real life test kitchen: beer battered stuffed squash blossoms

The other day we noticed that fried squash blossoms were on the menu of one of our favorite restaurants, Cookshop, reminding us of this great way to cook them at home. Enjoy!

These lil’ babies are so good I made them three times this week. No joke! Slightly labor intensive, perhaps, but oh, so worth the effort, especially for guests, who are sure to rapaciously devour them all before you can even taste them (which is why my photos aren’t my best work)! Here’s what it takes for you to make your own:

1) Procure yourself some squash blossoms. I recommend the farmer’s market. Or your neighbor’s backyard (See above photo for reference). Make sure you get them they day they are to be eaten, as they don’t keep well.

2) Get some cheese. I like a mix of fresh ricotta and Italian truffle cheese (from Trader Joe’s) or pecorino romano, but I suggest the truffle cheese if you can find it.

3) Fry up a little bit of bacon and a shallot. Mix with the cheese. Add some pepper and fresh thyme. Stuff those blossoms!

4) Dip in a simple beer batter and pan fry until golden. Watch them disappear!

It’s something you can really only enjoy for a fleeting moment once a year, so why not buy a ton, grab a couple of big skillets, and have a squash blossom party? Their gently sweet and delicate flavor is not exclusive to the savory side, oh no. They are scrumptious as a sweet fritter too, just lightly battered and dusted with powdered sugar, reminiscent of funnel cake from the fair! Click for Beer Battered Stuffed Squash Blossoms!

Beer Battered Stuffed Squash Blossoms
serves 6 as an appetizer

For the blossoms:
12-18 medium to large squash blossoms (about 4 inches long)
1/2 c fresh ricotta cheese
1/3 c italian truffle cheese, grated finely ( or pecorino romano, parmesan, or asiago will work)
1 strip of bacon, diced finely (optional)
1 shallot, diced
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
black pepper to taste
oil for frying (like grapeseed)

For the batter:
1/2 c flour ( I have subbed corn flour for fantastic gluten-free results)
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
8-12 oz. cold lager beer (start with eight and add more if needed)

In a medium skillet, fry bacon over medium heat until golden and set aside to cool. Saute shallot in rendered bacon fat and cook (still over medium) until lightly browned. Mix ricotta, grated cheese, bacon and shallot in a medium bowl, season with thyme and pepper (and salt if needed, depending on your ricotta– taste it). Grab a large skillet and fill up with an inch of oil and get it going over medium high heat. Stuff each of the squash blossoms with a spoonful of the cheese mixture, and gently twist the petals to close.

In a large bowl, mix dry batter ingredients with a fork and add beer, starting with about 1/2 a can while whisking continuously. Add more beer as needed to form a light batter (think thinner than pancake batter). Lightly dredge each blossom in the batter — I use two forks to aid in the process. Make sure your oil is hot (at or around 375 F) and fry them in small batches, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. Flip them after a nice golden brown crust has formed, about 2 minutes per side, and once both sides are browned and crispy, transfer to a wire rack lined with paper towels. Serve immediately.

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Mary T.

I have eaten some of these. You will DIE FROM LOVE.