Jul 15, 2010

It's 110˚Outside and I'm Inside Frying

I am apologizing again for the long delay between posts. I just moved to a new home in San Francisco (I must take a moment here to say that I successfully drove a fully loaded 17-foot u-haul through the streets of San Francisco, parked it on Lombard St. and unloaded that sucker. An accomplishment fit for a spot on the resume I believe) and I have been making trips back and forth between LA since.  

I am in LA now where it's 110 degrees outside, I kid you not. And what am I doing? Frying. Speaking both literally and figuratively. I go outside and this oh-so-fair skin of mine fries. I step inside, and as the sizzling dissipates from my skin, I hear it again except its coming from the stove and its zucchini blossoms, not my shoulders. 

The first time I ever had fried zucchini blossoms (or fiori fritti, their Italian name), I was a little nervous. I can only compare it so the nervousness a meat-eater would have about eating something like frog legs. Knowing that eating one won’t kill you, but not knowing how close the trash can needs to be for a worst-case gag scenario. 

Put all nerves aside because I can confidently tell you: don’t fear the fried flowers. They are absolutely divine. When I laid my eyes on their golden petals at the farmers market for the first time this summer I squealed like a little girl who had just been handed a brand new Barbie, or maybe a Webkin. Everyone should try these, at least once.  They are light and crispy and the bold and adventurous feeling you get from eating one for the first time is delicious. 

There are a ton of different batters people use to make these fried zucchini blossoms. I have tried the more elaborate types with flour, egg, cornstarch, and ice cubes among others things in it, but I actually prefer this simple recipe with just three ingredients. Some people also prefer to stuff their blossoms with cheese. I prefer it without. 

While this is a great thing to make to impress, only attempt these when the time is right. They are at their prime minutes after coming out of the oil. They need a minute to cool, but their quality goes down after that minute. Do NOT make these ahead of time! They are great and easy to make as appetizers when everyone is hanging out around the kitchen so you can be manning the fryer and hanging out at the same time. 

Fried Zucchini Blossoms

  • Zucchini Blossoms (you want the males. How do you know it’s a male? Well don’t be shy and take a peek inside!  There will be a very male looking stamen.)
  • Frying oil (I use canola)
  • Batter:
              2/3 cup all-purpose flour
              3/4 cup beer (or soda water)
              A large pinch of salt

If your zucchini blossoms are dirty, you should rinse them with water, but pat them as dry as you can because you will have oil spattering all over the place if there is any water on them. You can remove their boy parts if you want to, but they are edible and I don’t notice a difference with or without them.    
Whisk together the flour and salt.

In a medium side bowl whisk the flour into the beer.  If your batter appears to be too thick, add more liquid.

Coat the blossoms in the batter; just a thin coat is good.

Fry the blossoms in 1-2 inches of canola oil at 375 degrees (it is a good idea to have a cooking thermometer for this). You can fry about 3 at a time, flipping them after each side has turned crisp and gold, about a minute or two each side.

Remove immediately after both sides have been fried and sprinkle them with salt and serve.

**Printable Recipe**

P.S Zucchini Flowers are one of Louie's favorite things