29 years of imagining, and then converting into one of my hobbies... I hope you'll enjoy it... (^.^)/ , by Marina

July 27, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers


So, as promised here's the first Zucchini recipe. :)
Since my garden is in bloom and the Zucchini plant has a lot of flowers that don't grow into a fruit, I decided to use them instead ;). It might sound strange to some of you, but zucchini flowers are edible. In fact their delicate flavour and sweet taste places them as special dishes in many extravagant restaurants.

The main disadvantage to their more frequent usage, is their frail nature. They grow, flower and die in a matter of few days. Once picked they can last two days at most if kept unwashed - in a dry, cold and dark place. Water damages the petals and contributes to a much faster putrefaction. Sometimes I find rotten flowers still attached to the peduncle after a light rain, which were still great just before it.

This recipe is quite a great one, originally made by Andrew Blake. Zucchini flowers stuffed with fresh cheese, and then fried to a crispy state in beer butter. Mmmmm... just thinking about it makes me hungry! (and it's lunch time ;) )

If you have a square meter of open air in a sunny spot available, you can plant your own zucchini in spring. Two seeds, each on one side of a 45cm pot, will give you zucchini and theirs flowers to enjoy for a whole summer. If you're low on space, just train them to grow vertically instead of letting them take up your floor ;).

Choose flowers that just recently closed, but didn't yet wilt. Pick them up delicately at their base, detaching them from the stem. Place them on a dry surface until usage.


Total time: 15'
Serves: 8 flowers
Difficulty: easy
Calories: ~ 60 kcal / flower

CAUTION: Using boiling oil for frying in this recipe


Ingredients:
- 8 fresh zucchini flowers
- 150 gr fresh goat cheese
- 4 Capers
- pinch of salt and pepper

Beer batter
- 2 tbs of plain flour
- 1 dcl of dark beer

- vegetable oil for frying

This one is pretty easy and quick, just remember, as mentioned earlier, not to wash the flowers until you are ready to use them. ;)

  1. Chop the Capers finely, then add them to the cheese. Sprinkle salt and pepper on taste. Take a piping bag and fill it in with the cheese mix.
  2. Wash the flowers under water and gently shake down the excessive water. Using a kitchen paper dry them from any excessive water which in contact with hot oil would cause it to spatter. This can be quite harmful, so make sure you never mix water with boiling oil.
  3. Open the petals using one hand. Care not to break them.
  4. Slowly pipe in the cheese mix with the other hand.
  5. Gently fold the petals back together (they will do that on their own, just help them a bit). Repeat until you stuffed all the flowers.
  6. Heat the oil in a small deep pan, until boiling temperature. You can check it with a toothpick, which when inserted gets air bubbles all over it.
  7. In a separate bowl mix the flour with the beer until well combined.
  8. Dip one stuffed flower in the batter, covering it all around.
  9. Let it drip off the excessive batter.
  10. Place it in the boiling oil. (Care not to burn yourself) Fry for about 5-10 seconds.
  11. Turn it upside down and fry another 5-10 seconds
  12. Take it out and place it on kitchen paper to absorb any extra oil.
  13. Once done place it on a dry surface and server immediately, or cool it down and refrigerate to use it in a bento.

Add two eyes and a mouth and here you go :D - Alien bento!


    TIPS:
  • When heating the oil use an amount just deep enough to accommodate 2/3 of the flowers width. While heating the oil expands in volume, and it will grow just to the right amount.
  • If you're gonna keep the flowers for later (like I used them in a bento), make sure you don't place them on a wet surface. The outer fried shell will absorb the liquid making them floppy instead of crispy. Trust me, it's a huge difference ;)

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