By Libbie Summers
Assisted by Candace Brower
Photo by Cedric Smith
This is my early summer popcorn. The perfect snack to feed a guilty pleasure. Sure you could get all fancy and stuff these with some cheesy mixture before dipping and frying them, but that takes the crunch away, but I love the crunch. Like Jr. High…I refuse to stuff.
Tempura Fried Squash Blossoms
(classic tempura batter = crunchy flowers)
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt
1-1/2 cups cold plain seltzer
1 cup canola oil
12 squash blossoms, stamens removed and stems on
1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
2. Make the Batter: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the salt. Add the seltzer and stir. The mixture will be the consistency of a pancake batter.
3. Heat the Oil: In a large skillet (I use a 10-inch cast iron) over medium high heat, add the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer drop a little batter into the oil to see if it sizzles. If it does, you are good to go.
4. Fry the Blossoms: Hold each squash blossom by the stem and gently dip into the batter. Twirl to coat and then gently shake off any excess batter. Place the coated blossom in the hot oil and continue with more of them…enough to fill but not overcrowd the pan (this will take two rounds). Fry the blossoms until they are a golden brown on the bottom (about 2 minutes), then turn over and cook until golden brown on the other side (about 2 more minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining blossoms.