Squash Blossom Beignets

Chef Kara Brooks

Still River Café, www.stillrivercafe.com, Eastford, CT

Squash Blossom Beignets

Ingredients:

  • Ingredients for the Squash Blossoms
  • 6 freshly picked female summer blossoms (female blossoms have a tiny squash attached)
  • 6 freshly picked male summer squash blossoms
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs, such as basil, lemon basil, chives and tarragon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ingredients for the ricotta
  • 2 quarts whole cow’s milk
  • 1 quart goat's milk (OK to substitute with cow’s milk)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Ingredients for the tempura batter
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 6 ounces chilled club soda
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups of canola (or grape seed oil)
  • Sea salt

Method:

To make the ricotta:
Slowly bring cow milk, goat milk, cream, and salt to a low boil in a large heavy pot over moderate heat. Add the lemon juice and return briefly to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 – 5 minutes.Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Pour the mixture into a cheese cloth lined sieve and let it drain 30 minutes to an hour. Discard the liquid and chill the ricotta.It will keep for two 2 days.

To make the tempura batter:
Using a fork, gently combine the flour and club soda (a little lumpy is fine). Season with salt and pepper. (This batter is at its best when made right before using).

To make the blossoms:
Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a medium saucepan. Combine 2 cups of the ricotta with the fresh herbs, and salt and pepper.Fill a pastry bag with the mixture.Remove the stamen from blossoms and, using a pastry bag, pipe each with the ricotta mixture. Seal the top with your fingers. (If you don’t have a pastry bag, snip the corner off of a medium size plastic bag).
Dip each blossom in the tempura batter and let excess batter drip off. Fry each blossom for 1 ½ - 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with sea salt.Serve with a salad of baby greens, or on thinly sliced squash slices seasoned with a lemony vinaigrette.Serves 6.

 

Recommended wine/beer for Squash Blossom Beignets:

Terlato Chardonnay [Russian River Valley, California, USA]

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