Monday, July 11, 2011
Flor de Calabaza (Squash blossoms): Try them...but in a kitchen.
The inspiration for most of my cooking comes from traveling. I see something, and more importantly eat something, and then decide that I need to recreate it at home. Years ago I had a quesadilla with squash flowers and cheese in Oaxaca and vowed to figure out how to make it at home. Since then, I have occasionally seen squash flowers in farmers markets but they always seem too impractical to actually purchase. I mean they are flowers!
Last Sunday, Sam, Ryan and I visited the farmer's market in La Jolla and the flor de calabaza blossoms were too gorgeous to pass up. We bought a pound and when the farmer told us we had to make them that very same day as they were extrememly perishable, we vowed to incorporate them into that night's dinner. The catch was we were staying in a hotel with a kitchenette. We kept it simple and stuffed them with grated mozzarella (a close relative to the Oaxacan cheese we had first eaten them with) and sauteed them with a bit of olive oil. We served them with some black beans and the tiny squash that were attached to the flowers.
They soaked up a bit too much of the oil and it was hard to get a sense of the cooking time on the hot plate. Next time I think I would cut down the cooking time, use a bit less oil and maybe mix in some tomatoes with the cheese. And maybe I'll give them a shot in an actual kitchen.