For a couple of years now, during the summer, I have been in search of fresh squash blossoms (flor de calabaza) at the farmers market. We finally made a trip to the regional market in Syracuse, New York a couple of weekends ago and the trip was well worth it. The market was overflowing with fresh produce everywhere! And all of my favorites, like tomatoes, poblanos, hot peppers, onions, corn, onions and tons of garlic! Thinking I had more than my fair share of produce, I was walking out of there pretty content. One quick glance more and what to I spy? Two lonely little baskets of fresh squash blossoms on an almost empty table. Yes! Finally! I think the lady thought I was crazy with my reaction when she confirmed that they were squash blossoms. I knew immediately that I would prepare them stuffed with cheese and serve them over a caldillo de tomate(fresh tomato sauce). There was no time to waste. The blossoms were so delicate and wilting by the minute. To preserve them for a day or two longer, I cleaned them, stuffed a few with cheese and stored them in the freezer until I was ready to cook them. They were on small side and not those big blossoms I see all the time, but hey, it’s better than nothing. For the blossoms that were too damaged, I chopped up and prepared a meatless soup with some of the fresh produce I picked up. Lucky for me, I had a few jars of Lupita’s brand of squash blossoms in my pantry. I added some to the soup along with the fresh. Both very tasty! #flordecalabaza #squashblossoms
Flor de Calabaza Rellenas de Queso
8 large squash blossoms, cleaned
Chihuahua cheese, about 1 cup
For Beer Batter
1 cup all pupose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 tsp. chipotle powder
1/3 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 tsp. smoked paprika
1 cup of beer, more or less
You will also need
Oil for frying (I used grapeseed oil)
Clean the squash blossoms and stuff with shredded cheese. Close them as tightly as you can and place them in the freezer for 1 hour.
In a bowl mix the flour with the dried spices. Whisk in the beer until completely smooth. Cover and set aside.
While you are waiting, prepare the caldillo de tomate. See link below for full recipe.
When ready to cook blossoms, preheat 1 cup of oil in a saucepan to medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until temperature reaches 350 degrees F.
Remove stuffed blossoms from the freezer and dredge in a little flour. This will ensure that the batter sticks.
Dip each stuffed blossom in the beer batter to coat evenly. Gently shake off exces bater and transfer to hot oil. Fry for a few minutes, turning as needed, until golden brown. Place onto a plate lined with paper towels.
To plate, add some of the caldillo to a shallow bowl and place the squash blossoms on top. Tasty!!
Freezing the cheese stuffed blossoms for an hour before will make it easier to dredge, dip and fry them. To clean the blossoms, gently open and remove the stamens or anthers. Rinse and gently shake off or let air dry.
Perfectly melted Chihuahua cheese…
Sopa de Flor de Calabaza
Yields 4 Servings
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chile serrano, minced
1 small poblano, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium tomato, diced
1 zucchini, slices(1 1/2 cups)
1 cup fresh corn
10-15 fresh squash blossoms, chopped or 1 jar (8 oz) of squash blossoms, drained
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried epazote
Handful of Cilantro, plus more for for garnish
Lime wedges for garnish
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pot and heat to medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chile serrano and poblano. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6-8 minutes.
Add the tomato, zucchini and corn and saute for another minute. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes. Add the hanful of fresh cilantro with stems to the soup during the last few minutes. Remove before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.