Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Squash Blossom Special

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.  




25 comments:

  1. divine simplicity for the body and soul.
    and yes...some of the best people never get recognized for their worth and brilliance...
    but he will...I have a feeling...it will come~

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  2. yummmmm....
    i have never even heard of these....i must live in a cave !

    and your hubby....they'll see him soon....i know they will.

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  3. I LOVE squash blossoms, but I've never been able to get them to look this perfect!!!!!!!

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  4. Thanks, friends! I should add that my husband is very much recognized in his field. He's just not recognized and valued by certain administrators at the particular institution where he works. Now that I no longer work at that institution, I feel like I can say that. I grow tired of excellence being ignored or shunned. Exceedingly tired. You all are a lift to the spirits! xo

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  5. oh man....you make them sound so easy. i've never had them, never seen them offered at my local place. they look yummy.

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  6. I haven't made any this year, our zucchini plants are having such a struggle. But now I am tempted, both to make some and to come for dinner.

    Shake those fists and roar, the heavens will hear you.

    jane

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  7. I'm sorry that you've had another disappointment. I do love your attitude. We've had to adopt that around here a few times in our lives.

    As for squash blossoms...I had my first last weekend! We have a gourmet, yummy restaurant here in our little town. It has been written up in both Chicago and St. Louis papers as one of the best...and here it is in our little tiny corner of the world. We went for dinner last Friday and I ordered the squash blossom appetizer so I could try them. Mine were in a light beer batter and filled with goat cheese and fresh herbs. Delish!

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  8. Oooo...YUMMY! I'm not had fried squash blossoms in a loooong time. Very pretty they are too beside your pasta dish, Gigi. I feel soooo hungry now--haha! I want squash blossoms for breakfast! ;o) Happy Day, my friend ((HUGS))

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  9. zucchini flowers or squash flowers are my absolute favourite. I first tried them in Italy and they will forever capture for me that very special time of my life.

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  10. Oh! I never knew you could eat squash flowers! To think of all the years we had too many zucchinis coming at once, and I could have put a top to all of that by just eating their lovely flowers. This sounds like a really yummy recipe too... next time I find myself near a squash plant I'll know what to do. Thanks for posting that!

    Sending waves of better luck for your husband,
    Jodi

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  11. Pumpkin blossoms is what I grew up eating; we make the batter from corn meal and ritz crackers ground up together, with a little egg to help it stick, then fried either in butter or olive oil. Either way it is delicious and decadent and something I only eat once or twice a season. But so, so good!

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  12. Lovely photos! Sometimes, pictures of food just don't look as yummy as yours...I can smell the basil and oils and taste the melt in your mouth filling!

    Try them southwestern style like chili rellenos sometime...

    Appreciation...one of life's pleasures and rewards, truly...

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  13. wow, i am a squash blossom virgin. i have some photos of them on my most recent post but i have never eaten one .... yet.
    they do look amazing
    ~laura

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  14. I have never heard of squash blossoms before.
    Where did this come from? That is so interesting. Wonder who thought of it.

    As for your Hubby, his time will come, it's just around the corner.

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  15. I've been cooking meals more and more at home lately. I've not had this before but I sure want to give it a shot! :)

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  16. What a wonderful, delicious way to celebrate resilience! You do make these sound easier to make than they look or sound...can you believe that in 60 years I have never deep fried a thing? ...fear of the deep fryer!

    Some jobs are more about politics than about talent...sooner or later talent surely will prevail...

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  18. I grew up eating fried zucchini flowers, Gigi. They are absolutely delicious. Miss you, sweet friend! Hope you are well.

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  19. Gigi darling...
    I'm drooling here!
    excuse me while I wipe the pc screen now!

    xo as always*

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  20. My, oh my. You have me ready to hop on a plane and fly to your house for dinner. YUM!!!

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  21. Those sound amazing, Gigi....I definitely need to try my hand at those! Have a gorgeous week, my lovely friend! xxoo :)

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  22. Gigi ~

    I'm bookmarking this divine recipe, and next year, when I have my very own garden, this will be the recipe I will be waiting with much anticipation to make and then indulge in all its divine goodness!

    So sad reading your words regarding Todd and the lack of acknowledgment he so rightfully deserves! You both are so very lucky to have one another...true loving souls who continuously build one another up.

    We are still with family in Georgia, and we are heading to Florida tomorrow morning to spend a week with Sean's family.

    Thinking of you!
    Bisous,
    Melissa

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  23. This sounds absolutely delicious! Sorry to hear your hubby is not getting the kudos he deserves- it is so difficult to see those closest to us be underappreciated.
    Hugs and glad to hear you are settling into your new home so well.

    smiles

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  24. Oh, HEAVEN, pure late-summer heaven. I'm having serious food cravings right now- food here is good but comes exclusively in two presentations: fried or stewed. So fresh cripsy squash blossoms would really do it for me right now.

    Got your wonderful, lovely email and would be so delighted. Internet connect pretty spotty so I'm cutting back on blogging and internetting in general, sadly, but will def. participate! Can't wait!

    Big hugs from the cloud forest,
    xo.

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  25. Was it you that took pictures of these before, and I fell in love with them? Not knowing that they were edible?
    This is so fantastically interesting....I wish I could try them. I have never seen them before! I don't think they sell them in the markets here, but I will be on the lookout, and if I find them, I will come back to this post and give it a whirl.
    How interesting!

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