Fried Lobster and Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Sweet Thai Chili Dipping Sauce
Recipe created by 2015 Glorious Bites Competition Winner: Donna W.
Donna Wolfe, a reference librarian from Hamilton, New Jersey, won Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards 2015 Glorious Bites Competition and earned bragging rights, a custom glass trophy and a check for $5,000. Her Fried Lobster & Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Sweet Thai Chili Dipping Sauce was deemed 2015’s most glorious appetizer recipe in the country to pair with Gloria Ferrer’s sparkling wine: Sonoma Brut. After the announcement that she was the winner, Wolfe exclaimed, “I am so amazed. There was some incredible competition.”
Wolfe’s recipe rose to the forefront, bringing her to the semi-finals and ultimately to the winner’s circle. “Donna’s appetizer was not only the perfect pairing for the Sonoma Brut, but a perfect bite of food in general. It was crisp and flavorful, yet delicate. She so impressed me with her talent, composure and attention to detail,” said Top Chef Season Ten Star Brooke Williamson. “As a sommelier, I felt the vibrant flavors and delicate nature of this tasty bite really complemented the crisp texture and creamy bubbles in the Sonoma Brut,” said Sommelier and Judge Christopher Sawyer. “Overall, an elegant, sexy, and rewarding creation!” Judges Michelle Heston, Regional Director of PR and Marketing Communications for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and Sondra Bernstein, Proprietor of the girl & the fig and ESTATE in Sonoma & the fig cafe & winebar, echoed these sentiments.
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C club soda
3/4 Tsp kosher salt
1/3 C mild goat cheese
2 Tbsp cream cheese
2 Tsp heavy cream
3 Oz lobster meat, cooked and finely chopped (reserve claw pieces for garnish)* (see note)
1 Tsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 Tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp green onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
12 Zucchini blossoms (plus extras as backup)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Chives and chive blossoms for garnish
1 Banana leaf
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
1 Tsp soy sauce
1/2 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp finely ground black pepper
1/8 Tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tsp finely minced garlic
11/2 Tsp ginger root, peeled and finely minced
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, water and salt until smooth. Set aside.
- Whisk together the ingredients for the Sweet Thai Chili Dipping Sauce and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, tarragon, lemon zest, and green onion. Mix until smooth. Fold in lobster. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Use a pastry bag to fill each blossom with 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons filling. Close the blossoms and gently twist the petals to seal.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350-degrees F. Dip the stuffed zucchini blossoms in the batter and allow any excess batter to drip off. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Allow the cooked blossoms to drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place on a platter on the dark green banana leaf with a ramekin of the dipping sauce with chives, chive blossoms, and lobster claw pieces for garnish.