13 September 2010

Flower power

One of the ingredients I was most enamoured with using while learning the finer points of Mexican cuisine is squash blossoms. I love eating flowers, I don't know why but it seems very decadent. So every opportunity to eat flowers, I take. But usually, like nasturtiums, they are eaten raw. The squash blossom is often cooked.

Over the weekend, J & I attended the 70th birthday party of my sister-in-law's mother. They live on a farm north of Barrie and while we were sipping tea from delicate china cups, my nephew discoved a patch of squash that he took me over to see. There were many varieties of squash bearing many fruits, so to speak. But also many blossoms were showing their pretty yellow faces. I was asked if I wanted some of the squash but said I'd really rather have the blossoms. After a few odd looks, I was given permission to pick some, so I did!

Tonight we took a break from the film festival - neither of us were keen to see the Nicole Kidman movie we had on the schedule - so I wanted to make something with the blosssoms. They are delicate and don't really last long so they had to be used ASAP. My first plan was soup but J was not keen. I had had squash blossom quesadillas while in Puebla, Mexico, so that became the plan!

First thing is to clean and ready the squash blossoms. Here they are ready for dinner.

They are pretty easy to put together, so here's my recipe.

Squash blossom quesadillas
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • dozen or so squash blossoms (cleaned)
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese - grated
  • 1/3 cup queso fresco - grated/cut into little squares
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil

Roast the poblano pepper under the broiler until the skin bubbles. Take it out and put it in a plastic bag for about 10 minutes. Remove it from the bag and peel off the skin and remove the seeds. Slice it into thin strips.

Finely chop the onion and the garlic (which you can dry roast if you're feeling energetic). Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the garlic, onion, and poblanos. Saute until everything is soft and lovely. Add the blossoms and cook for another few minutes until they are fully wilted.

Put 1/3 of each of the cheeses and the mixture on a tortilla. Top with another tortilla and then fry in tiny bit of oil in the frying pan. Flip when one side is browned. Cut into four. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

I served it with some of my homemade salsa and a bit of guacamole. Mmm. Mmm. Good.

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