Jacques Pepin's Zucchini Flower Fritters
Recipe Courtesy: Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook; Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Yield: 12 Fritters
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Club Soda
1 Dozen Squash Blossoms
For a dozen fritters, mix ½ cup flour and¼ teaspoon baking powder in a small bowl. Add ½ cup of club soda. Mix well with a whisk; the batter should be thick and smooth. Add another ¼ cup of club soda, and whisk it in to make the batter very light. (If all the club soda is added at the beginning, the mixture might get lumpy.)
Put a large nonstick skillet on high heat on top of the stove, and add a couple of tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil.
Press a zucchini flower into the batter, so it is covered with batter on both sides, and place in hot oil. Repeat, adding enough flowers to fit in one layer in the skillet (probably 6 to 8 at a time). Cook the fritters over high heat, for a total of about 6 minutes, 3 minutes per side, until they are very crisp. When you turn the fritters after the first 3 minutes of cooking, you will notice that batter inside the fritters makes them bubble out. Using your spatula, press down on the fritters, so they become flat in the pan. This will make them crisper. Turn the fritters a few times during the cooking, so they are beautifully brown and crisp on both sides.
Lift the fritters one by one from the pan, and place on a wire rack set over a layer of paper towels. Do not drain the fritters on paper towels, as is conventionally done. The bottoms will become soggy. Repeat the process with the remaining flowers and batter. Prepared like this, they won't really absorb much of the cooking oil in the skillet, so you may have enough oil left in the skillet to fry the second batch. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the hot fritters, and serve.