Thursday, May 3, 2007

Squash Blossoms Abound in Torreon!

Squash Blossoms in the Dessert.

This morning we saw a street vendor selling fresh squash blossoms along Constitucion here in Torreon. Flagging the man down quickly before the oncoming traffic built up behind the car, we pulled over so I could grab the squash blossoms & pay the gentleman. May not sound like a big deal~but with traffic in Mexico...quite the feat! For a mere 50 pesos I had the most beautiful bag of fresh blossoms I have ever seen in any farm stand or grocery store in the states! The rich yellow color & flavor make a wonderful soup popular throughout Mexico. I first tasted the soup in Acapulco 20 years ago. There are so many varieties of squash & gourds grown in Mexico. The squash flowers often decorate the insides of churches during festivals & are featured on artwork as well as carved into cantera reliefs on buildings.

The male and female blossoms of either winter and summer squash varieties can be used to cook with. The male blossoms appear at the end of thin stems and can be harvested without curtailing production of squash. The female blossoms form at the end of the buds that grow into squash and are often harvested with the tiny, squash still attached. The only problem with the squash blossoms is that the shelf life is relatively short. So if you manage to find a large amount you must cook & do so quickly. With the amount of blossoms I found today it will be dinner tonight & lunch tomorrow. I see Squash Blossom Quesadillas on the horizon...

Squash Blossom Soup
1/4 stick butter
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound squash blossoms, 4 cups approx.
4 zucchini or crookneck squash, diced
1 cup half and half
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Grated anejo cheese or parmesean cheese

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Saute the onions, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook about five minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 to 12 minutes add the blossoms and cook 5 minutes longer.

2. Transfer soup to food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Strain soup back into saucepan. Pour in the half and half and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated anejo cheese

Serve this with Fried Squash Blossoms either dipped in bread crumbs or cornmeal with egg wash.

The sunny yellow Squash color is popular throughout Mexico. My friend Carolyn painted this wonderful little Mexican bird house with the same warm color.


Lauren said...
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Lauren said...

Tell Carolyn I'm very happy to see she got the bird house painted! I'm also jealous that you get to find such cool culinary delights, I'm stuck with the eats I find in the fridge after a long days' work.

Dee said...

Yes, it is that great Mexico yellow color I love so much!