Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Zucchini Chronicles, Part 3: Beer Battered Squash Blossoms with Honey Mustard

While foraging around in the zucchini zone, some zuke moments from the past came to mind. Back in the commune days, Beer Battered Squash Blossoms were my specialty dish for our annual parents party. Every August us counter-culture white kids of mostly Catholic and Jewish backgrounds would host our collective folks on our 350 acre Ranch in Washington State. Aside from some confusing paternal issues they were pretty good sports about our lifestyle or they just didn't show up. This was our best foot forward event, and what better way than with fresh organic food from our communal garden. Later, we upped this enthusiasm for growing and cooking to another level and hosted a Garlic Festival for 13 years, but that's another story...
I prepared this dish for 60-100 and it was never enough. Cooking outdoors behind our Sanctuary Tent, I got fried using an electric skillet with a built in thermometer. Blooms in batter went like hot cakes.

Beer Battered Squash Blossoms
Enough to coat about 2 cups of frying objects

Put in bowl and mix well:
1 1/3 cups all purpose or rice flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 T melted butter or vegetable oil
2 beaten egg yokes
Add gradually:
3/4 cup  flat beer
Allow batter to rest covered and refrigerated 3-12 hours Just before using, you may add
(2 stiffly beaten egg whites)

-Use vegetable oil only,1 inch deep in skillet,
Keep at 350 degrees
Dip dry flowers in batter and fry 2-3 minutes until golden, drain on paper towels, finish while hot with course salt
Dip in Honey Mustard Sauce* and let the blossom banquet begin!

Tip: In all recipes involving flour, measurements can only be approximate.The batter will adhere if it follows this test which my son, a brilliant chef and reflection of his food forward upbringing, explained to me.
Take a generous spoonful of batter and hold it above the mixing bowl. Instead of running from the spoon in a broad shining band, (a consistency the the French call au ruban,) the batter should run for about a 1/2 inch length, then drop in successive long triangular "splats." When the batter is this consistency, beat it until very smooth. Cover and let it sit refrigerated for at least two hours, even overnight. This resting period allows a fermentation which breaks down the rubberiness of the batter- further activated by the beer.

*The Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce is a no brainer.
 - choose your favorite mustard from the fridge ( I prefer spicy brown for my blossoms)
-mix it with equal parts honey and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Coming Soon! Hot Zucchini Nights and National Zucchini Day!

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