The Flagstaff Community Market has provided me with many new products and inspired me to create new dishes. One Sunday morning as I walked around the market, I saw squash blossoms, goat cheese, corn, garlic, onion, and peppers. Before I left the market, I had created this appetizer using all farmers' market products.
Soon after, I ran a “Farmers Market” tasting menu for several months, allowing it to evolve with the changing seasons. The next summer we grew all our own squash blossoms. Checking on the garden early in the morning is my favorite time of day during the summer months. I pick squash blossoms, edible flowers, herbs, and more.
Makes 4 blossoms
4 large winter squash blossoms(summer squash blossoms willwork but tend to be smaller)
1 cup Goat Cheese Filling (see below)
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, whisked until smooth
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup salad oil
1 recipe Avocado Corn Relish (see below)
1 recipe Ancho Aïoli (see below)
1. Wash squash blossoms gently. Remove pistils from inside blossoms and dry blossoms on a paper towel.
2. Use a pastry bag to fill each blossom with Goat Cheese Filling.
3. Roll blossoms in flour, then dip into egg mixture.
4. Combine cornmeal with remaining flour. Roll blossom in this mixture.
5. Heat oil to high in shallow sauté pan until a drop of egg wash fries instantly. Fry each blossom for 30 seconds, turn, and fry for an additional 30 seconds on the other side.
6. Drain on paper towel and serve with Avocado Corn Relish and Ancho Aïoli.
Goat Cheese Filling
Makes 1 cup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced (1/4 cup)
2 large garlic cloves, chopped (1 tablespoon)
2 sprigs oregano, stems removed and chopped (2 teaspoons)
1 cup chévre cheese
1. Heat olive oil in sauté pan. Sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
2. Combine the onion-garlic mixture in a mixing bowl with oregano and cheese. Mix until smooth. Cool
Avocado Corn Relish
Makes 1-1/2 cups
1 small tomato, diced (1/2 cup)
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup cooked corn kernels
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 tablespoon green onions (green part only), chopped
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1. Combine all ingredients.
2. Let rest. Strain.
Makes 1-1/4 cups
2 ancho chiles, dried
1 roasted red pepper, peeled, deseeded, and stem removed - (To roast red pepper, place whole pepper over open flame. Char skin. Turn every few minutes until entire pepper is charred. Place in an airtight bag or container for 10 minutes, then peel under running water.)
2 large garlic cloves, roasted - (To roast garlic toss garlic cloves, with husks, in olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees and roast for 10 minutes longer, or until soft and tender. Remove garlic from oven and cool to room temperature. Remove husks; they should flake off easily.)
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 egg yolk (or 1/4 cup pasteurized egg white)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Soak ancho chiles in hot water for 15 minutes to rehydrate. Drain. Remove stems and seeds. Heat skillet (traditionally cast iron). Sear chiles for 20 seconds each.
2. Combine ancho chiles, roasted red pepper, garlic, lime juice, water, oregano, egg yolk (or pasteurized egg white), salt, and chipotle powder in a blender. Purée.
3. Turn blender to medium speed and slowly add oil to emulsify.