Bobby Flay's crispy squash blossoms with ricotta, corn, oregano and anchovy vinaigrette
INGREDIENTS FOR CRISPY SQUASH BLOSSOMS
1 ½ cups whole-milk ricotta ½ cup grilled or roasted corn kernels ¼ cup grated cotija cheese 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano leaves kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 16 squash blossoms 1 cup rice four 3 cups canola oil 1 ½ cups baby greens 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Bobby Flay is a busy man. He opened Shark in Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas this past spring; has a new cookbook, Gato in New York Cookbook: Bobby at Home, coming out this fall; and has not one, but two TV shows airing on Food Network: BBQ Brawl: Flay v. Symon, with Michael Symon, and The Flay List, with his daughter, Sophie.
With all that going on, it’s a wonder the chef still has time to get into his own kitchen to cook for friends. “I cook almost every day because I’m always entertaining,” says Flay, who names Citarella and Balsam Farms as a couple of his favorite Hamptons spots. “But the groups are larger on weekends.” If Flay is lucky, sometimes his celebrity-chef friends return the favor. “I had a delicious lunch of lobster cobb salad at Ina Garten’s home,” says Flay of one of his favorite Hamptons memories. Even a very busy man—and a very famous chef—likes to relax and let someone else serve him a good meal on occasion.
DIRECTIONS FOR CRISPY SQUASH BLOSSOMS
1. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Scrape the ricotta into the strainer, set over a bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours to allow excess liquid to drain.
2. Transfer the drained ricotta to a medium bowl and stir in the corn, cheese and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Carefully spoon about 2 Tbsp. of the mixture into each squash blossom. Gently press the filling into the base of the flower. Cover with the petals and pinch the top to seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the rice flour with ½ cup of cold water to make a thin batter with the consistency of heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper and let the batter sit for 15 minutes. If the batter becomes too thick, whisk in additional water, a tsp. at a time.
4. Line a plate with several layers of paper towels. Heat the oil in a high-sided saute pan or medium pot until it registers 375 F on a deep-fry thermometer. Holding each blossom by the stem, dip into the batter making sure to coat completely. Let the excess batter drip off. Place the blossoms into the oil in batches and fry, carefully turning to evenly fry until lightly golden brown. Repeat with the remaining blossoms.
5. Put the greens into a medium bowl, add the oil and lemon juice, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Drizzle some of the anchovy vinaigrette onto each plate, top with 4 of the blossoms and place some of the greens in the center.
INGREDIENTS FOR ANCHOVY VINAIGRETTE
¼ cup aged sherry vinegar 1 Tbsp. chopped shallot 6 anchovy fillets, patted dry and chopped 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup olive oil
DIRECTIONS FOR ANCHOVY VINAIGRETTE
Combine the vinegar, shallot, anchovy, mayonnaise and a splash of water in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.