Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Summer’s First Squash Blossoms

Squash blossoms are one of my favorite summer finds.  Although I rarely fry foods, I prepare these lovely flowers the way my great-grandmother did and make a simple batter.

Squash Blossoms

For a dozen blossoms, I use about two heaping tablespoons of flour, one cup of water and one egg.  If the batter seems too thin after mixing these ingredients, add more flour so that it is the consistency of a thick pancake or waffle batter.  The batter should be thick enough to stick to the blossoms – if you are unsure about the thickness, simply dip in a blossom to test.  Also add a few pinches of salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

When ready to fry, heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.  You can test the oil for readiness by adding a drop of water or batter and seeing if it sizzles.  When the oil reaches the desired temperature, dip each blossom in the batter, making sure to coat the entire flower, and lay it in the oil.  You will likely have to fry in two batches.  When one side is golden, use tongs to turn and brown the other side.  Each side will take about two to three minutes.  As you remove them from the skillet, place the blossoms on a plate covered in a paper towel to soak up excess oil.

Fried Squash Blossom

These distinctive tasting delicacies are an ideal summer appetizer and, certainly, a conversation piece.  You will also find recipes for stuffing the blossoms with ricotta, corn and anchovies, for example, but I prefer to let the flavor of the blossoms shine.

Pistachio Madeleines

My go to madeleine recipe is from Fernand Point’s Ma Gastronomie (copyright 2008 The Rookery Press).   This cookbook is a collection of recipes and thoughts on food by Point — the famed chef and owner of Restaurant de la Pyramide in Lyon, France, where he honored the traditions of the culinary masters while creating new dishes showcasing seasonal ingredients in the early 20th century.  Point’s cuisine would likely be considered “farm to table” in today’s foodie vocabulary.  I recently modified Point’s recipe to include pistachios…

Raw Pistachios

Ingredients:

3 egg yolks

¾ cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons

14 tablespoons melted butter

Zest of one lemon

1 1/3 cups flour

5 stiffly beaten egg whites

1/3 cup of unsalted, shelled pistachios pureed in a food processor

Blend the sugar into the three egg yolks.  Then mix in the butter and lemon zest.  Add the flour a bit at a time, then fold in the egg whites followed by the pistachios.  Butter your madeleine mold and spoon the batter into the mold.   Bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  This cooking time is for a larger size madeleine (this mold will typically have 12 cavities).

Madeleines 3

When I made the pistachio madeleines, I used a De Buyer silicone mini madeleine mold with 20 portions and reduced the cook time.  The mini madeleines were a lovely summer green hue and made for a perfect accompaniment to gelato or sorbet.

June’s Bounty

Check out my June issue of The Judicial Palate.

June’s Bounty

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2015.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.