Scotty and I try to jump on the bikes and get a ride in each weekend and as Winter is almost upon us we want to get as many in as possible. It had been a few weekends since we were able to ride to Ramsgate Foodies Market due to busy weekend schedules, so this Saturday we were determined to do so.
All the usual suspects were at Foodies with a few new stalls thrown in for good measure (I am eating a gorgeous pip-free mandarin bought from a new stall at Foodies right now as a matter of fact). While wandering through Foodies, Scotty and I spied a bunch of beautiful Zucchini Flowers tempting us at one of the organic fruit and veg stands. Even though summer is the usual season for Zucchini Flowers in Australia, the stall owner told us they were from QLD which is why he had them on offer. My were they pretty. Having never cooked them before but always having a desire to do so, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to grab a few and give it a go.
I was very excited about my Foodies find so when we got home I researched a few recipes to decide how I wanted to cook them. I knew I wanted to stuff them and found a good recipe giving me the basics (which you can also read over at Taste Buddies here), so decided to come up with the filing myself using prawn, ricotta and corn.
We agreed that I would make the stuffed flowers for entree and Scotty would cook something tasty for main course – stay tuned for the post on Scotty’s main as it was scrumptious.
You’ll find the recipe below but I must warn you, they are irresistible!
PRAWN & CORN STUFFED ZUCCHINI FLOWERS
8 male zucchini blossoms
12 raw blue prawns, peeled and diced
1/2 corn cob, kernels removed
3/4 cup of ricotta cheese
1 large free-range egg
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 sml handful of continental parsley, finely chopped
Salt & pepper, freshly ground
2/3 cup & 1/8 cup of plain flour
1 cup of chilled soda water
2 cups of vegetable or canola oil
In a bowl mix together the ricotta, garlic, parsley and egg until smooth. Add diced prawns and corn kernels then season with salt and pepper and mix till combined. Then set aside.
To prepare the flowers very gently open the petals making sure not to tear them as you open. Inside you will find the stamen (if using female flowers the inside will be a pistil) which you will need to remove with scissors (if you use your fingers you may damage the delicate petals and cause a split).
Place prawn and corn mixture in a piping bag (or do what I did and use the tip from Taste Buddies by putting the mixture in a freezer bag with an edge snipped off). Gently pipe 2 tablespoons of the filling into the flowers. You will feel them expand as you fill but make sure you don’t overfill. You will then need to twist the top of the petals to close the flowers and make sure they don’t open when frying.
Now its time to prepare the batter. Whisk together the flour and soda water. The mixture will froth up as you whisk due to the soda water but once you leave it to rest for a little while the bubbles will subside. The soda water helps to make the batter light and delicate which is just what the flowers need.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. You will know when the oil is ready by dropping some batter in and it sizzles to the top. Once oil is ready, dip a flower into the batter (holding it over the bowl to drain excess) and gently lower into the hot oil with a slotted spoon. Cook each flower for 2 minutes until light and crispy. Repeat with all flowers and once cooked, serve immediately.
P.S. After cooking up the zucchini flowers, there was batter left so Scotty went searching the fridge for other things to batter. Just in case you were wondering, olives and frankfurt sausages are also tasty battered and deep fried – actually, I think anything would be.