Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Squash Blossoms & Rainier Cherries


Squash Blossom & Queso Cotija Quesadillas with Rainier Cherry & Cherry Pepper Salsa
So I made some stuffed squash blossoms last night and they were delicious but I had a bunch of the beautiful edible flowers left over. I'd never tried them in quesadillas before and I remember reading about them in a magazine article on unusual mexican dishes. I also had an idea the other night while eating dinner. Once in a while we like to have a basic meal of wine and cheese, olives, nuts, fruits, peppers, etc. I was eating a Rainier cherry and before I finished I popped a hot pickled cherry pepper in my mouth. It was delicious! The barely sweet, mostly sour Rainier balanced perfectly with the salty heat of the pepper. I knew a salsa would work beautifully. And so there you go, this dish was created. It was truly one of the best quesadillas I've ever had. If you can't find Rainiers maybe substitute them with something sour/sweet like apricots or even peaches.

Rainier cherry salsa
1/2 lb Rainier cherries, pitted and cut into quarters
3 or 4 hot cherry peppers, seeded and sliced into small strips
1 scallion sliced thin on a bias (angle)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
salt & fresh ground pepper

Toss all of the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper. It's truly that easy. The earlier in advance it's made, the better it will be. Serve with the squash blossom quesadillas.

squash blossom quesadillas
Olive oil
2 large scallions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 roasted poblano pepper, skin and seeds removed, diced
8-10 fresh squash blossoms
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 Tbsp spanish oregano, chopped (or a little less if dried)
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt & fresh ground black pepper
2 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup queso cotija, crumbled (you can sub a mild feta)
1/2 cup queso Oaxaca, small diced (you can sub a monteray jack)

Heat a large saute pan with a little oil and saute the onion, garlic, and the roasted poblano pepper for 4 minutes. Once the onions have become translucent add the squash blossoms and the chicken stock. Add the oregano and cumin, and cook for another 4 minutes until squash blossoms have wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Let mixture cool. Place a tortilla on a flat surface. Distribute a layer of cheese equally on the tortilla. Then, spoon the squash blossom filling evenly over the cheese. Cover with the other tortilla, place in nonstick saute pan with a small amount of oil, and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown on each side and cheese has melted, remove and cut into quarters. Serve with Rainier cherry salsa and sour cream.

1 comment:

Weylin said...

Thanks man...yeah. The trip was pretty fabulous. Passed too quickly, as did the transient Italian-inspired carefree-ness!