Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fritto Misto: Squash Blossoms and Onions

Appetizer 07/19

A dish like Fritto Misto comes down to execution -- the need to work quickly and to eat it while the batter is still crispy and the filling gooey (a technical term).

Also, there's the always understood pressure to "hurry up with the pictures so we can eat!" ;)

Start by having a heavy wok or large pot filled about 1/2 way up the side with canola or peanut oil, heated and ready to go at 375F°.

While the oil is coming up to temp, make the filling for the squash blossoms -- ours changes from time to time, but usually involves some combination of minced shallots, a tiny bit of garlic, vegan cream cheese, whatever vegan cheese you like (this used Daiya Jack), nooch, salt & pepper -- all mashed together.

Next we made the batter, which we've simplified:

1 cup Einkorn (or all-purpose) flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup water (plus extra for adjusting)

Whisk the water into the dry ingredients -- you want the result to be a little thicker than pancake batter, so you may need to add a little extra water -- especially in regard to the squash blossoms to make sure they're sealed up tight.*

The squash blossoms (from our garden, bonus!) were carefully rinsed inside and out, the stamen pinched and removed, patted dry and the filling added. They were dredged (and completely coated) in the batter and carefully placed in the oil. We were able to put about 4 in per batch. You don't want to overcrowd and drop the oil temp too much.

The onion was simply cut into rings, dropped in the batter and then in the oil.

The dipping sauce was simply 1/4 cup of vegenaise mixed with about 1 tsp. of smoked paprika.

*There's nothing sadder than watching a blossom open up in the oil.

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