Deep Fried Kalabasa (Squash) Blossoms are a house favorite. I figured that I could just as easily eat fried chicken, so my version of “dieting” was to scale back from that possibility to deep frying vegetables and protein insteadâ€¦ Can you tell I have very liberal dieting rules? At any rate, following the spectacular squash blossoms by Ms. Fores at my birthday dinner, and my subsequent failed attempt to get a crisp coating to my fried zucchini, I decided to revisit our previously posted recipe for fried stuffed squash blossoms (a Mrs. MM specialty) and experiment a littleâ€¦
The first step was finding these utterly wonderful squash blossoms at the market last Saturday. At PHP40 a bunch, they were a bargain. I chose the bunches with closed flowers because I intended to stuff them with a cheese mixture, though I notice from my photos now that the ones served by Ms. Foresâ€™ crew were already opened blossomsâ€¦and here is whyâ€¦ The opened blossoms have a much bigger surface area to be coated with whatever batter they used so they cook up bulkier. The closed flowers are excellent as a vessel for stuffing of some sort, but fry up tighter and denser.
For the stuffing, I tried two different versions, one made with small mozzarella balls (boconcini) and anchovies, blitzed briefly in a food processor, or alternatively chopped finely. And the second variation was mozzarella and semi-dried tomatoes. I stuffed each squash blossom with one or the other filling and then dipped them in a batter made of rice flour, salt and soda water. I had previously put the batter in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill it as suggested by several commenters on the post for fried zucchini.
The results were pretty good but not a home run. The cheese melted inside the squash blossoms and adhered to the walls of the flower petals. The rice flour crisped up nicely but was probably thinner that it should have been. Some of the stuffing inevitably escaped and as a result, there were several browned and burned bits of cheese that made it all a touch unsightly. If you do this version, remember to salt liberally and only fry a few blossoms at any one time. I now appreciate why Ms. Fores only fried the blossoms, then served a tasty creamy dip on the sideâ€¦ it made for a nice presentation, more robust and crisp blossom and yet you still got the flavor punch from the dinalian (or bagoong) spiked cream dipâ€¦ Yum!