Fried Squash Blossoms with Cilantro
3 oz. (~2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ c cold plain seltzer water
½ c extra-virgin olive oil
5 squash blossoms
4.5 oz. queso fresco
2 Tb sour cream (we use Nancy’s, which is rather thick)
6-10 sprigs of cilantro, de-stemmed and finely chopped
½ tsp cumin, toasted until fragrant
½ tsp chili powder, toasted until fragrant
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 200°F.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and a heaping 1/4 tsp. salt. Add the seltzer and stir to blend. The mixture should be the consistency of a semi-lumpy but loose pancake batter.
Carefully open squash blossoms to remove the stamen and any insects (flowers attract insects by design, so if there are insects, just remember this is an organic farm). Mix queso fresco, sour cream, chopped cilantro, and toasted spices. Gently stuff blossoms and twist the tip slightly to enclose. Cut the lime into wedges for serving.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. When a drop of batter sizzles in the pan, the oil is ready. Holding its stem end, dip a blossom into the batter. Swirl it around to coat. Drag the end of the blossom over the bowl’s edge to remove excess batter. Gently lay the blossom in the pan and repeat with 4 more blossoms, depending on the size (don’t over-crowd the pan). Cook until the blossoms are light golden-brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the blossoms with tongs and cook until light golden-brown on the other side, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the blossoms to a plate and serve with lime wedges to be squeezed onto blossoms.