with a touch of olive oil in a cast iron skillet--or whatever pot you like to use for frying. Then I dip the blossoms into the batter and pop them into the hot oil. I use medium high flame, and turn it down just a bit if I get any spattering.
Turn them occasionally until they are golden brown and crispy. It only takes five or six minutes. Transfer them from the oil to paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt.
Try to get anyone who's hovering around you at this point to keep their hands off until you're ready to serve them. I served mine tonight alongside a simple pasta dish: penne tossed with sauteed garlic, onions, and baby arugula and topped with parmesan, salt, and pepper.
I always feel like a simple, delicious meal shared with someone you love (or alone with a few candles) is a great way to erase some of the worries of the day. Everything seems a little less crummy after a bowl of really good pasta and the crunchy, creamy goodness that is a fried squash blossom.