Crispy Flor de Calabaza Quesadillas: A couple of years ago I spent my summer in Italy. Where I enjoyed a lightly crisp battered squash blossoms swimming in simple tomato sauce stuffed with ricotta cheese. I had never had flor de calabaza (squash blossom) Italian style but I was certainly in love one bite in.
Naturally, like most Mexican-Americans I grew up eating flor de calabaza quesadillas, something that reminds me of my childhood. This time when I set out to make my beloved quesadillas I remembered the squash blossoms I had in Italy and decided to mesh the two for a truly delicious version.
First I battered the squash blossoms and deep fried them like they did in Italy. I decided not to stuff the center since I would be making quesadillas and placing the crispy flor de calabaza inside. Brought some spicy love to the dish by making a simple tomato salsa to accompany my quesadillas. I thought a good Oaxaca cheese would be the most complimentary for this dish. Lastly, I was lucky enough to get my hands on some pink Kernel of Truth Organics masa for tortillas. Delicious.
Ingredients for Flor De Calabaza Quesadillas:
- Kernel of Truth Organics masa
- squash blossoms
- 4 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- tomato salsa
- Oaxaca Cheese
Let’s Make Tortillas:
- I used already made tortillas masa. If you are not able to buy Kernel Of Truth Organics Masa then make your own tortilla masa. Divide the dough into as many golf-ball sized balls of masa you can get from your batch.
- Roll each portion into a perfectly round ball in between the palms of your hands.
- Then using a tortilla press (or two books), line each side with a layer of plastic because you don’t want it to stick. Place a ball of masa in the center and press. This will flatten it and make it a perfect disk.
- Set tortilla on a hot comal and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. You want the tortilla to be slightly crispy and most importantly know it’s ready when the tortilla starts to puff up.
- Place cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in a clean kitchen towel.
Squash Blossoms / Flor De Calabaza:
- Start by filling a bowl with cold water. Submerge the blossoms into the water and remove any insects or dirt from flowers. Trim the blossoms at the neck of the stem. Remove the bright yellow pistil from the inside of the blossom. Only the flower petals are edible. Carefully pat dry blossoms on a paper towel.
- In a small bowl mix corn starch and water together until smooth. Set to the side.
- Pour vegetable oil into a small frying pan over a medium flame with a thermometer attached to the side. Allow the oil to heat to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
- Dip each squash blossom into the corn starch mixture just to coat. Then drop into hot oil and fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place each blossom on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Heat a comal over a medium flame for 10 minutes. Lay a tortilla down flat and add 2 small handfuls of grated Oaxaca cheese to half of tortilla. Then with a pair of tongs because you don’t want to burn your fingers, fold the non-cheesy half of tortilla over. Cook on each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.
- Remove the quesadilla from the comal and carefully open quesadilla. Sprinkle the inside with a little salt to taste, 3 to 4 crispy flor de calabaza, and a drizzle of tomato salsa. Close the quesadilla and serve hot! The crunchy flor de calabaza adds a great crisp texture to this quesadilla.