Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Sometimes you need to step outside your comfort zone and try something adventurous. This is the case with stuffed squash blossoms. You can find these readily at your local farmer's market, around here they cost $1 for about 8 which would serve four nicely. The blossoms are actually the male flowers of the zucchini squash. When you get them home I suggest rinsing the inside and outside gently and taking off the prickly green leaves on the underside of the blossom. Then wrap them in a moist paper towel and set in the refrigerator until you are ready to make them. I also used fresh garlic from the farmer's market. If you have never tried authentic, fresh garlic - please get to your local farmer's market and give some a try!
This recipe is a little fussy, but not too much where it should intimidate you. These are best when eaten fresh and the coating is crunchy and the interior hot. Your guests will be amazed that you made them and you will realize that cooking on the adventurous side is not so hard.
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. salt
Mix in a bowl and set in the refrigerator for at least a half hour.
4 garlic cloves
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup asiago cheese, grated
1 tsp. salt
Saute garlic and mushrooms until they have released their juices and are softened. Add to ricotta, asiago and salt mixture in a bowl. Stir well to combine. Place mixture in a large, sealable plastic bag that you have cut the corner out of as a 'makeshift' piping bag. This will help you direct the filling easier into the blossom. Place cut corner into interior of blossom and squeeze piping bag to insert filling into blossom - holding blossom firm until so see it fill up firmly with filling mixture, then pulling bag back to continue to fill blossom to the tip of petals, repeat with next blossom. This is a little finicky, don't get disheartened if it is not perfect since you will be dipping them in batter - noone will see any imperfections.
Remove the batter at least 15 minutes before you are going to use it and stir to loosen it. It is easier to coat the blossoms with a warmer batter.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or pan (I prefer deep fryer since it automatically controls the temperature) to 375 degrees. Dip the blossom into the batter, pressing lightly to get to stem edge, picking it up and turning it to get each side of the blossom coated. No need to press firmly as the batter should easily attach itself to the blossom. Drop blossoms in batches of 3-4 in oil and fry until golden brown. Serve immediately.