RECIPE

Mexican Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

We started with my Fish Salpicon  (which I served with Fresh Salsa Verde, page 209, and grilled corn tortillas), Lemon-Garlic Guacamole (page 31), Yellow Tomato & Zucchini Flower Salsa, Mexican Stuffed Zucchini Flowers, and Grilled Jalapeño Poppers with Bacon. The main was Roasted Poblanos Stuffed with Picadillo.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Kernels scraped from 1 ear corn
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño chile, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 16 large zucchini flowers
  • 3/4 to 1 cup grated cotija, Monterey Jack, or white cheddar cheese (or a combo)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for any stray bits of shell
  • Hot sauce
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 to 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • A small handful of fine dry breadcrumbs
  • EVOO, for shallow-frying
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Preparation

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the corn and stir until browned. Add the onion, chile, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir that together for a few minutes, then set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, remove the stamens from the zucchini flowers. Set 12 aside to be stuffed and chopped the remaining 4 flowers.

In a bowl, combine the cooled corn mixture, the chopped zucchini flowers, the cheese, and cilantro. Season the crabmeat with a little hot sauce and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning and stir in.

Fill the zucchini flowers with the stuffing and twist the ends of the blossom to trap the filling inside. Line up 3 shallow bowls on the counter: Spread the flour out in one, beat the eggs in the second, and mix together the panko, cornmeal, and breadcrumbs in the third. Coat the stuffed flowers in the flour, then in egg, and finally in the cornmeal mix, pressing to make sure the coating sticks.

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch EVOO. Working in small batches, shallow-fry the flowers until deeply golden brown. Drain on a wire rack. Serve with lime wedges.

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Rachael Ray