Tempura Squash Blossom And Crab Packages With Hoisin Butter Sauce
- HOISIN BUTTER SAUCE:
- 12 baby squash with blossoms attached
- 1/2 cup cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup grated pepper jack cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions (scallions)
- 2 tablespoons finely-chopped red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
- 1 cup back fin crabmeat drained
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon Essence more for dusting (see Bayou Blast recipe)
- 1 cup very cold soda water
- 4 large ice cubes
- 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 1/2 cup prepared hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 8 ounces cold unsalted butter - (2 sticks) cut into tbspns
Gently wash the squash blossoms in a sink of lightly salted water to remove any insects or dirt. Remove and dry.
With a thin knife, cut the squash almost in half lengthwise, starting at the bottom end and working toward the blossom, to open for better cooking.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, pepper jack, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and white pepper, and mix well. Fold in the crabmeat. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag without a tip. Pipe the crabmeat mixture into each squash blossom, about 1 1/2 tablespoons per blossom.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees.
To make the tempura batter, in a medium bowl, combine the cornstarch and Essence. Slowly add the cold soda water, whisking to make a thin batter. Add the ice to make the batter cold. Place the stuffed squash in the batter, 1 at a time, shaking to remove any excess. In batches, carefully drop into the hot oil and fry until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season lightly with Essence, to taste.
Transfer squash blossoms to a large platter and serve hot with the Hoisin Butter Sauce.
For the Hoisin Butter Sauce: In a medium, heavy saucepan, gently heat the hoisin and vinegar over medium-low heat. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each piece before the previous one has been completely incorporated. Continue until all the butter is incorporated and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, removing the pan from the heat periodically to prevent the sauce from getting too hot and breaking. Keep warm while you prepare the squash blossoms.
This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.