Cheese Filled Fried Zucchini Blossoms….Yes Flowers Fried With Cheese!

Zucchini season is here.  The blossoms, at least, are plentiful and I am expecting many zucchini in a few days.  While no squash are ready to pick I was thinking about the blossoms.  I used to make stuffed blossoms with beer batter.  I hadn’t tried to make them GF yet.  Why not tonight.

I looked up my recipe in the Joy of Cooking; the batter recipe that is.  I was surprised to see it said flour or rice flour.  So I said, why not! No need for a fancy flour blend. I used plain white rice flour in my batter.

I usually use Monterey Jack cheese to fill them but in a pinch some extra sharp cheddar made do.  Or whatever cheese floats your boat; can use almost anything that is not too dry or is runny.

There was some GF Redbridge beer chilling in my fridge. So I cracked a beer and whipped up the batter.  It is supposed to sit for 3 hours, I left it go for about one hour.  I drank the rest of the beer with supper! Why not?

No need to deep fry in a quart of oil, I fried mine in a non stick pan with a good coating of light olive oil.  I like to turn them twice; resulting in a sort of three sided fritter. They are best consumed right away the same day they are made, eaten warm with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.  My two and a half year old grandson ate one and seemed to enjoy it!  They have a mild squash taste but I think the beer batter is the predominate flavor. My GF version was pretty much identical to the old wheat version and they tasted fantastic! I ate 4 of them and had to restrain myself from any more….

Squash Fritters with Cheese Filling

Ingredients

1 egg

2/3 cup white rice flour

Sprinkle sea salt, a few grinds of fresh pepper

1 ½ tsp light olive oil plus more for frying

3 ounces GF beer; I measure it midway between ½ and 2/3 cup

Approx 1 inch chunk of cheddar cheese cut into small rectangles

¼ a fresh lemon

Separate the egg and put the yolk in a medium bowl, ditto for the white.  Add the oil, salt, pepper and white rice flour to the yolk.  Then add the beer.  Stir well, cover with plastic wrap and let stand an hour or two.  Beat that reserved egg white until fairly stiff. Add to the batter and stir gently but thoroughly. It will loose some loft but don’t over beat; should be thick and rather puffy in texture.

Slit open the side of each squash blossom and break off the pollen stamen.  Insert a 1 inch by ½ inch chunk of cheddar cheese.

Heat a 10 inch non-stick skillet; add about 2 or 3 tbsp light olive oil.  Take 2-3 blossoms and gently roll in the batter making sure the cheese doesn’t fall out.  Lightly lay them in the hot olive oil and fry until golden, turn twice; about 5 or 6 minutes total. Do not keep turning; maximum of two turns.  Lay on a couple paper towels to absorb any excess oil.  Plate, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

They are a lovely appetizer. I made 9 of them; that was how many blossoms I had; the batter should do at least 12 to 15 of them.  Even the bit of stem will taste good so don’t worry if you have ½ inch or so of stem.  The blossoms are best if you pick them yourself that day. I did notice that Lehigh Valley Produce had squash blossoms for sale last week so they are the first place I suggest you look for some if you don’t have access to a few squash plants.  I have even used pumpkin or butternut squash blossoms in the past; they taste fine

Do try them; a real conversation starter, not that hard to make and really delicious.

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