Monday, 8 June 2015

Fried courgette flowers stuffed with mozzarella recipe



Here is a video of me cooking with Anglo-Italian chef Joe Hurd. In the video we are making a historic Italian recipe using poached egg, mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and a little chilli. For the cheese we are using Galbani mozzarella which is sold in most British supermarkets. This is the real stuff, it is soft and tearable in texture, not rubbery, while being mild and creamy in flavour. Don't buy that cheap stuff that is sold in blocks. It's not mozzarella! You want a delicate ball that you can rip up, almost like bread.
Mozzarella is a useful fridge staple: always have a couple of balls in your fridge during the summer. It turns any salad into a main dish or a substantial side or starter. You can also make this salad to accompany a barbecue.
Here is my own mozzarella based recipe. It's rather cheffy but actually simple to make. This is a great dinner party starter, guests will always be impressed with this. Probably the hardest thing is to source the courgette flowers. Courgette flowers come in two types: male and female. In Italy they tend to use the male version which is just a big flower. You can order these from natoora.co.uk. More commonly here however one gets the female version with a baby courgette attached. Courgette flowers can be pricey so the cheapest option is to make friends with someone who has an allotment or even...grow your own! (It's true however that if you pick the flowers, you won't have any courgettes, the flower is the precursor to the fruit, so pick sparingly.) Anyway June is the season for these...so make the most of them.

Fried courgette flowers stuffed with Galbani mozzarella recipe 


Serves 4

8 courgette flowers (male or female)
2 balls galbani mozzarella, torn into small pieces
2 litres of clean vegetable or groundnut oil, enough to fill a deep fryer.
1 pack (128 to 150g) tempura flour 
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of white pepper
150ml cold soda or fizzy water

Honey for drizzling (truffle honey if you want to splash out)
a few leaves of sage, torn, for garnish (my sage leaves are variegated, picked from my garden)

First carefully open the courgette flowers and check that there are no insects inside.
Then stuff the inside of the flower with small sections of mozzarella cheese. Be generous but don't stuff it so full that you can't twist the petals shut. 
Prepare your deep fat fryer or a saucepan. Fill it with the clean oil and heat to 180ºc.
Make the tempura batter. (You can use a mix of wheat and or rice flour but buying tempura flour is a quick cheat). Tip the flour into a bowl and season with salt and white pepper.  Pour in the very cold soda water and mix it slightly. Don't stir out the lumps. It's quite nice to have a few lumps.
Dip the courgette flowers in the tempura batter and carefully lower them into the hot oil. If your deep fat fryer isn't big enough to fry all of them at once then do it so that the courgette flowers aren't crowded in the pan, you don't want them to stick together.
Fry until golden. 
Lift out and drain on kitchen paper.
Serve two per person, scatter a little sage over the flowers and drizzle with some honey. 
You'll have the crispy delicacy of the flower and the batter, the creamy cheese inside, the sweetness of the honey, the herby leaf of the sage: altogether a gorgeous dish. 
I was commissioned by Galbani to create this recipe.

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