Friday, June 26, 2009

Peonies and Squash Blossoms - Fried Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Creme Fraiche, Basil & Lemon

I have something of a love affair going with peonies. No joke. It's a well-known fact that I swoon at the mere sight of this superior flower. I've documented this before. When I visit my parents in Portland in the Spring and Summer, my Mother always has one in a vase at the side of my bed. She is quite incredible that way. And once, after a difficult split with a boyfriend, my roommate at the time had a vase full of them waiting for me in the North corner of my room. She maintained that this particular arrangement of flowers in that particular corner would always bring me luck in love. While I've never been able to ascertain the truth of that statement, I do enjoy the thought of it. And it becomes an added excuse to buy them every once in awhile.

While admittedly, the fact that they are my favorite flower does not make me unique, it certainly doesn't quell the impulse purchase in the checkout line at Trader Joe's. I bought 9 for $9 there this past weekend. And oh-so carefully, lovingly and tenderly brought them home, trimmed the ends, poured a small amount of plant food into the vase, and made sure they were given the proper amount of water. Only ONE of them opened.

It was as though my favorite flower was mocking me.

Whatever, flowers. No more will I spend $9 of extra grocery money on your fickle petals. I will however have my revenge. I will eat you instead.

This week has been full of coincidences. One of which being that Beth and I bought squash blossoms to fry on the same day, neither of us having ever attempted squash blossoms before. Her recipe was a bit more adventurous than mine, I didn't even fry them in the traditional sense, but they did turn out well. Mouthwateringly delicious, actually. Flowers are so much less insulting when they're fried.

In other news, Wilco tomorrow night! Oh Jeff Tweedy. You really are quite charming with your guitar.

Fried Squash Blossoms with Creme Fraiche, Basil and Lemon
This recipe serves one, double as needed

3 squash blossoms
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp mint
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp creme fraiche
1/4 cup oilve oil

Combine the basil, mint, lemon zest and creme fraiche in a small bowl. Transfer to a plastic bag. Snip the tip of the plastic bag off, and carefully squeeze the creme fraiche mixture into each blossom until stuffed full. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, gently place the blossoms into the skillet. Fry for about 1 minute on each side. When the blossoms are slightly brown, remove and let drain on a paper towel. Serve while hot.

To truly fry the blossoms, try coating each blossom with a batter of beaten egg and a tiny bit of flour before frying.

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