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Aug 12, 2011 07:05 AM

Can I do batter-dipped stuffed squash flowers for Friday night?

I don't do a lot of fritters. But egg-batter-dipped squash flowers fried are so wonderful that I want to.

The problem, of course, is that I would have to make them ahead and let them sit on a warming-tray. And I am afraid that they would lose their crispy-crunch completely.

Has anyone done a fritter-type dish for shabbos? Does it work?

I already bought the squash flowers at the farmer's market. If you discourage me on the fritters, I'll stuff them and serve very lightly steamed in a red sauce.

But I would rather stuff them with ricotta (I'm doing milchigs. it's August. Don't shoot me.) If you have never done this and can get your hands on some squash flowers, do. It's amazing. One of the most fabulous dishes on earth. You bite into the crisp, lightly battered flower, and the ricotta gushes out in your mouth like a geyser-propelled burst of perfectly creamy flavor. One of the most amazing dishes I've ever done.

the flowers are also wonderful stuffed with minced, seasoned lamb and onion, too. simmered in the traditional sauces, or fried.

But batter-dipped and stuffed with ricotta they are heavenly.

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  1. A couple of other solutions for you:
    1) What about turning your oven on high for a while right before shabbat, then turning it off the seconds before you light and keep the squash flowers in the hot oven on a cookie sheet?
    2) i often find that if i leave soemthing that need to be crispy on my hot plate uncovered also on a cookie sheet it comes out ok. not as great as method #1, but passable....

    2 Replies
    1. re: marissaj

      Thank you. I'm going to try your method #1.

      1. re: AdinaA

        I've used marissa's technique #1 with success. Full disclosure: it wasn't about shabbos but about a hot kitchen. :-)

    2. I've always been curious about cooking with squash blossoms. Can you eat the whole thing? What do you do with the stem? Sounds like a delicious dish.
      I've found that leaving fried dishes very lightly covered on a warm surface keeps them crispy enough for the shabbat table. It works better in the summer than in the winter, when the lag time is so much longer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: serenarobin

        Yes, you eat the whole thing, including the couple of centimeters or so of stem. They hold up to a long, slow simmer stuffed with meat. Or don't stuff, just saute lightly and serve.

        To me, they taste like summer.

        The only problem is the price. If you have a vegetable garden, they're free. but if you have to buy them at a farmer's market....

      2. Yummy, I have always wanted to try squash blossoms as I have seen them made on cooking shows. Any idea if they are bug free or do they need checking??

        9 Replies
        1. re: sig

          I check all vegetables. That said, I virtually never find insects on squash flowers. I do look inside each one, but that is not really an extra step since you have to pick each one up and hold the petals back so that you can stuff it.

            1. re: avitrek

              I chickened out. I was afraid that the batter-dipped would lose too much of their crispness. I will try Marrisaj's method one week when it is only family. The 2 hour wait wait between setting them into the oven (I do need a few minutes to wash up after a frying operation befoer lighting candles) and guests arriving after Kabbalat Shabbat just seemed too long.

              I stuffed the flowers with ricotta and made a very simple red sauce, just strained tomatoes and pureed onion. Nothing else, I did not even add salt or oil to the sauce. I stuffed the flowers with ricotta and simmered them. (They are quite sturdy and hold up to cooking. You can stuff them with raw lamb and they won't fall apart during cooking. )

              They were fabulous. I served them as a plated first course (sea bass for the main course). None of our guests had ever eaten a zucchini flower! So that was part of the impact. But mostly, they really are lovely, with a wonderful light flavor and texture. The (whole milk, salted) ricotta is a perfect compliment. You taste the flowers more than you do when you stuff them with lamb.

              What was lost was the crunch and the way the ricotta bursts onto your tongue when you batter dip.

              1. re: AdinaA

                Yum I made them for lunch yesterday. I added some garlic ,fresh herbs, baby tomatoes and sweet jalapenos to the ricotta and a chunk of kashkaval cheese (Tnuva brand, so good) stuck in the center. But I'd love to try and simmer them in red sauce. How long will they simmer for? I'll try with lamb sometime too. How much do you pay for them? I think they are three for a dollar in my farmer's market.

                1. re: Esty

                  There are recipes for this from pretty much all the Mediterranean kitchens, Jewish, Turkish, Greek, Lebanese... probably others. The spicing varies. they get stuffed with rice, or rice and lamb, or chicken and pine nuts. They do take a little time, but they are a holiday dish because you can make them ahead and leave them to simmer or reheat when the guests come.

                  Cheese is, I suspect, not so traditional, and more temperamental to work with than chopped lamb. What I did was make the sauce, stuff my flowers with ricotta, lay them in the sauce, stick it in the fridge, simmer just until heated through, and set on the blech.

            2. re: AdinaA

              It would seem that they are very difficult to check for insects. How do you do it?

              1. re: chicago maven

                We're not talking artichokes here. A courgette or zucchini flower is a simple creature. It has five petals and exposes it's heart to the world. I pick it up under the excellent lighing that shines on my work counter. I pick it up and look at the outside, then I hold the petals apart, and peer past the anthers right to the bottom of the cup. From time to time i find and remove a tiny speck of dirt. I've purchased and eaten them 6 times this summer and not once have I seen anything that moves or looks as though it is capable of moving.

                Once I am holding the flower open, I stuff it before picking up and inspecting the next flower. Labor-saving.

                  1. re: chicago maven

                    I don't know if needed, but I also soak them in soapy water for a bit before checking them. AdinaA is right, they are usually clean, and easy to check.