Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms 1.11 Paris is Burning
“My stuffed fried squash blossoms are extremely popular with the customers!” “Yes, I know.” “People come from all over and demand the fried stuffed squash blossoms.” “That's exactly my point!” “What'll you have sir? Anything that comes with the stuffed fried squash blossoms. That's what I hear day in and day out.”
25 fresh squash blossoms
15 oz of ricotta cheese
½ cup Parmigiana Reggiano, grated
3 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
½ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup self-rising flour
Vegetable oil for frying
Carefully remove the stamen and the stems of the flowers. Be very gentle! There will be a small hole at the bottom of the flower where the stamen once was.
Rinse the flowers under cold water to remove any pollen, dirt, or fruit flies (they are flowers after all). Again, be very gentle!
In a mixing bowl, combine both cheeses, the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Be sure to mince your garlic very finely so it doesn’t clog your piping bag.
Spoon the filling mixture into a piping bag or a sandwich bag with one of the corners snipped off.
Pipe the mixture into the flowers until full. Depending on the size of your flowers, you may end up running out of filling. You can either make more or eat the flowers raw. I had about three left over and I plan to add them to a salad.
Pour the all-purpose flour onto a plate and lightly roll the stuffed flowers into the flour to coat.
Fill a large saucepan or pot with vegetable oil to about one to two inches deep. Heat to medium high.
While the oil is heating up, mix the chicken broth with the self-rising flour. You are looking for a consistency of runny pancake batter or heavy cream. If the mixture seems too thick, add more broth; if it seems too runny, add more flour.
Dip a few of the flowers into the batter to fully coat. Allow any excess to drip off or use your fingers to remove excess batter. You’ll want to do a few at a time so the flowers don’t become too soggy while they wait to fry.
Check to see if your oil is ready by dropping a pinch of the batter. If it sizzles and bubbles, it’s ready.
Place two or three of the stuffed flowers into the hot oil. Let fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to blot dry.
Repeat this process with the remaining blossoms. Serve with a sprinkle of salt and fresh parsley.
Sorry Jackson, no zucchini tushes here. I’ll admit, I was pretty nervous about this recipe. It’s a little more advanced than what I normally cook, but this is one of Sookie’s most well-known recipes, and I had to give it a try! If you don’t know, squash blossoms are an edible flower that produces various types of squash such as zucchini (courgette if you’re beautifully British), spaghetti squash, melon squash, and other types. I wasn’t sure, at first, where to buy squash blossoms. They aren’t exactly a common produce. After some research, I realized we are currently woefully out of squash blossom season, so it was likely most of my local grocery stores and farmers markets weren’t going to have any.
I was just about to change recipes for this episode and make Max’s Italian Osso Buco (which also seemed very intimidating- a casserole of veal shanks) when I found Gourmet Sweet Botanicals online edible flower shop. They sell a variety of edible flowers, including (much to my relief) squash blossoms. It was a little pricey because you have to pay for overnight shipping to ensure the freshness of the flowers. However, it was worth the adventure!
When I looked at pictures of squash blossoms online, they were kind of puny and often wilted, but not the ones that arrived from Gourmet Sweet Botanicals. These were full and lush, which definitely made stuffing much easier. If you don’t mind paying for the high overnight shipping and you want to channel your inner Sookie, I definitely recommend ordering from them. There was a bit of a learning curve in removing the stamen without ripping the flower because they are so delicate, but you can still stuff and fry them even if you do end up ripping a few. These aren’t as good when kept overnight in the fridge, so if you don’t have multiple people living with you, I’d save this recipe for the next time it’s safe to gather again. These also took me a little over two hours to make, but they were so much fun to cook!
A few episodes ago, Love, War, and Snow, I wrote about how that was my favorite Max Medina episode. And now, just three episodes later, we are at one of my least favorite Max Medina episodes. I don’t put all the blame on Max for the nonsense of this episode; Lorelai is pretty ridiculous. She is already being very risky by dating Rory’s teacher, but she’s so messy with wanting to break up with Max then kissing him at Chilton during Parents’ Day. Rory had just gotten used to her mom dating her English teacher, and she had even accepted it. Now she goes from thinking they're going to break up to having their kiss spread all around school.
Most of the time, I do think Lorelai is a good mother to Rory, but in this episode, I just don’t think that’s the case. Sure, she didn’t really get to experience much dating in her twenties because she was raising Rory, but as a mom, she has to realize that her actions affect her daughter. Nevertheless, even though I’m not the biggest fan of Max and Lorelai, it is a heartbreaking scene at the very end of the episode where Rory comes home and finds Lorelai crying in her bed after they break up.
As I have also mentioned before, we all knew Max and Lorelai wouldn’t last when he ends up proposing at the end of season one. But it wasn’t until this most recent watch (I don’t know, like #80?) that I thought about how things would have worked out if Max and Lorelai didn’t get back together during season one. What if they stayed broken up after this episode and then didn’t reconnect until much later in the series? Maybe when he comes back from Stanford like in season three or even later than that. Obviously, the endgame was Luke, but I think Max and Lorelai might have had a better chance of surviving after Rory graduated from Chilton. Key word: might. I still think he’s way too boring for her.
Well, we are almost here, almost at the end of 2020. I’m fully aware that there isn’t going to be a magic button when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2020 and the pandemic is suddenly going to be over and Americans are suddenly going to start caring about other people. I know that’s not how it works. But, there is something hopeful about starting a new year. I don’t really believe in resolutions or “New Year, New Me,” but I do like the freshness of a new year. In 2019, I completed a project where I filmed one second of every day.
It was so much fun, and it’s a good time capsule of life before the world stopped. I had started to do the same for 2020, but it became really difficult when every day looked the same in quarantine. However, like I said, I have hope for 2021, and even if we’re in quarantine for most of next year too, I’m going to try another one second a day video. Not only is it a great way to remember the memories of an entire year, it also reminds me to enjoy the small moments even if they don’t seem that monumental at the time. Watching my 2019 video again this year makes me realize how much I took for granted, and I want 2021 to be about finding pockets of joy even in the mundane.
Happy New Year everyone, and Happy Cooking!
If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!