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Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms (Buñuelos de Flor de Calabaza)

These delightfully light squash blossom fritters stuffed with goat cheese are a specialty of Puebla, Mexico. Serve guacamole alongside for dipping (see related recipe at left). 

Ingredients:

  • 20 good-sized squash blossoms 
  • 1 1/2 lb. fresh goat cheese 
  • 20 fresh epazote or cilantro leaves
  • 5 eggs, separated 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
  • Safflower or canola oil for frying 
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour 

Directions:

Remove the pistils from the squash blossoms. Rinse the blossoms carefully by dunking them in a bowl of water. Dry on paper towels, stem end up.

Cut the goat cheese into 20 pieces, each about 3/4 inch square and 1 inch long. Place a piece of goat cheese and an epazote leaf in each blossom and lightly twist the tops of the petals together.

In a bowl, using a whisk, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the egg yolks one at a time, whisking after each addition. Add a pinch of salt and a generous grinding of pepper.

In a deep, heavy fry pan or a wok over medium heat, pour in oil to a depth of at least 1 inch and heat until the oil starts to smoke.

Meanwhile, spread the flour in a shallow dish. Lightly coat the stuffed blossoms with the flour. Working in batches, dip each blossom into the egg batter and place in the hot oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fried blossoms to paper towels to drain.

Arrange on a platter and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Mexico, by Marilyn Tausend (Time-Life Books, 2000).