The final outcome of the recipe was not exactly what I expected, and as I’m not afraid to include my failures as well as my triumphs, figured I’d still put this out for public consumption as a public service announcement on how not to ruin a perfectly good bag of squash blossoms. You see, it looked awful when I was done, and didn’t taste much better.
Let me just say that squash blossoms are kind of hard to work with. The petals are quite delicate and easily damaged when you try to remove the stamen. And they’re pretty diffucult to clean, too. I had the bright idea to stuff them with an herbed goat cheese, and then dip them into tempura batter and fry them. Although it sounds great in theory, in practice – even with following the recipe exactly, the goat cheese mixture was too fragrant and herby, and totally overpowered the delicate flavor of the blossoms, and the tempura batter clung too much and puffed up too much and totally obscured the beauty of the blossoms – all pictures I’ve ever seen of tempura fried squash blossoms have just a thin coating of tempura here and there, but you can see most of the blossom. I *must* be doing something wrong, or else it just isn’t a very good recipe. If you decide to make this recipe, let me know how it turns out for you.
I think next time around, I’m going to try something different – there are two other recipes that sounded good. One was a crab stuffed squash blossom sauteed in butter, the other was this Emeril recipe. We’ll see – at least now I’m a little more familiar with the ingredient.
Tempura Squash Blossoms with Herbed Goat Cheese
courtesty Earthbound Farm Organic
Squash Blossom Stuffing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
6 ounces plain goat cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 fresh squash blossoms
Canola oil, for frying
Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until the moisture has mostly evaporated and the onions have just begun to caramelize. Cool mixture to room temperature.
Place the herbs and goat cheese in the bowl of a mixer and blend at low speed until the herbs are evenly distributed. Add the shallot-garlic mixture and blend again. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Carefully stuff each blossom with some of the herbed cheese. Set aside.
1 1/2 cups soda water, plus more if necessary
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of soda water in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cayenne pepper. Add the remaining cup of soda water and stir to blend. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes.
Fill a deep frying pan or pot with 2 inches of canola oil and heat to 350 F over medium high heat.
Dip each blossom into the tempura batter. Transfer to the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer blossoms to paper towels to absorb excess oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.