It’s amazing how easy it is to lose touch with friends. Between life and work, sometimes we’re not great about driving a few miles to see each other.
But when we do, it’s pretty wonderful.
So, a couple of weeks ago when we spent the day and evening with friends it was like a little holiday. A little holiday that ended with a present!
My friend Kelee and I were hanging out on her back lawn chatting and drinking beer, when somehow the subject came up of an ingredient I’d always wanted to cook with – squash blossoms.
“Why squash blossoms?” she asked.
“Because stuffed squash blossoms are in my favorite episode of the Sopranos. I’ve never had them, and they sounded really cool.”
(Ugh. Just typing that makes we want to re-watch “Funhouse.” But I haven’t been able to watch any Sopranos since James Gandolfini died. I’m still in DEEP denial about that. Nopeity, nope, nope. Didn’t happen. La, la, la.)
Then Kelee invited me to look at her garden – and she had a bunch of squash blossoms! She gave me four to take home.
And it’s to her and Jedd’s credit that they didn’t think that I was a little odd when I jumped up and down.
I made them this afternoon and they were wonderful. They were floral, even though they’d been lightly fried and the warm mozzarella and thyme melted with each bite.
Oh, and since the only cost I was out was oil and mozzarella, the fried squash blossoms set me back about $1.50. Not bad, Kelee and her garden. Not bad.
Mozzarella and Thyme Stuff Squash Blossoms
(Note: I only cooked 4 squash blossoms, because that’s all I had. But trust me on this, with the egg and flour mixture, you could probably bread 20 of them.)
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Heat ½- inch of oil in a medium frying pan, over medium heat. Wash the blossoms, and remove the stamens from the inside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Stir well.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg.
Chop the mozzarella into very small pieces. Strip the thyme from the stalk. Gently place cheese and thyme in each blossom, being careful to not overfill them. Twist the top of the blossom together to close.
When the oil is at 375 degrees, it’s ready. (If you don’t have a thermometer, a cube of bread will brown in 1 minute.)
Dip each blossom into the egg, and then into the flour. Let any excess drip off. Fry for about 1 ½ minutes a side.
Let the blossoms dry on paper towels, and season with sea salt.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)