Friday, May 22, 2009

Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza (Squash Blossoms)

Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza Squash Blossoms Recipe

After stopping at a local Mexican drive through window to order my daughter a cheese quesadilla, I got to thinking how difficult it is to get a real quesadilla around these parts. I don’t think my local berto’s will be serving up tuetano con champiƱones (marrow and mushrooms), Huitlacoche (corn smut), or Flor de Calabaza quesadillas any time soon. Since its Flor De Calabaza season the wife and I decided to make a trip to San Diegos Hillcrest Farmers Market, and pick up some fresh squash blossom flowers out of Valdivia Farms in Carlsbad.

Flor De Calabaza
flor de calabaza

I pretty much had the rest of the ingredients at home and currently grow epazote. If you do not have epazote it’s available at the Hillcrest Farmers Market, Specialty Produce, or Northgate Market.

Epazote from the garden
epazote

Ingredients
1 1/4 pounds Squash Flowers, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Sea salt to taste
2 pablano chilies, charred, peeled, and cut into strips
1 tablespoon roughly chopped epazote
Oaxacan Cheese
Corn Tortillas

This is a fairly simple recipe; most of the work is in the prep. It was a fun day making these; my brother and I were prepping the flowers while the wife worked the grill and the masa. This Recipe is adapted from Diana Kennedys "From My Mexican Kitchen Techniques and Ingredients."

Rinse and briefly shake excess water off the flowers. Remove stringy green sepals around the base of each flower. If the flowers are large leave about a half inch of the stalk on. Roughly chop the flowers, calyx and stamen included.

Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza Squash Blossoms Recipe

Prepare chiles by placing over open flame , turning them from time to time until skin is blistered and lightly charred. Place them inside a plastic bag and set aside to steam for 10 about minutes; this process will loosen the skin. Then remove the skin by running your hands or a spoon down the chile. Cut into vertical strips.

Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza Squash Blossoms Recipe

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onion garlic, and a little salt, and fry gently without browning until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the chili strips and cook stirring from time to time, for another two minutes.

Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza Squash Blossoms Recipe

Add the flowers and salt to taste, cover the pan, and cook over low heat until the round calyx is tender, not soft, about 10 minutes. Add epazote after 5 minutes.

Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza Squash Blossoms Recipe

The mixture should be moist not juicy.

Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza Squash Blossoms Recipe

Prepare some corn tortillas on the comal with some Oaxaca cheese and flor de calabaza mixture. Enjoy!

Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza Squash Blossoms Recipe

This is enough for about 15 quesadillas (which was a bit much) I will most likely split the recipe in half next time. Its unfortunate as to what is being passed off as a quesadilla locally, flour tortilla the size of a tent with greasy flavorless yellow cheese is not a good representation.

Its flor de calabaza season give them a try I’m sure you will enjoy. If your not up to making them Aqui Es Texcoco in Chula Vista makes some very good ones.

18 comments:

KirkK said...

Hey MA - You've got the Missus craving these! "Something"-Berto's serving huitlacoche....that'll be the day!

Mike said...

I love squash flowers. I take it that they sell just the flowers at the Hillcrest market? In PB, we only seem to get them with the baby squash attached, and sometimes we just want the flowers.

Joan Nova said...

That bowl of flores de calabaza is beautiful enough for a dining table centerpiece! Delicious looking stuff here!

Masa Assassin said...

Hi Kirk - my missus is always craving these as well, good thing it’s the season. Yeah if local taco shop ever served huitlacoche, I’m sure it would be canned.

Hi Mike - yes Valdivia Farms out of Carlsbad sells the flowers at Hillcrest market. The picture with the blue background was taken just after purchase. They sell both male and female. Make sure you get the male for this recipe. The female is good if you want to stuff with cheese and batter. I just put up a picture on my flickr account from the market; the males are in the corner with the basket.

Hi Joan - Thanks thats a great idea on the centerpiece.

cindi your follower said...

MA thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dud those were some good looking pics...taste great less filling..
CH

Kevin said...

I have been wanting to try squash blossoms. These quesadillas look good!

Masa Assassin said...

Thanks Everyone!

caninecologne said...

hi there! i'm so glad i saw your recipe - now i can make my own instead of driving all the way over to ranas (off the 94 and kenwood exit).hey also serve huitlacoche stuff too, which i'm too chicken to try.

btw, you can get squash flowers at other farmers' markets as well (downtown chula vista on thurs & at the otay ranch town center on tues )and i'm sure many more than just hillcrest.

Masa Assassin said...

Hi caninecologne -thanks for the info, yeah Ranas is very good you should definetly try huitlacoche, its so good.

Elise said...

I made a version of these last year with a friend of mine from Acapulco, so good! Was just thinking about them again this morning looking at all the squash blossoms in our garden. It's truly a wonderful dish.

Anonymous said...

Being from Mexico D. F. I know how hard it is to find good quesadillas in the area! I did find the flor de calabaza fresh and the epazote also fresh at the Northgate Market (Gonzalez Market) on 43rd Street in National City. There is a small restaurant on 46th and El Cajon Blvd called The Torta Factory that has very good quesadillas de flor de calabaza.

Anonymous said...

We have both squash and epazote in our garden. Does anybody know the right time in the life of the squash to pick the flower? Is it shortly after the squash begins to form? Does picking the flower affect the growth of the squash?

Thanks.

-bd

Anonymous said...

I love squash blossoms but get a little tired of stuffing them - the squash blossom quesadillas recipe was a great change - they were delicious! Thanks!

Masa Assassin said...

Hi Elise, thats very nice you grow your own I need to do that.

Hi bd, Im sorry I dont know the answer to that but I hope someone will chime in.

Hi An - Im glad you liked them I love hearing results :)

Byte64 said...

Standing ovation for your squash blossoms quesadillas!
Unfortunately i could not use poblanos this time, but it's just a matter of patience, my homegrown poblanos are a bit late this year.
Thanks for the great recipe!

Tlaz

Masa Assassin said...

Thanks Tlaz its comments like yours that keeps me going, Im glad you liked and thanks again for reporting back.

Anonymous said...

Muchas Gracias for the recipe. I found flor de calabaza in my local farmers market and I got excited and recently spending an extended period of time in Mexico City and reminiscing "comida mexicana"

:)